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The offer begins October 1

Nissan is looking to keep sales momentum up for its all-electric Leaf this year by offering free rapid charging in Texas. 

According to a new report from Bloomberg, Nissan will provide free and unlimited access to public chargers by NRG Energy Inc.'s eVgo for one year. 

The offer is open to those who buy or lease a new Leaf in Dallas, Forth Worth and Houston. It begins October 1. 

EVgo’s fast chargers can power the Leaf's battery to 80 percent in 30 minutes.

Nissan is likely using this offer to encourage Leaf sales. The automaker has done a fine job boosting the EV's sales record this year, with a total of 14,123 units sold through August. This is a huge leap from 2012's total sales of 9,819. 

 
Back in January, Nissan cut the Leaf's base model price more than $6,000 to $28,800. It also dropped lease prices for the Leaf in an attempt to get more of them on the road. 

More recently, Nissan revealed that it's testing a new Leaf battery with a different lithium-ion cell chemistry meant to handle heat. The tests are putting the batteries in sustained internal temperatures of 45 degrees Celsius (113 degrees Fahrenheit), and if all goes well, they'll be available in April 2014.

Tesla Motors -- the California startup by Elon Musk, which offers the electric Roadster and Model S -- allows Model S customers who buy 85 kilowatt-hour-battery models (or an optional upgrade to the base model) free charges at its Supercharger stations for life.

However, Tesla isn't too happy with Texas right now, as Musk continues to battle with the state over its dealership laws. Musk said he'd take his case to the federal level if Texas and other states won't allow him to have company-ran dealerships within them. 

Source: Bloomberg



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What if...
By Captain Awesome on 9/27/2013 10:06:55 AM , Rating: 2
What if Nissan had an electric version of their 370z? Or their G37? How could anyone resist those?




RE: What if...
By Brandon Hill (blog) on 9/27/2013 11:58:48 AM , Rating: 2
They would completely suck because they weren't designed from the outset to be electric vehicles and would be full of compromises.


RE: What if...
By bah12 on 9/27/2013 1:34:44 PM , Rating: 4
Unlike the leaf which was designed from the outset to be electric, and...oh wait...completely sucks and is full of compromises :)


RE: What if...
By Brandon Hill (blog) on 9/27/2013 2:41:53 PM , Rating: 3
Sucks is relative. A $22,000 EV (after tax credit) with a 100-mile range would work perfectly for my wife. As I've stated before, if the price cut to $29k on the Leaf had been in effect before we bought her current car in Nov '12, we would have ended up with a Leaf.


RE: What if...
By Alexvrb on 9/27/2013 9:52:25 PM , Rating: 2
I've got a bridge for sale... does your wife like bridges? That 100 mile range is unrealistic, Brandon. Does she only drive when it's 70 degrees, with no AC, no heat, and everything turned off? Gently cruising at sub-highway speeds with no stoplights in sight? Go to fueleconomy.gov and look these EVs up. EPA testing isn't perfect, but results are more realistic than most other "estimates" - except when the manufacturer cheats (as Hyundai/Kia did recently, and Ford with their C-Max).

Anyway, on the same EPA test that every vehicle is subjected to, the 2011-12 models are rated at 73 miles. The 2013 models are rated at 75. The Spark EV is not exactly my cup of tea either, but it gets an EPA 82 mile estimate, with a smaller battery (21.3 kWh vs 24 kWh for the Leaf). The Spark EV is also significantly faster, though neither is a speed demon, the Spark EV can at least get out of its own way (unlike the gas Spark). After tax credit you could get a Spark EV for ~19.5K or so.

You should also know the Leaf's batteries are air cooled and performance absolutely sucks in hot weather. It also dips in cold weather more so than competing EVs and PHEVs with better quality/chemistry batteries. Nissan is testing newer, more durable chemistries. I'm not sure if they've finished testing them and started deploying them. Either way, all it would do is partially address heat-related fatigue and premature failures.

