Monday, December 6, 2010
Nissan Leaf Makes an Appearance in Atlanta - Will Be Sold Here Soon
Nissan brought its new Leaf all-electric car to Atlanta for a sneak peek and brief drive a few days ago, and observers seemed to come away very impressed.
Nissan is calling the Leaf the world's first affordable all-electric vehicle, and is initially rolling it out for sales in Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Diego, Portland, Seattle, Phoenix, Tucson and Tennessee this month.
In the new year, the car will be available for sale in Georgia and elsewhere in the U.S.
The Leaf is a five-door hatchback that seats five and has a fair amount of cargo room.
Headroom was terrific -- at 6'6", this driver (who also happens to have a pretty large melon atop these shoulders) didn't come close to the ceiling. Legroom was also good.
Nissan says the Leaf has no tailpipe emissions because there is no tailpipe and the car never uses gasoline.
The lithium ion battery pack gives the car a 100-mile range on a single charge. And there are range-management technologies that allow you to gauge how much farther you've got -- making it convenient, Nissan says, for the 90 percent of U.S. drivers who travel less than 100 miles per day.
When you're at home, you'll plug the car into an electrical outlet to charge it up that will be installed in your home upon purchase.
As is the case with hybrid vehicles, which rely partly on gas, partly on electricity, the Leaf is very quiet.
In fact, Nissan had to add some noise to it for pedestrian safety, especially for blind pedestrians.
The car is 99 percent recyclable and is made of recycled materials; for example, the seats are made of plastic from water bottles.
The Leaf is built on the same platform as the Versa and Cube, and Nissan says that by 2012, it will be produced at its plant in Smyrna, Tenn.
So how affordable is it?
The SV trim level is priced at $32,780. Upgrade to the SL trim and you'll pay $33,720.
But you'll also be eligible for a federal tax break of $7,500 and Georgia buyers will be eligible for a state tax break of $5,000, which truly does make the Leaf quite affordable.