Big plug for Leaf
The small Nissan is crowned America’s eco star, writes Neil Dowling
IT’S official — Nissan’s electric Leaf is the ‘‘best’’ eco-car in the US. The Leaf, expected in Australia in 2012, this week received the green stamp from the US Environmental Protection Agency as best in class for fuel efficiency and best for the environment.
The EPA stuck to its appraisal by affixing a new label to the Leaf’s windscreen, rating the all-electric car at the equivalent of 99 miles per gallon (2.4 litres/100km).
Nissan says the miles-per-gallon equivalent rating ‘‘was developed to provide a standard so consumers can compare vehicles across the spectrum and make an educated purchase’’.
The EPA has declared that the annual electric cost for the Leaf is $US561 ($555) which compares with annual compact-car fuel cost averages of about $1000.
The 2011 Nissan Leaf, to be launched in the US next month, was also rated best in class for the environment based on emitting zero greenhouse gases or other traditional tailpipe emissions.
‘‘After completion of five-cycle testing, the EPA has rated the Nissan Leaf with an MPG equivalent of 106 (2.2 litres/100km) city, 92 (2.6 litres/ 100km) highway for a combined 99 MPGe,’’ Nissan says. ‘‘This calculation is based on the EPA’s formula of 33.7kW hrs being equivalent to one gallon gasoline energy. In addition, the label displays a charging time of seven hours on a 240V charge and a driving range of 73 miles (117km), based on the five-cycle tests using varying driving conditions and climate controls. Driving range on the Nissan Leaf, as with all vehicles, varies with real-world driving conditions.’’
The Chevrolet Volt, which has a range-extender electric motor and onboard generator, is still awaiting its official EPA sticker.
EPA tick: (right) the Nissan Leaf 100 per cent electric car at the LA
Auto Show this month.