The Electric Car Guide: Nissan LEAF (book review)

2016_nissan leaf

This new book (written in March 2015) offers an overview of the world’s best-selling EV. It’s a slim volume (90 pages) that’s aimed at prospective purchasers, not at engineering types. There’s little in the way of technical detail, but if you’re considering buying a LEAF, you’ll find the answers to most of your questions here.

Author Michael Boxwell knows whereof he speaks – he’s been involved in lithium-ion battery design for some years, and has been driving Nissan EVs since the EV-12 prototype’s debut in 2009. He’s also the author of The Electric Car Guide and the popular Solar Electricity Handbook.

There’s a short but interesting section on the history of the LEAF, a topic that has received little coverage compared to the stories of the Tesla Model S and Chevy Volt. Nissan/Renault CEO Carlos Ghosn deserves his share of credit as an EV visionary – when Nissan launched the LEAF in 2010, Ghosn envisioned it quickly becoming a major seller, and more than one industry colleague called him “crazy.” Alas, the company’s ardor for its EV seems to have cooled since those heady days.

There’s a thorough discussion of range and charging issues, descriptions of the various trim levels and options (both in North America and the UK), and several real-world testimonials written by actual LEAF drivers. The book concludes with a discussion of electricity costs and the environmental benefits of owning an EV. Boxwell skillfully debunks EV skeptics’ tired theory that EVs pollute just as much as gas burners.

This book is simply but attractively designed, with numerous color photos. However (like too many books these days), it’s badly edited. Typos are few, but it is rife with bad grammar and poor style.

The Electric Car Guide: Nissan LEAF

By Michael Boxwell

Greenstream Publishing