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Nissan Leaf

Discussion in 'Electric Vehicles' started by efusco, Aug 1, 2009.

  1. tomsax

    tomsax Member

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    Leaf Test Vehicle Drive

    Yesterday, Cathy and I both got to drive the Nissan Leaf test vehicle, apparently a Nissan Versa outfitted with the Leaf's drivetrain. Coincidentally, last week we rented a Versa on vacation, so we were treated to a virtual side-by-side test of gas versus electric. They had a course laid out with cones in a parking lot, which I treated as a small autocross course. The test vehicle handled well and had good pick-up, better than the gas-burning Versa.

    Most interesting was how quiet it was. The Roadster has a loud gearbox whine when accelerating, plus road and wind noise. The whine is much quieter than a gas engine doing similar acceleration, but it's not silent. The RAV4-EV has a comparable road noise level, maybe a few dB below the Roadster and minus the loud drivetrain whine. Both the Roadster and RAV4-EV are about 7 to 8 dB noisier than Cathy's parents' Honda Accord doing 60 mph on the same section of average freeway surface. (We measured all three vehicles with a Radio Shack sound level meter.) The Nissan test vehicle was very quiet from the inside, I think quieter than the Accord, but we didn't do any measurements. From the outside, you hear the same tire sound you hear from any decent modern sedan.

    Before buying, I'd want to take it for a real test drive, get it up to speed on the freeway, etc. That said, based on our test drive today, I'd highly recommend it to anyone who is an early adopter, very interested in driving an all-electric family sedan, and whose driving habits could be met by the Leaf's range.

    That assumes that Nissan doesn't bungle the whole thing by forcing buyers into some ludicrous over-priced battery lease.

    There are a few photos on my blog, nothing especially different that what's already been posted here.
     
  2. TEG

    TEG TMC Moderator

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    I wonder how they picked who to invite to the test drive event.
    I filled out numerous online surveys, but only got invited to the "see the Leaf concept car sitting behind a rope" event.
     
  3. TEG

    TEG TMC Moderator

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    #104 TEG, Dec 12, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 13, 2016


    ("3-phase 440V DC" charging? :confused: Doesn't 3-phase imply AC?)
     
  4. ChargeIt!

    ChargeIt! Member

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    #105 ChargeIt!, Dec 12, 2009
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2009
    I think someone not so knowledgeable has ass-u-me-d that "Level 3" charging implies 3-phase (with high DC voltage rather than a higher single-phase AC voltage) as opposed to "Level 1" being 1-phase ... next question ... what is 2-phase? :rolleyes:

    But otherwise a very informative video ... thanks for that link !
     
  5. TEG

    TEG TMC Moderator

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    Yes, I thought it was too. Still, I nit-pick even if only one important detail seemed wrong.

    I am fairly encouraged by what I see from the Leaf. Back when Tesla first announced the Roadster, and we heard of "Blue-Star" plans, people speculated that some big Japanese car company could just get to the finish sooner if Tesla didn't get going fast. At this point, Tesla's Blue-star (model 3) could seem anti-climatic if the Leaf is already in production by then.
     
  6. Iz

    Iz EVs are here to stay

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    Very good presentation. Thanks for the link TEG. I was not following the Leaf until recently.

    Model S designers should consider some of these features:

    -Solar panel to trickle charge battery
    -Electronic instrument panel
    -LED headlamps
    -Smart App enabled
     
  7. tomsax

    tomsax Member

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    The test drive event was not open to the public, it was primarily for press and politicians, but they also invited a very few members from local electric vehicle associations thanks to the hard work of SEVA president Steven Lough. Cathy and I managed to snag one invite and the Nissan folks were nice enough to let both of us drive.

    They ran out of charge before the test drive time slot ended, so some people who were invited didn't get to drive. I realized too late I should have offered my drive spot to Daniel Davids, president of Plug-In America, who deserved to drive more than I did. D'oh. I owe him one!

    On Friday, I crashed the private Leaf event at Microsoft by being conveniently invited to a Tesla owner lunch by an employee/Tesla owner. Eight of us met there with Lance from the Seattle Tesla store. There weren't any test drives, but I did talk to Mark Perry, a very knowledgeable Nissan rep, who said they would be back to Seattle two more times next year and would have real Leafs (Leaves?) to show and drive on those visits.
     
  8. vfx

    vfx Well-Known Member

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    #109 vfx, Dec 14, 2009
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2009
  9. DaveD

    DaveD EVs Kick Gas!

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    Nissan apparently learned from this incident. When they visited Seattle, try as I might, I wasn't able to get my Tesla parked anywhere near the Leaf for a photo-op like this. Every place they had the Leaf on display, it was far from where any car parking was allowed. They'll be back next year, and when they do, I'll be ready to try again. They can't hide forever.
     
  10. domenick

    domenick Nerd

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    That would be Mark Perry, director of product planning and strategy for Nissan America.
     
  11. trevorlsciact

    trevorlsciact Member

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    I am REALLY looking forward to the Nissan Leaf, as much as I love Tesla, this will probably be the first electric car I actually buy. (I just wish its exterior wasn't so ugly.)
     
  12. johnr

    johnr Member

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    Well the interior looks quite nice, and that's where you'll be most of the time, right? :wink:

    Also, I hear it looks worse in the photos than in person.

    The big "if" here is the cost of the battery lease - which so far is unknown. All we know is Nissan is aiming to make it comparable to the cost of buying gas. The car itself is quite affordable. I wish it would have a longer range, but then the battery lease would cost more.
     
  13. tomsax

    tomsax Member

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    Mark Perry, director of product planning and strategy for Nissan America (thanks, domenick), told me that the $30k-ish price includes the cost of the batteries. If you don't want to pay/finance the full list price then wait for your tax credit, they'll offer a 3- or 5-year battery lease to defer paying for that part of the cost.
     
  14. johnr

    johnr Member

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    Tom, thanks for the info. I had understood they were only going to offer the battery on a lease - so it's good to know there will also be the option to buy it outright. If it does go on sale at $30k-something including batteries I believe it would be the most affordable real production EV yet. Though I'm not sure what the point is in offering the battery lease separately, since most people will likely finance the whole car anyway - unless it's to ease concerns regarding the battery's longevity.
     
  15. EVNow

    EVNow Well-Known Member

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    Hmm. I wonder what that really means ?

    For one thing - we don't know whether getting an EV with leased battery will qualify for the $7.5K fed tax rebate. Would Nissan/dealer get that $7.5K instead - and thus can offer the battery at a low lease price ?

    Assuming a $10K upfront battery price and $2K residual - I get $250 as the lease price for 5% interest and 3 year term. Too high. I think somewhere around $100 to $125 would be the sweet spot.
     
  16. EVNow

    EVNow Well-Known Member

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    I thought it looked worse in person - reminded me of a mutant fly with those lights/eyes.
     
  17. vfx

    vfx Well-Known Member

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    To my eyes the Fisker photographs better than it looks in person.

    The LEAF looks better in person than it does in photographs.
     
  18. vfx

    vfx Well-Known Member

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    Important battery infomation here:

    REVE - Regulación Eólica con Vehículos Eléctricos -
     

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