Test Drive: 2011 Nissan Leaf SL

Discussion in 'Nissan' started by atlaw4u, Aug 24, 2010.

  1. atlaw4u

    atlaw4u Well-Known Member

    [​IMG] Possibly the First Practical Electric Car You Can Buy

    [FIMG=LEFT]http://www.cleanmpg.com/photos/data/501/2011_Nissan_Leaf.jpg[/FIMG]Dan Edmunds - EDMUNDS - 2010

    Who killed the electric car? Well, if your definition of the word "car" implies practical transportation, something with a backseat and a seating capacity of at least four, you could argue that there wasn't a real electric car before the 2011 Nissan Leaf.

    The famed GM EV-1 was an impractical two-seater that you couldn't actually buy, and the more recent Mini E, another lease-only special, was in reality an engineering exercise in which people actually paid to participate. The electric Tesla Roadster is an unashamed sports car derived from the diminutive Lotus Elise, a contortionist's dream. Oh sure, there are a handful of old Toyota RAV4 EVs floating around out there, but only in fleets. No, the 2011 Nissan Leaf just may be the first practical electric car that real families can actually buy and own.

    But the Nissan Leaf introduction has been a series of teases. First there were pictures and an auto show concept. Then we drove a heavily modified Nissan Versa fitted with prototype Leaf bits for about a half-mile in a Dodger stadium parking lot. After that, a staffer was invited to Japan for a brief drive at the proving ground. Until now we'd never actually driven one on real roads on familiar home soil... [RM]http://www.edmunds.com/nissan/leaf/2011/testdrive.html[/RM]
  2. WriConsult

    WriConsult Super Moderator

    Lookin' good! It's finally happened.
  3. GM could have had a car like the Leaf over a decade ago if they hadn't scrapped the EV1 and subsequently sold the patents to Chevron (Big Oil). A car like the Volt could have been made in the 1990s but GM put R&D into making huge SUVs that got progressively lower and lower fuel economy.

    It took a Japanese company to make the Leaf. I'm glad that someone did.
  4. WriConsult

    WriConsult Super Moderator

    And GM could have done it for less, because they held the patents on (less expensive) NiMH battery technology - what's used on all current hybrids, but whose current patent holder (Cobasys, a Chevron subsidiary) won't license out in the larger sizes needed for EVs. Sad, sad story.
  5. EVuser

    EVuser Well-Known Member

    :flag:This fixation on range anxiety is getting really old.:flag:
  6. Right Lane Cruiser

    Right Lane Cruiser Penguin of Notagascar

    None here -- I've got fossil fuel anxiety! :eek:
  7. ItsNotAboutTheMoney

    ItsNotAboutTheMoney Super Moderator Staff Member

    Well, the issues are: battery, price and range.

    Warranties and the Prius history are anxiolytics to battery anxiety.

    The prices are high, but given the partial payback in lower running costs, lower maintenance (BEVs at least) and driving experience the price isn't that big a deal at the current output.

    Range anxiety is the big issue left and it's not surprising that people are concentrating on it. Real-world numbers will deal with that and it'll become less of an anxiety and more of a matter of whether it fits.
  8. Nevyn

    Nevyn Well-Known Member

    That's not true - the Rav4 EV's are out there in the hands of private owners!
  9. EVuser

    EVuser Well-Known Member

    We don't need 75% of the model availablity present in the market. I'm not saying that you don't have a real issue with replacing the battery or not being able to make it to some place on a whim.

    Many folks and not just families have more than one car so a BEV range isn't a issue it is a plus. Simply put a BEV has more ZEV range than any non ZEV out there. End of story. More range will cost you a lot more money. I strongly suspect that as the market adapts you will have battery size availablity options just as you now have engine options.

    Want to level the "range issue" a bit......a federal safety standards change limiting the petro fuel on board any vehicle manufactured after 2012 to be limited to 5 gallons. :cwink: :flag:

    CNG vehicles, of which there is only the Honda Civic, also suffer from this same range impairment and in some ways to a much greater degree. The fueling ability is much less distributed.
  10. Right Lane Cruiser

    Right Lane Cruiser Penguin of Notagascar

    5g, eh? I could go a long way on that... :D
  11. ksstathead

    ksstathead Moderator

    FSP: 8 mpg, 5 gal tank = 40 mile range. That would be a hoot.
  12. PaleMelanesian

    PaleMelanesian Beat the System Staff Member

    Yeah, that. :D

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