Cynics were silenced as a line-up of 20 new Nissan LEAF 30kWh cars travelled more than 900km aboard the Société Nationale des Chemins de fer Français (SNCF) Auto/Train service from Nice to Paris.
The new Nissan LEAFs, which can now travel up to 250km* on a single charge, covered the staggering distance by taking advantage of just one of several innovative schemes available to LEAF owners across Europe for longer cross-country and vacation travel, including free charging at selected train stations and airports.
Unveiled at the 2015 Frankfurt Motor Show and due to go on sale in Europe in January 2016, the Nissan LEAF 30kWh is able to travel up to 26 percent further than the original 24kWh unit, thanks to significant performance updates. This increased range makes it a practical electric vehicle (EV) solution for 98 percent of family hatchback drivers’ needs.
The unique LEAF sighting on the lines of SNCF’s Auto/Train national rail network, which carries 65,000 cars per year, highlights Nissan’s innovative EV partnership with the transport provider. LEAF owners can take their vehicles aboard the Auto/Train service at a discounted rate, allowing their vehicles to conserve battery energy whilst travelling – that allows 100% ecological long distance at once.
Launched on the 3rd December 2012, the special discount scheme entitles LEAF owners to one completely free one way journey and a 30 percent discount on all other SNCF Auto/Train trips to and from Paris, making this a very affordable travel option. They can drive their vehicle to one of the 12 SNCF Auto/Train stations, where their car is fully charged at a Nissan-installed Quick Charger before being loaded onto the train. Complimentary battery top-ups are also offered to service users by Auto/Train.
The Auto/Train service links Paris with Nice, Avignon, Lyon, Biarritz, Marseille, Bordeaux, Narbonne, Fréjus-St Raphael, Toulon and Toulouse. This makes it an ideal service for Nissan LEAF owners to use to travel to a wide range of family holiday destinations.
Gareth Dunsmore, Director of EV at Nissan Europe: “Nissan aims to make EVs an affordable, practical but exciting solution for motorists worldwide, and the new 250km range makes LEAF ownership an easy first choice, for many, many more drivers. Combining this upgrade with schemes like the SNCF Auto/Train partnership further enhances the travel capabilities of Nissan’s EVs, giving owners the ability to travel great distances at greatly reduced costs, offering limitless sustainable vacation possibilities.”
The improved range of the 30kWh model, alongside design, technology and engineering updates, broaden the LEAF’s appeal – making it a true alternative to an internal combustion engine vehicle for millions of motorists. It delivers a longer range with no compromise on internal packaging. Available on Acenta and Tekna trim grades, it has exactly the same exterior dimensions as existing 24kWh unit and only a modest 21 kg increase in weight. The result? A car that goes significantly further while offering the same practicality and usability as previous versions.
Production of the Nissan LEAF 30kWh will continue at Nissan’s Sunderland UK factory, with European sales starting in January 2016. Final prices and specifications for individual markets will be announced shortly.