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A quick look at the pioneering Nissan Leaf

The Nissan Leaf


The Nissan Leaf was the first dedicated electric car from a major manufacturer when it came to market in 2010. Since then, Nissan has sold more than 250,000 Leafs worldwide, including more than 4,200 in Canada since its debut here in 2012.

Sales in Canada have grown every year, reaching 1,375 in 2016. Most Leafs are sold in Quebec: 862 last year, more than in British Columbia and Ontario combined (these three provinces account for almost all Canadian sales thanks to their provincial rebates on electric cars).

The Leaf originally launched with a 24-kWh battery that provided an official range of 133 kilometres. In 2016, a 30-kWh battery became optional on the SV and SL trims while the base S stayed at 24. For 2017, the 30-kWh battery – which ups the claimed range to 172 kilometres – is standard on all three trims.

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With the standard 6.6-kW on-board charger, Nissan claims the Leaf can be fully charged in about six hours from a 240-volt outlet. The standard CHAdeMO port accommodates quick charging to 80 per cent of battery capacity in about 30 minutes.

The portable cable for standard 110-volt outlets provides what Nissan calls trickle charging. Using it for an overnight in Quebec City, it took 10 hours to raise the state of charge from about 30 to 71 per cent.

Standard on SV and SL grades is the Nissan Navigation System with EV-specific features such as "eco route", which suggests power-saving alternative roads, "reachable area" and lists of nearby charging stations.

A seven-inch display provides access to the NissanConnect EV telematics system that enables remote connection to the vehicle, using a smartphone to turn on climate control and set charging functions remotely.

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