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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 YerMomma on 11/23/2010 4:35:31 PM , Rating: 2
Absolutely not true, in California the gov already bought a fleet of cars with "swappable" batteries.

The car simply drives up to the "pump" and a machine simply pulls out the current battery pack from underneath and pops in a new one. The driver never even gets out of the car. Similar to an automated car wash.

Takes about the same amount of time as filling your tank with fuel, now imagine for a second that the gov subsidized these battery swapping stations and they were everywhere gas stations are... what would you ever need a gasoline car for again? Overnight electric cars would be the norm.

Altho I think I'd rather see Hydrogen stations for cars like the Honda FXC subsidized everywhere, that way we wouldn't have all these harmful chemicals from batteries polluting our environment in 10 years when they get thrown out.


RE: And...
By 91TTZ on 11/23/2010 5:19:00 PM , Rating: 3
You speak a lot of subsidies as if it's a good thing. Really that's just another way of saying that the government needs to artificially pump money into that system to make it competitive.

It's the same thing with the Chevy Volt. It's a $40,000 car that's competing with a $23,000 car (Prius), so it needs government subsidies to remain competitive. While some people may think that's a good thing, why should I pay more taxes so that someone can buy a non-competitive car?


RE: And...
By Etsp on 11/23/2010 7:39:09 PM , Rating: 2
In this case its more like the government needs to pump money into it to get it off the ground, to combat the chicken/egg scenario.

Perhaps something to be considered 5-10 years from now, but not at the present time. Everything is too bleeding edge at the moment.


RE: And...
By Kurz on 11/24/2010 12:04:56 AM , Rating: 3
So what happened when we had the same situation all those years ago with Gasoline cars?

It managed and out competed the horse.
If Electric cars can't beat in either cost or utility its not worth it!!!


RE: And...
By SunTzu on 11/24/2010 5:05:04 AM , Rating: 2
You really dont think the US government has subsidized cars? Who do you think built all those nice, paved roads you drive on? Changing batteries is just another cost, just like bridges, roads and tunnels are. Theres an inherent value in reducing the need for importing vast amounts of oil, that of national safety. If you government can subsidize farming (and LOTS of it, which the republicans love) so that the country cant be cut off from the foodsupply, why cant they make sure that the country can run without (as much) oil?


RE: And...
By 91TTZ on 11/24/2010 9:22:15 AM , Rating: 2
No, changing batteries would be like subsidizing the cost of gasoline so consumers can get it for $1 a gallon. And the bridges, roads, and tunnels are not subsidized for gasoline cars since diesel vehicles, electric vehicles, and other vehicles are able to use those same bridges, roads, and tunnels. Subsidizing batteries would be yet another subsidy that's not needed.


RE: And...
By Ichinisan on 12/12/2010 7:46:29 PM , Rating: 2
I accidentally downrated this post so I'm replying to have it automatically removed. :)


RE: And...
By lolmuly on 11/23/2010 11:58:12 PM , Rating: 2
people have rehashed this argument a thousand times, gas stations were subsidized too.... should we assume that all forms of infrastructure need no help at all? How about we just stop subsidizing roads too... how about electricity and water? infrastructure is infrastructure plain and simple. Nobody says you have to buy water, or internet, but the rest of us like it so we are going to continue subsidizing it. Try thinking like a utilitarian for once and get with the program.


RE: And...
By 91TTZ on 11/24/2010 9:23:57 AM , Rating: 1
quote:
Try thinking like a socialist for once and get with the program.

Fixed.


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