Nissan Leaf - $36,050 - Available: 2010-2013

Nissan Leaf

Posted 12.10.2012 in Cars by Editor

When the Nissan Leaf was first released in December 2010 it was the first mass-market all-electric car available the U.S. since the EV1 ceased production in 1999. Nissan has sold 42,700 units worldwide through October 2012, making the Leaf the world's top-selling electric car. Nissan’s decision to develop an all-electric rather than a hybrid is notable for two reasons. Other companies’ strategies assume that a hybrid with internal combustion engine will be cheaper to produce than a car with a battery of sufficient capacity. Hybrids also address the reluctance of consumers to purchase a car whose travel range must be punctuated by long recharge intervals.

Two technical developments weigh heavily in Nissan's favor: Level 3 charging, now available in the 2012 SL model, allow an 80-percent battery recharge in approximately 30 minutes. Intense investment in battery technology almost assure dramatically increased capacity and lower costs within the next five years, potentially putting Nissan in a position to offer a car that is cheaper to produce than competing hybrids.

One neat feature of the Leaf is the ability for driver to use their mobile phones to control certain capabilities of the car. Drivers can manage the charging, control cabin cooling and heating, music, and other functions remotely from their phones.

Nissan will launch the “LEAF to Home” power supply system, which can supply electricity from the 24 kWh Li-ion battery pack to homes using the “EV Power Station” unit. The power station, developed by Nichicon Corporation, is also a 6 kW charger for charging the LEAF.

 

Electric Range: 73  

Total Range: 73

Combined MPGe: 106

Battery Capacity: 24 kWh

 

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