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Preview Drive: 2011 Nissan LEAF EV Prototype Page 3

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2011 Nissan LEAF prototype

2011 Nissan LEAF prototype

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2011 Nissan LEAF prototype

2011 Nissan LEAF prototype

Enlarge Photo

2011 Nissan LEAF prototype

2011 Nissan LEAF prototype

Enlarge Photo

2011 Nissan LEAF prototype

2011 Nissan LEAF prototype

Enlarge Photo

Nissan betting its future

If you want to be one of the first people to drive a LEAF, you'd best get in line now; Nissan will begin taking reservations in spring 2010 for the LEAF and says that about 22,000 have already expressed interest. They hope to confirm at least 20,000 reservations with purchase commitments by the time the first of 5,000 trial LEAFs are delivered late next year.

Expect LEAF pricing to land in the $28k to $35k range (though the battery pack will be leased), according to Nissan, with an upgraded 6.6 kW charger optional initially. A $7,500 federal tax credit will apply; in addition, federal tax credits apply to home charger installation, along with home infrastructure modifications required for the charger. And as icing on the cake, some states (Washington is one) are waiving sales tax on electric vehicles.

The strongest responses for LEAF so far, according to Nissan, have been in San Diego, Tucson, Seattle, Portland, and Los Angeles. The initial 5,000-vehicle trial will be offered in select cities—these markets included—under a special electric-vehicle infrastructure agreement between Nissan, local governments. An official for eTec, the company that Nissan is working with for charger installation, estimates that the typical home charger installation will cost $1,200 to $1,500. The charger hardware itself costs less than $1,000 for home chargers, but the arrangement with eTec will also include the installation of 250 three-phase fast chargers, strategically located in the LEAF trial regions but open for use by all EVs.

Nissan is betting a lot of its future on the mass production of the LEAF, which will only be the first of several electric cars. The LEAF will be a global electric car; Nissan has made a commitment to produce the vehicle and lithium-ion batteries at a plant in Tennessee, and also plans in the not-so-distant future to ramp up production at a plant in Europe, along with more battery production in Portugal and the U.K.


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Comments (21)
  1. Wow, that has to be one of the ugliest cars ever built. Congratulations Nissan, you've actually one-upped the hideous Cube. With sleek high mileage cars like the Volt coming and the already existing Insight and Prius, why would anyone want this piece of garbage?
     
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  2. Is this the budget Chevy Volt?
     
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  3. Very exciting. I bet it'll take a while for drivers to understand how cheap these are to "refuel" from the wall, but I like the styling and can't wait to see one in the flesh. Makes a Prius look really old, stodgy, and predictable.
     
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  4. Sounds like might be a good second or third car. Comes as a surprise that Nissan is beating the others? Why again did GM give up on full EVs?
     
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  5. @Allan: Two words: Range. Anxiety. The original EV1 two-seaters only had 40 to 70 miles of range on their lead-acid batteries. Not enough.
     
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  6. Dunno, kinda looks like it was taken from the "bug's life" movie...
     
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  7. Sure..nice car ....for the 'well off'...as usual. The regular slobs won't ever drive anything like that in a million years. How's this car helping the economy??
     
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  8. A decent attempt but again another short-sighted approach in regard to our electric grid being overtaxed if the car and its type gain any market share. Do we all get brown outs when they all get plugged in every evening?
     
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  9. This is a stupid question but here goes: Is this car completely electric or does it still need gas? I love cars but don't know very much about them-although I would like to.
     
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  10. For that matter, what's out there in terms of completely electric or "gasoline free" cars? Is it even currently possible to make a 100% electric car that will hold a charge as long as a full tank of gas would go?
     
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  11. Hatch backs are fine for people who like them but I would like to see this Leaf in a sedan. Own a Versa base sedan and love it. The Leaf (if priced affordably) will be on everybody's wish list.
     
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  12. Would like to see the Leaf in a sedan. Own a Nissan Versa Base and love it. If priced affordably, the leaf should be on everyone's wish list.
     
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  13. The car looks clean and different. The name is very "green". Cost up front, cost to charge and vehicle range will keep most from buying. As for the Volt, why would anyone buy anything made by GM?
     
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  14. That is one ugly car!
     
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  15. WOW! This is the ugliest car thats being build. Why couldnt Nissan just make the Sentra electric car?
     
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  16. excellent car for the world!!
     
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  17. The point of this car is not to boost the economy, not to make a statement or look good, but to fundamentally change the world of automobiles. By giving people an option to drive a car that emits nothing into our atmosphere, nissan is providing many people an opportunity to stop wasting money on gasoline and to stop burning gasoline, bravo!
     
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  18. Right. How much will it cost to recharge this "car" after electricity costs "necessarily skyrocket" (Obama's exact words) after the passage of the Cap and Tax bill? Besides, no motorized vehicle is zero emission. At some point in the energy chain, there ARE emissions. Wind and solar are not going to be enough to keep up with the added demand on the power grid.
     
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  19. Lets see how long it will take for the oil companies to put this car in the scrap yard. Anyone reading this posting should check out the documentary called "Who killed the electric car" it was on Planet Green.
     
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  20. they will figure out the design, if this car can really make money @20k then this is a serious breakthrough!!
     
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  21. Now Dennis there are obviously going to be thousands of pounds of carbon emitted into the atmosphere because of every automobile, but look at everything else produced... our world runs on oil! Why do you think the oil companies are so rich? Nissan is simply offering people a cleaner way to get from A to B. Nissan is trying to take a big step forward here, a step that most everyone wants, lets just embrace it.
     
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