Back in July, Edaran Tan Chong Motor (ETCM) introduced the first batch of four ambassadors for its Nissan Leaf pliot program, which is part of the company’s “Journey to Zero Emission” initiative. The Nissan Leaf is of course the production electric car that’s already on sale elsewhere in the world, although Malaysia isn’t quite ready yet, and the 10 units registered by ETCM are for trials and awareness.

The first group had Jason Goh, Yoong Huey Yee, Rizman Harith Merican and Daniel Yap drive and live with the Leaf for six weeks. They had to share their daily experience with friends and the public via different mediums such as video clips, write-ups as well as feedback to ETCM on the car’s performance in the real world. We managed to get one of them to share his experience with you – read Daniel Yap’s account here.

“The biggest problem is the perception of a limited range,” Yap shared. “Granted any EV will not be able to make cross-country commutes but when it comes to pure city driving, then the EV will certainly be able to get you there and back 99.9% of the time.”

Fellow ambassador Rizman Merican revealed something many are curious about – cost. “On average I would fill up about RM200 for my car each week, so for a month, it would be about RM800. With the Leaf, I calculated that it would cost me about RM4 per full charge. So for my routine, I only charged the car once in two days, which would mean an expenditure of only RM60 a month on electricity,” he said.

This morning saw a second batch of eager ambassadors take over the baton. The four are Datuk Dr Norbik Bashah bin Idris (53, UTM professor), Hanis Azarea (24, videographer), Suresh Thirugnanam (47, COO of Jobstreet) and Mr & Mrs Tan Thiam Chye, a married couple with two young kids. The good professor was unavailable today, which is why you only see three cars in the pic.

All of them live on landed property, which makes charging the Leaf easy. It’s not as simple as plugging the cable into the home 13A three-pin plug, as the Leaf’s 16A charger can possibly melt the plug or trip the fuse. 20A industrial plugs have been installed for the four, and they can also drop by KETTHA in Putrajaya and ETCM’s Jalan Ipoh HQ to recharge. Other ETCM charge points are in PJ and Jalan Raja Chulan.

Also, ETCM’s First Energy Networks will introduce EV charging parking lots at KLCC and Lot 10 very soon, so that’s another avenue, although the Leaf’s over 100 km real world range is sufficient for most home-work-home routines.

Drive safe and enjoy the ride, folks! We’ve had a go at the Leaf ourselves, click here for brief impressions.