This was written by Louis Rix of NetCars.com.
The Nissan Leaf is by far the best answer to those sceptics who criticise electric car production by suggesting that the models simply aren’t viable. Questions over affordability and battery range will always be directed towards the industry, but the Leaf is answering these in the most effective way possible.
The cost of a Nissan Leaf on the road is around $35,000 US, but as the years pass, the market for second hand models grows allowing you to buy a used car at a fraction of that price. There is a great deal of financial incentives for owning a Nissan Leaf and as far as electric vehicles are concerned, many believe this to be the best in its class.
The very first production model made its way to the factory floor in 2010, but the Nissan Leaf is the result of an evolution at the company that began with their first electric vehicle, the Altra, back in 1997. Further versions appeared along with electric variants of the Nissan Cube before the very first prototype Leaf was unveiled in 2009.
The first markets for the car were Japan and the United States, where the Leaf took its bow in December 2010. From the very start, the specifications and capabilities of the vehicle indicated that this was going to be the most economically and environmentally friendly electric car ever produced.
Nissan declared that the Leaf had a battery range of 109 miles (175 kilometres) between charges and those figures equate to a hugely impressive cost per mile when you compare them with cars running on traditional fuel. The running costs for the Nissan Leaf are equivalent to 106 miles per gallon and whilst this may represent the main saving for anyone purchasing the car, there are other benefits to Leaf ownership.
With the move towards best practice on environmental issues, some insurance companies are taking the opportunity to provide cheaper quotes for any electric or hybrid car. Some observers may accuse them of ‘jumping on a green bandwagon’, but ultimately, the owner still benefits in terms of a further financial saving. In addition, there are huge savings on other everyday car costs such as your tax. These apply on any electric vehicle, but the Nissan Leaf is a groundbreaking car when it comes to this type of eco-friendly transport.
Another secret to its success lies in the battery, which is arguably the best on the market. The range of more than 100 miles is wide enough to cover most local journeys and with the rise of charging stations across the country, any inconvenience is aided by a fast recharge and therefore kept to a minimum. However, there is another clear financial advantage in the longevity of the battery, which has a far better shelf life than its competitors. This is another area where electric cars can come under criticism but the Nissan Leaf’s unit is still expected to retain between 70% and 80% of its capacity after ten years. Those are impressive statistics compared with other electric vehicles and another reason why the Leaf is such a winner when it comes to both economic and environmental issues.
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