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Nissan turning over a new “LEAF”

Nissan unveiled their first all-electric car design; the LEAF. This powder-blue wonder comes complete with two charge ports in the front, electricity saving headlights, right-side driving, and 5 doors (including the hatchback). Though the Nissan LEAF is not going to be available until late 2010, many questions have still been posed. Would the car perform up the standards of other cars on the market? How many miles will the car get to a full charge? How will consumers charge this new-age car? How long will charging to full battery take? So many questions.

So far, the car does seem to be holding up to the standards of the time as far as speed and miles per charge (mpc) go. The Nissan LEAF tops out at approximately 90 mph, nearly the same as it’s hybrid counterpart the Toyota Prius. However, the Prius does have the advantage of fuel, whereas the LEAF is fully electric.

Supposedly the LEAF will get about 100 miles to a full charge. No answers have been given as to if that takes into consideration the load weight and/or stop and go traffic. That being said, if you charge your Nissan LEAF with a fancy 3 phase station, it can be fully charged within about 30 minutes. Most consumers do not have access to these however and will have to endure approximately 8 hours on a standard 200 volt AC outlet at home. I suppose this gives them ample time to sleep between 100 mile trips though.

Nissan has also proposed to lease the batteries for the LEAF instead of making consumers buy them flat out. They’ve promised that the monthly cost to lease the battery and charge it will be less than a monthly trip to the gas station, an excellent perk when those fuel prices begin to rise again during the holiday seasons.

Someone else brought up the question of, what happens when you need your vehicle in the middle of a charge for an emergency. The LEAF is not really practical as an only car for a family, for just that reason. On the other hand, the average household owns about 2 cars. In case of emergency, use your alternate car.

With all that being said, the Nissan LEAF seems to be a nice new addition for the green family. You’ll save on fuel costs, emissions, and there are special tax breaks. What’s not to love?

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