A preview of my experience with the Nissan LEAF

 

 

Nissan LEAFEarlier this week, Nissan let me borrow one or their Nissan LEAF electric cars. While some may argue that the exterior design is not the most pleasing to the eye, it’s what you can’t see that will really turn heads. The car has almost every conceivable high tech gadget and gizmo packed into the car: GPS, Bluetooth, LED headlamps, back up camera etc.

 

What I found most interesting was the always on, always connected aspect of the car. The LEAF has a Telematics system that Nissan calls Carwings. IMG_0007This system can upload and download data about the cars performance and energy savings, as well as update the GPS database with the location of charging stations in your area (very helpful.)  You can also use this connectivity to query the status of the car, as well as send it commands like start charging or turn on the heat via your mobile phone.

 

Driving under 100% battery power is a little different from gasoline power. First off, you have all of 100% of your torque from the moment you step on the accelerator. If you’ve ever played with a slot car, you know that means: A LOT of power right off a dead stop. It’s pretty impressive how fast you can go when you need to, like merging into fast moving traffic. Fortunately, when you hit the brake, the LEAF is designed to capture that power with the regenerative brake and send it back to the battery. Second: I did find myself having a little ‘Distance Anxiety’ when I was driving around. Since charging up a battery can take a lot longer than filling up a tank of gas….you drive around and wonder (hope?) that you’ll make it home.

 

The Nissan LEAF tries to calm your fears by giving you real-time feedback on your remaining battery power, as well as showing you via the GPS Map what your current range is. It helps.

 

There are plenty of reviews posted for the LEAF, but I thought you’d enjoy a closer look inside through some videos and pictures I’ve posted. If you have any questions, feel free to post them in the comments and I’ll try and answer them.

 

Listen to the show this weekend where we’ll talk more about the experience with the LEAF.

 

See my video and pictures of the Nissan LEAF

Comments

  • Doctor Gadget

    Darn! I already envy your job and now this? this is outrageous, really, don’t you need a colleague? I’m available!

    Like

  • CyberKnight

    “While some may argue that the exterior design is not the most pleasing to the eye,” says the guy who drives a Prius. >:)

    I’ve been driving one since ’03, and I *still* think it’s the weirdest-looking car on the road. 😉

    Like

  • Greenskull

    I like thse posts where you branch away from gaming! Keep it up!

    Like

  • ElektroDragon

    Why are you experimenting with the Leaf when you should be trying out the Chevy Volt instead? Buy American! Yes, I know Nissan has plants in the US, but in the end, the profits go overseas.

    Like

  • CyberMaxX

    “The Nissan LEAF tries to calm your fears by giving you real-time feedback on your remaining battery power, as well as showing you via the GPS Map what your current range is. It helps.”

    That is if you feel confident in that it displays correctly.

    Not like that iPhone4 signal bar fiasco where apple stated that they were “stunned to find that the formula we use to calculate how many bars of signal strength to display is totally wrong. Our formula, in many instances, mistakenly displays 2 more bars than it should for a given signal strength.” http://www.apple.com/pr/library/2010/07/02appleletter.html

    Keep driving and keep wondering😀

    Like

  • bullka LT

    @ElektroDragon: Well… that means I shouldn’t have bought Xbox because Bill Gates is American.

    Like

  • HugoStiglitzJr

    Larry, you are a well known public figure in the gaming world. How much did Nissan pay you for this shameless plug? I see right through it, you had to have been compensated for this blog post of yours.

    Like

  • Aliasalpha

    Bah, give me a Tesla Roadster! It’s damn nice to drive in Gran Turismo 5 anyway

    Ooh more important question, can you get achievements with the Leaf?

    Like

  • Boe2

    Wow….Cars? Really?
    If you plan to earn some extra money with this blog, just place some banners instead of doing stuff like this:/

    Like

  • chiruno99

    Can’t help but think, Tool. I’m still not convinced on Elec cars since there’s no way to actually run them in UK since the amount of elec refill stations is still a single figure. Although I do show an interest in them, I’m not enduring e’s voice just to listen to what you have to say bout it. Either sack him or tell him to shut up.

    Like

  • I DLord I

    @ Chiruno
    Or, don’t listen.

    But really, this does seem like a cutesy little promo for Nissan.

    Like

  • Major Nelson

    Well. I thought that you guys might want to see and hear about my experience. I was not paid or compensated for this post (or ANY of my posts.) I just wanted to try something different. I get access to interesting things and thought I might share them with you.

    Like

  • I DLord I

    @ Major Nelson

    We have to vent our jealous rage somehow.

    Like

  • Major Nelson

    Perhaps. But know that I like to share experiences with different types of (new) technology, and this one falls firmly in that category.

    Like

  • cerafino

    i’d rather prefer my 370Z🙂

    Like

  • Hauz20

    I think these are interesting little sidenotes. No point in you creating yet another blog. I welcome these posts, and it’s easy enough to skip over them.

    Like

  • Spargo CXVII

    Sounds cool; nevertheless, 100% battery power is still far, far behind gasoline power. I think I’ll be keeping my 2008 Nissan Frontier king Cab Nismo 4×4….but that’s just me.

    Like

  • TheChindian

    This is cool stuff! I haven’t actually read too much about the Leaf so sorry if it’s old hat but when you recharge the car, how long does it take? Also how is the phone connectivity with this thing? That is, can you stream music from your phone to it and make calls?

    I think the Ford SYNC is interesting technology and it would be nice to see it in such a tech-savvy car like this.

    What was the real MPG and range for you?

    Like

  • I DLord I

    @ Major Nelson

    Consider me “in the know”. I also now know that this electric car warrants my attnetion

    In all seriousness, shameless plug might be a little far, but this site does get a lot of traffic and cross-advertising is just, all over this here internet and it was a careless assumption on my part. Your current advert is for a 2011 Chevy Volt.

    Like

  • chiruno99

    …I wanna drive the Leaf. I wanna pay nothing for road tax! Pouting face tounge hanging out.

    Like

  • Rdsknsfan3

    I wouldn’t touch that crap electric car for anything. I’m sorry, but electric cars aren’t the answer. Furthermore, I wouldn’t buy a foreign car no matter what the cost. They might be built in the U.S., but they are foreign owned and the profits go back to a foreign country. No thanks.

    I’ll stick with Gasoline Chevy Silverado.

    Like

  • Anonymous

    I’ll take my 08 Honda Civic Coupe over any domestic car out there. I’m glad to see Nissan show off their new technology though (especially since I consider them quality vehicles unlike GM and Chrysler. But I would buy a Ford as they know how to do things right)

    Like

  • robincognito

    @Rdsknsfan3 I don’t really understand what you’re saying. Electric cars may not be quite there at the moment but once it becomes too expensive to run cars on gasoline, electric is the only answer. Unless you’ve discovered some new form of energy? Hydrogen power looks to be the future but hydrogen cars are still powered by a battery.

    Like

  • RICE md

    Thanks for the post and photos. I can’t wait to see more electric cars available. Hopefully, the price of the cars will come down, because now, they’re just too high.

    Like

  • Major Nelson

    The charge time depends on the type of charger.

    Since I don’t have the dedicated charging station in my house, I had to use the 110 ‘trickle’ charger. That meant from zero battery to full could take up to 20+ hours. Yea. not the best. If you get the dedicated charging station installed, the zero to full charge time is like 5 hours

    Like

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