Nissan have moved a step closer to shaping the electric car market as the first of their LEAF models roll off production lines. Now some analysts are suggesting the LEAF might change the face of electric motoring altogether.
The Nissan LEAF marks the start of a “new era” for the company and the wider motoring industry. As one of the most technologically advanced and hotly anticipated new vehicles of its class, these grand projections might bear up.
The LEAF is Nissan’s flagship electric model. In its 2013 iteration, visual tweaks have accompanied more drastic improvements in the technology. Boasting more than 100 individual improvements to its predecessor, the 2013 model feels a long time coming.
Work began on the development of the model back in 2008, and some four and a half years later, the results are only now coming to a mass production phase. But with some of the most advanced features on the market, some are saying it has been worth the wait.
Team Nissan Manchester NH, a specialized Nissan dealership, suggested that the LEAF could make a big impact on motorists and the market for alternative cars. “With the LEAF now beginning production in the UK, motorists are already anticipating an electric future. As a pioneering model in its class, the LEAF could see a more mainstream switch to electric motoring as an alternative to traditional gasoline-fuelled cars.”
The 2013 LEAF is regarded as a significant improvement on previous generations. New lithium-ion batteries are at the cutting edge, and allow for the new model to run further than its predecessor between charges.
The car now comes with a new suspension system, customizable for different road types. And the Around View Monitor makes parking a much-improved experience.
The new LEAF benefits from a system of 4 different external cameras, which give the driver access to the Around View Monitor function. This presents an aerial view of the car in relation to obstacles and lines around it, making it easier to park in the tightest of spots.
Perhaps the LEAF’s biggest strength is its green credentials. Because it is 100% electrically powered using the latest in battery technology, the car has zero emissions.
As more charging points sprout up throughout Europe, it’s hard to envisage how cars like the LEAF could avoid becoming more mainstream.
With some 1400 dealers lining up to help bring this car to the masses, its launch is expected to be a considerable sales event for the company. Now that production at Nissan’s manufacturing plants is secured and the lines have been switched on, it remains to be seen whether the LEAF will reach its true potential in the market.
A launch event at the company’s manufacturing plant in Sunderland, UK marked the start of production. The move was even welcomed by the UK’s Prime Minister, David Cameron, who praised the Nissan project as a “success story for UK volume car manufacturing”. Safeguarding over 2000 jobs in Nissan’s specialized UK car plants, it’s hardly a surprise that the British Prime Minister is on board.
But with real mainstream appeal and an affordable price tag, the LEAF holds the potential to change how ordinary motorists think about their cars forever.