Advance: the Nissan Leaf will cost U$S 60,000, it can be plugged into the wall and its autonomy will be 380km
The announcement of the launch of the Nissan Leaf in Argentina was made last November during the Motor Show in Brazil. The brand came "flirting" with the arrival in the country and it only remained to adjust some details so that it becomes a reality.
In this way, the Japanese will be the first to market in the Argentine market a passenger vehicle that runs 100% with battery. This decision is in line with its global strategy, leveraged in two important factors:
- The Leaf is a leader in sales worldwide. Its first version was introduced in 2010 and was thought from the initial sketch as an electric car, when nobody believed it was possible.
- The company is working hard on its future challenge, which is the "Nissan Intelligent Mobility" plan, which includes an integral rethinking of mobility: from autonomous vehicles to the intelligent connection of the vehicle with people and the home.
After an extensive backstage, it was time to activate the plan in the local market.
Knock down the myths
The start of the pre-sale will be on January 11, the date on which the firm will announce its price. Unofficially, iProUP could know that it will cost between 60,000 and 65,000 dollars.
This medium also had the opportunity to test the car for a few hours.
Anxiety wins in these cases: electric cars were being tested abroad, with an infrastructure according to these vehicles and, consequently, offering a greater sense of security.
After the explanations on the operation of the car and the battery life everything starts to look normal and starts the first challenge that the brands that bet on the new technologies will have: demystifying the impossible. Therefore, the conclusions about this launch came largely before getting into the car:
1. The first sensation after listening to the experts is that, in order for these models to have a future in the country, it is necessary to evacuate all the ignorance that exists around them about how they work. This will be one of the main cards that will have to be played if the idea is to aim for mass.
2. After this step, the second important issue arrives: its autonomy. That is, after leaving home in the morning, how much can you go before recharging? The second generation of the Leaf improved its performance and allows up to 380 km with a single recharge. However, in the city always its performance will be better because with each braking and acceleration it is regenerating.
3. The third important issue is how to recharge and it seems that this will not be an obstacle in Argentina either. At least, for daily trips, not so much for long trips.
On the one hand, the brand sells together with the car a wallbox to install in the home and "fill" the vehicle during the night, for which it takes about eight hours.
Another option is the posts that will slowly add up the service stations. YPF was the first to announce them, although they are not yet active, while Axion has already put into operation the first electric "pump" in the branch of Avenida del Libertador and Salguero.
Finally, the Leaf includes an emergency cable to connect it to an outlet and power the battery as if it were a cell phone. A full recharge with this accessory takes about 20 hours. This is the reason why the brand will market the wallbox next to the car, since it is the most practical and quick way to load it.
In first person
To know first hand the way of driving, this medium approached to the Buenos Aires town of Martinez. The trip plan had as final destination the neighborhood of Palermo.
One of the first conclusions is that this second generation of Leaf is much more graceful and interesting at the aesthetic level with respect to its predecessor.
What is most surprising in front of your board is that it is an inexpressive car at the sound level: not even the finest and most meticulous of the ears can notice that it is underway. The same happens when one advances, except for the slight buzzing that the tires emit when rolling on the asphalt.
Beyond its operation in absolute silence, his walk is very comfortable and something very remarkable "friendly" that is for those who drive.
Its "e-pedal" braking system allows the car to automatically brake and, at the same time, recharge the battery by simply raising the right foot of the accelerator.
Equally simple is to activate the ECO driving mode: it only requires pressing a button. All this, in an imperceptible way for the driver.
It is also very easy and practical to use the gears: you only have to interact with a lever, in the style of a joystick, with circular movements.
The Leaf is presented as an evolved model, not only from the propulsion system -in this case, a hundred percent electric-, but also proposes other advances and solutions.
The challenges in the market
When the presale of the Leaf is officially announced, the price will be the first condition to know with which vehicles it will compete in the market. Undoubtedly, its staging goes beyond the value and is not a car that points, in a first stage, to the mass market.
These vehicles, which are not yet for the general public, usually take their first steps in companies that work consciously in caring for the environment. This does not rule out their arrival to private individuals and, without doubt, there will be more than one interested to have it in their garage.
Slowly, new technologies enter the consciousness of Argentines, but especially of the new generations, who have a different view of what it means to use a car, mobility and the importance of avoiding environmental pollution.
They are issues that sometimes seem very distant and are overcome by everyday issues of Argentina, but the change is closer than thought.
As for Nissan's commitment, this is a decision announced at the right time and in line with the global plans to position itself as a benchmark for a new era of mobility, as well as having been very successful in not leaving out Latin America.
It will not be the only one
The local market of vehicles with "eco-friendly" motorization was reinvigorated with the Government's decision to deduct the 35% tax on imported extra-Mercosur cars that are hybrid or electric and belong to local manufacturers.
Thus, the first launches were completed.
The first 100% electric model that arrived in the country was the Kangoo ZE, a utility that is available in two versions: with a conventional cargo box and with another called Maxi, which is larger.
The autonomy in real conditions of use is 200 kilometers, although it is approved by 270 km, with a maximum speed limited to 130 km / h. The price is 40,000 dollars.
The Chinese Baic had also promoted at that time the X260, his small SUV, which was not yet approved.
However, the first alternative propulsion that arrived in the country was the Toyota Prius. It is a "hybrid" car, since it works with a combination of engines: one electric and the other combustion.
This car incorporates a gasoline engine 1.8L of 98hp, with a maximum torque of 142Nm, combined with an electric that returns a maximum power of 72hp and a torque of 163NM. The battery is nickel-metal hydride.
When braking or decelerating, the electric motor works like a generator, converting the kinetic energy of the vehicle into electrical energy, which is used to charge the batteries.
If necessary, the generator also recharges the battery with the remaining electricity from the internal combustion engine. The price of this model is US $ 36,500.
Another that was introduced in the country is the Mercedes Benz GLC hybrid, with the launch of the EQ brand, the exclusive division under which electric vehicles will be sold worldwide and makes it the first high-end in Argentina.
In the local market, the debut was with a hybrid model, the GLC350e, a medium SUV that is defined as a naphtero-electric plug-in hybrid.
The GLC350e has a price of u $ s88.500, which places it in the middle of the entry-level versions of the GLC and the top of the range, which is the most sporting.