On December 11th, Bay Area-resident Olivier Chalouhi took delivery of the first Nissan Leaf. Chalouhi, chief technology officer of the start-up Fanhattan, has had all of four days behind the wheel of the Leaf but, so far, seems to be thoroughly impressed with the vehicle. The lucky owner summed up his driving experience on the MyNissanLeaf discussion forum and we've posted some of the highlights (slightly edited) below:
- A GTI slowed down as I was coming back from San Jose today. I had to accelerate to 80 miles per hour to pass it again to kill the myth that electric cars are slow, but battery range was getting low, so I went back to 65 mph soon after.
- The Leaf is way more comfortable than my wife's Honda Fit. It accelerates better, it's quieter and it's better equipped. I also think that you have a lower perception of speed in the Leaf (i.e. 40 mph feels slow in the Leaf due to the lack of noise and its comparatively large size).
- 0-60 mph? I'm not sure, but I think that 10 seconds is probably accurate. 0-40 mph is clearly amazing for sure. Yesterday evening I left all the other cars way behind when accelerating from a stop light.
- Range? This is a tough one. If you want to cruise on the highway at 75-plus mph, then you should not hope for more than 50-60 miles of range, with climate control on. At 65 mph, range is better. The other night, I left with 82 miles of range, drove ten miles and returned with 82 miles of range remaining.