Thursday, December 17, 2009

Seeing the Nissan Leaf in Person

Things have been nuts this week, but I did get a chance to see the Nissan Leaf come to Portland today. It arrived at OMSI this morning and the OEVA got a private session with the Leaf this afternoon.

Here's Nissan's spokesperson who graciously answered all our geeky questions about the car. The Leaf boasts a 100 mile range on a 24KW battery pack. I have a 14KW battery pack and I only get about 20 miles when going on the freeway. The 100-mile range of the Leaf is based on a profile called LA-4 which is mostly stop-n-go city driving around 25 MPH. Nissan did say that commuting on the freeway at 60mph would probably yield a range of 75-80 miles instead.

Here's the requisite photo op with the Leaf showing the charging plugs at the front of the car. The one on the left takes a 440V 50A input while the plug on the right takes the standard J1772 plug that the EV industry has been trying to settle on for years.

I'm still weighing in on giving up on my homebrew Civic-EV and just buying one a Leaf. I still have a few more months to decide.


Motoriginal said...

I'm assuming you have more options when it come to EV and hybrid cars out there in Oregon, similar to Cali? I had no idea the Leaf was available in the U.S. What other EV's and hybrids can you get that we can't here in the east?

KazooPaul said...

Yeah, what did Nissan actually say about availability to individuals? I thought they were only going to lease to fleets for the first year or so, and it would only be available in a limited geographic area.

TimK said...

So far, the Nissan Leaf is the only pure-electric car available at the end of 2010 from a major auto manufacturer. From the demo, it sounded like you could get on the reservation list for a Nissan Leaf in May 2010 after they announce pricing and battery lease options.

There are other electric cars that will be available at the end of 2010 on the west coast like the Arcimoto Pulse for $17,500 and the Triac for $25,000. Both are still waiting to go into production, so I'll believe it when I see it. You can get a Tesla now, but its a lot of dough...

TimK said...

To answer your question, Paul: The Nissan Leaf will only be available in select major metropolitan areas that cooperate to install an EV infrastructure. These include 22 cities such as Seattle, Portland, Bay Area, Sacramento, San Deigo, LA, Las Vegas, Phoenix, Tucson, NY, Boston, Raleigh, DC, Detroit.

So, yes, the area is limited, but it's a start. This is also significant because in one year, Nissan will produce and deliver more EVs than Tesla and all the other home EV conversions combined.

Andrew said...

This is awesome!
I hope the Leaf is successful. And I hope we as a nation can remove our dependence from dangerous, filthy, explosive fossil fuels (esp coal and oil) to clean, safe nuclear power.

my two cents.