Unlike a lot of other car manufacturers, Nissan has a long history with electric vehicles. Back in 1995, the Japanese brand launched the Prairie EV and followed it up with the Altra EV and the Hypermini.
Okay, they only made 30 of the first, 200 of the second and 300 of the third, but it paved the way for more experimentation in the future.
It was in 2005 when things started to really pick up speed.
Remember the Pivo? It was a bizarre all-electric bubble car with a rotating cockpit. Nissan refined it over three iterations into something that actually looked (and drove) like a proper car.
Squint at the Pivo and you can see the outline of the Nissan Leaf. The ideas are all there but perhaps not in the right order.
Fast forward 12 years and Nissan rolls out their second generation Leaf, the all-electric car we’ve come to love.
With so much R&D behind it, the Leaf looks and feels like a very complete car.
The interior’s sturdy and high-quality, the design looks refined, the drive feels good. What more could you ask for?
The main drawback is a slightly truncated range, which tops out at 124 miles per charge. While this cuts out all the heavy drivers, it’s still a great choice for city driving.