The Nissan Leaf with 30 kWh and 200 km: A required update

This year, the Nissan Leaf gets an update. But do not expect to see a significant change in aesthetics (except the availability of a new color “bronze”) because there is not. The car is identical to the previous one. What changes we cannot see, you have to experience it. And now the Leaf is available in a version of 30 kWh which gives a theoretical range of 250 km.

Autonomy announced by Nissan corresponds to the homologation cycle, which we know is the most optimistic. So we try to find out what may be the real autonomy of the Leaf in this brief touchdown organized by Nissan in Barcelona.

The heart changed, but not the outside

Marketed in the middle world, the Nissan Leaf has now been 5 years in the market and is the world’s best-selling electric car. And they have manufactured more than 100,000 units. The update focuses almost exclusively on its new 30 kWh battery and the new browser with 7 – inch touch screen that will indicate the charging closer to our car as well as their availability. It is available as standard on Acenta and Tekna the finishes.

As for the Nissan EV Connect replaces the CARWINGS (it’s the other news this Leaf 2016), retains all the functionality associated with apps. While it is true that the functionalities that allow, for example, the user to control your car remotely and can start the air conditioning or heating at a scheduled time without the battery power is used, they are not currently available for questions security. Nissan Iberia tells us to be available within weeks.

Moreover, aboard nothing has changed. The Leaf continues to provide a more accurate habitability to carry 5 people and retains its trunk of 355 liters when the Volkswagen e-Golf is “satisfied” with 341 liters. In terms of space on board, the Leaf also keeps up with the e-Golf, although that aspect is the German model will be slightly higher.

The driving position in the Leaf is good and easy to find the ideal position, despite the nasty habit of Nissan not provide depth adjustable steering wheel. Some may consider that the seat in its lowest position is still somewhat high. It is a matter of taste, but that’s the height Leaf is most correct. And it is not a car that you are going to do stretch to go sit at ground level. Moreover, I would say to essentially urban driving, offers an ideal location.

The Nissan Leaf with 30 kWh and 200 km

The seats still offer the same fluffy that gives great comfort while the interior finishes are very Nissan: the soft plastics is too hard and look too bright for classy tastes. We are spoiled.

Enhanced autonomy

With its new battery, the Nissan Leaf announced a range of 250 km, ie 26% more autonomy (or quiet, depending on how you look at it). Its new capacity is due to the introduction of carbon, nitrogen and magnesium in the electrodes, thus improving their performance, design, and modification of the cells. It has the same number of cells (192), but each module is composed of 8 cells. With this new design, Nissan has increased the guarantee offered for your battery: now reaches 160,000 kilometers or 8 years. While the battery retains the same dimensions, weighs 21 kg new more, bringing the Leaf now exceeds 1.500 kg.

What does not change, however, it is the charging time compared to Leaf 24 kWh;10 hours with a standard outlet, between 4 and 8 hours at a wall box and in 30 minutes but only up to 80% – with taking quick charge to emphasize that the 6.6 kW quick charger is part of the standard on this version of 30 kWh.

The Nissan Leaf 30 kWh is approved in Europe with a range of 250 km, according to the NEDC cycle. As we know it is worth the NEDC cycle, look at what autonomy it has validated the EPA in the US and we met some 172 km (107 miles, to be exact). It is not bad. Let’s see if their consumption allows us to approach at least the average of the EPA.

“The Nissan Leaf 30 kWh is approved in Europe with a range of 250 km while in the United States accredits 172 km (107 miles)”

The route planned by Nissan was essentially urban, but with raids on fast roads and, of course, on the hill of Tibidabo in order to then take advantage of the benefits of the downhill and recovering kinetic energy to recharge the battery.

In the city, we meet again with good acceleration (up to 60 KMK / h) thanks to its254 Nm of torque at 3,000 rpm 0. This capacity of acceleration, throttle response but is not quite instantaneous, it can move through the dense traffic and aggressive center of Barcelona with a lot of liveliness. The steering is very soft and, as expected, completely silent in terms of communication. While in town, it is not a very relevant issue.

“The softer than firm footing and make inertias lengthen the path on curves taken with too much momentum”

On reaching the uphill stretch towards Tibidabo, we left the village and attack what is a stretch of mountain that day had just traffic. Attacking what is a figure of style, because the only thing this car incites you to do, despite offering a good initial acceleration is precisely attack. No communication direction does not let you know what really make the wheels, moreover, inertias, as well as fuel-efficient tires make the path is lengthened in cornering it too hard.

Anyway, the Leaf is seen much more relaxed pace: comfort and silence it offers are a blessing in the city after enduring heavy traffic and diesel buses are still too many. It is when, incidentally, you realize that if not in a sports car, the engine noise of almost any car is something rather annoying and even more if we talk about diesel.

The downhill stretch allows us to recharge the battery using the Brake mode change that gives enough engine brake, though much less than in a Volkswagen e-Golf or BMW I3-. All the subtlety of the exercise is down the hill without touching the brake, using only engine braking in order to make maximum use of the ability to recharge. And it’s something that works wonders. Tibido by lowering the Vallvidrera is precisely not a long stretch (less than 7 km) and still allowed us to recover almost 11 km of autonomy.

New possibilities

At the end of this short journey (51 km), we are left with a range of 111 km and have “eaten” if you do not trust Leaf flag, just over 25% of the battery. That is, assuming a normal driving (ECO or anything so efficient driving) and using the climate obtain an average consumption of about 15 kWh / 100 km. In other words, the real autonomy of Leaf 30 kWh, depending on usage and ambient temperature shall be between 150 and 200 km. clear that under certain conditions and if you take it as a challenge, it may be possible to reach those 250 km of autonomy Nissan announced.

“The real autonomy, depending on usage and ambient temperature shall be between 150 and 200 km”

Almost 200 km of autonomy opens up a range of hitherto unsuspected possibilities for an electric. Examples, you can make a trip and back, with a single battery. You can come and go almost anywhere, where you can also take advantage of the terrain to go recharging the battery on the road.

The problem of the Leaf, and many other electric cars is actually a structural problem: the chronic lack in our country of points fast (and general cargo) load. One of the reasons were given by Nissan to explain our delay is the difficulty installing these charging points in shopping malls and hotels.

Becoming a bit more of a leader

In terms of price, compared to its rivals, the Nissan Leaf 30 kWh is in a somewhat strange situation. Its starting price, with the batteries in property as in the VW e-Golf and the BMW i3, it is in the same price range that the two Germans although finishes are not as flattering as those of the BMW i3.

Still, the new capacity battery Nissan Leaf allows you to consolidate its leading position in its segment reduced. If you move exclusively by large metropolitan areas is as good a choice as any other compact gasoline engine and more sensible than a diesel.

And to convince the public that it is a sensible option, try the Leaf Nissan proposes up to 3 months, after which the customer completes the purchase of the Leaf or the other model of the Nissan range. For those who have opted for the Leaf, the brand offers the free loan of a Nissan combustion engine during 14 days a year for long trips, is responsible for managing all administrative procedures for the installation of a wall box in your community parking at a discount of 1,000 dollars in the price of the installation.