What hasn’t been said already about the Nissan Leaf? The many articles in this column have shown Nissan is still edging out other car manufacturers as far as the most comprehensive electric vehicle, EV experience, ranging from the actual car to a 24h/7day user experience through their call center.
The gist, much rides on the shoulders of the Leaf, the first mass commercial EV Nissan is getting ready for public. Finally the Leaf is kicking off a 6 month introduction tour where people can get their hands at driving one. With its appearance en force at the Santa Monica AltCar Expo, Nissan was there to be seen and sent the message out loud, the electric Leaf is here.
With no less than 4 tents explaining Nissan’s rich electric history, which we covered here, people were led from tent to tent as they learned about the company’s previous EVs. Finally, no less than what would appear like 6 to 8 Leafs were ready to let drivers through a driving course and finally out onto the streets.
The Drive. After having driven the electric Versa, one of the mules for the Leaf project, the actual car felt completely there and ready for prime time. It is spacious, comfortable and bright, everything you would expect from a modern car. A clever little design adds an extra glass after the A pillar in front of the doors to allow you to see pedestrians coming. The dashboard is also smartly displayed with all relevant information at your fingertips.
The car handles very well with no noticeable body roll. The accelerations are crisp and makes this car a fun one to drive in traffic or on highway. With an range of 100 miles, this electric vehicle, EV will be more than enough for anyone, remember 80% of the US population drive 60 miles or less every day. Depending on your driving habits and environment, this car should be more than enough for 90% of the market.
Check out the slide show where you will see Nissan’s sense of humor as they designed the top of the controller to look like the top of a gas engine.
All in all the Leaf looks like an instant winner. Stories abound with people trying to bribe the Nissan crew to be on the list of the the original 20,000 who reserved their Leaf. It has pushed the company to start another round of Leaf reservation, not until next year. The Leaf is off to a great start. With instant success, it’s a car that can seat 5, drive for a 100 miles and is still on an average 3 times less to drive a mile on electricity than it is on gas. You just can’t lose at this price.
Special thanks to Kurt Schneider!
MY 2011 Nissan LEAF SV: $32,780
Well-equipped high technology features with surprising customer convenience items, including:
- All-New Dedicated EV Platform
- 3.3 kW Onboard Charger
- Standard Charge Port (240V)
- Palm-Shift Drive Selector
- Recycled Cloth Seat Fabric
- No Charge For 36 Months CARWINGS (Telematics) Roadside Assistance
- 5 Exterior Colors
- Laminated 24 kWh Lithium Ion Battery
- Portable Trickle Charge Cable (120V)
- Navigation System
- Regenerative Braking
- 16″ Alloy Wheels
- No Charge For 36 Months
Model Year 11 Nissan LEAF SL: $33,720
In addition to standard SV features, includes:
- Photovoltaic Solar Panel Spoiler
- Fog Lights
- Cargo Cover
- RearView Monitor (RVM)
- Automatic On/Off Headlights
- Homelink® Universal Transceiver
Quick Charge Option: $700
Available with the SL trim, this charge port on the vehicle will allow for charging to 80 percent capacity in 30 minutes at compatible high voltage public charging stations.
Destination & Handling: $820