The Souped up Nissan Leaf – she’s electric
Car Leasing and supercars specialists Cars on Demand have a motorsport enthusiast membership base that has one intrigued eye on the world of electric vehicle motorsport as the automotive world embarks on a new energy efficient journey.
Currently the electric vehicle market is wading through treacle to get considered as a credible alternative to unleaded and diesel cars. In recent international survey carried out by Deloitte, only 4% of motorists are likely to be satisfied with an electric car. Consumers want battery charging to be quicker and a competitive price.
8 months since its UK launch, the Nissan Leaf electric car has been given the motor sport treatment as Nissan publicly flexed their EV focus around the tracks of Goodwood with an eye catching body kit 3 door Nismo-tweaked version.
Why is this so ironic? Well, the original out of the showroom Nissan Leaf has a top speed of 90 mph and an average fuel cost of 0.3 per mile (according to the AA). It is fantastic that Nissan wish to be leaders in the EV market but a bigger noise surrounding the Leaf is the price – currently available from £25,990 which is around £10K more than its competitors. Putting price aside (during an international recession) and you are left with World Car of the Year that boasts zero-emission mobility. Amazing.
However back to motorsport. This Leaf is still limited to 60mph but can do 60mph in 6.8 seconds – a pretty amazing step forward by Nissan in the zero emissions market. The car only weighs 940kg – the production version weighs 1,567 kg.
What does electric motorsport look like right now? Sparse! There are sports cars specialists like Westfield that are involved in the EV Cup with the IRacer but currently a lot of the manufacturers are concentrating on their production car effort. A big part of this will be optimising the 2 major points highlighted earlier of battery life and cost. Honda and Toyota will launch electric cars in 2012. Proton and VW are looking at 2013. Nissan are innovators in this field and in the long term this could well convert into increased market share worldwide.