SO, what does the future feel like? Echo business writer KEVIN CLARK turned Stig to find out.
THE first thing to say about the Nissan Leaf is how very unremarkable it is.
And that’s a good thing.
Nissan is marketing the Leaf as a genuine family car and that’s exactly what it is.
There may be all sorts of new stuff going on under the bonnet, but to all intents and purposes, this is a family saloon like any other – five seats, well-appointed interior, good leg-room, decent boot. If you spotted one of these on the school run or in the car park at Sainsbury’s, chances are you wouldn’t look twice.
Things are a little different inside – the Leaf boasts a sophisticated on-board IT system for one – but the main difference for most UK drivers will be that the Leaf, like all electric cars, is an automatic.
So how does Nissan’s pride and joy actually handle?
Pulling the joystick back and down puts us in drive and we glide almost noiselessly down to the oval test track.
Pulling out, I put my foot down and the car instantly responds.
Anyone expecting an electric car to be handicapped by milk float-like acceleration is likely to be very pleasantly surprised – Leaf really doesn’t hang about.
Green Fleet has laid out cones on the second straight to form a gentle chicane and the car handles brilliantly through the turns.
Putting the battery under the floor creates a low centre of gravity that really helps with cornering.
The verdict? Yes, I understand the concerns over range, especially in parts of the country not as well supplied with charging points as the North East - but in terms of performance, Leaf absolutely does not disappoint.