2011 Nissan Leaf Long-Term Road Test

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2011 Nissan Leaf SL: How Leaf Drivers Exact Revenge

September 06, 2011

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It's not news that in this age of Twitter, Facebook, blogs and forums, people are telling each other off online instead of in person. But when one 2011 Nissan Leaf owner chose to vent on a Nissan Leaf forum after another electric car owner wronged him at a charging station in Los Angeles International Airport, well it's just a good read.

Basically the Leaf owner left his car at the station to be charged for a few hours but when he returned he saw that another electric car owner unplugged his car and plugged his/her own. So rude! He then complained to a Leaf forum where its members hunted down the other driver and are now keeping watch on that other car which, after two weeks, STILL hasn't moved.

In any case, I can't believe the gall of that person and wonder if this is a common occurrence at charging stations with people unplugging each other. Can't say I'm surprised as environmentally-conscious folks have been accused of treating the environment better than they treat people.

Electric car owners, has anything like this ever happened to you?

Caroline Pardilla, Deputy Managing Editor

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2011 Nissan Leaf SL: Recommended by Me

August 11, 2011

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Many of us that work here get hit up all the time about vehicle recommendations.

My buddy Bob, who lives in the San Francisco Bay Area and is successful in the software business, rang me up a few weeks ago.

"I'm thinking of getting a Tesla Roadster," he tells me. "How much is that?" I ask. He said he could get a used one for $60 or $70K.

Edmunds.com has the MSRP of a new 2011 Tesla Roadster 2.5 Sport pegged at $128,500, to start. Wow.

I ask: why don't you get a Nissan GT-R or a Porsche or something instead?
"That won't get me in the car pool lane," he says. Oh, so that's what this is about.

He said we wants to get in that car pool lane, but also wants something that's going to be fun and that he can track occasionally.

OK, how about getting a Nissan Leaf AND a Nissan GT-R or a Mustang Boss 302, I ask him. You can get both the Leaf, which is an excellent EV commuter car, and another fun weekend/track car for the price of that Tesla.

Well, that got his attention.

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2011 Nissan Leaf SL: The Spoiler Solar Panel

August 09, 2011

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Our long-term 2011 Nissan Leaf has a photovoltaic solar panel embedded in the rear spoiler that's part of the higher-level SL trim package.

Although it doesn't charge the vehicle's lithium ion batteries used for propulsion, the solar panel does help to charge the 12V accessory battery.

Hey, it's something! And it's a good start towards further solar energy progress.

Albert Austria, Senior VE Engineer @ 3,500 miles

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2011 Nissan Leaf SL: Video Walkaround

August 09, 2011

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Here is a video walkaround of our Nissan Leaf and it starting up. The Leaf will be leaving the fleet soon as it was only a six-month loan. I'll miss it.

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2011 Nissan Leaf: Brother of Another Color

August 05, 2011

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Spotted this Nissan Leaf on Robertson Boulevard the other day. Prior to this one, I think I've only ever seen one other Leaf on the road -- they're not a common sight here in Los Angeles.

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2011 Nissan Leaf SL: Our Favorite Caption

August 05, 2011

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Thanks to aleclance for this week's favorite caption. Here are the others that make us honk.

The Surreal Leaf. (rotaryboff)
Let's make like a tree and ... get the heck out of here. (ms3omglol)
Sad clown: out of charge. (rotaryboff)
Nissan Leaf: Alternative Fool Vehicle (ergsum)
Cirque du SoLeaf (kain77)
Nissan Leaf: Good for around clown driving. (ergsum)
Objects in mirror are creepier than they appear (ergsum)
Our footprint is small even if yours aren't (aleclance)
The Nissan Leaf: A clowning achievement! (bmwm1)
A clown takes his dog for a little Shift_ (teampenske3)
And all of a sudden, the anti-shtick brakes engaged. (ergsum)
So a dog, a clown, and a Leaf walk into this bar . . . (pete5o5)
The other two dozen are still inside the car. (bradyholt)
Bumper sticker reads: "My other vehicle is a Unicycle" (ergsum)
Leaf hits clown: arrested for a battery (noburgers)
Will the clown fit? (technetium99)
Fridays comic re-Leaf. (technetium99)
106 mpg/city, 92 mpg/around clown (mikeschmidt)

What was your favorite?

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2011 Nissan Leaf SL: You Write the Caption

August 05, 2011

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I know you can barely see the Nissan Leaf in this picture, just a bit of mirror. But how do you pass up a clown photo?

What is your caption?

We'll post our favorite this afternoon.

Donna DeRosa, Managing Editor

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2011 Nissan Leaf SL: A Leaf of My Own

August 04, 2011

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This is not a picture of our Long Term 2011 Nissan Leaf. This is my own Leaf, or at least my own for the next three years of the lease. I reserved my Leaf last year thinking I might turn it down when it arrived. Since then, I've gone back on forth on my pending decision. Driving our long termer convinced me it was a comfortable and capable car, despite Dan Edmunds' recent range adventure. But it is another thing altogether to plunk down $2,000 and begin monthly payments of $440. How practical of a commuter car would it really be? Could I really expect to log 12,000 miles a year behind the wheel?

Gaining access to the car pool lanes was strong motivation. But I've always been curious about electric cars and once even considered converting a gas car to electric (YouTube is filled with such home-grown projects). So I finally decided to take the plunge and sign on the dotted line. Paul Scott, an EV proponent turned EV salesman, handled the delivery process today at Santa Monica Nissan and went over every inch of the car and every menu of the computer interface. He recommended driving it in Eco mode most of the time and switching to the normal drive only when a BMW pulls up next to you at a stop light.

I still feel that this doesn't signal a complete conversion to electric power. It is a three-year experiment that might leave me hankering for the smell of gas. But at least for now, I'm pretty psyched about my new car and looking forward to getting to know it better.

Stay tuned.

Philip Reed, Senior Consumer Advice Editor @ 12 miles (on my personal Leaf)

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2011 Nissan Leaf: B-Class F-Cell Sighting

July 28, 2011

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I saw this from the cockpit of our 2011 Nissan Leaf yesterday. I had to wait for traffic to reach a stop before catching this picture. It's the Mercedes-Benz B-Class F-Cell. Initially, these hydrogen-electrics were available through a California-only lease program. This one appears to be a development unit.

Mike Schmidt, Vehicle Testing Manager @ 3,042 miles

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2011 Nissan Leaf: Score one for the Leaf

July 28, 2011

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Nissan Leaf - 1
Toyota Prius - 0

For several years the yellow clean air stickers allowed California drivers access to the HOV-carpool lane regardless of headcount. Under this program the first 85,000 applicants with qualifying hybrid vehicles received the yellow hall pass. The Prius ruled the roadways until the stickers expired at the beginning of this month. When the plague of hypermiling Prius drivers merged into the general population, the HOV lane was free.

Single-occupant vehicles now need these white clean air stickers for the carpool lane privilege. Qualifying vehicles include hydrogen, natural gas and fuel-cell electric powered vehicles. The program lasts into 2015. We patiently waited for our stickers to arrive for the Leaf. Now that they're here we plan to utilize the coveted, vacated carpool lane as much as possible.

I've added over 250 HOV-lane miles on our Leaf in the past 3 days already. Doing so shaved roughly 30 minutes a day from my commute. I can get used to this.

Mike Schmidt, Vehicle Testing Manager @ 3,042 miles

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