After years of teasing and, well, more teasing, Nissan Philippines has finally launched the Leaf electric car in the Philippines. The automaker’s vision for the vehicle is to make it accessible to the mainstream crowd, and it is banking on a healthy response from a market that is eager for EVs despite the lack of supporting infrastructure and the high acquisition cost.
Admittedly, the Leaf’s sticker price of P2.798 million doesn’t exactly mean mass-market. But that is pretty much reflective of the global trend when it comes to the pricing of Nissan’s popular EV. In the US, for example, the Leaf (without the federal tax cuts) is over twice as expensive as the similarly sized Versa subcompact.
However, Nissan believes that its way of offering the Leaf to Filipino clients will make the steep amount a little easier to swallow. For instance, the standard charging cable that plugs in to any regular household outlet can top up the battery pack in 15 hours. That’s not quick, but with a typical daily commute distance of 50km, leaving the car plugged overnight should fully restore its charge level.
If you find yourself needing a much quicker way to gain access to the Leaf’s 311km potential driving range, selected Nissan dealerships are equipped with quick chargers that can replenish the car’s energy reserve in as fast as 40 minutes.
But if your Leaf finds itself sitting idle with some remaining charge in its battery, the car can be used as a mini powerplant. This should keep your house lit if the electric service gets cut due to inclement weather or natural disasters.
The Leaf is also equipped with several electronic driver aids. Of course, there is the Nissan Intelligent Mobility suite that includes adaptive cruise control, lane-keep assist, blind-spot monitoring, driver-attention monitoring, and 360° camera. But Nissan is especially proud of the e-Pedal. The e-Pedal system allows the driver to use the accelerator pedal for braking. A simple lift will get both the service and regenerative brakes to slow the car down. The automaker says that such feature reduces fatigue by having the foot operate just one pedal.
Underneath the Leaf’s sleek body is a flat panel covering the undercarriage. This smoothens the airflow and reduces unwanted turbulence beneath the vehicle, thereby extending its driving range. But to some extent, the Leaf can be a fun little pocket rocket. The electric motor packs 148hp and 320Nm, with the latter available from zero rpm. Nissan claims a sprint time of 7.9 seconds to the century mark.
The Nissan Leaf will be available from these dealerships: Nissan Mantrade Makati, Nissan Otis and Nissan Cebu South. These are the same facilities with fast chargers, and the automaker has plans to add four more outlets with such amenities before the end of the year. On top of the three-year (or 100,000km) vehicle warranty, there is an eight-year (or 160,000km) warranty for the battery pack.