Business

Sorry, you're unfit to drive a Nissan

Suitability test ... Nissan's new Leaf electric car.
Suitability test ... Nissan's new Leaf electric car. drive.com.au

NISSAN has knocked back some customers interested in purchasing its first electric car, the Leaf, because they have been deemed "unsuitable" for ownership.

The plug-in electric vehicle officially hits the market on June 1, but interested customers need to pass a two-stage approval test before being issued with a certificate that will allow them to purchase the $51,500 car from one of Nissan's special EV dealerships.

The test involves answering five questions about their intended usage for the car, followed by a visit from Nissan's electrical supplier Origin Energy for an assessment of the suitability of the customer's home electrical network.

Speaking at a promotional event at Melbourne's Federation Square designed to raise awareness of the Leaf's non-reliance on petrol, Nissan Australia model line manager James Staveley told Drive the company had approved about 100 customers with another 100 undergoing the process.

Some intending customers have also been declined. "If you answered that you regularly drive from Melbourne to Sydney, then we might have politely informed the customer that this is not the car for them," Staveley says.

"The majority of customers we have declined have been because they don't have off-street parking available to them, which we consider essential for a safe and convenient recharging environment."

When Mitsubishi brought the only other mass-produced electric car available in Australia to market, the i-MiEV, it initially appointed leases only to high-profile corporate customers.

As supply restrictions eased it later placed the car on general sale, although Nissan says it intends to maintain its selection criteria "to ensure our customers have a great experience with the Leaf".

Nissan Australia is only holding one firm order on its books for the Leaf. "We chose to do it that way. We held a competition to be the first person to own a Leaf in Australia, and the family that won now holds the first and only order," Staveley says.

For customers who pass the two "toll gates" of the selection process, the car will retail for $51,500 (plus on-road and dealer costs). That includes a recharging cable, but not a wall-mounted recharging station.

A package including the telephone book-sized station adds a minimum of $2700 to the price, or more depending on the logistics involved in its installation.

Staveley says the recharging station isn't a mandatory purchase, but that plugging the car directly into a 15-amp power outlet - which is the minimum infrastructure required and costs several hundreds of dollars to install - will take five hours longer to fully charge the car.

"It's the customer's choice but we'd really prefer that people take the option of the recharging station because then we know it's being properly and appropriately installed and minimises the risk of anything going astray," he says.

Nissan Australia is displaying more than 40 petrol pumps in Melbourne's Federation Square today, each modified for a new purpose in life including a coffee machine, a fountain, a robot and a gumball machine. The display intends to symbolise that electric cars can help to overcome the world's strong reliance on petrol.

Topics:  electric car nissan



Creating space for Tweed artists

BONUS: Artists can learn more about funding at the Tweed Regional Gallery.

Register for the ideas clinic.

Grand historic farming estate in Mullumbimby

37 Myocum Rd, Mullumbimby

Check out this week's feature property.

Calls for dash cam footage following violent home invasion

Police call for assistance.

Detectives call for dash cam footage following violent home invasion

Local Partners

Silence of the Lambs director Jonathan Demme dies

TRIBUTES have poured in for Jonathan Demme, the Oscar-winning director of Silence of the Lambs and Philadelphia, who has died aged 73.

Creating space for Tweed artists

BONUS: Artists can learn more about funding at the Tweed Regional Gallery.

Register for the ideas clinic.

Sophie Monk casting a wide net as Bachelorette

Sophie Monk is Australia's new Bachelorette.

Producers ‘inundated’ with calls as they widen age range of suitors.

Viewers officially bored of Aussie biopics

House of Bond’s Ben Mingay as Alan Bond with Rachael Taylor as Diana Bliss.

Latest biopic House of Bond a ‘flop’ as reality TV dominates screens

Bill Cosby: Embattled comic breaks silence on future

Cosby said he wanted to get back on stage doing comedy.

Shania Twain to drop first album in 15 years

Shania Twain

Shania Twain is about to drop her first album since 2002.

What's on the big screen this week

Dave Bautista and Pom Klementieff in a scene from Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol 2.

GUARDIANS of the Galaxy is back with even more laughs.

Grand historic farming estate in Mullumbimby

37 Myocum Rd, Mullumbimby

Check out this week's feature property.

Couple gets rich renovating run-down city homes

RENO RADICALS: Baden and Nelson Marino-Hall have turned three Toowoomba homes around for profit, saying the Garden City was a haven for renovators like themselves.

The couple has already turned around three homes

Townhouse pitch raises questions over 'high density'

BIG PLANS: Residents have a chance to offer their opinion on plans to build 42 townhouses at Raceview.

Developer plans 42 townhouses for Ipswich suburb

7 million dollar city homes for sale right now

3 Keira Court, Blue Mountain Heights.

Here are seven of Toowoomba's best, and most expensive, houses

Lisa Curry and fiance sell up Sunshine Coast property

I'm a Celebrity, Get me Out of Here! contestant Lisa Curry with partner Mark Tabone after being evicted from the South African jungle. Picture: Dylan Robinson ***EMBARGOED 7:30pm March 9th***

Plans for dream home on hold at Mount Mellum place on market

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!