Search This Blog

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Lulu and I Drove a REAL Electric Car Today - the 2015 Nissan Leaf

Jamie Nichols of Kraft Nissan showed us where you insert the extension cord to charge it at night. In Tallahassee - you can choose time of day charging for even cheaper fuel. 

If you read my stuff - you know I am enamored by electric cars. You also know we just bought a BMW convertible and the last thing we need is a second car. With that in the back of your mind - we went to Kraft Nissan today to drive a Leaf - the all electric car.

I have been shopping Low Speed Vehicles - small golf cartlike carts that can legally be driven on the highway. Lulu knows I want an electric car - but I cannot justify having two new cars costing over $20k. Also - I have a feeling Lulu does not want to cruise around town in a GEM car or golf cart. Me -  I just want something to plug in my garage. Presently - I have been driving around the neighborhood in a Club Car golf cart for the past 4 years. I love it but Lulu thinks it is silly for a 66 year old former teacher to be dodging the cops - like apre-teen riding on a dirt bikes. 

At first I looked at the Nissan Leaf as a toy. But it is a real honest to goodness family sedan. It has ONLY an electric motor - no gasoline backup engine to charge the batteries. You plug it in at night to charge - and drive it the next day. Your mileage may vary - but the government rates it from 70 to 110 miles of range. 

The Leaf has a 110 horsepower engine the size of a small watermelon. The neat part is that it is SUPER Quiet - I am not just saying quiet. You press the "gas" pedal and woosh - you take off like a rocket - a very quiet rocket. You have a tiny stick shift that says F or R - forward or reverse. You press a little button for the parking brake. It is as close to driving a golf cart as you can get. 

Nissan has made 140,000 of these little stealth bombs. It is the most highly produced full highway speed electric vehicle in the world. It has been named the American Car of the Year - The Europe Car of the Year - and World Car of theYear. When I say high speeds - it goes 90 miles per hour - and can get from 0 to 60 MPH in 9.9 seconds. I have only owned one or two vehicles that could beat that   in a drag race.

Lulu drove it and she was equally impressed. It has all the appointments of a normal car - computer - air conditioning - radio - disk player - power everything - 5 doors - power locks - keyless entry - super seating for 5. 

Our salesman -  Jamie Nichols - loved showing it to us - and never put pressure on us. He priced a few out for me. You can have one for a $29k sticker - minus discounts - add taxes - take away $7500 for a federal tax rebate. It leaves you going out the door for around $23,000. 

This car is a loss leader - it costs Nissan almost $40,000 to make one. The electric technology is a big investment. Who knows when they will break even on them. 

They can be charged from a regular 110 volt outlet - or a 220 volt circuit cuts down the time - they evan have one hookup that will charge it to almost full in 30 minutes. 

This garnet one is for FSU fans.

Here is a 220 volt charger for your garage.

It has a hatchback and seats 5. 

See the cute little shifter. Forward - Reserve

Here is the sticker of a luxury version - deduct $7500 for a tax rebate.

Plug er up.

Quick charger

That big box is the controller - the motor is much smaller and down underneath. The batteries are in the floor. 

No comments: