• Aug 2nd 2010 at 9:00AM
  • 93
We finally get our hands on the all-electric Nissan Leaf and Bradley takes it for a test drive. This EV is packed with convenient technology that makes the jump to electric a bit less intimidating -- but, best of all, no tailpipe!



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  • 93 Comments
      • 5 Years Ago
      Nice, I'm watching an episode about the Nissan Leaf and how great it is, and it's brought to me by the Leaf's biggest competitor, the Chevy Volt. Wonder how GM feels about that?

      Also, I take it Caitlin is gone from the show now?
        skrr123
        • 5 Years Ago
        Rock Collingsworth: First of all, electricity can be generated without combustion of fossil fuels (i.e., hydrogen, hydro-electric, windmills and even solar. Secondly, even in the case of electricity that IS generated from fossil fuels, the advantage is still to those power generating plants over automobiles. The reason is twofold: 1) an engine that runs at a constant speed (i.e. generator) is inherently more efficient than one that must increase or decrease power production as is done when driving, 2) because of the constant change in workload of an automotive engine, valve train wear and tear reduces the efficency of automotive engines.
        xanadu4024
        • 5 Years Ago
        Now to the nay sayers on electric cars, lets go back 110+years in history, and look a New York and a few other cities, they had electric trucks and delivery vehicles,inexpensive throw away solvent(ie white gas) which if over produced was dumped into the drains/ditches, got picked up by inventive car builders working on internal combustion engines that brought their demise,,,and upped delivery radius.
        Now when it coems to smoke stacks from most power plants all your seeing is water vapor, minimal solids/gases, other than carbon dioxide and a few other trace elements that arent caught. Due to EPA required scrubbers electric power plants are very clean in emissions, as are thr majority of current cars.
        Big problem we have is too many people are"green" yet have no clue what or how.
        Now in larger cities with smog (that is the limited residue from combustion, etc. combine with fog trapped in the city area)electric cars, hybrid trucks like GMs that are hybrids of a sort, instead of a regualr small battery and starter they use 3 bigger batteries and shut down at stoplights, have electric AC compressors and restart when you push gas pedal, AND flex fuel capable cars can help.
        Reason I add flex fuel is because only by product of ethanol use is water vapor and carbon dioxide, and plants use CO2 for photosynthesis ie so its taken in by plants and they give off oxygen. And it has less particulate emissions.
        For small trips, limited use the Volt, Leaf, Prius,etc, have their place. Too bad we dont have officials/manufacturers that can organize and sell a way to use these products so as to help.
        Kind of like everyone looking for magic bullet for energy production.
        If we were to use ALL means of production, wind, water, solar,nuclear and non renewable fuels all together the process would be less painful/expensive.
        Get power companies to partner with solar/wind turbine manufacturers, if you have a south facing area, or spot large enough for a turbine, then if it produces extra power you get a check and they can sell it to others who dont use these devices.
        Too bad the execs cant see the forest for the trees. Heck some local areas with trash/refuse issues should have power generation incinerators helping.
        See most people forget matter cant be destroyed it can only be transformed by either releasing energy (burning) or applying energy, like melting metal so it can cast or forged.
        What fossil fuels are is the repository of old solar energy concentrated into a compact molecule, burn or combust oil,coal or trash and you release energy.
        Nuclear can now be made more efficient as they have developed a means to recycle the fuel, see nuclear fuel rods are "depleted" after about 5% of the fuel is used, but now they nuclear lads have developed a way to reclaim unused fuel and remake the rods, add a little new stuf and go on.
        Too bad no one sees to great potential of using all technology to make us great. No now we have to spread the wealth, if a guy thinks up a new widget and makes a few billion, he shouldnt profit from his hard work,,,hmmm, we should give it to some lazy person.
        TANSTAFL There Aint No Such Thing As A Free Lunch. Profit drives production and invention, not welfare or limited scope of (power)production means.
        Rock Colingsworth
        • 5 Years Ago
        No tailpipe? How about a smoke stack, with worse pollutants than the tailpipe! Unless your're recharging from a windmill or photovoltaic array, you're still polluting! This is NOT the answer to gas prices and pollution. Better effort, with less pollution, would be put into more efficient hybrids, biodiesel or other biofuels, or mass transit!
        • 5 Years Ago
        Tommy, Where is your research? Your great-great-great grandfather probably laughed at the Wright brothers. Surprisingly, 69 years later, there was a man walking on the moon. You can remain in the 20th century and keep bowing to the oil gods, but sometime, we are going to have to TRY alternatives. Ford is coming very soon with their electrics too. GM gave way to Toyota by staying in bed with big oil and killing their EV1s when California relaxed their standards. The Prius was laughed at, but look at what is happening with hybrid technology!! Electric tech is getting better & better. Nissan has been building all electric cars since the 80s. Toyota and Honda had their EV1s that they crushed in America too, but Toyota has made a joint venture with Tesla to convert the Rav 4 to all electric in the very near future. It appears that the American car companies are too close to the oil companies and are letting the Asian companies lead the race as usual. Ford is stepping up. Chrysler has kept it's head in the sand so long, they will be lucky to survive at all. Electric cars have struggles ahead just like the gas engine cars did when they started out, but we MUST do all we can,NOW!!
        tomozzy123
        • 5 Years Ago
        GM has nothing to worry about. The only company that should worry is Nissan. Sure the Nissan can get up to 100 miles per charge if you don't use any accessories, i.e., air conditioning, radio, lights, etc. You know people will use them, which drastically brings the charge down. You don't have charging source onboard. In fact, the Leaf takes a special leased charger that Nissan has to install in your garage. I can see a lot of stranded Leafs on west coast highways. The Volt has a pony motor to power a generator to charge your battery. In fact, you can take the Volt on long trips because it keeps charging as long as you have gas in the car. If you own a Leaf, get ready for battery-life anxiety.
        Annette
        • 5 Years Ago
        I have talked to Nissan dealers in San Diego. No one knows much about this car and there are none to see and no brochures to look at. Sketchy info and there are only prototypes. No information on actual charging times or equipment, inside passenger or cargo space, actual (not test track) range, when car will be on the road or actual price. Not much more info then there is on the Chevy Volt which isn't a viable automobile either. Come on. Is Tesla the only real car on the road?
      goatcars2
      • 5 Years Ago
      I can't wait to go green to reduce my carbon footprint so Al Gore can build another 20,000 sq. ft.house. When I need a charge what's the cool thing to do while waiting 4 hours at a charging station?? When I trade my car in they won't charge me for worn out batteries will they?? Oh and by the way how do I dispose of my worn out batteries?? I guess it won't be a problem like the screwy light bulbs my wife bought last year. But it's all worth it to solve global warming...the head honcho at climategate who fudged data and tried to commit suicide is back at work I trust,once again giving us accurate readings for climatechange we can believe in. It's tough being green!!!!!
      • 5 Years Ago
      It will sure work for me! I drive roughly 5K per year and rarely 40 miles out. If I take a trip.... I'll rent, no biggie. Pollution wise the FP&L generation is far more efficient than me running an ICE.

