The 6th Philippine Electric Vehicle Summit, which was held at the SMX Convention Center at SM Mall Of Asia last July 10, 2018, became an opportunity for Nissan Philippines Inc. to showcase their latest full electric vehicle (EV) called the Nissan Leaf.
The Nissan Leaf is the world’s best selling electric vehicle. Ever since its introduction in 2010, 320,000 of these compact EVs have been sold worldwide, across 51 markets, as of April 2018.
Apart from the brand’s EVs, Nissan is also pushing for electrification. Electrification means providing electric power, but with the addition of a combustion engine to charge the batteries. The combustion engine is not connected to the wheels. Rather, the engine acts as a generator when the battery’s juice becomes low, eliminating the need for an external charger. A number of Nissan’s electrified vehicles are now on sale worldwide, utilizing the brand’s Serena and Note e-Power.
Eight e-Power vehicles and 8 EVs will be released by Nissan in 2022, and the company aims to achieve 1 million EV and e-Power sales annually by 2022. In order to achieve this, the Nissan Leaf will need to be further introduced to a number of new markets worldwide, and one of those markets being evaluated is the Philippines.
On the outside, the Nissan Leaf looks a lot more conventional than its predecessor. Whereas the first generation Nissan Leaf screamed eco-mindedness in its design, the new Nissan Leaf manages to blend in with the crowd. Not that it isn’t a stylish car. Quite the contrary actually, with its two-tone paint scheme, dynamic flowing lines, and the traditional V-Motion grille that has been a design trait of all Nissans.
Inside the Leaf, and the same theme of feeling conventional and familiar continues. Whereas its predecessor was all futuristic, which is a constant reminder that you’re driving an EV, this new one is far more conventional, and more plush as well. This right-hand drive straight from Japan features a touch screen infotainment system with a Bose sound system.
With our TRAIN law favoring hybrids and EVs, cars such as the Nissan Leaf might have an increased chance of being sold in our market. That is, if both the public and private sector could pave the way for a decent and reliable charging network infrastructure in our country. As it currently stands, there are only a handful of them in our country. Making matters worse is the fact that all of these charging stations are located in very inconvenient locations. If only we had the infrastructure, we would be part of Nissan’s plan to introduce the Leaf in seven ASEAN markets this year.
The Nissan Leaf, with a claimed range of 378 km through its 40 kWh battery, is an electric car that’s ideal for Philippine use. Our country is not a very large one to begin with, and with our commutes mainly being for us to be able to go to work, the Nissan Leaf’s range is perfectly adequate for the typical Filipino daily commute to work.
Its powertrain produces 150 PS and 320 Nm of torque. Even in standstill traffic in EDSA, the powertrain does not sap as much energy like a combustion engine does in traffic. In theory, the Nissan Leaf consumes energy more efficiently than an internal combustion engine while sitting in EDSA.
With the Leaf-To-Home (V2H) DC fast charging station or any other public charging station with the DC fast charging method, the Nissan Leaf can be charged to 80% in as little as 40 minutes. With a standard 220-volt AC outlet, meanwhile, the Leaf can be charged in 8 hours.
The Nissan Leaf also introduces a number of unique features. One of which is e-Pedal. e-Pedal is basically having the capability to adjust the car’s regenerative braking feature. With e-Pedal activated, the regenerative braking to charge the batteries are at their highest setting, enabling the driver to drive with just one pedal.
The other unique feature is the Nissan ProPilot semi-autonomous driver assist technology. When driving on a highway, ProPilot is able to keep the vehicle within its lane, even on tight highway curves, as well as brake or slow down on its own when the ProPilot’s radar and sensors detect a slower vehicle up front. Not only does ProPilot take care of highway drives and traffic jams, ProPilot can also take care of parking. ProPilot Parking takes care of the throttle, brakes, steering, and even gear selection when parking. These are all technologies that will eventually lead to every car manufacturer’s goal of one day being able to create fully autonomous vehicles.