The 2019 Nissan Leaf won one of Australia’s most coveted car award on Friday, taking home the ‘Green Innovation’ award handed out in Drive Car of the Year’s yearly accolades for its innovative vehicle-to-grid technology (V2G).
The award adds to a growing collection for Japanese carmaker’s new generation Leaf, having won among others the title of “2018 World Green Car” at this year’s New York International Auto Show.
The ‘Green Innovation’ award, however, is a milestone for Nissan in gaining recognition for its popular EV in Australia, being the first major award in Australia won by the Leaf.
The new Leaf offers boosted range, adding a 40kWh battery to allow it to drive up to 270km from fully charged, and will for the first time offer vehicle-to-grid options, meaning consumers can use their car to help power their home.
It has an impressive amount of torque, with 100kW of power delivering 320Nm torque to accelerate from 0-100km/hr in just over 7 seconds.
It also features the innovative e-pedal technology which allows the driver to control the cars speed – accelerating, braking and maintaining speed – using just one pedal.
Its popularity – Nissan says around 10,000 people have expressed interest in the new car, even though it is unlikely to be available until mid 2019 reflects the added range and the anticipated price tag of around $A50,000.
It was the ground-breaking energy-sharing V2G tech that the Japanese carmaker has developed with an eye to balancing demand on power grids that inspired this award.
The “Leaf-to-Home” bi-directional charging system allows the owner to use the Leaf’s li-ion battery as a portable energy storage system, charging during cheaper “off-peak” times then using the surplus power not used by driving to power home or business during high demand periods.
Stephen Lester, managing director for Nissan Australia said in a statement that Nissan is delighted with recognition, and further underlines the benefits of driving the Leaf.
“The high power and torque make it incredibly fun to drive, it’s inexpensive to run on a daily basis and the vehicle-to-grid benefits are ground breaking in what they offer owners.
“This is wonderful recognition for LEAF, Nissan, and a global team that put so much effort into the advanced Nissan Intelligent Mobility technologies included as standard equipment on this vehicle,” he said in a statement.
Nissan won the “Green Innovation” award alongside NRMA, which has also gained recognition for its electric vehicle fast charging network.
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.