Motoring giant Nissan unveiled its new Australian-version Leaf on Thursday morning, promising that a bigger 40kWh battery will give an extended fully charged range of 270kms.
The new generation Leaf joins a growing number of electric cars from car makers who are at last beginning to take the Australian market seriously, and at prices signifiants lower than the luxury models available recently, even if they remain beyond the means of most consumers.
This year and into next the Leaf will join the Tesla 3, Hyundai Ioniq, Audi e-tron and Kia Soul, as well as more expensive beasts including Jaguar’s i-PACE and the Mercedes-Benz EQ range as new models on the market.
However, this new Leaf – which is already on sale in overseas markets – will not come to Australia shores until at least June next year and while there are no pricing details yet, expect on dealer forecourts at around $50,000.
The new Leaf is very different to the model is replaces (635 of the first generation Leaf were sold here, and some 350,000 worldwide) with a more conventional and yet modern look, and it’s packed with technology.
There’s all-round video monitoring, predictive forward collision warning, heated front and rear seats and a heated steering wheel, blind spot warning, traffic sign recognition, intelligent emergency braking if a pedestrian steps out, rear cross traffic alert, and intelligent cruise control.
Performance is claimed to be impressive thanks to 110kW of power and 320Nm of torque, allowing the Leaf to cover the 0-100km/h sprint in just over seven seconds.
The car also features what Nissan calls an e-Pedal (actually the accelerator) which means you rarely need to use the brakes at all. Using the one pedal allows the driver to start off, accelerate, decelerate, stop and hold the car using just the one pedal.
The brake pedal still needs to be used for really hard braking but otherwise the e-Pedal is the only one you need to use. Nissan reckon it will change the way we all drive.
To view the new EVs offered by Hyundai, Nissan, Tesla, Jaguar, and Audi, that you will soon be able to buy and drive, as complied by contributor Tony Bosworth, go to our new electric vehicle website, www.driven.io, and read on.
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Tony Bosworth writes for www.TheDriven.io and RenewEconomy.com.au. He has 35 years experience in journalism, and has been instrumental in launching and editing several automotive magazines including Which Car? magazine in the UK.