If you are concerned about safety, the Leaf is bound by the same safety regulations as a regular car. Expect the final production car to have a complete arsenal of safety devices such as air bags, ABS, crumple-zones to absorb impact, etc. The Nissan Versa and Sentra have “good” safety ratings from IIHS with regards to impact test results, so Nissan engineers know how to build safety into a car — EV or otherwise.
One of the few things that differentiate the Leaf from any other car power by an ICE is the eerie quietness. About the only thing I heard is the hum of the electric motor, a little bit of wind noise when in motion, and the Nissan engineer filling my head with car techno-babble.
It’s All About the Apps
Nissan’s goal is to make the transition as seamless as possible when moving from a fossil-fuel burning car to an EV. The Leaf may drive and feel like any other regular car on the road today, but EVs require a different set of rules when it comes to its care and feeding. Hence, Nissan is working on a plan which keeps the owner connected and in constant communication with the car and power grid using a smartphone. Remote EV support via cellular networks includes monitoring the car’s charging functions, remote control for AC and charging system, and constant communication between the car and a global data center. Onboard EV support for the car comes in the form of automatic updates and a dynamic list of available charging stations near your location. Just think of it as a sophisticated app for your iPhone.
You may not need a connecting cable to plug-in the Leaf into a charging station. Experiments on non-contact electric vehicle charging are taking place in Japan whereby electric power is supplied via magnetic induction from a primary power supply coil in the ground to a secondary coil on the vehicle. When the primary coil is electrically charged, it generates a magnetic field that induces current in the secondary coil and charges the batteries with no physical connection. This is very similar to charging an electric toothbrush or charging an electronic device using the Powermat.
We realize that the Nissan Leaf may not be the right vehicle for everyone, but we do applaud the fact that Nissan and its partners are working towards providing an environmentally responsible alternative to fossil-fuel burning vehicles. This includes working with the utility companies to build a smart-grid that can handle a large number of EVs recharging throughout the day and night, formulating a plan for recycling Li-ion batteries, and developing new technologies that incorporate an EV into our lifestyles seamlessly. We seriously think that the Leaf warrants further investigation if having a quiet, short-range passenger vehicle fits your lifestyle. Currently the Nissan Leaf is on a 22 city nationwide tour. Check the website to find out if they will be stopping in your area.
|NISSAN LEAF EXPERT REVIEWS|
|2011 Nissan LEAF Review – Comparing the LEAF against the Volt and Prius
By Dan Tsuchiya
“Nissan took a bold shaping approach with the lighting (LED low voltage) and bumpers of the LEAF making it stand out as a very noticeable car…nothing offensive, but it does make a visual statement.”
|2011 Nissan LEAF Review – Driving into the future with Nissan’s EV
By Jessika Lora
“Nissan thought of ways to help you stretch your dollars even further through Eco mode: through a second click of the palm shifter you can control the throttle, a feature that is not seen in any other EV or hybrid.”
|First Impressions – Nissan LEAF EV Concept
By Derek Mau
“We seriously think that the LEAF warrants further investigation if having a quiet, short-range passenger vehicle fits your lifestyle. “
|The official site for Nissan cars, trucks, SUVs, crossovers and hybrids – www.nissanusa.com|
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