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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 91TTZ on 11/23/2010 4:57:49 PM , Rating: 2
You seem to be a bit dim so I'll spell it out for you in terms that hopefully you can understand.

As I clearly said, the electric car's evolution has not kept up with the gasoline car's evolution.

In 1908, even a gasoline car was slow, had no air conditioning, and no cruise control. As you can imagine, the electric car was mostly the same, except it had a motor and batteries instead of an engine and fuel. The 1908 electric vehicle's performance was more similar to the gasoline powered cars of the time than the Leaf is to the gasoline powered cars of today. If you were to graph out the performance capabilities of electric cars vs. gasoline cars, you'd see that over the years the gasoline car greatly increased in capability with while the electric car largely has stagnated. In fact, the electric car from the early 1900's was able to actually outperform gasoline powered cars and still had a long range.

Sure, the Leaf has air conditioning, cruise control, and complies with safety standards of today. That has absolutely nothing to do with the type of powertrain in it, and adding that established technology to an electric car is not anything worthy of mention; it's to be expected.

RE: And...
By Maroon on 11/24/2010 11:35:03 AM , Rating: 2
I guess it all depends on your definition of "revolutionary". But just look at the cost of electricity back then vs. gas to explain why the electric car ceased being seriously developed.

Some would say today's IC engines are revolutionary compared to those that existed in 1908. After all, the basic premise hasn't changed, just the technology that surrounds it.


The Dimwit

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