One of the best ways to extend the range of any electric vehicle is to ramp up the regenerative braking. Manufacturers like Nissan have been offering different levels of regenerative braking for some time. As the driver (and depending on the make/model), you can choose anything from no regenerative braking through a middle amount or strong regenerative braking. More often than not, an experienced user will opt to maximise range and go with the strongest option. To show off the power of regenerative braking, Nissan has decked out a LEAF as a Christmas tree and set it loose on the streets of Paris. WhichEV considers whether this obvious marketing stunt carries a useful message.
What makes the Nissan Xmas TREE special, is the clear focus on picking up energy wherever possible. The Nissan LEAF e-Pedal (which is, essentially, the technology under the tree this year), allows the driver to start, accelerate, decelerate and stop – using only the accelerator pedal. Think dodgems at the fair. There is also a regenerative process with the conventional brake, should you need to use it.
Nissan's design means that a new Nissan LEAF, driven around 11,000 miles in a single year, will be able to generate around 20% of the overall annual domestic consumption of an average home. Now the purpose of all the Xmas decorations becomes clear. That amount of power would let you:-
- Power a Christmas tree with 700 lights for an hour a day for almost 10 months
- Cook 297 dinners in electric ovens (provided your recipes needed only an hour)
- Let 744 families watch the TV for five hours each on Christmas Day
- Keep almost 11,000 houses illuminated with 1,000 LEDs each, for up to five hours
Helen Perry, Head of Electric Vehicles for Nissan Europe said, “We hope this custom-made vehicle inspires people about the benefits of regenerative energy. After nearly ten years since LEAF was first introduced in Europe, Nissan continues to be fully focused on providing consumers a more sustainable lifestyle through electric mobility”.
While extolling the virtues of its Eco driving mode, regenerative braking and e-Pedal – Nissan stopped short of confirming exactly how much further you can go on a full battery. That said, they did tell us that the maximum recuperation through e-Pedel and regenerative braking technologies would be around 744kWh for 11,000 miles of driving.
What we can say for certain is that of the 150,000 Nissan Leafs that are calculated to be on the roads of Europe right now, Nissan's Xmas tree mod is the one that stands out the most. Plus they have solid credentials in the making of greener energy policies for the future.