Yesterday our family went for a test drive, going to Brisbane to visit one of the select Nissan dealers who offer the car. Their Leaf test drive car had only arrived the afternoon before, and the seats and accessories were still wrapped in plastic. Due to our salesman being off sick, we only had a very quick, around-the-block test drive, so will need to go back, but it was interesting to see the car after many months of only seeing photos and videos. My 13-year-old daughter told me that the car was “cool”, high praise indeed.
The main parts of the engine are the electric motor and battery for the accessories, powered by the solar panel on the rear spoiler. The flap at the front lifts to access the charging port, with two “nozzles”, the one on the right being for home charging, and the one on the left for public charging stations. The lithium battery used to power the car’s driving is a large flat structure underneath the car, so can’t be seen here. The Leaf doesn’t have many of the parts found in a conventional car engine, such as fuel injector, radiator, air intake, carburettor, gearbox etc. This means that there are less parts to wear out. Some functions of the car can be controlled from the touchscreen on the dash, or by your smart phone, e.g. controlling re-charging and turning on the air conditioning. Quite an impressive array of tech, and much quieter than a regular petrol or diesel car.