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GREEN | 10 out of 10
The EPA hasn't yet decided how to rate the energy usage of electric vehicles
Nissan’s rollout plan for the Leaf opens where the infrastructure will grow fastest, starting on the West Coast and in Nissan’s home state of Tennessee
Car and Driver
Nissan and other automakers are developing a secondary market for used batteries.
Wall Street Journal
As the only mass-produced passenger car on the market that's powered entirely by electricity—with no engine, no fuel tank, and no tailpipe—the 2011 Nissan Leaf is arguably the cleanest, greenest car on the market, with the lowest carbon footprint, if you're looking only at energy used. Unlike the 2011 Chevrolet Volt, which only goes about 40 miles then runs on gasoline, with the Leaf you have to closely watch how far you drive on a charge.
Electricity for charging costs far less than gasoline, but how much greener electricity is depends on where you charge up. If your electricity comes from the oldest, dirtiest coal plants, then it's not a solid step forward; but if it's from wind farms and nuclear plants, then you're probably doing your environment a favor.
The Leaf takes about 14 hours to charge with a 220-volt charger, possible around heavy-duty appliance outlets.
Powered solely by grid electricity, the 2011 Nissan Leaf likely has the lowest carbon footprint of any car sold in the U.S. this year.