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Nissan Announces Three More Electric Vehicles For The U.S.

Posted in auto industry, Car Buying, Electric Cars, Electric Vehicles, Newsworthy, Nissan by Kurt Ernst | November 5th, 2010 | 3 Responses |

Nissan's Urban Commuter concept.

Deliveries of the Nissan Leaf haven’t yet begun, but the automaker is already planning its follow-up to the compact EV. In the next four years, Nissan plans to offer an electric-powered Infiniti, an electric powered compact van (to compete with the Ford Transit EV, no doubt), and a Smart-challenging ultra compact urban commuter EV. Despite claims by J.D. Power and Associates that Americans will be slow to embrace EVs, Nissan takes a much more aggressive posture. Collecting some 20,000 pre-orders for the Leaf probably has something to do with that, and Nissan estimates that EV sales will account for 6.5% of the market by 2020. That’s roughly five times the amount forecast by J.D. Power.

A lot rides on the post launch success of the Leaf, and Nissan has been careful to be extremely conservative with their numbers. As long as you don’t use the HVAC system, drive at night or exceed 40 miles per hour, the range appears to be in excess of 100 miles. Should your plans change, however, the Leaf isn’t exactly flexible: recharging on household current takes about 20 hours and recharging on a 240 volt service takes about 8 hours. If you can locate a fast charging station, your depleted battery can be “topped off” to 80% in just 30 minutes; the downside is that repeated use of fast charging stations will deplete battery life.

Clearly, the Leaf isn’t the ideal solution and Nissan has done well to explain its limitations to their potential customer base. You’ve got to start somewhaere, and as pure EVs go, the Nissan Leaf isn’t a bad launching point for a range of electric vehicles.

Source: Detroit News

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3 Responses

  1. The Urban Commuter EV looks like a child’s toy! Even a 10 year old would feel embarrassed and “too grown” up driving the EV. What are the safety standards, can you imagine driving that on the freeway and getting hit by a SUV or truck? It looks very lightweight. Good luck trying to merge on the 405 freeway in So Cal in it.

    The concept is good and the idea behind is good; I’m just not sure about the execution. I am used to big cars where I live and to be honest, the Smart Car already REALLY looks out of place in a sea of sedan’s and SUV’s let alone this tiny car. I can’t fathom the reactions you will get on the road in this car.

  2. Set says:

    Looks suspiciously like Chrysler’s GEM vehicles, which were dressed up golf carts.

  3. Kurt says:

    Agreed. What works in Berlin doesn’t necessarily work In LA.