It's Gaining on Us! - 2011 Nissan Leaf Long-Term Road Test

2011 Nissan Leaf Long-Term Road Test

2011 Nissan Leaf: It's Gaining on Us!

May 24, 2011

Turtle Leaf.jpg

This photo is red meat for EV haters who say that electric cars are slow, dull and nothing more than a flash in the pan. Meanwhile, I'm going to be leasing one this summer so I drive the Edmunds Leaf often to make sure I really want to buy into a new lifestyle.

As Scott Jacobs points out the Leaf isn't really that slow, needing only about 10.2 seconds to get up to 60 mph. But it feels faster since it's quiet, seamless and delivers instant torque.

Meanwhile, I continue to justify my decision by saying the Leaf is the only car (aside from a Honda Civic GX or Tesla) to get me into the carpool lanes. Since the range is greatly improved by driving at speeds from 45 to about 65 mph, I'll leave later to let the carpool lanes load up a bit. Then my 62-mile round trip will leave a little wiggle room for a lunch-hour adventure.

The numbers from my most recent commute are encouraging. I left the office with an indicated 88 miles of range. After traveling 31 miles to my house I had 61 miles of range left. I ran errands after dinner and arrived back in the office this morning after traveling a total of 72.5 miles with 14 miles of range remaining. So the predicted 88 miles was looking like an actual 86 miles of driving.

Philip Reed, Edmunds senior consumer advice editor @ 2,376

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