The Nissan LEAF Turns Four

Four years after its introduction, the Nissan LEAF is the best selling electric car in the world. Built at three different factories around the globe, 150,000 of them are now on the road and have racked up over a billion kilometers of driving. To mark the LEAF’s 4th anniversary, the folks at Transport Evolved decided to take a look at 4 very special versions of the car.

Highest Mileage LEAF

Out in the State of Washington, Steve Marsh has been driving his black 2011 Nissan LEAF 130 miles a day to work and back for 3 years. He originally bought his car to save on gas and has been amply rewarded. Steve’s LEAF passed the 100,000 mile mark a year a go and is still going strong. Mark says it has lost about 17% of its battery capacity in that time. Meanwhile, more than one LEAF is reported to have exceeded 200,000 in taxi service.

LEAF 4

Photo: Transport Evolved

LEAF Limousine

Stay at the Embassy Suites Nashville South in Tennessee, and the hotel will pick you up at the airport in a stretched, zero emissions Nissan LEAF. The white LEAF limo has an additional row of seating but uses the same 24 kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery pack found in every other production LEAF to date. The interior has the plush leather, deep pile carpeting, and wood paneling one would expect in any limousine.

LEAF 2

Photo: Car & Driver

Crime Fighting LEAF

While not as sexy as James Bond’s Aston Martin DB5 or as muscular at the BatMobile, in Japan, crime fighter extraordinaire UltraMan has a specially prepared LEAF at his disposal to help subdue evil doers. Sporting high-tech laser rifles and smoke canons, UltraMan’s LEAF can also provide backup power to any military base whose power supply has been wiped out by aliens or monsters.

LEAF 5

Photo: Transport Evolved

LEAF Pickup Truck

When engineers At Nissan’s technical center in Arizona needed something to take parts from one part of the site to the other, they took a standard production Nissan LEAF and converted into a fully functioning all electric pickup truck. Seen in the video above, it’s both cute and practical, although there are no plans to put the trucklet into production…..yet. Be sure to let your local Nissan dealer know if you would like to buy one yourself.

sparky

Other Notable LEAF Usage

The Nissan LEAF is gaining fame as a special use zero emissions vehicle for police departments and security details. They have been used as back-up power supplies for homes and businesses. Several have been converted by Nissan to study autonomous driving technology. Nissan promises us greater range and refreshed exterior styling in the near future, which should help keep LEAF sales going strong even as other competitors enter the marketplace.

 

Steve Hanley

Closely following the transition from internal combustion to electricity. Whether it's cars, trucks, ships, or airplanes, sustainability is the key. Please follow me on Google + and Twitter.