We have some surprising news coming from Nissan. Earlier this week they’ve announced that their highly acclaimed all-electric model will participate at the 89th edition of the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb which will be held this month on the 26th. What makes it even more interesting is the fact that they’ll use the regular Leaf, not the NISMO RC version.
Behind the wheel of the EV will be Chad Hord, a veteran off-road truck racing champion. The only modifications brought to the car will be the addition of a roll cage and a 5-point seatbelt. Other than that, it will be standard. In other words, it will feature the same modest 80-kW electric motor that generates 107 hp and has a peak torque of 207 lb.-ft.
Stay tuned for more information about the upcoming Pikes Peak International Hill Climb.
The Nissan Leaf is the first EV in Europe that received a five star rating from the prestigious Euro NCAP organization. The car got an 89% rating for adult safety, 83% for child protection and 84% for the on-board safety-assist systems, including the speed limited and the ESC – Electronic Stability Control.
As far as the pedestrian safety is concerned, the car got a 65% rating which is pretty good in comparison to other tested models. The Leaf was able to achieve this good score thanks to its low nose design and the comparative lack of “hard points” under the hood, at least that’s what Nissan says. The automaker added that the vehicle’s 48 lithium-ion batteries, which have been installed in a special compartment located under the rear seats, “completely withstood all the impacts.”
Besides the Nissan Leaf, other cars that managed to grab all the five stars were the Volvo V60 (obtaining 100% for its Safety Assist), Peugeot 508, Citroen DS4, Ford Focus and the Lexus CT200h.
Starting with next year, three of these cars will not be able to get the five-star rating due to the reason that Euro NCAP’s pedestrian protection scores will increase from the current 40% to 60%.
Electric cars have started to grow on us, especially because as years pass we start thinking more about the environment. As a result the automotive industry has decided to pay more attention to this car market segment. Therefore, we started having the opportunity to buy a new electric car cheap. In addition, there are also available hybrid cars that represent a nice compromise between safe performance and an environmentally-friendly engine doubled by low fuel consumption.
If you are interested in buying a new electric car cheap you should first of all visit websites like hybridcars.com that specializes in this type of vehicles and will be able to offer you a list of cheap electric cars from which to choose. The criteria used for selection should be first of all based on the budget you have available for your purchase. You can select the three cheapest electric cars on the list but in the process you can also take into consideration the quality factor. The prices are expected to lower as the years pass, because the technology will develop and the market will expand.
When I mean quality, I suggest you to look into aspects like durability, service and reliability. Though cars like the Nissan Leaf come at low prices that many see as best value for your money, you should take a look at the bigger picture before making your final choice. The three reference points I mentioned before can be hard to balance with a low price, but it’s not impossible.
The cost of an electric vehicle has become nowadays competitive with the prices of petrol/diesel vehicles and even of hybrid models. It is true that governs have interfered as well, but that’s their way of showing support for an eco-friendly technology. For example, the UK govern has decided to deduct £5,000 from the price tag of the Nissan Leaf. As a result, for £23,350 you are buying a reliable electric car. So, you should take advantage of the offer right now if you intent to buy a new electric car cheap, because you never know how much time this discount will still be offered.
There are many models of electric cars available on the market There is the Nissan Leaf I mentioned before, one of the most popular electric vehicle that has recorded impressive sales in the US and now in the UK. But there are also other competitors that come strong from behind. I’m talking about the G-Wiz electric car which is not as known as the Leaf, but it’s a small car, ideal for a family of four and designed for driving in crowded cities. It can be charged via a 13 amp socket and it will retain 80% charge only after two hours of recharging that will cost around 30 or 50 pounds.
The MegaCityElectric car is another choice provided by BMW. The model is expected to be show cased in 2012 during the London Olympic Games and is very likely to be introduced in production in 2013. There is a little more waiting involved, but the promise of a production car releasing zero emissions is a record for the company and for the industry, therefore worth the wait. The price might be spicier than we would like, but the first sketches revealed involve a lightweight body but strong, aerodynamic and attractive.
