Nissan Leaf Electric Car in Malaysia

Nissan Leaf Electric Car in Malaysia? All this time, I assumed it was a joke or maybe even a prototype car, but then again, I had to visit the Nissan Malaysia website to find out more and guess what? They had an ambassador program to test drive the car therefore I applied to be one of the ambassadors for six weeks and I got selected! Well, after weeks of waiting, I received a call from one of the representatives of Nissan to inform me that I was short listed for the program which is in its third round of public testing. I was beyond words when they shared the good news with me as I have always wanted to know how it was to drive a fully electric car or EV as it is called. 

Hybrids are now common in Malaysia, but a 100% fully electric car? This was a true challenge to my normal driving style as things are going to be different for the next six weeks especially with my hectic travels around the city of Petaling Jaya and Kuala Lumpur. Looking back in the day and in my early days of school, I used to dream and wonder when vehicles would go electric and now in 2013, the future is here and I finally have the opportunity to experience driving a 100% fully electric car mass produced by Nissan. 

 Nissan Leaf Electric Car

Nissan Leaf is a fully electric car which does not run on fuel unlike hybrids, this is what I learned when the team from Nissan paid me a visit to show me the car and also install the car charging unit at my home. In the team was one of their chief technicians who explained the entire process of the electric car in 60 minutes. Now get this, the car can drive fully charged for 160 kilometers, that means, I cannot take the car outstation on my frequent travels around Malaysia. But then again, I do travel a lot around the city for meetings or client calls therefore this car will be quite interesting to see how it handles in our crazy Malaysian traffic.

Nissan Leaf Zero Emission

Firstly, I was informed that this is a 100% Zero Emission car. There is no fuel intake therefore there is no exhaust or tail pipe. Everything else in the Nissan Leaf is almost similar to a common car, just that there is a massive lithium-ion battery that weighs about 300 kilos that powers the entire car. Fast forward, I was given the entire breakdown of the car before I did a test drive around my home area.
How was the feeling? I almost felt silly when I started the car with the push button start and they told me that it was ready to move. There was totally no noise at all! Talk about silent. Being accustomed to the engine starting sound, this was so different in all ways. No kick start sound, no engine turning, nothing. Just a push of the button and a light in the dashboard indicated that the car is ready to move. Apart from the start and the no-noise, I took the car for a spin around my area with no problems at all. In general, it still performs just like a normal car and with power! 

Nissan Leaf interior dashboard

Nissan Leaf Gear Shift

Contrary to the believe that electric cars have no power, I was wrong. The car can accelerate just like a normal car and faster than any general car too! Everything else handles just normal. The only set back is that at this moment, I cannot drive the car all the way to Melaka or Ipoh and back unless they have a electric car charger installed there. I am guessing over the next few years, there will be chargers installed around the country. At this moment, there are a few Electric Car (EV) chargers installed at selected places around Klang Valley.

The car being test charged at my house

The Nissan Leaf specifications are;
  • Seating capacity: 5
  • Top speed: Over 140km/h
  • Drive power-train layout: Front motor, front drive
  • Battery: Laminated lithium-ion battery
  • Battery capacity: 24kWh
  • Electric motor(power,torque): High-responsive synchronous, AC motor (80kW, 280Nm)
  • Range: 160km (US LA4 mode)
  • Length/width/height: 4445mm/1770mm/1550mm
  • Wheelbase: 2700mm
You can get more information about the electric car and its previous ambassadors by visiting the official Nissan Leaf website in Malaysia. There have been two rounds of testing so far and I will be involved with the third one for January and February 2013. Chinese New Year 2013 is going to be fun for me.
What am I going to do and where am I going? You will find out in the next six weeks as I will be doing some follow up articles about my overall experience testing and driving the first fully electric car, the Nissan Leaf Electric Car in Malaysia.

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