The all-new Nissan Leaf is now available in Malaysia. Available in just one high-specification variant, the second generation Leaf is priced at RM 188,888.
The fully electric (BEV or Battery Electric Vehicle) Leaf now comes with a 40 kWh lithium-ion battery, which gives it an ample 311 km driving range (when tested under the ECE R101 New European Driving Cycle, NEDC). Nissan distributor Edaran Tan Chong Motor is keen to point out that most Malaysians don’t drive more than 200 km per day and thus the new Leaf already exceeds the driving needs of most Malaysians.
The Leaf uses a Type 1 socket charging cable, which is different from the Type 2 ones used by European plug-in hybrid/battery electric models. It also means the Leaf owners will need to use a separate ‘Type-1 to Type-2’ adapter before they can utilize GreenTech’s ChargEV network of public chargers.
Every Leaf will come standard with a 6.6kW (Type1) Wall Box Charger for owners to install at their homes. It’s a 16 Amps 240V single phase charger – similar setup with a water heater/household air-conditioning. It will take about seven hours to fully charge the Leaf.
Leaf owners can also drop by any of 17 ETCM locations nationwide for free usage of a 6.6kW Wall Box Charger. Plans are also underway to have chargers available in more ETCM locations in the future.
With a 50kW CHAdeMO quick charger, charging time can be shortened to just 60 minutes. However, quick chargers are rare. Currently there are only three locations with CHAdeMO quick chargers - ABB Malaysia Sdn. Bhd. Subang Jaya (Selangor), Nichicon (Malaysia) Sdn. Bhd. Bandar Baru Bangi (Selangor) and PLUS Ayer Keroh R&R, Malacca (southbound). All three facilities are accessible by the public. There’s no need for an additional cable as CHAdeMO chargers come equipped with its own cable.
Driving the Leaf requires a bit of re-learning, as the Leaf is designed to have a very aggressive energy recuperation for maximum efficiency. What this means is that the electric motor will double as a generator to recover energy lost during coasting/braking, like all hybrids/electric vehicles but in the Leaf, the braking effect is especially strong.
When you lift off the accelerator pedal, the motor will automatically switch to generator mode and the effect is similar to that of braking, even if you didn’t touch the brake pedal. As such, the driver will hardly ever need to use the brakes (which also means that the brake pads will last the lifetime of the car as it’s hardly used).
Instead of coasting to a stop, drivers will need to keep their feet on the accelerator pedal much longer. As the car begins to slow the moment you lift your foot off the accelerator pedal, the brake lights are designed to come on every time you release the accelerator pedal.
Nissan calls this driving mode as e-Pedal operation, which means that one can complete a typical drive using just one pedal.
Considering its relatively high price, it is good to know that the Leaf comes decently equipped. It has six airbags and comes with the full suite of Nissan Safety Shield advanced driving aids, which include:
- Intelligent Forward Collision Warning (FCW)
- Intelligent Forward Emergency Braking (FEB)
- Intelligent Around View Monitor (I-AVM) with Moving Object Detection (I-MOD)
- Intelligent Driver Alertness (I-DA)
- Intelligent Ride Control
- Intelligent Trace Control
The seats are wrapped in Alcantara and since the air-conditioning no longer relies on an engine, it can be programmed to turn itself on at a specific time to cool down the cabin before the driver enters the car. There are two interior colours to choose from – Graphite Black or Stone Grey.
As the battery is now located under cabin floor, the five-seater Leaf is just as a practical as any similar size C-segment hatchback, if not better. The boot has a 435-litre capacity, which can be expanded to 1,176 litres with the rear seats folded.
Electric cars require almost no maintenance but ETCM is giving a 3-year free/60,000 km maintenance anyway, along with 3-year/100,000 km vehicle warranty and 8-year/160,000 km warranty on the lithium-ion battery.
Knowing that electric vehicles don’t have very good resale value, ETCM is proposing to its customers a novel 3-year subscription package. Subscribers of the service will only need to pay RM 3,500/month for three years, while ETCM takes care of the vehicle maintenance and insurance. After three years, you simply return the car.
That’s not all. All new Leaf owners will enjoy complimentary 23 days a year usage of the Nissan X-Trail, Nissan Serena, or Nissan Navara for their other travelling needs, during the first three years of ownership.
In other words, you pay for one car, but you enjoy the option of using a seven-seater MPV, seven-seater SUV, and a pick-up truck, should you require the unique abilities of such cars.