Mega City Electric car
These are just a few examples. Some are already available, others are a work in progress. There will be a day when the choice will become really overwhelming and buying a cheap electric car will as simple as breathing.
The environmentally friendly cars have become the main point of interest for the most important car brands. Nowadays, diesel, hybrid and even electric cars are available on the market. If you are interested in buying an electric car you have a variety of models from which to choose, offering you comfort and speed at an affordable price. I will try to help you in making a decision regarding your intention to buy an electric car by making a list of the most promising electric cars available in 2011 on the USA market.
First on my list is the Coda electric car available with a 4 seats capacity and powered by a 728 cell lithium-ion phosphate battery. The car has a range of 90-120 miles and can achieve a maximum speed of 80 mph. The Coda electric car comes with an interesting warranty: 3 years or 36,000 miles. An interesting fact is that the battery which equips this car is covered for 8 years/100,000 miles. If you are interested in buying this electric car you should know that the price is around $37,000.
Another electric car is the Ford Focus EV which will be available in a limited edition. The drive train of the Ford is manufactured by Magna International. As a result, the Focus will have a 100 mile range and will be equipped with lithium-ion batteries. This car will be sold for a price tag around $30,000.
The Nissan Leaf is a good choice if you want to buy an electric car. It is 100 percent electric and can seat up to five passengers. It has five doors and a range of 100 miles per charge. The Nissan Leaf uses a lithium-ion battery of 24 kWh. There are also available a lot of interesting features including the navigation system and a push ignition button. This electric car can be yours for only $26,000 after all applicable tax credits.
The incredible Fisher Karma can’t miss from my list. This car features a gas engine used to recharge the battery and an electric motor for the powertrain. The Karma was designed by Henrik Fisher and boasts a 300 mile range. It can turn from zero to 60 mph in less than 6 seconds and can reach a maximum speed of 125 mph. The first 50 miles are driven with the help of a fully-charged battery and after that the gasoline engine turns on a generator which charges the lithium-ion battery. Interested? Then you should know that its price goes up to $110,000.
The ThinkCity is another electric car which will be available in 2011 in the US. It uses the Zebra sodium battery and the lithium–ion battery from EnerDel. These batteries can be charged through a regular socket. The car also features airbags, Bluetooth, ABS and MP3 player. The Think City is a two door car capable to perform through the crowed traffic. And if you want to buy this electric car you will have to pay no more and no less than $42,000.
Last, but not the least on my list is the $109,000 Tesla Roadster, a pretty hot sports car. The Roadster is a very fast electric car able to go from zero to 60 mph in only 3.9 seconds and, moreover, it can run up to 245 miles on a single charge. It is made of carbon fiber and the power train includes a custom microprocessor-controlled lithium-ion battery. The interior is incredible and features cruise control, power windows and door locks, air conditioning, leather, touch screen featuring GPS, HD Radio, Bluetooth and many other gadgets.
April is over so now we can look over the figures of EV sales in the United States. Last month, Nissan sold 573 Leafs while Chevrolet managed to deliver 493 units of its Volt model, which means that since January, 1,025 Leafs were sold and 1,703 Volts.
Back in December 2010, when each of these two models came on sale, people bought 19 Leafs and 326 Volts. The very first Nissan Leaf was delivered on December 12th, and three days later, the first Chevrolet Volt was sold.
Chevrolet had said that the company’s April total would be a little bit lower in comparison to the 608 units sold in March, due to the reason that they’ve diverted cars that might otherwise have been delivered to paying customers in order to provide more dealers with demonstration vehicles. This trend might not end in the following eager if we take into consideration the difficulty Nissan faces in resuming full-scale production of its various cars made in Japan, including the Leaf. Until early 2013, all the Leafs targeted for the United States market are going to be manufactured at Nissan’s plant in Oppama, Japan.
