2011 Nissan Leaf: Our Experts Talk Electric Cars

August 2, 2010

If you're curious about the 2011 Nissan Leaf--everything from ordering and owning one, to seeing how it stacks up against the 2011 Chevrolet Volt--you're in luck.

High Gear Media's sprawling network of writers counts four reporters who have driven the 2011 Leaf, at almost every stage of the EV game. Last week, two of us took the Leaf for test drives in near-production form--in San Jose during Plug-In 2010, and in the UK as part of the preparation for the Leaf's September marketing launch there.

With all this info at our fingertips, we've hooked up a Skype channel with our team for this car talk on the Leaf. Bringing you some of the essence of the new EV? AllCarsElectric's Nikki Gordon-Bloomfield, GreenCarReports' John Voelcker, TheCarConnection senior editor Bengt Halvorson and HGM editorial director Marty Padgett.

Here's how we rolled:

Padgett: Today, High Gear Media is talking about the 2011 Nissan Leaf. Our car talk includes all our editors around the globe who've driven the Leaf in various forms - I'm Marty Padgett, and I'm joined by Nikki Gordon-Bloomfield from the UK, John Voelcker in New York and Bengt Halvorson in Portland.

Padgett: Hello, HGM family--first question goes to John. Fresh from NPR's All Things Considered and our in-house Volt expert.

Padgett: John, what's the technical aspect of the Leaf most difficult to explain to your mom?

Voelcker: Actually the Leaf is a lot easier to explain than the Volt, LOL. I just tell her it's got batteries and an electric motor, and that's how it runs. No gasoline engine to complicate things.

Padgett: I'm guessing that some people will be confused by the various charging capabilities. Nikki - in your test drive in the UK, was Nissan able to quick-charge cars at the highest 440-volt capacity?

Gordon-Bloomfield: The guys at the Nissan European Test center were able to fast charge the Leaf in 30 minutes to 80% SOC. So yes, they were!

Gordon-Bloomfield: It's a Chadamo charger.

Gordon-Bloomfield: We do not know if it will be publicly rolled out, however.

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