2011 Nissan Leaf Electric Car: Review Roundup

The Nissan Leaf is a major attempt at delivering the prototypical electric car that will revolutionize green personal transportation. Let’s see what the automotive press has to say about this year’s model.

2011 Nissan Leaf Electric Car Review

MotorTrend – Full Drive: 2011 Nissan Leaf (10/27/10)

The review team at MotorTrend has this to say about the Leaf: “It’s mostly unremarkable as a ‘Car of the Future.’ And while that may seem like damning it with faint praise, it’s really the highest praise this car can be given.” The point being is that this is an approachable car for the mass car-buying demographic. In fact, they say that driving the Leaf is just like driving any other gas-powered four-cylinder hatchback and the electric car learning curve was painless.

The review spends some time discussing the Leaf’s range (averaging 100 miles, but dropping to 60 in difficult conditions like winter rush hour) and charging time (20 hours at 120 volts, 8 hours at 240 volts). They note that “Nissan is banking on the advent of ‘Quick Charge’ stations wired to commercial-grade 440-volt power supplies that can give you an 80-percent charge in just 30 minutes.” How much would it cost to charge? Charging prices are difficult to gauge, because electricity utility rates vary by location and even time of day. In Los Angeles, they estimate, “It works out to anywhere from $1.10 to $3.84 for a full charge.” Continue reading “2011 Nissan Leaf Electric Car: Review Roundup”