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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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Disney or Pixar Badge?
By sorry dog on 11/24/2010 10:56:42 AM , Rating: 2
I swear the car looks like life sized merchandise for Cars.

Surprisingly, I've barely seen anyone here talk about the driving experience for theses cars. I've never driven one, but I'd bet my current car that it sucks.

My last 3 cars.
MR2 - economical, small, quick,go kart handling, fun
Landcruiser - Hummer like MPG, takes kids through mud and trail, can run over small trees, fun
Mazda 6 V6 Manual - kinda fast, wife lets kids ride, OK mpg, fun

Leaf/Prius - cheap to operate, screams I'm green, might have 2 seconds of fun if traction control lets me pull a handbrake I having fun yet?

Sorry folks but if I actually have 25 grrr to spend on a car (which I don't right now) the cost of electricity is about number 103 on my priority list.

RE: Disney or Pixar Badge?
By monkeyman1140 on 11/24/2010 11:05:25 AM , Rating: 2
You just aren't the target market apparently. It doesn't mean there isn't a demand.

Lots of people thought that buying a retarded-looking army jeep for $75,000 made sense. The market can be very fickle.

People have always believed that pure electric cars have poor performance. That just shows basic ignorance about electric motors. These cars have electronic governors on them to keep them from going too FAST. They can be remarkably dangerous without a speed governor. The EV-1 could go 150mph without its speed limiter. Problem was its low rolling resistance tires would explode at that speed, so GM limited the top speed to 80mph.

The leaf should have significant torque and acceleration, even though it isn't meant to be "sporty".

"Young lady, in this house we obey the laws of thermodynamics!" -- Homer Simpson
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