      No oil changes, no transmission maintenance and if I could afford it an array on the roof would make it pollution free. Perfect for everyone? Nope, but my life is already minimal in it's footprint.
      Russ
      • 5 Years Ago
      This looks like the Nissan PIXO sold in the UK. Look it up, the gas version does 62.5 miles to the gallon so why don't they sell it here as a regular version.
      JIMMY G
      • 5 Years Ago
      Boys and Girls; My 30mpg convertable (6cyl) has an indicator which reflects how many miles I can drive before running out of gas. (What a surprize!) I don't believe you can stop at the next gas station, in your "LEAF","fill'er up" (in a few minutes), and continue on your trip......Perhaps those "great minds" at NASA could be gainfully employed solving this problem for our nation. Until then, the "LEAF" belongs on the golf course.
      JIM
      • 5 Years Ago
      These electric cars require an external charging source. These external charging sources draw the electicity from the local power grid. Could be your home, could be a charging station. Either way, something has to generate the extra electricity, and someone has to pay for it. Most electricity in this country is generated from fossil fuels, mostly oil, natural gas, or coal. The extra load on our power plants will generate as much or more polution as gasoline powered vehicles. There is no gain here. Hybrid cars are a better answer than electric vehicles.
      wongtpa
      • 5 Years Ago
      Alternative energy vehicles are great but will share the road with internal combustion engines for decades into the future. Many drivers are not willing to be restricted by the limited range of the electric vehicles. What about battery disposal and the problems they create? Still great to see these electric vehicles coming on line!
      • 5 Years Ago
      this might be the spark of something great. I personally have not ever owned any nissan, but this one the "Nissan Leaf" it sounds like a dream made reality with room for advancement. I would definatly try and get this,if it actually was to be made a little affordable. They will sell about 40% - 50% more than they're goal only if they could get the recharge stations on point
      • 5 Years Ago
      If the Big Oil companies wouldn't have bought out the patents on motors that got over 50 miles to the gallon fifty years ago we wouldn't have all the pollution we have now, the government let the oiul companies get away with it back then either by buying the patents and killing them or the person who held the patent suddenly dis-appeared! How long will it be before Toyota drivers starting experincing problems with these cars like the other Toyota hybrids. Toyota isn't gonna tell consumers about the risks until a few people die like the last time!
        Master Chief
        • 5 Years Ago
        Ohh the evil big oil conspiracy of killing people who design efficient engines. Let me guess, you still have an obama sticker on the bumper of your japanese care right?
        Its like, if people actually had a gas car that would make 50mpg, that all of a sudden less gas would be sold. wow.
      JIMMY G
      • 5 Years Ago
      Put a rack on the back and it will be great for the golf course... Can it go 100 miles with AC on? Is AC standard or not available? Seriously folks, this is a tow truck operators "dream come true." (STRANDED vehicles must be removed from the roadside.) Do the marketing "experts" at Nissan really believe such a vehicle will have widespread appeal? A toy, yes -- a viable means of serious transport, no way! (Opinion by JC Gitsas)
        • 5 Years Ago
        @JIMMY G
        After all of 2 minutes of research, the answer to your questions are: yes, it can go 100 miles with the AC on, yes, AC is standard. The chances of running out of charge and being "stranded" are just the same as for a car that runs on gas....the thing has a charge meter! This is intended for people that are looking to reduce foreign oil dependence, their carbon footprint, and their monthly gas expenditure. It's not for people looking to haul their families across the country to see the world's largest ball of twine. Electric cars are coming, and progress will be made as far as charging stations and whatnot. This is a good step in the right direction.
        • 5 Years Ago
        @JIMMY G
        "A toy, yes -- a viable means of serious transport, no way!"

