AutoGuide News Blog
The AutoGuide News Blog is your source for breaking stories from the auto industry. Delivering news immediately, the AutoGuide Blog is constantly updated with the latest information, photos and video from manufacturers, auto shows, the aftermarket and professional racing.
Nissan has a reason to celebrate now that their electric vehicle, the Leaf, has achieved its milestone of 10,000 vehicles sold in the US. The Leaf, which first hit the American market in December 2010, still isn’t available in all 50 states – though Nissan looks to rectify that by March of this year.
Surely the impressive sales figure proves that American consumers are open to the idea of electric vehicles. In fact, we would go so far as to say that the worldwide market is embracing EVs as Nissan has sold 20,000 Leafs globally. The Leaf’s impressive sales figures trump all other OEMs combined sales of electric vehicles throughout the world – though that’s not saying much, considering there isn’t much competition out there as of yet.
[Source: AutoBlog Green]
Read AutoGuide’s Nissan Leaf Review here and watch our review below:
After the Chevrolet Volt’s battery fire hazard debacle, electric vehicles have received intense scrutiny over the integrity of battery cells. To answer these concerns, Nissan has stepped forward to address the strength of its Leaf electric vehicle without the direct mentioning of controversies.
Nissan reported that while approximately 20 Nissan Leafs were damaged during the Japan earthquake and tsunami in March, some destroyed beyond recognition, none experienced a battery fire.
In a written statement, the Japanese Automaker said, “The Leaf battery is installed in a triple layer safety structure to mitigate the battery’s exposure in a crash.” The first layer of protection is the Leaf’s turtle shell-like vehicle body. What’s more, the battery is located under the floor. The second layer of battery protection is a battery case frame structure that surrounds the battery case. Lastly, a steel battery case wraps around and encloses the battery modules and controls.
After the much publicized Chevrolet Volt fires, authorities raised questions and concerns on whether the Volt is adequately protected. While GM assures customers that the Volt is safe to drive, training for emergency workers are offered as a precaution so that electricity can be drained in the event of an accident. In contrast, Nissan says its batteries do not have to be drained after a crash. “The Leaf is designed with battery systems that disconnect the high voltage from the vehicle in a severe crash.”
Currently, Nissan is heavily invested in plans to expand its EV offering. Nissan is set to have a Tennessee facility to assemble the batteries as well as to produce a great volume of cars beginning 2012.
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.
Let’s get ready to ruuuuuuuummmmbbble. Reports from various blogs say that the Nissan Leaf will tip the scales at 3,500 pounds, the same as its arch rival, the Chevrolet Volt. While the Volt is a plug-in hybrid, with a gas engine and battery pack, the Leaf is a true electric car, with no internal combustion engine, just a battery pack, electric motor and other assosciated wiring and hardware.
According to Autoblog Green, the Versa weighs between 2,800 and 2,900 pounds, while the battery pack adds another 660. Factor in some weight for the increased length of the Versa and boom, you’re sitting at a nice, round 3,500 pounds. For a compact car, the Leaf is pretty hefty, but in this case, performance is really not an important element, and new advances in carbon fiber technology should have us driving lightweight, eco-friendly cars by the decade’s end.
[Source: Autoblog Green]