Read the full article
A short road test of this vehicle is all very well to get an impression of how it drives but to know how it will perform on a longer term is a very different matter.
At the moment the "concept" as a production vehicle is far too new to judge the car and I will eagerly await to see this as a long termer instead.
It's all about the twisties........
Why is it that shape? And why is the interior conventional? Renault hasn't decided the only way to sell EVs and hybrids is if they look like any other car plus awkward proportions and a clash of styles.
The sad thing is that I sometimes look forward to reading Autocar's weekly road test. Just out of curiousity, does the average milk float manage to top (sorry) an eighty mile range?
does the average milk float manage to top (sorry) an eighty mile range?
With all those milk cartons and yogurt tubs it must carry a lot of weight. Mind you, with zero emissions and a load of healthy food a milk float must rank as one of the most environmentally friendly vehicles ever created.
Two sorts of people will buy the Leaf: trendies, and people who genuinely want to save the Earth but haven't thought it through. I am incensed that my taxes (OK I'm an expat but I paid plenty before I left) will be funding a gift of 5,000 to each of them. Nissan should bring this car to market when it is sufficiently competitive not to have to rely on a handout, and no sooner. Maybe they just up the price in an amount equal to the subsidy? Five bloody thousand when services are being pruned left right and center and from a government that is happy to spend your taxes on "traffic calming measures". I wish someone would conduct an urban mpg test and then repeat it simulating a speed bump every hundred yards, and count not only the mpg but also the emissions both times. Aaaargh!
And another thing, before I expire of apoplexy. It takes 7-8 hours to recharge (assuming you are not the sort of urban dweller that has to park in the street) but that's on the UK's 220 volts. What about 110 volts? Over here it's 110 volts and it takes fuh-evah to boil the kettle for a cuppa.
OK I'm going to lie down for a bit.
£5,000 subsidy is just for starters - then add tax & loan incentives to Nissan for developing and producing the car in the North-East; car tax exemptions, congestion charge exemptions, parking subsidies, charging infrastructure investments, etc. - over the life of the car you are probably looking at a total of £25,000.
Junk the Sat Nav and reversing camera, that'd take £1k of the price, lower the power demand, and extend the range.
80 miles range isn't so bad, that'd do my daily commute of around 23 miles each way. At £2 for a recharge, that's about 1/6 of the price of fuel for me for the same commute, so multiplying up that comes to about £2.2k per year savings on my commute. That wouldn't recover the higher leasing costs and deposit though. A quick look on Google and you can get a Focus 1.6 TDCI Titanium for £500 down, and £330 per month, so this doesn't add up at all financially. On top you need to factor in where the electricity comes from - have you signed up for green power in your home, or does it come from Drax?
Subsidy is a difficult one. On the one hand it's money out of the public purse at the wrong time vs the other priorities, but on the other hand the manufacturers won't get their finger out without incentives, and eventually the fossil fuel will run out. I'd prefer legislation that drives down the CO2/fuel consumption, which is pretty much what we've got now, but we're p8ssing in the wind while Americans continue to drive about in over-sized inefficient trucks in vast numbers (as do our school run folks of course, but just in vastly lower numbers).
Oh, and the last point is that it's ugly and badly proportioned!
"...a more realistic £25,990"
More realistic for whom? Someone living in W8 and working in the Square Mile, perhaps, who can afford to avoid paying the normal costs associated with taking a car into central London; or as a 3rd or 4th car the nanny can use to ferry the little ones to and from school.
A bicycle would be a more practical alternative for the urban environmentally concious city dweller. The electric car still has a long long way to go before becoming in any way practical for ordinary usage.
We have two types of recession: one where the mass of us see our incomes, pensions, and services decline, and where our once free education system becomes affordable only for the privileged, and another recession where bankers award themselves huge bonuses, and governments spend millions on endless wars and armaments. Subsidising a low emissions car (the car industry in general, roads, petrol stations, et cetera, is massively subsidised, plus millions on yet another Royal Wedding) seems to me to be the wrong target at which to throw rocks.