The Nissan Leaf is probably one of the most interesting cars of the year and opens a new era for electric automobiles thanks to its 99 mpg EPA ratings. Here are 10 interesting facts (courtesy of PopularMechanics.com) about the car, some of them you might know while others are new to you.
- It is made from recycled water bottles – 60% of the plastic used for the interior is made out of recycled material. Most of it comes from water bottles and after the lifespan of the car ends, the vehicle’s weight which is 3375 pounds is recyclable and can be used to make other Leafs or water bottles.
- 100,000 miles warranty for the batteries – we all know that batteries are not what we would expect them to be after years of developing, but the Leaf has lithium-ion units that have a 100,000 mile / 8 year warranty. According to the estimates made by the engineers at Nissan, after using the Leaf for 10 years, the batteries will most likely maintain 70-80% of their capacity. Thanks to the fact that lithium will not chemically change while using the car, the batteries of the Leaf are also recyclable, just like the car.
- Leaf’s headlights make it quieter – first of all, the LED headlights are 50% more power efficient in comparison to halogens. What is more interesting is that their winged form will direct the air away from the side mirrors which will reduce the level of the interior noise. The car is known to be more quiet even then premium luxury cars.
- Batteries Charge 80% in 30 minutes – the battery only needs 8 hours to be charged at a 220-volt outlet, and 16 hours at a 110 one. By using a 3-phase, quick-charging station, the Leaf’s lithium-ion batteries can reach 80% charging level in half an hour.
- Leaf can communicate with the driver – with the help of an E-mail-based system that is able to manage the charging system of the car, the Leaf can text info about the battery level to its owner. What it will do is to notify the owner when the batteries are charged, and at which point the driver can manage the AC system so that the interior of the car can reach the desired temperature level, before he gets inside of it. If the charging is interrupted, the driver will be notified via SMS.
- The navigation system is able to show your reachable area in real time – the Nissan Leaf comes standard with a navigation system that is capable of displaying the range in a graphic form, with a intuitive halo around the car’s current location, providing a real-time visual estimate of how much farther the driver of the car can go before he runs out of batteries. This can be done as the Leaf’s navigation system constantly communicates with Nissan’s databases by using satellite networks and is capable of displaying on the screen which nearby charging stations are available.
- Top speed of 95 mph – although it is a small-sized electric car, the Leaf is able to reach a top speed of 95 mph.
- The car offers driving tips – the energy menu of the Nissan Leaf can advise the driver to shut down the climate control under certain circumstances. This will allow more efficient energy consumption for the Leaf.
- $0.03 operating cost per mile – a conventional car that has a combustion engine that does 25 mpg will need about $1,800 in gasoline (for a $3 / gallon price tag) over a year of driving (15,000 miles), which doing the math works out to about $0.12 / mile. A useful innovation of the Leaf is that it can be pre-programmed to start charging during the wee hours (when the off-peak electric rates are active). For a $0.11 / kwh, The Nissan Leaf costs about $0.026 / mile to drive, or about $396 for 15,000 miles, which is about $1.400 less in comparison to a combustion engine powered cars.
- Its affordable too – the Nissan Leaf has a base price of $25.280, after the significant $7,500 federal rebate, which means that it is cheaper in comparison with the average new car sold in the United States. In addition, there are some states in USA that will offer extra incentives, like California – $5,000 or Colorado – $6,000. More than that, if the costumer of the Leaf wants to get a $2,200 charging station, the government will give him a $2,000 tax credit. In a year, Nissan is hoping that there will be 12,000 public charging stations in the United States.