The Honda Fit EV gets the same range as the Spark EV, and similar efficiency ratings, and generally seems pretty competitive too. However I think it's about as slow as the Leaf, IIRC. Battery pack is supposedly pretty robust, however. So there's another one to consider.


RE: What if...
By michael67 on 9/29/2013 6:41:49 AM , Rating: 2
even 50 mile range is for most people more then enough.

The average commute in miles for Americans is 16 miles and 26 minutes for one way .

So for most people the radius of a Leaf is more then need.

My wife drives 30km (20 miles) to work and back and for her is here Th!nk City more then enough, and when it will be replaced, it will be by something like a Leaf or if possible whit something quad like like the Renault Twizy, if something comes on the market thats fully rainproof and more comfy.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Renault_Twizy

My self i drive 80km (50 miles) to work and back, and can charge there for free, and got my self a 60KW Model S, after driven 5y in a Th!nk.

Next to that we have my 8j old GS450h that we use ones or twice a year for long trips, and we put it in insurance and pay road-tax for those day, the rest of the year it stands in the garage on jacks in a cocoon with a small dehumidifier inside.
Image of the type of cocoon: http://tweakers.net/ext/f/wfBShVvx9tFXGn6xRZXpJUTa...

I found out that people over estimate how many km/miles they drive a day a specially for a second car, a EV could be more then enough, only its not manly enough for a lot of man, as they size there manhood up by the type of car they drive.

Me on the other hand, i prefer to go a extra time on holiday or so, and the Model S i got from my wife, because even do i don't care that mouths what i drive, i still like comfort in a car, and she knows that.

quote:
However I think it's about as slow as the Leaf

No EV is slow in town, my old Th!nk could keep up really well up to 60km/h (40 miles/h), after that it got passed by, but in town it was really quick, just like all other EV's.


RE: What if...
By superstition on 9/29/2013 11:34:30 AM , Rating: 2
And when the batteries lose capacity and that range shrinks even further?

All electric vehicles are a harder sell in cold climates. And, if they are powered by coal plants that don't have mercury traps and such they're not particularly green.


RE: What if...
By michael67 on 9/29/2013 1:08:05 PM , Rating: 3
We live on family land, ware other members of my wife's family lives, and own 3 Think City's we use as cars for daily use for 9 people that have a drivers license.
quote:
Q) What is the life expectancy of the battery?
A) The life expectancy of the battery is 10 years or 100,000 miles.

the oldest we have is 5y old, and got 210.000km (130.000 mile) on the clock, and its range is still over 100km (65 mile) and about 80km/50mile last winter during -15c/14f, Norway can be cold, 3y ago we had 3 months of snow and below freezing temperatures.

And even i could still use it to go to work, and home on one charge, and most people commute less then 50 miles to work, so yeah i am not saying a EV is for everyone, but its for more people then you think, special if you still have a petrol car as backup, even a small one.

But it looks like there are supposedly only to possible options, you like or hate EVs!

We on the other hand just sat down and had a look what the numbers said, and under the bottom line, EVs ware a lot cheaper to use then petrol cars.


RE: What if...
By Alexvrb on 9/30/2013 1:01:00 AM , Rating: 3
Did you even READ my post? I offered two models of EV that are better than the Leaf. One of them is less expensive, gets better range, and is faster.

The Leaf is dog slow. Sorry, where I live, you want something with some balls. What works for you doesn't necessarily work for someone else. I'm not in Europe or a big city. Even around town here, you want something with a little more guts. If you spend any amount of time on the freeway here you're doing 70+ MPH (sometimes much faster) with the rest of traffic, and you have to get up to speed just to merge safely. Anyway, the Spark EV is a full EV too. But it's significantly faster than the Leaf, and with a better battery chemistry which is also better cooled.

As for range, averages are just that - averages. If you've got one guy that drives 5 miles to work and another that drives 25 (one way), the "average" is 15, round trip = 30 miles. That's little consolation for the guy driving a total of 50 mile round trips. Then there's extra stops. Driving around town on weekends, cold weather, hot weather, heavy traffic. You want lots of extra capacity.


