Nissan claims its latest car is leading a revolution in mass-produced electric vehicles.
The Leaf, which was launched last month, is powered by 48 compact lithium-ion batteries.
With a driving range of up to 110 miles, Nissan believes the Leaf can rival normal family cars because of its “conventional” appearance and competitive charging costs.
David Jackson, Nissan EV Project Manager in the UK told ELN: “People are having to take a leap of faith in terms of having an electric car as opposed to a petrol or diesel. We wanted the styling to be not too much of a shock, so yes, it does look like a car as you would expect. Actually, it looks like a conventional car.
“It depends on what time of day you charge, but under £2 is the overnight rate and a bit over £2 for the daytime rate. Overnight could be anything from around £1.50 to get you a full tank in this car, depending on who your supplier is.”
The Leaf is better than petrol cars, he added: “We would actually say there are some really nice characteristics of electric cars that are better than petrol ones. It’s direct drive, there isn’t a gearbox with gear changes required, there is one gear. The faster you go the faster the motor spins. At any point in time all of the power is available. You’ve got lots of pulling power, lots of Torque, and the silence that goes with it. We think these are an advancement over petrol cars.”
With prices at the pump rising – according to the AA, average UK petrol and diesel prices rose by up to five pence a litre in the past month – cheaper charging costs could give EV vehicles like the Leaf an edge over more conventional motors.