Nissan's charge down electric avenue starts with the Nissan Leaf... The first purpose built, all electric compact family car. While the infrastructure associated with keeping the batteries topped up is still poor, Nissan says this car remains a daily driver. And with a claimed 100-mile range, this is the most practical electric car yet. It's not perfect – it takes eight hours to recharge, is much pricier than the average diesel family hatch and isn’t much fun to drive. But it works, and bodes well for the future of this new technology.
- Zero emissions
- Easy to drive
- Looks like a normal car
- Limited range
- Expensive to buy
- Forgettable driving experience
It was officially the first purpose built, all-electric car ever to go on sale, and what's more, it's built in Britain. If you have any doubts that Nissan's Leaf is just another impractical car then consider that fact that it won the prestigious European Car of the Year award for 2011. Using Lithium-ion batteries and an electric motor instead of a conventional engine, the Leaf produces no CO2 while on the move, and promises better lower running costs than petrol or diesel alternatives.