RE: What if...
By michael67 on 9/30/2013 10:41:38 AM , Rating: 2
No one said EVs are for every one, like i said, do the numbers and see if it fits you, or not.

Don't take your own case as if it would be the same for all.


RE: What if...
By Alexvrb on 9/30/2013 9:22:34 PM , Rating: 2
I could say the same to you - you were talking about your situation and saying "50 miles is enough based on this random factoid". I was posting a rebuttal, an alternate situation, which applies to many in this country.

Now back to your reading comprehension issues (wow just wow):

I never said don't use an EV. Where did I say don't drive an EV in that post? I was saying there are BETTER EVs, that are faster, and with more range (especially in very hot or cold weather). For example: the Spark EV I mentioned... is still an EV!


RE: What if...
By conq on 9/30/2013 11:10:30 AM , Rating: 3
quote:
So for most people the radius of a Leaf is more then need.

At a high level it works, at least until you sit down and plot it out in reality which I did. Remember it will lose about 2-4% capacity every year, its effectiveness can be cut up to half in frigid winter climates, we get stuck in traffic, and we all make frequent side trips during our work commutes.

I was actually more excited by the price drop than most but I quickly realized I did not want a car that works for me only 90% of the time and have to begin planning my daily routine around an insufficient battery. I'll be first to jump on the bandwagon as *soon* as it becomes practical.


RE: What if...
By EricMartello on 9/28/2013 12:04:34 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Sucks is relative. A $22,000 EV (after tax credit) with a 100-mile range would work perfectly for my wife. As I've stated before, if the price cut to $29k on the Leaf had been in effect before we bought her current car in Nov '12, we would have ended up with a Leaf.


I already debunked this EV scam in other EV-related postings. You're paying $30K for a Leaf, which is in a class that offers gasoline-only cars of similar size and performance for roughly half of that price (Chevy Spark - $12K MSRP - and it looks just as fugly as the leaf). Even if you got the leaf for $22K, you'd still have to save $10,000 in gas to make up for the price difference before you start to break even with the EV.

You won't get 100 miles without charges unless the temperature is 70-75 degrees F and you minimize the load placed on the battery pack - which would mean avoiding stop-n-go traffic.

There is no logical or intelligent reason to choose an EV today. This may change in the future when battery technology advances to a point where they have a power density similar to chemical fuels - but that's probably a few decades out at least.


RE: What if...
By hughlle on 9/28/2013 6:53:30 AM , Rating: 2
That is working on the basis that the purchase is purely financial.

Remember, some people are buying these types of cars for in their mind, environmental reasons. Not because it is working out cheaper. How many homes have you seen with solar panels on their roofs? Those didn't pay themselves back overnight, and a hell of a lot of people who bought them didn't just buy them for the notion of them possibly paying for themselves somewhere down the line, they also bought it for the supposed enviromental factor.


RE: What if...
By EricMartello on 9/28/2013 10:13:33 AM , Rating: 3
The other big lie is that EVs are somehow "better for the environment". The resources used to produce them, especially the rare earth metals used in the motors as well as the chemicals used in the batteries, are far more detrimental to the environment than the relatively harmless tailpipe emissions from modern gasoline vehicles. When a gasoline car reaches the end of its service life, most of it can be recycled and used to produce a new vehicle. EVs are not as recycle-able.

Personally I don't care either way, but that's the reality of the situation. EVs are essentially a political agenda, related to the fictional "global warming" tale, being force-fed onto a gullible public.

If you're truly worried about environment then get a bike and get rid of your car. If necessary, move to a location where you can walk or bike to wherever you need to go. Short of that, get a horse.


RE: What if...
By Monkey's Uncle on 9/28/2013 10:44:46 AM , Rating: 2
Sorry Brandon, but if you are depending on that 100 mile range, you are getting sucked in by marketing.

