Nissan’s first all-electric car Leafs a mark on the EV industry - The Verge

Nissan’s Leaf was not a perfect electric vehicle, or car for that matter, but it did help pioneer the EV space in the modern era. With its imminent discontinuation, it’s time to give the Bulbasaur-shaped car a proper goodbye.

The first-generation Nissan Leaf was a car that only an owner could love. It had bug eyes for headlights, the body of a Bulbasaur, a toy-like startup sound, and a large plastic nub in the center console that you moved like an air hockey paddle to put the Leaf in drive or reverse.

I was one of those owners, and while I swooned at the 2018 redesign, I still only had eyes for my first-gen Leaf. Like many first-time EV owners, it was my first real all-electric car, the one that changed how I thought about each journey and how to get there without depleting the battery. It’s the one that helped me discover what it’s like to have a gas station in your own home.

And most importantly, it was a hint of the revolution to come. The EV is here and so is the future of cleaner personal transportation. And now that the Leaf is reportedly on its way out of production, it seems fit to say goodbye to an early electric pioneer and one of the best cars I’ve ever owned.

The Leaf wasn’t a perfect car by a long shot. Most notably, it was not suitable for long road trips or even modest ones. The 2013 model I owned usually displayed 70–80 or more miles on its range guess-o-meter, though on weeks I commuted locally — and in perfect weather — I’d gotten it to creep into triple digits.

You could drive really conservatively and get a 2015 or similar Leaf to show 100 miles of range for its 24kWh battery.

I sometimes had to venture off the highway to find CHAdeMO fast chargers during road trips.

But on the highway, that range was elusive. I used to drive it between New York and Baltimore, stopping at whatever DC fast charging station I could find three times each way. I didn’t care, I was determined to only drive electric from there on out, and it really helped that I was saving a whole lot of money on the car itself and that I could charge for free at work.

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Updated: 1 week ago
New York, New York

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