The Nissan LEAF has been on tour in California the past few weeks. CEO Carlos Ghosn appeared at the inaugural presentation in LA, attesting to the electric car’s centrality to Nissan’s vision of our automotive future. I saw the car, kept safely behind the velvet rope, in an upscale San Jose shopping center, Santana Row, this afternoon. The LEAF is distinctive enough to stand out, while remaining a mainstream Japanese sedan. The car on display showed off its dual charger inlets – one for the new standard plug which will be capable of 120 volt or 240 volt charging; the other for DC fast charging. While the first cars delivered in areas with fast chargers will have both inlets, not all cars will. DC/Fast charge capability will probably become an option after the initial rollout.
The car will be on display there for the next few days. Then it’s off to Seattle. More information on the tour here.
While the LEAF stayed put on a pedestrian island at the mall, five flights up in the parking garage, it’s electric heart beat in a “mule,” a test vehicle that which I got to drive once around a short track. Bottom line: the car is fine. Quick off the line, corners well, better than good enough. A lot like my RAV4 EV in the ways that matter. Fair’s fair: I let one of the Nissan folks drive my RAV4 EV. He seemed to think it a pretty good car, too. I look forward to taking LEAF for a real drive one of these days.
[Photos: Marc Geller]