Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Innovative for the planet; kind of on the small side

The Conscious Shopper test drives the Nissan Leaf

When I heard that Nissan was coming to Raleigh as part of the Drive Electric Tour, you better believe this greenie jumped at the chance to test drive the new all-electric Leaf. Here are a few choice iPhone photos from the event:

The battery pack, located underneath the car.

This is not a combustion engine; it's just made to look like one. To be honest, I can't remember exactly what they said was under the hood. My husband says he thinks it's the drive train.

The Leaf's roomy trunk

What did I think?


Of course, the number one pro is the cost to drive the Leaf. Driving 100 miles is only $2.50 at current electricity rates. The cost to drive my minivan 100 miles is about $20 at current gas rates. Driving the Leaf a whole month would only cost us $20 in electricity - we spend $150+ a month on gas. Other things I liked:
  • super cute car
  • sporty to drive
  • amazingly quiet
  • so small - My husband and I had to split up for our test drive because we couldn't fit our whole family (including three car seats) in one car. In a year when my oldest graduates out of his booster seat, we'll fit just fine, but this is definitely not the car for a large family.
  • can only travel 100 miles on a charge - This is not an issue for us since we never drive that far in a single day except when on vacation, but it could be an issue for some.
  • $32,780 price tag (with the $7,500 federal tax incentive, the price drops to $25,280)

At the end of the tour, my family made a really awesome 30 second video explaining why we should win a Nissan Leaf of our very own. It has my cute kids banging on drums, and me looking like a complete dweeb. You know you want to check it out! You can vote for us here.

The Drive Electric Tour still has a few more stops. If you have a chance, I recommend going. Did any of you readers get a chance to drive a Leaf on the tour? What did you think?


Alice said...

Interesting review. I've been dying for one. We are in CA which is one of the places that EVs will be more available and there will be more EV charging stations. I had assumed I could fit 3 easily though. Hmmm.

Erin aka Conscious Shopper said...

@Alice - You can fit three, just not three carseats. Three grownups would be a tight squeeze too. But just like with the Prius, I think you could make it work with the right carseats.

SustainaMom said...

I voted for you! Y'all are so cute in the video! I was disappointed to see that we missed the tour through our city :(

Erin aka Conscious Shopper said...

@Thanks, SustainaMom!

Green Bean said...

Best of luck, Erin. I so hope you guys win! I want a Leaf or Ford Focus EV more than anything. Well, almost anything. Voted for ya.

Lisa Sharp said...

We would be looking at one if it had better range. We grocery shop once a month about 75 miles away and couldn't really charge once we got there. My husband works about 35 miles away but he could charge there, still wouldn't really work.

I wish the Tesla Model S which has a 300 mile range wasn't over $50,000!


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