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Electric Nissan Leaf attempts trans-continental journey from Cape Town to Europe

Electric Nissan Leaf attempts trans-continental journey from Cape Town to Europe

It is difficult to imagine how the electric Nissan Leaf will cover the distance between Keetmanshoop and Mariental, or between Oshikango and Lubango, but that is exactly what two Polish adventurers intend to establish.

Departed from Cape Town last week Friday, Arkady Fiedler and Albert Wójtowicz are on a quest to prove that Nissan’s small electric car can traverse the African continent from south to north, and then onward through Europe to Poland.

Their main travel companion, the Nissan Leaf, is exactly the same as the electric vehicle that can be bought off the showroom floor at any Nissan dealership, stated Nissan while pointing out that the current model’s endurance is only about 250 kilometre.

“Travelling across Africa is probably the hardest test for any vehicle, not only an EV. Poor roads, limited charging infrastructure and dramatically diverse weather conditions – from equatorial storms to the scorching heat of the Sahara – these are just a few challenges that we’ll have to face during the expedition. We’re optimistic anyway. As part of the tests, I’ve already travelled over 4,000 kilometres in Poland in a Nissan Leaf, and I’m positively surprised by the driving range offered,” said Fiedler.

Owing to the huge challenge of locating appropriate electric sockets to charge the battery, we’ll have to rely on help from people we meet along the way. Without support from Africans, the expedition may fail,” saud Fiedler.

Nissan said it has manufactured and sold over 300,000 Leafs worldwide since the EV’s launch eight years ago. A new model Leaf is due for release in the first semester of this year.



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SADC Correspondent

SADC correspondents are independent contributors whose work covers regional issues of southern Africa outside the immediate Namibian ambit. Ed.