Green Overdrive: The Nissan LEAF On the Road!

12 Comments

We took (arguably) the most affordable, mainstream, soon-to-be-released all-electric vehicle the Nissan LEAF out for a test drive for this week’s episode of Green Overdrive (where if it’s green we’ll drive it.) The smooth-driving LEAF had some nice pick-up, a killer in-vehicle dashboard and navigation system and battery technology developed by Nissan itself, which enabled the car company to set the vehicle price lower than competitors. Considerably lower than GM’s Volt, as Nissan’s Mark Perry very distinctively points out to us in our interview. Watch our test drive and let us know if you’re opting for the LEAF or the Volt!

12 Comments

Roz

The price after incentives is low enough that the cost is very comparable to a gas powered car. If you bought a Nissan Versa your cost is about $15K. You annual gas spending is about $1800 (assuming $3.20/g, 18k m / yr). Your additional cost for the $7000 in financing is $1623 per year. It’s almost there.

Couple of points:
1) 1/3 of the cost of the car is paid for by the government. That is not sustainable for the long run.
2) Nissan has admitted that they don’t make much with this vehicle. That is not very good. We want a car industry that is profitable with electric powered cars – so that companies have an incentive in leading the shift to them.

I suppose we are going to need some significant steps forward in battery tech to get there – but this is a very good move in that direction – no doubt about that…

Gus

I’m very excited about electric cars but given PG&E’s tiered pricing for electricity, the the marginal cost for many home owners in CA is extremely high. PG&E’s upper tiers are over $0.40 kWh which is many times higher than the residential rates almost anywhere else. I’m wondering
is an electric vehicle really cost effective at these rates?

The spokesman claimed $0.02/mile for electricity – what rate is he assuming? Typically, electricity costs are quoted (say on an appliance energy sticker) assuming around $0.11/kWH. If that’s the case here, real costs may be 3-4x higher.

Mike Nemeth

Looks like fun, I’m jealous. I’m leaning toward the Volt (if I were to go electric and dump the VW) because of its range. I can’t imagine hitting the Grapevine and having to wait for an undetermined amount of time for a recharge.

hov5man

I’m one of the 17000 likely to make a purchase. Actually driving a Honda Civic Hybrid but if I understand the new legislation just passed by CA, am likely to get the boot out of the hov lanes, which have saved my life in the last 4 years. This car is not as stylish as the Volt, lacks the range, but its practical looks are matched by a price tag that is at least 13K+ less.

And no offense, my fellow citizens, I still think the Japanese make better cars.

I have a round-trip of almost 75 miles, so lots of ga$-$saving but a little sweating re: range. Who knows, might plug it into my office if I can get a parking place within 30 feet of an outlet.

eideard

Delightful.

If my wife’s ancient Volvo ever bought the big one, the Leaf is first in line for a replacement.

Her daily commute is 24 miles roundtrip. Same distance for our weekly shopping trip into town.

All pretty average figures – and perfectly sensible for an electric vehicle.

Now, if Toyota would bring their diesel Taco into the U.S., I might consider replacing my old pickup truck, as well.

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