The biggest question on most people’s minds when it comes to the future of automobiles and the fuels that run them, is “how long are oil reserves going to last?” The answer is quite complex as it depends firstly on the reserves that exist (mapped, tapped and untapped) and the potential increase in automobiles, which will be directly, proportionate to the oil that is going to be available in the future. The Strategic Petroleum Reserve, is the stock of oil that the government owns, which is stored in the Gulf Coast area, stored in salt caverns. Though the storage consists of 727 million barrels of oil, the concern is that the reserves are not going to last forever.
The need of the hour is to find efficient and affordable alternative sources of fuel to run our cars. Though hydrogen is considered a great alternative, it is dangerous, as it needs to be stored in a liquefied state, which is high risk when carried around in the fuel tanks of cars. Though hydrogen is a very efficient auto fuel and a very tiny quantity is sufficient to run a car for several miles, the high degree of risk has ruled out its use as an alternative to oil. The only other viable source then is electricity, which needs to be stored in storage batteries that can be fitted onto the cars.
The Nissan Motor Company Ltd is a Japanese auto giant headquartered in Japan. This sixth largest automaker that is closely behind leaders like Volkswagen, Toyota, General Motors, Hyundai and Ford used to market its vehicles under the brand name Datsun. The company’s headquarters is located in Nishi-KU, a ward in the city of Yokohama in Japan. Famed for making one of the best auto engines the world has seen, Nissan is a stickler for quality and efficiency.
The company has now displayed its latest creation – an alternative to fossil fuel driven cars. The Nissan LEAF (Leading Environmentally Friendly Affordable Family Car) in the recent Car Tech garage, is not a great looking car, and cannot win any prize for looks. Looking like a monstrous toad, this car did make waves as it runs on electricity. The makers of this car have given due importance to function than form. Ultimately, the car can get you where you wish to go, in comfort, though not in style. This should appeal to most people though not to a few others who prefer style and class and are willing to pay the price.
To describe the front portion of the car, it has stylish headlamps that protrude out of the front fender, and are built aerodynamically. The LEAF sits on tiny wheels that belie the comfortable ride due to reduced friction. The car can seat four people comfortably and you could squeeze in a fifth person who is conscious about his or her weight. The rear hatch though is not like the conventional, spacey American car, which is quite understandable, as you need to shed kilos wherever possible to get the best fuel efficiency in an electrically driven car. However, there is enough space to carry a grocery cartload of stuff, though the uneven floor cannot accommodate large parcels. However, the LEAF will be liked not for its looks but for its zero emission and contribution to a greener earth, in addition to helping save on your fuel bills.
With an impressive pick up of 0 to 60 in 8 seconds flat and effortlessly coasts at a comfortable 45 mph. There is hardly any drag at this speed. The engine under the hood resembles Nissan Versa, and the electric motor that runs the car has a capacity of 80kW, which equals about 107 HP. The Nissan LEAF is capable of running a good 73 miles on a single charge and is best for city driving. Eco conscious people and those supporting a greener earth will certainly want to own a Nissan LEAF.