2018 Nissan Leaf First Drive: The EV Evolved
– Yountville, California
The state of the electric vehicle union is strong.
Proof of this claim can be found in the new, second-generation 2018 Nissan Leaf, which is finally coming to market in the U.S. at the end of January. When the first-gen launched in late 2010, Nissan had the lower-cost, all-electric segment to itself. Since then, dozens of plug-in vehicles have launched around the world, and Nissan is ready for round two. But this isn't the same kind of competition that the rest of the auto industry is familiar with.
Nissan representatives – both at a drive event in Napa last week and in numerous ways during the six-month media rollout for the new Leaf – have repeatedly said that the EV pie is big enough for everyone to have a slice, and the success of other, competing EVs is not a problem. The more EVs that are on the road, the better, they say. Whether it's about building out a charging infrastructure or getting people to think about switching from gas, Nissan knows there's more to electric mobility than any one model or company.
It's an improvement in every way from the last model. Better looks, more range, more power, and newer safety and infotainment technology.
That said, Nissan has made the Leaf a great option for anyone who wants to drive emission-free, finding a mid-ground in the eternal struggle between lower cost and higher range.
We'll get to that discussion later. For now, let's start with the vehicle as a whole. It's difficult to say anything re...