Chevrolet stated that they will sell approximately 10,000 Volts this year, just about the same as Nissan with its award-winning Leaf model.
Up until now, Chevy managed to sell a total of 2,029 Volts, making it the best-selling highway-capable electric vehicle in the United States, surpassing the estimated total delivers of 1,650 units for the Tesla Roadster since it went on sale in late 2008.
Source: Nissan, Chevrolet via GreenCarReports | Photo: Inhabitat
Since it became the first electric car ever to win “World Car of the Year“, the Nissan Leaf is getting more and more attention, not only from the media, but also from Government institutions from all over the world. Here’s proof: London’s Mayor, Boris Johnson, recently got a Nissan Leaf. The Leaf is part of a project created by the Transport for London (TfL), whose staff will drive the zero-emission car for a month.
This is because London now has the first citywide electric vehicle membership scheme, which consists of a network of integrated electric charging points for EVs. This is all for Mr. Boris Johnson’s goal to turn London into the electric vehicle capital of Europe. Here’s the Maryor’s statement:
“Zero-emission electric cars are perfect for city driving, not only delivering cheaper day-to-day running costs for their owners, but also helping to bear down on pollution levels. With a wider range of vehicles now available, we are shifting up a gear to provide more support through Source London for the increasing numbers of people who want to drive them.”
His goal is to create at least 1,300 publicly accessible charge points in two years’ time. Do you this goal is reachable?
A panel consisting of 66 automotive journalists from 24 countries awarded the Nissan Leaf with the “World Car of the Year” award, calling it “the gateway to a brave new electric world.” This award also validates the promising future of EVs, despite the fact that at the moment there are some issues with the range and price tag.
Looking at the other competitors, the accomplishment of the Nissan Leaf is truly remarkable, managing to beat extremely popular cars like the BMW 5-Series, Audi A8, along with other 34 cars from all over the world.
The funny thing is that the Leaf wasn’t able to win in the World Green Car category, finishing in 3rd place, right behind the BMW 320d and the Chevy Volt.
The 2011 World Car Design of the Year went to the exquisite Aston Martin Rapide.
The World Performance Car of the Year award went to the beautiful Ferrari 458 Italia, who managed to pull ahead of the Mercedes SLS AMG and the Porsche 911 Turbo.
Nissan Leaf Owners Are Having Problems Restarting The Car
One of the many advantages that EVs have is the fact that they are very silent when you fire them up. However, some of the Leafs are too quiet when you push the start button as according to Reuters, Nissan has admitted that some owners in the United States and Japan are having issues starting up their vehicles.
The automaker’s spokesperson, Toshitake Inoshita told Reuters that the reason for this rather embarrassing problem is due to the car’s air conditioning system, but they don’t really know what exactly causes this issue. Although a start failure is a real problem to any car owner, Nissan is not going to issue a recall because this isn’t a safety-related issue.
The 2011 Chevrolet Volt has managed yet again to outsell the 2011 Nissan Leaf. The good news for the Japanese automaker is that they’ve managed to sell almost five times more Leaf in comparison to February, but they still are far behind Chevrolet. In March, there were 906 plug-in cars sold: 608 Volts and 298 Leafs, which is a lot more from February’s sales of 281 and 67, respectively.
Ever since the first electric car was introduced, people started to worry about the possibility to run out of juice before getting home. The distance between possibility and reality was pretty short as a few Nissan Leaf owners reported to have problems with the battery of the car. To give you an example, back in February, a man from San Diego said that his Leaf had only 16 miles of range left and he decided to leave the highway as he wanted to drive on slower roads. However, his Leaf died within one mile after he left the offramp. The battery of his Leaf was so empty in fact that he was unable to turn the car off.
