In December 2010, the Nissan Leaf was launched, the revolutionary EV that changed the game forever. It was the first modern mainstream EV, and now as it has completed its ten years, we set out to celebrate by driving the original as well as the new model. The vehicle’s development project was no mere simple project, with expenses around £4 billion, it cost around double what a conventional car would have cost. The company said at that time that it’s their view of the future that makes this project worthwhile, and indeed they were right.
The car received a mixed reception, and where the futurists appreciated the company’s vision about the future of car engineering, the industry pragmatists had different views. It’s no hidden fact that there was no customer base for this car back then, and without powerful inducements, it’s not easy to convince people to change their minds. But still, the positive views of the world’s motoring journalists helped.
Many people including the journalists were yet to drive a good electric car, and before the leaf, they believed an electric car can only be slow and unresponsive. It was a common belief that compared to the traditional vehicle, an EV is no good. The car was voted World Car of the Year and Europe’s Car of the Year in 2011. Thanks to its responsiveness, refinement, and simplicity. So, this was a great recognition, even better than what the company might have expected. So, to celebrate the vehicle’s 10th anniversary, we thought to drive both the original and the current model to compare them.
The latter has twice the range and the power of that original model, and it can reach 62mph quicker than the 2011 model. The vehicle was able to gain worldwide attention in 2011 when it helped in Japan’s recovery from the earthquake.