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Nissan Leaf Acenta MY13

This is the second-generation battery-powered Nissan Leaf, which has been subject to extensive changes for the 2013 model year. Its unveiling in London on the 1 July 2013 was not unconnected with changes to the London’s C-Charge that began on the same day. From 1 July, only newly-registered pure-EV vehicles and cars rated at below 75g Co2 per Kilometre will now be exempt from the £10 daily charge.

Nissan says it has made ‘100 engineering changes’ to the 2013 Leaf. Exterior tweaks are limited bumper, wing mirror and wheel designs. It also gets a completely revised drivetrain (which is now packaged in a vertical position, like a conventional internal combustion engine), using a more efficient brushless electric motor that’s ‘about the same size as a football’. Nissan also says that the brake regeneration system is now ‘94 per cent efficient’. The car’s boot is also significantly more useful, with bulk of the charger moved to elsewhere in the car’s structure. There’s also 53mm extra rear legroom thanks to a new front seat design. The battery still weighs in at 250kg but, overall, the Leaf is 32kg lighter.

The most important change is probably the adoption of a new heat-pump heating system which Nissan claims uses 70 percent less energy that the heating system in the original Leaf. However, the entry-level Visia does not get the new heater, which puts it at a distinct disadvantage. Partly thanks to this new heater system, Nissan is claiming that in ‘ideal conditions’ – with an ambient temperature of 22degC – the new Leaf can achieve ‘105-113 miles in the real world’. In a ‘worst case scenario -10degC – the ‘real world range should be 62-77 miles’.

Nissan is also making much of the Leaf’s more advanced telematics system. The Leaf’s embedded SIM card allows it, for example, update the location of charging points. Nissan says that the algorithm used to calculate the remaining battery range can now ‘learn’ how the driver behaves behind the wheel using ‘long term logic’ rather than working off instantaneous power consumption. To which you can add a ‘360-degree’ view exterior camera, the option of a black/anthracite interior (instead of the light grey of the original Leaf) and a re-worked charging point, with has an LED illuminator and lock for the charging cable. A new 6.6Kw charger – which halves the charging time – is now optional.

Perhaps most significant, is the fact that the Leaf’s chassis has undergone a major overhaul, better to suit European tastes


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