Nissan Leaf: questions and answers
* All-electric car's price revealed * Your question answered * Register your interest now...
Nissan has revealed the price of its all-electric Leaf, but here are the answers to a few more of the questions you might still have.
How do I go about getting one?
You can register your interest online now and place a fully refundable deposit from July. Nissan dealers will start to confirm orders in November and UK deliveries start in February 2011. Go to www.nissan.co.uk/leaf.
Will there be plenty of Leafs available?
Ah, there's the problem. At first Nissan will be making only 10,000 Leafs a year and there are already that many orders from America and Japan plus another 10,000 expressions of interest from Europe. It plans to ramp up production to half a million cars annually by 2015.
Going green's still a bit pricey, isn't it?
The car is actually slightly cheaper to buy than a similarly-specced hybrid Toyota Prius or diesel VW Golf after taking into account the Government's 5000 grant.
How efficient is the Leaf?
Nissan reckons it turns 90% of the energy it carries into motion compared with about a quarter of that with a car powered by an internal combustion engine (ICE). Long-term, Nissan estimates that 30% improvements in efficiency are possible with ICEs and 50% improvements can be achieved with hybrids, but that when clean electricity becomes more commonplace the overall efficiency of the Leaf will be 90% better than it is today.
Much of our electricity isn't clean, is it?
No, but the pressure is on the energy-creation industry to clean up its act, just as it is on the car manufacturers.
What are the important numbers in terms of performance and range?
The Leaf will do up to 100 miles on a single charge and reach a top speed of 90mph. A full recharge takes around eight hours a typical overnight period but you'll be able to restore 80% of charge in 30 minutes with a high-voltage quick-charge cable.
I live in a city and drive only short distances, so I'm a perfect Leaf customer, but I have to park on-street. How am I going to recharge it?
Nissan says: 'We wouldn't have brought the Leaf to the UK so quickly if there hadn't been a long-term commitment (three years) by the authorities to support it. London, for instance, has agreed to have 25,000 charging points by 2015, including 1600 by the time the car goes on sale, and we have a work in progress to encourage a quick-charge network down the M1 corridor.
'We are also hoping local authorities will install dedicated electric vehicle recharging points on-street. If we can also encourage destination charging plug-in points outside offices, supermarkets and at shopping areas so-called range anxiety will be less of an issue.'