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Nissan Leaf gets 99 MPG with no gas tank
Giving a vehicle that uses no gas a MPG rating is less confusing?

EVs are big news today and there are two high-profile vehicles that use electricity coming to the market in the U.S. very soon. The Nissan Leaf is a pure EV with no emissions and no tail pipe. The Chevy Volt is a more confusing animal with a gasoline engine that charges the battery pack in the car when the electric motor can no longer run alone.

The Leaf has been granted its EPA fuel efficiency label and that's where things get confusing. The EPA was looking for a way to allow consumers to compare EVs to traditional vehicles that use the miles per gallon rating so they concocted a formula that applies a MPG rating to vehicles like the Leaf that use no gasoline.

The EPA figures that 33.7 kilowatt hours of electricity is equal to a gallon of gasoline and bases their formula off that number. The official EPA number for the Leaf is 99 miles to a gallon. That number is reached by combining the 106 MPG rating in city driving with the 92 MPG on the highway rating. That is impressive and may be perfect for some drivers. However, many drivers will be concerned about the low driving range for the vehicle. Nissan has long touted that the Leaf will go for 100 miles on a single charge. The EPA put the Leaf through five different tests to simulate different driving situations to arrive at its driving range.

The EPA pegs the Leaf for 73 miles on a fully charged battery. Many factors could change that driving distance though from temperature to how much the AC and other accessories are used. To confuse things even more, on the window of the Leaf the FTC will have a sticker that displays the driving range of the car at 96 to 110 miles on a full charge. 

That means that the Leaf will wear stickers that show an EPA rating for 99 MPG despite the fact it has no fuel, an FTC sticker showing 96 to 110 miles per charge, Nissan's long-touted 100-mile driving range, and the EPA 73 miles per charge number. Oddly, all of these stickers claim the common goal of making it easier for EV shoppers to tell how they equate to other EVs and traditional vehicles as well as hybrids. The EPA figures the Leaf will cost about $561 in electricity yearly.

"We're pleased the label clearly demonstrates the Nissan LEAF to be a best-in-class option, reflecting that it's a pure electric vehicle, uses no gas, has no tailpipe and has zero emissions," said Scott Becker, senior vice president, Finance and Administration, Nissan Americas. "The label provides consumers with a tool to compare alternative-fuel vehicles to those with a traditional internal combustion engine and allows them to make an informed purchase decision."

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RE: And...
By Motoman on 11/23/2010 11:38:42 AM , Rating: 3
Economic conditions in 2010 are allowing an old idea to re-establish a niche market

It's not the economic's the political conditions.

RE: And...
By FITCamaro on 11/23/2010 12:33:28 PM , Rating: 4
Seriously. If not for the government push of this stuff, it wouldn't even be on the table.

It's only because of the massive amount of tax payer money thrown at this stuff that its even remotely feasible.

I think if the market had been left alone to decide on alternate forms of fuel/energy, bio-fuel diesel would be farther along. Especially when gas went up to $4+ a gallon. But instead ethanol was pushed by the government.

And we'd have the nuclear plants capable of actually running these cars if they were around instead of billions wasted on solar and wind energy.

RE: And...
By cruisin3style on 11/23/2010 2:53:30 PM , Rating: 2
Seriously. If not for the government push of this stuff, it wouldn't even be on the table.

Oh jesushchrist the gubment took over Nissan too!! WHEN DOES IT END??

RE: And...
By Einy0 on 11/23/2010 3:15:57 PM , Rating: 2
Really I disagree with that final statement. Government is in no way trying to stop nuclear power plants form being built. Instead it's the bleeding heart hippies. Seriously the uneducated are still convinced that nuclear power is not safe. At the same time diversification of our power production is the answer to not becoming dependent on one technology or resource.

RE: And...
By Spuke on 11/23/2010 4:07:43 PM , Rating: 2
At the same time diversification of our power production is the answer to not becoming dependent on one technology or resource.
You don't need diversification of power production when nuclear works all day, everyday. Anything else is a waste of money. Although, for those that wish to not depend on the power companies, solar and wind are totally viable along with a big battery bank.

RE: And...
By YerMomma on 11/23/2010 4:59:40 PM , Rating: 1
The problem with nuclear is everyone still remembers 3 mile island, and how close we came nuking one of our own cities.

RE: And...
By monkeyman1140 on 11/24/2010 10:50:04 AM , Rating: 2
Nuclear seems cool until you have to find a place to put all the high level, medium level, and low-level radioactive waste.
Then ya gotta pay for security because every muslim with a favorite jihadist mullah considers it a truck bomb target, and then if you have an accident the taxpayer has to pay billions for cleanup, then it costs more to dismantle a nuclear reactor than to build one.

Yep, they're economically feasible all right.

RE: And...
By monkeyman1140 on 11/24/2010 11:00:42 AM , Rating: 2
Oh wait I left out nuclear fuel...guess what, it doesn't come out of the ground in purified pellets, its in rock form, which has to be processed in factories, producing more waste. And you need TONS of nuclear fuel for a reactor core.

Right now our spent core fuel is sitting in water pools. Lord help us if those cores ever get exposed to the air for extended periods of time. Think...worldwide radioactive disaster.

RE: And...
By rett448 on 11/25/2010 11:20:53 PM , Rating: 2
Spent fuel rods only need to be stored in fuel pools for the first several years. After that they have cooled enough they can be stored in concrete caskets.

"It's okay. The scenarios aren't that clear. But it's good looking. [Steve Jobs] does good design, and [the iPad] is absolutely a good example of that." -- Bill Gates on the Apple iPad
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