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Sunday, September 9, 2012

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The Nissan Leaf hasn't been exactly a top-seller in the States so far. Nissan is planning to jump start sales by introducing a more affordable trim level to the market in 2013. It will be a more basic model and forego the high-tech features that current Leaf's offer such as a navigation system. The current model is priced at around $36k for the SV model while the SL is priced at $38k.

Let's take a look at the current Leaf. It's powered by a lithium ion battery with an output of 107 hp and 207 lb feet of torque. Owners can opt to have a home charging station installed which makes charging a whole lot faster; it only takes 30 minutes to charge the battery to almost full capacity while it can take almost 20 hours using a traditional household outlet.

The interior is spacious with enough room to accommodate 5 individuals. Step inside and you'll notice the high tech features such as a navigation system and the ability to play music from mp3 players. Drivers are also able connect their Smartphone to the Leaf through the Carwings system. Cargo space is 14.5 cubic feet; a tad than that of traditional cars because of the battery pack. Nissan's EV achieved scores of "Good" on crash tests performed by the IIHS. Standard safety features include air bags, electronic stability control, ABS, traction control and child safety locks.

The Leaf isn't quite as popular as the Toyota Prius yet. However, they can be ideal for individuals who don't do a whole lot of driving and have short commutes. One of the main concerns when it comes to EV's is mileage range. The Leaf can travel for approximately 100 miles before it needs a recharge. This can be a concern since many states don't currently have enough charging stations in order to support a large number of users.

Once the infrastructure and electric grid is in order we can expect to see more EV's on the road as long as prices drop down. Electric cars are currently priced at the same level as luxury cars from Mercedes and BMW. Consumers who mainly want to save money are more likely to opt for traditional cars with excellent mpg while EV's are currently more likely to attract those who want to make an environmental or political statement. It will be interesting to see how the more affordable Leaf will affect prices. Nissan has not released official prices yet.

Eddie Yaklin is a Corpus Christi Nissan dealer with a large selection of cars such as the Leaf, Altima, Sentra, Rogue and Pathfinder. Browse our 2013 selection of New Nissan Cars In Kingsville for affordable quality cars you can count on. Our dealership aso serves the cities of Alice and Brownsville in TX with financing options and parts & service.


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