The guys over at AllCarsElectric.com decided to investigate this case and they’ve contacted Nissan North America. A representative of the company said that the Leaf’s remaining calculation is only an estimate, not a representation of battery state-of-charge. She added that drivers should rely on the gauge to find out how quickly their Leafs needs recharging, adding that the vehicle improves its range estimations the more it is driven. In other words, as you learn to drive the Nissan Leaf, it learns how you drive it, resulting in more precise range estimation from the built-in estimation screen.
If you plan on buying a Nissan Leaf keep in mind that although the car does not have the same range in cold weather as it does in warm weather due to the lack of battery heating, the range calculations are not affected by the weather and passenger load, even though the real range is.
These problems do not come as a surprise for me at least, because the EV technology is still at an incipient level and we will have to wait a couple of years until this technology is perfected. Nevertheless, the Nissan Leaf is still a great car, a foundation for many EVs that will definitely be launched in the years to come. Hopefully, as years will pass by, the driving range and the actual estimations will get better.
Post tags: Tags: battery problems, driving range, nissan leaf
Nissan Leaf Will Get Uprated Onboard Charger Next Year
The 2011 Nissan Leaf has an onboard charging system that accepts Level 2 240V charging @ 3.3 kW. With this setup, the car’s battery can be charged 100% from empty in about eight hours. Green Car Reports says that the Japanese automaker is working on an uprated system that will be able to charge the battery of the car in less time.
Mark Perry, the company’s director of product planning, told GCR during the Electric Vehicle Market at the IEEE-USA 2011 Annual Meeting, that Nissan intends to offer an uprated onboard charger for the Leaf “in a year or so”. Although he didn’t say exactly when this system will be available he mentioned that it will most likely be offered as an optional feature and that fitting it to the existing Leafs will be possible.
Autoblog says that Nissan’s decision to launch an uprated charging system is a response to Ford’s Focus Electric ability to recharge quicker, thanks to its 6.6 kW onboard charger.
It seems that Nissan is having some serious problems keeping with the increasing demand for the Leaf. The Japanese automaker was forced to stop taking orders for its EV model so that they could concentrate on rolling out the existing ones. However, the company’s projected production figures show that Nissan will be able to assemble only 10,000 Leafs until March 31st. We say “only” because at the moment they have received about 27,000 orders from Japan, United States and Europe.
Most likely, the remaining 17,000 units will be delivered in the next fiscal year that starts on April 1st, during which the automaker will reach its maximum production capacity of 50,000 units at its factory located in Oppama, Japan.
Thanks to this increase in production, Nissan might take 33,000 new orders in the upcoming fiscal year, but nothing is certain at the moment. Toshiyuki Shiga, Nissan’s Chief Operating Officer, said that the automaker wants to “deliver enough volume to the first lot” before taking new orders.
One of the viable solutions to this problem would be to open the new assembly lines sooner than programmed, but he ruled out this possibility due to the reason that work has just started on the factory that would provide the additional necessary lithium-ion battery packs.
The shortage could last longer than expected because the company’s factory in the United Kingdom will start making the Leaf next year, while the Tennessee plant will start producing the EV in 2013.
You must remember the Nissan Leaf. We talked about it a bit here and by now you must know that it’s one of the many attempts to cleanse the auto market and make it better, brighter and cleaner.
For their campaign to promote the Leaf, Nissan have tapped into emotional pool that makes us sensitive to nature and its preservation. This is one amazing commercial and I guarantee you that you’ll want to pass it along.
Should you feel like it, use the buttons below.
After the heart warming Polar Bear ad for the Nissan Leaf electric vehicle, Nissan has followed up with a new commercial, showcasing the innovations it has implemented all across the range, not just in the Leaf.
Narrated by the same Robert Downey Jr., the ad is quite good, and seamlessly goes from the keyless entry tech on a crossover like the new Murano to the step in the Pathfinder’s rear bumper or the Leaf’s seats which were made from recycled plastic bottles.
Check it the new Nissan Innovations ad after the jump. (more…)