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Electric Sedan Smackdown: Nissan LEAF vs. Tesla Model S vs. Coda Sedan

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nissan-leafCall it the year of the electric sedan: After a series of delays, name changes, deals and design tweaks over the last two years, three automakers have unveiled their visions for a first generation of all-electric family vehicles. The latest model comes from Nissan (s NSANY), which set out last year for nothing less than world domination of zero-emission (technically zero tailpipe-emission) vehicles and this weekend debuted the design and specs for its 2010 LEAF.

But startups Tesla Motors and Coda Automotive, each working to field a mass market electric sedan of their own within the next two years, have other ideas. We’ve put together a chart showing how the three models — the Nissan LEAF, Tesla Model S, and Coda Sedan — stack up on key points like price, performance, technology and funding.

Nissan LEAF Tesla Model S Coda Sedan
Planned launch: 2010 2012 2010
Sticker price: “Comparable” to mid-size family sedans (estimates: $24,000-$30,000), excluding the battery, which may be leased $57,400 $45,000
Funding: Internal; $1.6 billion DOE loan Venture capital; $465 million DOE loan Venture capital
Maximum range: 100 miles city driving, less for highway 160 miles with standard battery pack, 230 or 300 miles with premium battery packs 90-120 miles
Expected max speed: 76 MPH 120 MPH 80 MPH
Seats: 5 5, plus 2 rear-facing child seats in the back 5
Rollout plan: Start selling initially in the U.S., Europe and Japan, and later expand to other markets. Tesla has showrooms/service centers in Menlo Park, Los Angeles, Chicago, Washington D.C., New York City and London. It plans to open additional stores in Munich and Monaco. Start selling in California, potentially expanding to other U.S. states after 2010.
Where the car will be made: Oppama, Japan and Smyrna, Tenn. California China
Key partners: Renault, plus utilities and governments in California, Oregon and throughout Europe and Asia Daimler (s DAI) Lishen, Hafei, UQM Technologies
Production volume: 50,000 units in the first year 15,000-20,000 units per year 2,700 units in 2010, scaling up to 20,000 units in 2011
Acceleration: Unknown 0-60 in 5.6 seconds 0-60 MPH in under 11 seconds
Standard charging time: 16 hours at a 100V outlet, 8 hours at a 200V outlet 4 hours at a 220V outlet Less than 6 hours at 220V
Fast charging time: 30 minutes (0-80 percent) 45 minutes Less than an hour
Type of battery: Lithium-ion Lithium-ion Lithium-ion
Battery capacity: 24 kWh 42 kWh 33.8 kWh
Who will supply the batteries: Nissan’s joint venture with NEC Unknown A new joint venture between Coda and China-based cell giant Lishen
How long the automaker has been around: 76 years 6 years Coda Automotive launched in June as a spin-out from 5-year-old Miles Electric Vehicles
Tech features: EV-IT System, iPhone app for remotely monitoring and controlling temperature and charging 17-inch “infotainment” touchscreen (although this may not make it to production); 3G connectivity Navigation, “green screen” for monitoring driving efficiency

26 Responses to “Electric Sedan Smackdown: Nissan LEAF vs. Tesla Model S vs. Coda Sedan”

  1. james braselton

    hi there your data is all wrong on leaf i have the car magazine that tested leaf 97 mph 100 miles range and there will be 150,000 units first year second year 250,000 more units thats 350,000 per year by third year soo pick up a copy of a car magazing

  2. I love the fact that the LEAF will bring the first electric car to the masses but the model s has to be the better choice. All the specs say it, its better in every way. In addition to that its massively better looking than the LEAF.
    very glad Sunderland got the Europe build for this. Ensuring quality.

  3. Certainly the LEAF seems, on the surface, to be the better choice. However, when considering the battery lifespan of Li-Ion, the Tesla is the better choice. I’d rather have 279 miles of range after five years than only 70. Plus, all the cars will pay for themselves through savings at the pump. In addition, the Tesla model S is assembled in one location, so all parts are designed, fitted, and tested by the same group of engineers who can easily communicate. I’d go with Tesla hands down.

  4. LEAF by a mile. Model S is too spendy / niche and Coda is too untested / small name / small run.

    Those others will certainly heat up the race, but I forsee the LEAF really being the dominant player here. I will line up to buy one.