Volt Vehicles has extensively researched to bring you what they believe to be the best value in Electric cars. Volt Vehicles have chosen to specialise in Nissan Leafs, Nissan e-NV200, Mitsubishi Outlander and the Mitsubishi i-MiEV. The range of cars each have different features to suit any lifestyle or need.
Nissan Leaf – Generation 2
Since the Nissan Leaf was introduced in Dec. 2010, over 200,000 have been sold worldwide. The Leaf was International Car of the Year in 2011. It is driven by a 80 kW (107hp) AC synchronous electric motor which is powered by a 24 kWh lithium-ion (Li-ion) battery. On a full charge the range can be over 150km.
The Leaf has two driving modes, D (drive), and ECO (economic) using less power and giving greater regenerative battery charging. Driving in Eco mode increases the range by 10%. The car can be normally driven in Eco mode in city traffic and Drive mode on the motorway for more fun.
The driving range may seem less compared to petrol cars but remember the Electric Car can be ‘topped up’ at home or work. In fact anytime and anywhere there is a mains power socket, it’s that simple. The rule is to top up whenever you can. Getting in the habit of putting a plug in a socket is a very small price to pay for absolutely no petrol costs and zero emissions.
Volt Vehicle cars are supplied with an Owners’ Manual plus supplementary manuals in English and FM radio band extenders for local radio reception.
Generation 1 vs Generation 2
The Leafs released in 2011 and 2012 are known as Generation 1 or G1. In late 2012 Nissan released an updated Leaf now referred to as Generation 2 or G2. Both have the same battery capacity. On paper there are around 100 differences, mostly small. Some of the more notable improvements are:
• Larger boot space by repositioning of componentry
• Improved battery chemistry making the batteries more tolerant to temperature extremes
• Redesigned motor configuration with improved regeneration, thus giving better range
• Improved aerodynamics
• Lower total weight
• An improved cabin heater that uses a third of the power that the G1 heater
• A ‘B’ driving mode with stronger regeneration than the G1 ‘ECO’ mode.
• An increase in range of approximately 15%
The majority of G2s have a black / gray interior with some still retaining the light beige that all the G1s have. A new model, S, was introduced that is a base model below the higher featured X and G models. From a distance the only noticeable aesthetic difference is the wheel trim. The G2, S and X, have hubcap wheels and the G has newer styled alloy wheels.
Nissan Leaf Features
The G1 Leaf comes in two models: the X , and the G being the top spec model. The G2 has 3 models: S the lower spec model, X and G models specced similarly to the G1.
The G includes: Cruise Control, Reversing Camera, Roof Solar Panel for charging the 12 volt battery, and Rear Parcel Tray as standard.
The G2 X and Gs have heated seats front and rear, and heated steering wheels. Also many of the G2 Xs have factory fitted reversing cameras. Cruise control is also standard on G2 X and G models.
While the X and G have the following: ABS, Traction control, Bluetooth, USB and iPod capable, Radio and CD player (6 speaker system, band expander fitted for NZ frequencies), Anti Theft System, Immobiliser, Central Locking, Keyless Drive, Adjustable Steering Column, Multi Function Steering Wheel, 3 x Rear Seat Belts (60/40 split), Isofix Child Seat Anchor Points, Rear Headrests, Automatic Climate Control, Driver, Passenger and Side Airbags (6 in total), Driver Computer Info System, Electric Mirrors, Electric Windows, Tinted Glass, Automatic on/off headlights, Aerodynamic LED headlights, Regenerative Braking System.
Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV
The Mitsubishi Outlander was officially released in 2014, however in Japan it was available from late 2013. It is known as a Plugin Hybrid Electric Vehicle, PHEV. Its 12 kW battery powers the SUV and is charged in the same way the Nissan Leaf battery is. These are a comfortable, large volume, versatile AWD SUV, that is very eco-friendly. The Outlander PHEV is powered by two 60kW electric motors, one at each end. There’s also a 2.0L 87kW petrol engine that charges the 12kWh Lithium-ion battery and supplies torque when necessary. The most notable feature is the extended range that the on-board charging offers, because you can charge the battery while driving.
