Want to know how the Nissan LEAF electric sedan will look, feel and sound on the road when it launches later this year? Well, some of the first shots of a pre-production LEAF have been snapped in Arizona (and posted here on the fan site Nissan-Leaf.net). At the same time the automaker kicked off a week of test drives today in Japan for media, shareholders, government officials and a select group of customers with early reservations for the vehicle.
Thinly disguised with some duct tape, the car spotted in the wilds of Arizona (where Nissan is working with Scottsdale-based ECOtality on an electric vehicle charging network) looks very similar to the show model unveiled last summer.
With a week’s worth of test drives coming up, we’re hoping some folks will have a chance to push the LEAF to the limits of its range. The car has a 24 kWh battery pack that Nissan says will give drivers up to 100 miles of range on a full charge. But as we’ve laid out in this chart comparing a dozen plug-in models, batteries, charge times and range claims, the distance you can eke out in an electric car will depend on a lot of factors. That’s one thing that will remain unchanged from the world of gas-powered cars: Your mileage will vary.
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