2012 Nissan Leaf: Test Drive
By Khiem Dinh
Khiem Dinh is an engineer for Honeywell Turbo Technologies at the time of this writing. All statements and opinions expressed by Khiem Dinh are solely those of Khiem Dinh and not reflective of Honeywell Turbo Technologies.
I was back home in Florida for the holidays and my dad had a Nissan Leaf sitting in the garage. Being the engineering dork that I am, I had to give this thing a quick spin around the block as soon as I saw it. I wasn’t really sure what to expect. Would it be like driving a slow golf cart? Or would it be more like the electric go-karts used at K1 Speed? Well, there was only one way to find out.
|Before taking it out for a spin, you have to unplug the thing. This is the 'power port' I guess you could call it. The plug is the Star Trek phaser looking thing plugged in on the right. The port on the left side is for charging with the big daddy 480V charger. On the underside of the cover panel is the CAUTION sticker. I didn't bother to read it.|
|Here are the two plugs covered and uncovered. Nissan, if you're listening, it would be nice to have a little LED light or something here so you can see the ports in the dark. Anyway, so why would you want the auxiliary port on the left? Well, its primary purpose is for the 480V Level 3 charger. However, from what my dad tells me, some peeps in Japan will charge the car at night using power from the grid and then run their house off of the car's battery pack during the day. Why? Because electricity is cheaper at night than during the day; so they effectively give the big middle finger to the power companies by gaming the system. If you live in a region where hurricanes are common, such as my home state of Florida, having a big ole energy storage station sitting in your garage can come in handy.|