        That's probably in line with what was said when those new-fangled horseless carriages came out. Any new innovation is going to need to go through some refinement and take some time to demonstrate its value and viability. I think that the immediate rejection is a symptom of the "instant gratification, I want it now" culture; if the electric car can't provide 100% of our needs instantly, it's not good enough.
      Master Chief
      • 5 Years Ago
      Its small, ugly and useless. If I want to drive a garbage little dinky electric car, I'll go to the amusement park and ride the bumper cars.
      You green freaks think you the planets actually depends on you. It was here before us and it will be here after us. Think this garbage is green? Electricity takes energy to produce but its ok as long as its not your car doing it right?
      And wait till they have to figure out what to do with thousands of old Lithium batteries, which are all made in china/korea, even for the Volt.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Some facts of why this is great:
      1) It takes 7KWH to produce one gallon of gas. Factor in the transportation and pollution generated as part of that process and you would see why EV is the best approach.
      2) Oil is still being subsidized. If we removed those subsidies then your cost of a gallon of gas would be 4.50 to 5 bucks a gallon. So, if you don't want EVs to get a tax rebate then lets take away your subside for gas.
      3) The Leaf takes 1/3 the energy to go one mile than any petrol fueled vehicle. More efficient is better.
      4) The Leaf is over 98% recyclable, unlike your petrol vehicles.
      5) We are passed the world peak oil point. Gas will go up once we get out of this recession. When gas hits $5/gallon I can't wait to hear all the SUV owners squealing like stuck pigs.
      6) Get rid of our need for so much oil and we get rid of the need for being involved in the mid-east or Venezuela and sending money to terrorist states.
      7) Gas engine technology is so last century. Now we need to advance the grid and having EVs will help load balance that grid.
      8) Total pollution coming from a coal-fired utility that is charging an EV is much less than what it takes to supply gas and drive a gas vehicle. Studies have shown this. Let's clean up our environment and go EV.
      9) EV are much simpler and maintenance costs are dramatically less than a gas powered vehicle.
      10) Battery technology will improve and costs will go down. Even if you spent your battery pack in your EV the batteries can still be used as backup storage for a home solar panel system for another 10 years.

      hmmm, makes no sense to keep driving a gas vehicle to me.
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