Is it Cool or is it Not?
Ed Piotrowski - HOWSTUFFWORKS
- November 09, 2010
Another spin on the first drive of the 2011 Nissan Leaf. The interest is growing. Questions are being asked! --Ed.
General Motors is proudly beating its chest, touting the Chevrolet Volt as the next leap forward for automotive transportation. At the same time, Nissan is more subtly readying its answer to reducing fuel consumption and tailpipe emissions. And by reducing, we mean eliminating. Production of the all-electric 2011 Nissan Leaf is underway, and company officials hope it will be the ideal urban/suburban commuter vehicle.
Leaf represents the first all-electric vehicle available to the mass market. Yes, we remember the General Motors EV1, but less than 1,200 units were offered via a pricey lease to residents of Los Angeles, Phoenix, and Tucson. Nissan has 20,000 hand-raisers who have paid a refundable $99 deposit to reserve a Leaf.
Were it not for the zero-emissions badges adorning it, you would be hard pressed to figure out that the Leaf is a fully electric vehicle. It looks like most any other compact, 5-passenger, 4-door hatchback. Its 106.3-inch wheelbase and 175.0-inch overall length mean its about the same size as a Hyundai Elantra Touring. Contrary to initial speculation, Leafs platform is not derived from any of Nissans other compact or subcompact cars, including Cube, Versa, or Sentra.... [Read More]