I assume you have a laptop. As you may have observed the following with that device:

1. The more load you put on that battery, the shorter its life. If you drive that leaf with anything less than a mushroom under your foot, use air conditioning or heating, you will see as little as half of that 100 mile range in real life. Nothing is for free. The candle that burns twice as bright burns half as long.

2. As you deplete and charge batteries, over time the capacity reduces until they no longer have a usab le capacity. I see this with the LiIon batteries on laptops all the time. They wear out over time and need to be replaced to get your capacity back. After a couple years, you may only see 50-60% of the original battery capacity if you are charging it on a daily basis.


RE: What if...
By DocScience on 9/28/2013 4:11:39 PM , Rating: 3
Every incremental dollar the federal government spends is added to the stack of $16 TRILLION owed by our children.

To force our children to pay $7000 for an electric car for the well off is just wrong.

You want an electric car, get it with YOUR OWN MONEY.


RE: What if...
By Samus on 9/28/2013 1:48:53 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Unlike the leaf which was designed from the outset to be electric, and...oh wait...completely sucks and is full of compromises :)


What!? It's a decent sized, decent quality car for a decent ~$22,000. Very competitive with gas vehicles of similar size/quality at that price. And there are no compromises. You get LED lighting, heater seats, leather steering wheel, ridiculous level of technology, torque of a diesel, quietest ride I've ever heard, near-zero maintenance and immense amount of cargo space.

The only compromise, which is universal of all EV's, is the range, which is still fine for me and many people at 100 miles/charge.


RE: What if...
By Monkey's Uncle on 9/28/2013 10:49:09 AM , Rating: 2
100 miles/charge on a new battery is an EPA estimate. If you drive with a mushroom under you foot, you won't see anywhere near that. Likewise as the batter gets older, that range will decrease until the battery pack is pretty much useless after 5 years or so.

Be sure to check your warranty carefully - it does not cover natural aging of the battery - only outright failures.


RE: What if...
By Alexvrb on 9/30/2013 1:28:55 AM , Rating: 2
If you use fancy things like heat, air conditioning, or drive in weather Nissan never could have predicted (like 90+ degrees, or below 40 degrees)? Good luck. Especially when you try your hand at the Interstate Highway Game and Quiz Show. That is why 100 miles isn't the EPA estimate, at all. EPA estimate, on the latest and greatest model... is 75 miles. YMMV, but that's the same testing that everything goes through here. It's more realistic than other testing methods, for our roads and traffic conditions.

As for having the torque of a diesel? Not any diesel I'd pay money for. The Jap-built 2011-2012 models put out a "whopping" 207 ft-lbs (107HP). The 2013 is a hair faster to 60 MPH (due to the decreased weight and perhaps better sustained power) but off the line is noticeably weaker due to a LOWER peak torque of 187 ft-lbs. Compare that to a modern 2.0L VW or GM turbodiesel. Even GM/Opel's new baby 1.6L diesel puts out 236 ft-lbs (I hope they bring that mill over as an option for their compacts).

The Spark EV puts out 130HP... and 400 ft-lbs of torque. Now THAT'S got some torque. Other than all that, I agree with you. The Leaf is a nicely appointed car, low maintenence, all the major EVs are quiet, bit on the ugly side though.


RE: What if...
By AMDftw on 9/27/2013 1:53:33 PM , Rating: 2
Way to ruin a great car... F the hybrid. I'm happy getting 24-26 MPG in my 04 GTO.


RE: What if...
By Shig on 9/27/2013 3:24:00 PM , Rating: 1
Tesla Motors discovered the optimal shape for electric cars with the current technology available. Anyone who doesn't copy that power-train shape is simply going to have an inferior car.

Not like this is anything new in the car industry. Once one maker has a unique feature that is successful, it's copied by everyone by the next car design.


RE: What if...
By Nagorak on 9/27/2013 10:55:25 PM , Rating: 2
Tesla's EVs cost three to times what other manufacturers EVs cost...


RE: What if...
By Monkey's Uncle on 9/28/2013 10:50:11 AM , Rating: 2
They are also 3 times the cars.


