• Nov 22, 2010
As far as we know, the first production Chevrolet Volt models are still awaiting their official EPA stickers. Nissan, though, has received the details on what the government agency has rated its all-electric Leaf at, and it looks good: a combined rating of 99 miles per gallon (equivalent) which breaks down into 106 city/92 highway. The official EPA range for the car is 73 miles, which Nissan admits is a variable (we know it can be beaten), and the annual electric cost is estimated at $561. The Leaf is the first vehicle to get this new label, Nissan spokesperson Katherine Zachary told AutoblogGreen that 99 mpg puts the Leaf way in front into the "best" fuel efficiency rating for mid-size vehicle class. It'll be interesting to see how Nissan uses this in upcoming advertisements, especially since the company has called the car a compact in the past.

So, how does the EPA calculate mpg for an electric car? Nissan's presser says the EPA uses a formula where 33.7 kWhs are equivalent to one gallon of gasoline energy. Also, the EPA determined the Leaf's efficiency is 3.4 miles per kWh, another number you can easily beat while driving, as the driver info screen can prove. Since the Leaf has a 24 kWh battery pack and can go, officially, 73 miles, then, the EPA says, it could theoretically go 99 miles if it had a 33.7 kWh pack (and everything else about the car remained the same). Make sense?

Maybe, but the car will also have another label from the Federal Trade Commission that it applies to all alternative fuel vehicles. That sticker will show that the Leaf gets 96 to 110 miles of range, so don't trust everything you see. Check out Nissan's official press release after the jump for more details.



Photos copyright ©2010 Damon Lavrinc / AOL

[Source: Nissan]

PRESS RELEASE

EPA Rates THE ALL-ELECTRIC, ZERO-EMISSION, Nissan LEAF 'Best' in Class for FUEL Efficiency, Environment

– Nissan LEAF label approved as Nissan prepares for December launch –

FRANKLIN, Tenn. ( Nov. 22, 2010) – The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has approved its fuel-economy label for the 100-percent electric Nissan LEAF, rating the vehicle to be "best" in the midsize vehicle class for fuel efficiency and "best" for the environment. The new label shows a best-in-class 99 miles-per-gallon (MPG) equivalent (combined city/highway). The MPG equivalency rating was developed by the EPA as a way to provide a standard so consumers can compare vehicles across the spectrum and make an educated purchase.

The 2011 Nissan LEAF, which uses no gas, was also rated best-in-class for the environment based on emitting zero greenhouse gases or other traditional tailpipe emissions. The label, which will be part of the Nissan LEAF's Monroney label, is now ready for placement on the vehicles in anticipation of the December launch. After completion of five-cycle testing, the EPA has rated the Nissan LEAF with an MPG equivalent of 106 city, 92 highway for a combined 99 MPGe. This calculation is based on the EPA's formula of 33.7kW-hrs being equivalent to one gallon gasoline energy. In addition, the label displays a charging time of seven hours on a 240V charge and a driving range of 73 miles, based on the five-cycle tests using varying driving conditions and climate controls. Driving range on the Nissan LEAF, as with all vehicles, varies with real-world driving conditions.

"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."
Sales of the Nissan LEAF will begin in December in California, Oregon, Washington, Arizona and Tennessee. In January 2011, sales begin in Texas and Hawaii, with additional market roll-out continuing later in 2011.

In North America, Nissan's operations include automotive styling, engineering, consumer and corporate financing, sales and marketing, distribution and manufacturing. Nissan is dedicated to improving the environment under the Nissan Green Program 2010 and has been recognized as a 2010 ENERGY STAR® Partner of the Year by the U.S Environmental Protection Agency. More information on Nissan in North America, the Nissan LEAF and zero emissions can be found at www.nissanusa.com
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  • 48 Comments
      • 4 Years Ago
      using mpg is like HP. How many horse power does that car have? People needed to gauge how powerful their model Ts were compared to the horses it was replacing. In this case 20horses!
      • 4 Years Ago
      Putting a MPG rating on an electric car is about th stupidest thing I've ever heard. I understand the math, but it's still beyond ridiculous.

      "73 mile range" should be focus on the left, with the next largest thing being the '7 hours to charge at 240V / 14 hours (or whatever it is, I made that up) to charge at 120V'. The small text that currently says charge time can be the kW-hrs per 100 miles, since no one understands that number or will ever care about it.
        • 4 Years Ago
        More like 28 hours to charge at 110V. 110V isn't just half the voltage it's also half the amperage.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Actually, the amperage of 110v will not effect the charge time the way spin puts it because grid amperage is not the limiting factor of 240v charging, it is the 3.3kW onboard charger (only takes 14/15 amps of 240/220v). 120/110v charging should take less 14 hours on a 15 amp line, especially if you don't run it to fully empty.
      • 4 Years Ago
      You do know that families can own more than one car, right? Its actually pretty common here in the USA. And they don't have to be the same kind of car, a family can own multiple vehicles specialized for different tasks.

