It’s a sign of the times: When a car manufacturer offers an electric vehicle that meets the consumer’s wants, they sell like hotcakes!
Nissan only announced the third iteration of the Leaf in January this year – called the Leaf 3.ZERO.
It has two versions: the e+ ‘limited edition’ version which has a 63kWh battery and higher output motor and the ‘standard’ 40kWh battery version with the same motor and battery as the 2.ZERO version. A total of 4,500 e+ limited edition versions were allocated for Europe this year, with deliveries starting in June.
Pre-order books opened immediately after the announcement – and now two thirds of the allocation has already been pre-ordered! Norway is currently leading the charge, with pre-orders reaching almost half of the 3,000 total. (The Leaf was the top-selling car overall in Norway in 2018).
Unlike the Leaf 3.ZERO e+, the basic Leaf 3.ZERO with the 40 kWh battery and standard motor became available almost immediately in Europe, the US and Japan. (Unlike Australia, where we still have to wait for the Leaf 2.ZERO to arrive: which Nissan currently predict as being June this year).
Changes from the 2.ZERO to the 3.ZERO 40kWh are, however, modest.
The 40 kWh 3.ZERO merely adds a number of personalisation options including new colours and a contrasting roof. Standard in both the 2.ZERO we will get, and both versions of the 3.ZERO are ProPilot and the trademark Nissan E-Pedal one pedal driving mode.
It is in the E-Pedal (and instant acceleration) where Nissan show the potential for EVs to make driving a vastly better experience to an ICE (Internal Combustion Engine) vehicle. Once having experienced these advantages, it is hard to go back to the noisy vibration and hesitation on acceleration that are normal for ICE vehicles!
Now if only they can make them in enough numbers to satisfy demand. Given Tesla makes more than 4,500 Model 3s alone in a week and still can’t meet the demand: it may be hard for Nissan to hold the top spot for the highest selling EV in the world so far for much longer!