I have read many articles about the Nissan Leaf and its launch in Japan, and one thing is certain. The Japanese are very serious about EVs and Nissan wants to be a market leader. It is planned that 5,000 quick chargers will be installed across Japan by 2020! But the big question in my mind is how it actually drives...
According to Reuters, so far, the feedback has been good. On recent test drives, drivers were impressed with the instant engine torque and acceleration of a car with a maximum speed of 145 km/h.
In Saitama, a city just north of Tokyo, residents who had won an online lottery to test-drive the Leaf also gave it a thumbs-up. "I knew it was going to be quiet because I'd been in other EVs before," said Kazuhiro Futamura, a 36-year-old businessman. "But the acceleration, steering and response, it was linear, if you know what I mean. I thought that was quite impressive," added Futamura, who had also ridden in BMW's experimental Mini E and Mitsubishi's i-MiEV.
Racing driver Seiji Ara said it was obvious the engineers had paid close attention to the ease and precision of how the car handles. "The car does exactly what you tell it to do," said Ara, who races on a Nissan-backed team. "It's a difficult area to master, but also very important," he added.