      It is pretty common for a family to have a minivan or SUV to haul the kids around, and do road trips to the grandparents, and to have a smaller car used to commute to work, or run errands around town. The Leaf fits that commute and around town niche quite well. Most people like to park their cars and sleep at night, so that gives plenty of time to charge the Leaf up.

      You are right that the Leaf is more sensitive to power outages and natural disasters, but those don't happen all that often; if they do to you then yeah, the Leaf isn't for you.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Green Dreams!
      • 4 Years Ago
      The EPA loons still haven't figured out what to put on a PHEV or EREV window sticker. They have ONLY had three to four Y-E-A-R-S to do so, while the Volt itself has been designed and engineered and entered Job 1. The Volts are piling up at the factory, unable by law to ship to customers who bought them, without EPA stickers.

      As far as I am concerned, the EPA needs to have a total reorganization, enforced by a massive budget cut, and a lot of heads should roll, for such absolute stupidity and malfeasance in their offices.
      • 4 Years Ago
      I say the EPA estimate for the gas milage on the Leaf should have been a ZERO. Show the Leaf a gallon of gasoline and the car wouldn't know what to do with it.

      "Sorry buddy, I don't drink that stuff"
      Skip
      • 4 Years Ago
      """Nissan's presser says the EPA uses a formula where 33.7 kWh are equivalent to one gallon of gasoline energy. Also, the EPA determined the Leaf's efficiency is 3.4 miles per kWh"""

      Now, If I got the math correct ==
      My current electric rate is $0.11 per kilowatt (cheap ? expensive? I don't know BUT it's the amount I pay. $0.11 X 33.7 kW = $3.70... That's $3.701 compared to a gallon of gas... Electric rates will adjust in the future, just as gas... That's more for the electric car at current local gas prices of $2.65 per gallon... CAN THAT BE RIGHT???? Additionally = stop every hour and a half for 7 hours to recharge the battery???

      I Don't Get It.... Please correct me if I got the wrong idea... But, I don't see how this helps...
      • 4 Years Ago
      If I have a 40 mile daily commute (20 mi each way) and live in Boston where it can get pretty cold, would a leaf be a bad idea? When it's really cold the battery life goes down correct? Also over the life of the batteries the total charge goes down as well correct? I'd want to be sure that I could reliably get to and from work, but 73mile range makes me wonder, especially with the possibility of getting stuck in traffic and not being able to charge at work...
        • 4 Years Ago
        You're going to be absolutely fine with a 40 mile commute. Even if you're stuck in traffic.
        • 4 Years Ago
        This is the downfall of the pure electric car. "range anxiety" If you are worried about it, theres always the volt (; it can go up to 50 miles on electricity, and if you do get stuck in traffic, dont worry, thats what the engine is for, or if you want to go pick up something on the way home from work, or take the boss out for lunch, the volt alows you to do this.

        "Hey, Mr. Boss, you want to go grab a bite down at Harolds on 53rd? we will have to take your car though, im not sure if i have enough juice left in the cells"
        • 4 Years Ago
        The EPA rating is made with the climate control on. If your commute is 40 miles, you will be fine. If you pre-heat the car connected to the grid, your mileage will be better.
        • 4 Years Ago
        @Levi - No the Volt will get around 30 or less. We'll know more when the EPA sticker comes out.
        • 4 Years Ago
        You should get a VOLT man, would suit your commute and conditions better...
        • 4 Years Ago
        According to Chevrolet, my statement is completely correct. the range is 25-50 miles. on pure electric. Then, you can continue on as far as your heart desires, stopping for 10 minutes or less every 300 miles or so. The same is not true for the leaf. That was the point of the post.
      • 4 Years Ago
      The first time someone's wife/girlfriend gets stuck on the side of the road with a dead battery will be the first Leaf that gets returned. I don't think men realize how (rightly) afraid women are about getting stranded. We diss BMW and run-flat tires, but women love them as they can get to a safe place without stopping.

      A full charged EV is like a petrol/diesel car that starts out in the red part of the gas gauge and once discharged you need an expensive tow home. The emperor has no clothes.
        • 4 Years Ago
        I don't understand the connection you're drawing between BMW and run flat tires. You can install run flat tires on any car. As for your comment about women, I've never heard a woman even mention run flat tires.

        I think the general rule of thumb here is if you're not capable of simple addition and subtraction then you probably shouldn't buy an electric car. You probably shouldn't be living on your own either, but that's a discussion for another time.
      • 4 Years Ago
      How can the CITY MILES be higher than the HIGHWAY miles? Does it go farther in stop-&-go traffic? That alone could be a plus.
      • 4 Years Ago
      This car is only used for really short distance travel, every time its used it has to be charged, there is no point on that besides it being green. Com'on 7 hours so it can be fully charged, what's the use this is the USA we are always on the move. What happens when the lights go out because of a storm or other natural disaster. Where is the car going to be charged?
      • 4 Years Ago
      If you look at the annual cost of $561 and compare that to what you find on most stickers, it's very impressive. I think the Prius is around $900 and all other cars are over $1,000. Of course, costs of electricity and gasoline can fluctuate, but for a commuter car, it's a good deal.
        • 4 Years Ago
        ...If the car itself is free.
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