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Nissan Leaf  (Source:
It will produce the Leaf in Tennessee starting Thursday

Nissan didn't manage to meet its goals for 2012, but the auto company is looking forward to a better 2013 by starting Leaf production in the United States.

Nissan announced that it will begin Leaf production at a new plant in Smyrna, Tennessee this Thursday. It will build the Leaf and gasoline vehicles in this plant, while building batteries at a separate plant next door.

The plant is the result of a U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) loan for $1.4 billion in 2010. According to the DOE, Nissan can build up to 150,000 Leafs and 200,000 batteries annually at the Tennessee plants.

Nissan added that the new plants have created over 300 manufacturing jobs. In 2010, the DOE expected that both projects would create about 1,300 jobs. Nissan said the number of jobs is expected to increase over time.

Nissan's Leaf had a tough time last year as far as sales and performance goes. In July 2012, Leaf owners in Arizona complained that their EVs were losing significant battery capacity in the desert's hot heat. Nissan responded by basically saying that this was normal, and promised more open communication with owners of the Leaf EV.

Later, Nissan had to admit that it wasn't going to hit its sales mark for 2012, which was 20,000 Leafs. However, it only sold 9,819 Leafs for the whole year -- less than half of its goal, and only 1.5 percent higher than the number it sold in 2011.

Nissan had even more ambitious goals back in 2010 when it announced that it would sell 500,000 EVs per year by the end of 2013. However, in October 2012, Nissan saw the reality of its sales and adjusted that number to 1.5 million EVs sold cumulatively by 2016.

Source: The Detroit News

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RE: Good
By Spuke on 1/10/2013 2:01:55 PM , Rating: 3
The other benefit is that you can install solar panels on your house and the Leaf is then powered, basically, for free - this is what I've done.
Unless that solar array was given to you, it's not free or even basically free. I really wish people would stop saying this as it's misleading. One of my neighbors bought into that lie when they bought their solar array. Their production is WAY lower than they were told and expected. I had to teach them how it was supposed to work. It was producing as it should they just weren't told that production is way lower in the winter and it doesn't work at night (they thought there was some kind of storage...there isn't in a grid tie system typically). Also, they're still using propane for heat, the largest energy expense in our area ($3.60 a gallon...fill a tank once per month in the winter...100 gal tank) so any electricity produced from the panels that could offset heating usage is wasted. My wife and I already know that the furnace will have to be switched to electric with any alternate energy source we decide to use (we're going with wind cause it works at night and it's always windy here).

RE: Good
By toffty on 1/11/2013 2:57:50 PM , Rating: 1
If you're using your neighbors as your only sample in a case study, you're as dumb as they are.

I did my research and studied my average power usage + future usage with EV cars. I calculated exactly what I needed. I now save 1k a year in electricity. My payback from my solar installation is 10 years - it will take this long because electricity is relatively cheap @ 12 cents / kW. In CA many southern states payback can be as low as 4 years.

My solar array is tied right back into the grid so I do get paid by my power provider for the energy I sell them. It is at half the rate though so when calculating my solar array I made sure that I'd basically break even and I do. I think I over produced by 1% last year which is right on.

RE: Good
By Mint on 1/11/2013 4:56:01 PM , Rating: 2
The problem is that while this benefits you, it will wind up costing everyone else. Because solar isn't available all the time, solar doesn't take away an ounce of fossil fuel capacity needs as a community grows. It only reduces the kWh's the utilities get to sell.

But since their construction cost doesn't go down, that means means they'll have to charge more per kWh to stay in business and expand as needed. Their thermal efficiency goes down too when solar reduces the baseload. This is one of those cases where individual cost optimization doesn't lead to community cost optimization.

If we get a miracle in energy storage, solar and wind will make more sense. Until then, it's a bad path to pursue.

"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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