Texas?
By Monkey's Uncle on 9/27/2013 10:27:43 AM , Rating: 1
Seriously? Texas only? Wtf kind of game does Nissan think it is playing?




RE: Texas?
By amanojaku on 9/27/2013 10:44:04 AM , Rating: 4
quote:
Starting Oct. 1, people who buy or lease a new Leaf in Dallas, Fort Worth and Houston will get unlimited free access for a year to public chargers operated there by NRG Energy Inc. (NRG)’s eVgo unit, the companies said yesterday in a statement. The companies may expand the service to other markets depending on customer response, said Brian Brockman, a Nissan spokesman.

“It’s a pilot program, so we’ll want to see how it goes,” Brockman said by phone yesterday. “NRG has eVgo networks in other markets, and we have high hopes for this program.”
quote:
NRG Energy, Inc. is a large American energy company, dual-headquartered in West Windsor Township, New Jersey, near Princeton and Houston, Texas.

Green Mountain Energy began in Vermont in August 1997 as an offshoot of Green Mountain Power to take advantage of electricity deregulation around the country. The company moved its headquarters to its current location in Austin, Texas in September 2000. Green Mountain began serving the Texas competitive market in January 2002, and was the first retailer to offer alternative energy in the state.

In November 2010, Green Mountain Energy was acquired by NRG Energy for $350 million.
No conspiracy. Just practicality.


RE: Texas?
By othercents on 9/27/2013 10:54:08 AM , Rating: 2
Also if you look at the station map you will notice that all stations except for one are in Houston or Dallas.

http://www.evgonetwork.com/find-a-station/


RE: Texas?
By Alexvrb on 9/27/2013 9:55:25 PM , Rating: 2
Too bad the Leaf sucks eggs in hot weather.

"Free charges for a year! A $200 value!"


How about a solor panel for the roof...
By overlandpark4me on 9/28/2013 2:11:44 AM , Rating: 2
Make it look like carbon fiber, and draw off the sun to augment the batteries while you drive, or it just sits in the sun. Not doable?




RE: How about a solor panel for the roof...
By Alexvrb on 9/30/2013 1:40:59 AM , Rating: 2
Some models have an option for a small panel. They don't use it for much. In the Leaf it charges the 12V accessory battery IIRC. They're usually kind of an overpriced and pointless option.

Even if you covered all the sun-facing portions of the car in solar panels (adding weight and LOTS of cost) it wouldn't really generate all that much power - and only when the sun was beaming brightly. They'd have to be durable, too. The extra weight from sturdy vibration resistant panels alone would probably offset half the gain.

You'd be better off sticking bigger, more efficient, and cheaper panels (due to higher volume of production if nothing else) on your house. Even then it's not a stellar proposition in all cases.


By flyingpants1 on 10/1/2013 3:44:03 AM , Rating: 2
I disagree.

Home installations for solar are obviously the best solution for solar, but they are cost-prohibitive, and so not worth comparing to a tiny single-panel setup.

On the other hand, what if every single car on the road had solar on it? It's a way for everyone to get into solar today. There's financing built-in. There is no reason they couldn't offer a 300-watt panel that recharges the actual EV battery for $1500-3000. The components don't cost anywhere near that much. Tesla simply preferred to design the world's largest sunroof instead.

Don't think of it in terms of charging time, or cost savings. It would be a unique feature, and a sort of insurance against vampire power drains - leave your car outside for 5 few hours and it will actually GAIN, not lose, 5 miles of range. You could literally drive for free for about 5 miles every day - more with lower speeds, and much more with advances in technology, higher solar efficiency, better aerodynamics, etc.

Leave your EV at the airport at a week in a normal parking space, return from your trip and you'll have gained 35 miles, rather than worrying about your battery bricking itself by slowly draining to 0% while you're away. That simple fact is worth far more than any actual power generated by the car.

It would also increase the demand and therefore accelerate the development of higher-efficiency solar panels, because a car has an extremely small amount of space to work with. This is preferable to bolting throwing hundreds of pounds of inefficient panels on your roof.


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