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The 2011 and 2012 Nissan Leaf for earned five stars in crash testing performed by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
For the front crash and dynamic rollover test, the Leaf received four stars, but overall scored five stars. Combine that with the Top Safety Pick Award it won from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety and you’ve got yourself one safe vehicle. It’s also important to note that the Leaf is the first pure electric vehicle to be evaluated for its crash protection.
Fewer cars have made the cut ever since the NHTSA implemented more rigid standards for vehicles to earn five stars in its safety ratings system in 2011. This new system includes a more comprehensive testing when it comes to front and side crash, and rollover resistance. As well, each model receives an overall vehicle score, which is combined with the results of the three tests and compares them to the injury risk in other vehicles.
[Source: Consumer Reports]
The Nissan Leaf has been in the press quite a bit recently. While it recently took top honor of “World Car of the Year” at the 2011 New York International Auto Show, it has been in the news recently that some Leaf owners have been left stranded on the road because the battery indicator was incorrect and hence they had much less actual range than the indicator suggested.
Still, this electric vehicle has achieved many milestones in its short life, and now it seems to have its sights set on a peak. Pikes Peak to be exact, which is undoubtedly the most famous hill climb event in North America, probably even the world.
Nissan will enter a completely stock Leaf EV at this years event and it will be piloted by Chad Hord, a professional off-road truck racer from the TORC series.
Last year, Pikes Peak had a class just for electric cars, so it will be interesting to see what this stock 110-hp car can achieve against purpose built electric racers. Guess we’ll have to wait until June 26th to find out.
If you’re one of the many who signed up for a 2011 Nissan Leaf, you may be suffering from “range anxiety” (the fear of running out of power in the middle of nowhere). To help you overcome this, Nissan is coming up with a program that would give Leaf buyers a longer-range alternative.
This program would give Leaf owners a no-cost loan of a conventionally powered vehicle that could be used for treks that went beyond the capacity of the 100-mile Leaf. This loaner car option is still in the works, so it’s not yet clear exactly how it would work.
Under this program, the Leaf owner would get a car rental package that would cover the use of an Xterra SUV or Altima sedan for a week. Right now, it’s not clear whether the rental would be handled through a participating Nissan dealer or through an independent rent-a-car company.
[Source: The Detroit Bureau]
Having just officially launched its Leaf electric car at the Tokyo Auto Show in Japan, Nissan has announced the potentially revolutionary new vehicle will start a U.S. tour. Set to begin on November 13th in Los Angeles, the Leaf will then travel to Northern California before crisscrossing the country. The Leaf will stop in 22 cities in 11 states, as well as the District of Columbia and one stop in Vancouver, Canada.
Nissan is hoping to use the tour to educate people on the Leaf and the benefits of zero-emissions driving.
The Leaf is powered by lithium-ion battery packs and is rated at 80kW/280Nm, (107-hp and 207 ft-lbs of torque), which should make this sub-compact a sporty little car.
Nissan says it will be able to drive 100 miles on a single charge. The batteries will be able to be charged up to 80 percent in less than 30 minutes with a special quick charger, or in roughly eight hours through a standard 200V outlet. Nissan says that through extensive research the 100 mile range will be suitable for 70 percent of car buyers.
Next year 5,000 vehicles will be available in five U.S. markets: the Phoenix-Tucson region of Arizona, Oregon, San Diego, Seattle and Tennessee. Fleet sales will also be offered in 2010, while full retails sales are planned for 2012.
GALLERY: Nissan Leaf
For a full list of stops on the Nissan Leaf Zero Emission tour, follow the jump: