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2012 Nissan Leaf: Here's What It Went Through To Get To You

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With thousands of Leafs sold since the model's launch, it appears most owners are more than happy with their purchase.

For many, the Leaf will be their first taste of all-electric mobility, and they're finding that the Leaf is happy to do everything their previous vehicle did--only without gasoline.

We don't suspect many owners drive through rivers, get struck by lightning or deliberately find heavy traffic, but it's nice to know the car will cope if they do--as illustrated by the video above.

Much of the video shows the Leaf going through what appears to be pre-launch extreme testing. The first few scenes show the car fording a foot-deep pool. No chance of stalling here, like you might if you were unlucky in a regular car--but no problem for the electric components either.

Of course, we knew it would survive that--we wrote about the Nissan Leaf being waterboarded for your safety back in 2010--but the car has also suffered some electric shock treatment...

The next scene shows a plugged-in Leaf sitting beneath a high-voltage transmitter... and you can guess what happens next. A man-made bolt of lightning strikes the car with a flash, but even inside the car, all seems to be well. The displays don't flicker, and there appears to be no change.

Virtually all cars would survive a similar strike, by virtue of the "Faraday Cage" effect, but it dispels any myth that electric cars might suffer in such conditions.

Finally, we see the Leaf road-tested in heavy traffic on the Champs-Elysees in Paris, on the German autobahn, and on the freezing roads of Alaska. We've previously seen the car tested in Japan, in snowy conditions.

The testing befits such a major launch from a major manufacturer, and while none of it is unexpected, it shows how serious Nissan was about turning out a well-tested, competitive product in the market--regardless of what powers the wheels.

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