Big plug for Leaf

The small Nis­san is crowned Amer­ica’s eco star, writes Neil Dowl­ing

Herald Sun - Motoring - - News -

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

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