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Carlos Ghosn, CEO of Renault and Nissan

Nissan Leaf
Nissan's mass market EV is already sold out in the U.S.

It looks as though Nissan's all-electric Leaf is proving to be quite popular -- and it hasn't even hit U.S. streets yet. Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn said today that the automaker's entire production run for 2010 has been spoken for.

For the U.S., that means that Nissan has already received 13,000 orders for the Leaf. For comparison, Toyota sells roughly 12,500 Prius hybrids in a single month.

Pre-orders for the Nissan Leaf began on April 20 -- those expressing interest in buying the vehicle had to pay a $99 refundable deposit to have their name put on the list. Actual deliveries will begin in December.

“We think there is a big future for this car," said Ghosn according to the Free Press.

The Nissan Leaf will be priced from $32,780 before a $7,500 federal tax credit. Depending on which state you live in, you could qualify for up to an additional $5,000 in credits or rebates.

The Nissan Leaf is powered by a 107hp electric motor and can travel at up to 87 mph. The maximum driving range for the vehicle is a modest 100 miles.



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Good Commuter Car
By n00bxqb on 5/26/2010 3:56:16 AM , Rating: 2
As a secondary commuter car, this would be great. Tons of families have 2 or more cars and this would save a fortune in fuel and maintenance for the primary operator going to and from work. My bro just bought a Corolla as a 2nd car for this very reason as he commutes 40 km each way to work. Even at 6.7L per 100 km (5.4L per 80 km), it costs him $1620/year in fuel (@ $1.20/litre) plus oil changes ($200/year), filters, coolant, etc. ($50/year). Overall cost of operation (excluding insurance) would be about $1870/year just to go to and from work (plus insurance, of course).

Here in BC, electricity is very cheap (5.9 cents/kWh). Assuming a charging efficiency of 80% (20% of energy wasted as heat), that's approximately 15 kWh/day of energy usage to charge it for 80 km, which would work out to 3750 kWh/year and a cost of operation of $221.25/year for a net savings of approximately $1650/year.

It might take several years to make up the initial purchase price, but it might be well worth it in the long-run, especially as gasoline becomes increasingly expensive.




RE: Good Commuter Car
By Dr of crap on 5/26/2010 9:17:30 AM , Rating: 3
Taking your math a step farther.
I buy 2-4 year old cars with less than 60,000 miles on them at half the new price. They are STILL in very good shape and last 10 plus years. So for me any car over $10,000 is to much.
Subtract $7500 from $32000 and you still have an over priced car.
With $1600 a year savings it would take a very long time to make up the difference.
$24500-$10000=$14500 more than I pay
$14500 divided by $1650 year saving is about 9 years.
I'd rather have a normal gas car if it's not saving any cash!

And don't forget there are still things that can go wrong with these battery cars too. Making no savings and I can go farther than 100 miles a day, at any speed I want.
And one last bit - batteries over time will not charge up the the same potential as they would have as new.
So you have loss of power, loss of range that way!


RE: Good Commuter Car
By mcnabney on 5/26/2010 9:47:00 AM , Rating: 2
You both make good points. Buying further down the usage chain can save a lot of money. Remember that the Leaf costs about $10k (after tax credit) more than an equivalent subcompact. Even saving $1500/year is going to take seven years. Add in the fact that you are paying for that savings 'upfront' and more than likely with non-0% interest on car payments and I anticipate the true 'breakeven' point to be around a decade. Not a great financial investment when you lose the ability to take a road trip or travel moderate distances.

Of course, if a real crisis errupts in the Middle East and gasoline prices triple, the owner of a Leaf will get the last laugh.


RE: Good Commuter Car
By JediJeb on 5/26/2010 12:50:05 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Of course, if a real crisis errupts in the Middle East and gasoline prices triple, the owner of a Leaf will get the last laugh.


Maybe not, it would just take the return on investment down from 10 years to about 4 years. But if something happens to an electric motor or battery at 5 years then you would probably be out everything you saved unless the warranty covers it. I'm sure repairs on the EV will be more that equivalent repairs on a normal car.


RE: Good Commuter Car
By mAineAc on 5/26/2010 7:04:23 PM , Rating: 2
Electric motors in EVs made 20+ years ago are still running. I would hope that warranties on electric motors would be substantially longer than internal combustion engines.


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