These vehicles have the ability to drive in excess of 50 km on battery only and up to 800 km further when the petrol engine operates as a generator supplying electricity to the electric motors. The petrol engine can supply additional power, to the wheels, if required, such as accelerating to pass a vehicle or for driving up a steep hill. The maximum available power is just over 150 kW. The towing ability is rated to 1500 kg, braked trailer, and 750 kg un-braked. This vehicle gives people the significant opportunity to reduce petrol consumption completely on short trips and to 1.8L/100km when battery charging is from the on-board 2.0 L engine. This is why we have chosen to supply this vehicle to people whose needs are met by its features.
Every detail, every feature, simply everything about the BMW i3 with eDrive is designed for the pulsating life in the big city. Driven by a fully emission-free electric motor, the BMW i3 guarantees urban mobility wherever you need it. Apart from the ecological considerations, the BMW i3 makes a strong impression with its breathtaking acceleration, be it at low speeds or from a standstill, and boasts an impressive range thanks to the high-voltage battery (high-voltage lithium-ion battery) of up to 160 km.
With a range of up to 170 km* in the standard COMFORT driving mode, the BMW i3 largely covers the majority of driv-ing demands for a typical commuter driving style. If a regular use of the BMW i3 over longer distances is desired, the Range Extender (REx) for the BMW i3 makes an increase of the range up to 340 km possible.* The Range Extender REx is a small, very smooth-running and quiet combustion engine which runs on normal petrol. This motor drives a generator which in turn charges the high-voltage battery so that the vehicle can continue to drive electrically.
* Determined in internal BMW consumption studies. The driving range depends on a variety of factors, especially: personal driving behavior, selected route, weather conditions, usage of heating/cooling and preconditioning.
(Informatin sourced from: http://www.bmw.co.nz/en/all-models/bmw-i/i3/2013/drive.html#range-extender)
The big secret about the Nissan e-NV200 van? 100% torque on tap, right off the line. It means impressive acceleration and surprising performance.
The Nissan e-NV200 is fun in the twisty bits too, with a low centre of gravity that delivers inspired and secure handling. Of course, you can tell your colleagues it’s all about emitting zero emissions while driving. When you are in the mood, it also gives you an efficient and relaxing journey that’s smoother, quieter and more refined than a traditional van.
The Nissan e-NV200’s Hill Start Assist system makes hill starts easy, by automatically applying the brakes whenever you come to a complete stop facing uphill. As you operate the accelerator, the brakes will release and you’ll pull away smoothly. It’s advanced technology that works seamlessly and intuitively to make everyday driving that much easier.
The right temperature inside your van can make all the difference when you’re behind the wheel all day. Enjoy a refreshing breeze or a speedy warm-up on a cold day with the climate control system.
With its battery pack in the floor, the Nissan e-NV200 electric van has a low centre of gravity that improves handling. It also means the battery pack does not eat into the e-NV200’s class-leading cargo space.
(Information sourced from: https://www.nissan.co.uk/vehicles/new-vehicles/e-nv200/battery-performance.html)
The i-MiEV is only 3,475mm from end-to-end, making it eye-catching and just the right size for the city. Short front and rear overhangs add to the unique futuristic styling. And with 15-inch wheels and a 2,550mm long wheelbase thanks to the rear-midship layout, overall balance and stability are increased, letting you cruise with confidence wherever you are. Even more, the battery pack is placed under the floor to provide a lower centre of gravity for smooth handling like you’d expect from a luxury car.
The regenerative brake function begins the moment you take your foot off the accelerator pedal, storing kinetic energy in the traction battery. The amount of energy stored depends on deceleration, which is determined by the shift position. In addition, when you depress the brake pedal, regenerative brake power is increased. The regenerative brake function is effective for increasing the driving range.
Equipped with a regular connection for a full charge in 8 hours from electrical outlets and a quick-charging connection for an 80% full charge in 30 minutes at quick-charge stations, powering up the i-MiEV at home or around town is as simple as plugging in.
(Information sourced from: http://www.mitsubishi-motors.com/en/showroom/i-miev/plug_and_live/ )