The new 2018 Nissan LEAF has been put through its paces in a gruelling test of endurance for the UK’s National Three Peaks Challenge last week.
The Challenge consists of a scramble up and down Scotland, England and Wales’ highest peaks – Ben Nevis at 1345m, Scafell Pike at 978m and Snowdon at 1085m – plus driving between all three.
Two teams stepped up to the challenge on a warm day last month on behalf of Autocar, Chargemaster, Plug In Adventures and Nissan, taking two Nissan LEAFs to start the first climb at Ben Nevis in Scotland.
One team drove the newest Nissan LEAF, which with its larger-capacity battery and longer range, and took advantage of the UK’s fast charging network along the route.
That team, which was made up of climber Gareth Dunsmore (Electric Vehicle Director, Nissan Europe) and driver Chris Ramsey (Director, Plug In Adventures), represented Autocar’s all-electric attempt at the challenge.
Completing the challenge in just under 24 hours, Dunsmore took on the 37km of walking (which includes 3064 metres of ascent), while Ramsey was responsible for the 744km of driving.
It was Ramsey’s first time driving the new LEAF and he was impressed with its performance, he said in a statement.
“Having taken a 30kWh LEAF from the UK to Siberia and back, I’m used to long-distance EV journeys, but this was a different type of challenge. The extra range achievable between rapid charges obviously makes a big impact and the ProPILOT system helps relieve some of that motorway fatigue too,” he said.
“ePedal was great at encouraging efficient driving, but I also adopted some of my tried and tested techniques to maximise our range!”
Along with one other 100 per cent electric vehicle – a Tesla Model S – they were one of the only EVs to complete the challenge within 24 hours.
For Dunsmore, it was an experience that will stay with him.
“They say there’s never a bad day out of the office and this was one I’ll certainly never forget. Climbing three mountains in a single day and only using 100 per cent electric power to drive between them is the epitome of a sustainable adventure,” he said.
The successful completion of the challenge in the new Nissan LEAF is another feather in the hat showcasing the endurance and long-range capabilities of the world’s best-selling electric car.
Just last week a Nissan LEAF completed a 13,000km transcontinental drive from Poland to China, arriving at Nissan’s Intelligent Mobility Experience Center in Beijing after just over two months on the road.
Bridie Schmidt is lead reporter for The Driven, sister site of Renew Economy. She specialises in writing about new technology and has been writing about electric vehicles for two years. She has a keen interest in the role that zero emissions transport has to play in sustainability and is co-organiser of the Northern Rivers Electric Vehicle Forum.