Nissan Leaf KLIMS-1

Edaran Tan Chong Motor (ETCM) launched the Nissan Leaf electric car at KLIMS13 this afternoon. The electric car, which has been in Malaysia for trials since the first half of 2012, is now available for sale at RM168,800 on-the-road with insurance, much lower than an early estimate of RM200k. The purchase price includes a home charging unit and a three-year/100,000 km warranty.

The world’s best selling electric car is powered by an electric motor-inverter combo, which runs on current from a lithium-ion battery pack. Comprising 48 battery modules (each module has four batt cells), the Leaf’s battery pack has a capacity of 24 kWh, max power of 90 kW and 360V voltage.

Nissan Leaf KLIMS-9

Located under the seats, the battery provides a driving range of 195 km per full charge, as measured in the New European Driving Cycle (NEDC). A completely drained battery pack can be fully charged in around four hours with the supplied 6.6 kWh home charging unit (wall-mounted charger with cable, cabling works with PVC conduit, dedicated circuit breaker), so actual charging time may be less.

There’s also a solar panel on the Leaf’s rear spoiler that maintains the charge of the (other) 12V battery that runs the lamps, wipers, audio and other accessories. Currently, there are 15 public EV charging stations in the Klang Valley, Penang, Melaka and Johor Bahru set up by Tan Chong’s First Energy Networks. Nissan Leaf owners can use these charging stations free of charge.

Nissan Leaf KLIMS-4

The Leaf owner will never need to visit a petrol station again, unless it’s for refilling his/her tummy. ETCM says that the Leaf is 75% cheaper to run than a petrol-powered equivalent car based on current Malaysian electricity rates. Maintenance is cheap as well – you can expect 80% savings over a five-year period over an internal combustion engined car.

Safety wise, the five-star Euro NCAP-rated Leaf comes with six airbags, ABS, Brake Assist, Hill Start Assist and Vehicle Dynamics Control (VDC). It’s a big hatchback, so there’s plenty of cabin space. The batteries are under the seats, so boot space is a decent 370 litres, expandable to 720 litres with the rear seats folded.

The RM168,800 Nissan Leaf is available in five colours – Pearl White, Brilliant Silver, Metallic Slate, Super Black and the signature Blue Ocean. Read our preview drive report, and a detailed account by Daniel Yap, a pilot programme ambassador who drove the EV for six weeks.