Why is the Nissan Leaf the perfect choice for taxi drivers?
Since debuting on the UK’s roads in 2011, the Nissan LEAF has grown into the world’s foremost electric vehicle. While the LEAF acronym is a bit of a mouthful – standing for ‘Leading, Environmentally Friendly, Affordable Family Vehicle’ – the car itself is a masterpiece. It combines technological innovation with visual flair and offers all the comforts and experience a driver today could ask for.
Read on as we give an overview of Nissan’s pioneering EV to date. We’ll look at the model’s history, its most notable features, and what about the LEAF makes it the perfect hire car choice!
The History of the Nissan LEAF
Nissan has been on quite the journey to reach where they are today.
The Japanese manufacturer began experimenting with electric vehicles in the 1990s. At the 1997 Los Angeles International Auto Show, they showcased the Nissan Altra to the world; it was the first vehicle ever to feature a rechargeable lithium-ion battery, which is still used by the LEAF today! Its production was limited: only two hundred were ever made, and they were used primarily as fleet vehicles. Nevertheless, its development marked a significant stepping stone on Nissan’s journey towards making a widely-available electric car a reality.
Fast forward a decade, when in 2009, Nissan unveiled a brand-new electric prototype, known only as ‘the EV-11’. This used the same bodywork as the Nissan Tiida, but it substituted a petrol engine for an all-electric drivetrain. Nissan committed to making the car available for purchase within the year, and they did exactly that. The Nissan Leaf debuted on Japanese roads in 2010 and arrived in Europe in 2011.
The first LEAF offered technological savviness, visual flair and ultra-smart design. It was a fully aerodynamic vehicle: split headlights distributed airflow away from the mirrors, minimising drag and making a quieter drive, which was complemented by completely aerodynamic panelling under the bottom of the chassis. This also maximises the efficiency of the original 80 kW electric motor. Meanwhile, all of the battery components sat tidily beneath the rear foot space, ensuring a low centre of gravity and supporting the light-weight vehicle’s robust and durable structure.
The LEAF today
It’s fair to say that within the past decade, Nissan has turned over their fair share of new leaves in creating the world’s leading electric vehicle, and added in a range of incredible features along the way.
For starters, the latest LEAF is sleeker and more stylish than ever. The build emanates simplicity: the roof melds seamlessly into the car’s glasswork, creating a floating effect and minimising any sense of rigidity, while a balance of smooth curves and aerodynamic angles give the car all the poise it needs to stand out effortlessly from the crowd. It’s available in a choice of nine different colour-schemes, too, allowing every driver the opportunity to make their LEAF their own.
Exterior polish is more than balanced inside the vehicle. This is the roomiest LEAF yet, creating a relaxing driving experience for drivers and passengers alike. The car’s filled with comforts, including Nissan’s patented zero-gravity seats, which provide exceptional support, from drivers’ lower back rights up to their shoulders. Meanwhile, both the seats and the steering wheel can be heated. Time to say goodbye to a cold car!
The LEAF complements design and style with a wide choice of in-car technology, which makes for a truly best-in-class driving experience. The dashboard sat nav, Nissan’s 'Intelligent Pro-Pilot' system, gives drivers all the navigation help they’d need. Meanwhile, with Apple Carplay, Android Auto and an exceptional Bose sound-system, your driving playlist will have never sounded better!
The perfect choice for taxi drivers
Together, all of these factors make the Nissan LEAF the perfect choice for the contemporary taxi drivers.
For one, few cars today offer a more comfortable in-car experience. The zero-gravity seats mean that you’re getting support for your posture and helping to maximise blood-flow around the body, which keeps circulation healthy and contributes to long-term driver well-being. While heated seats and the heated steering wheel won’t be needed throughout the entire year, you’ll be thankful for them on nippy winter nights – as will your passengers!
While the car’s great for your wellbeing, it’s also great for your personal finances. A vast and growing number of UK private hire operators are discovering for themselves the immense savings to be found in switching from fuel to electric power. Nissan gives the example of one driver who purchased more than 45,000 miles of power for as little as £1,500; that’s a whopping saving of £7,000 over the equivalent diesel cost. The LEAF’s sophisticated battery recharges so quickly that charge times will barely have any effect on the number of rides you can make per day at all, so there’s really no downside whatsoever.
Most of all, the Nissan LEAF offers a thoroughly polished driving experience all-round. It’s a stylish, sleek and cutting-edge choice for drivers. We can’t wait to see how Nissan further develops their EV tech in the future.
You can explore The Taxi Centre's market-leading range of Nissan LEAF options in our catalogue. Alternately, read more on The Taxi Centre blog for a round-up of several of 2018’s most fuel-economical cars.