2011 Nissan LEAF: Blue is the New Green
Last Updated on Sunday, 14 November 2010 11:06
Written by ARtvKimatni
Monday, 8 November 2010 11:42

My mother always told me not to play with fire or electricity. But with all the hype and accolades manifesting over Nissan’s all-new, zero emissions EV (Electric Vehicle) I had no choice and took my chances in Nashville, Tennessee where the Japanese brand has its US headquarters. “Highly impressive” was the takeaway point after a morning of classroom education from Nissan’s Larry Dominique and an afternoon of driving.

You can get with this, or you can get with that when it comes to choosing an autoganic or green energy vehicle. It’s the latest public outcry from both consumers and supposedly the government who envisions an oil-free country one of these days. With the auto industry populating the streets with hybrids, EVs, clean diesels and more your decisiveness may just rely on a whim. A whim that can be affected by rumors, workplace gossip or some new age advertising you momentarily stumbled upon. Consumers are either confused or simply aren’t informed with enough data on which autoganic vehicle is proper for their lifestyle and causes.

You want the raw truth? If you really have a green thumb then you buy a vehicle without an internal combustion engine and saddle up with an EV such as the LEAF, MINI-E, Tesla, Mitsubishi i-MiEV, smartfortwo EV or Ford Focus EV. If your goal is to gain extra mileage from each fillup and you’re slightly environmentally conscious then you purchase a hybrid, which consists of gasoline and electric motors. For example, the Chevy Volt is a hybrid and not an EV as some may think because of its name. The Toyota Prius is also a Hybrid. Now say you need power, plus long-range travel from each tank then your focus should be on clean diesels which can gallop up to 600 miles per tankful and do so with amazing passing power. Audi, VW, BMW and Mercedes are major proprietors of clean diesel technology.

With Nissan’s environmentally friendly, 5-passenger, 5-door hatchback, your passion relies on sustainable mobility with zero-emissions. The LEAF’s key eco-friendly ingredients include a 24 kWh lithium-ion battery, a 3.3 kW onboard charger and an 80kW AC Motor. The 107 horsepower, 207 lb-ft of torque motor permits the LEAF to travel up to 100 miles per charge and reach a top speed of 90 mph.  The 600 lb battery — which comes with an 8-year, 100,000 mile warranty — is positioned beneath the front and rear seats for optimal compartment space, vehicle balance and safety. All EVs are quick from initial acceleration because torque is instantaneous. The LEAF will give you a short buzz from the start but fades as speed increases, crippling the vehicle with a 10 second 0-60 time.

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