In an effort to offset potential “˜range anxiety”, Nissan may be offering Leaf buyers access to a program by which the manufacturer will offer them no-cost loans of conventionally powered vehicles; at least for one week out of the year. The idea behind this is that it will appeal to those concerned with longer road trips, such as vacations, that may be prohibited by the Leaf”s all electric powertrain.
The issue of range anxiety is Nissan”s biggest hurdle in marketing and selling the Leaf, as GM is attacking that very point and positioning its Chevy Volt strongly as the alternative to the Leaf that does away with such worries by virtue of its gasoline powered range extender.
Nissan is hard at work devising ways to enhance the appeal of the Leaf. In Israel for instance, the company has developed a battery swap program, and in America, it is negotiating with power providers to provide a reduced cost for Leaf owners to charge their vehicles.
Refresher: Power for the Nissan LEAF comes from a 107-hp electric-motor that runs on power supplied by lithium-ion cells. On a full-charge, the Nissan LEAF allows for a driving range of 100 miles with a top speed of 87 mph. A full charge takes up to 8 hours on a standard 200V outlet. Buyers can opt for the DC 50kW quick-charger, which recharges the battery up to 80 percent in under 30 minutes. Prices for the 2011 Nissan LEAF will start at $32,780 but with a federal tax-credit prices will come in as low as $25,280, or for a lease payment of $349 a month.
2011 Nissan LEAF:
– By: Stephen Calogera
Source: The Detroit Bureau