Podcast: 2011 Chevy Volt vs. 2011 Nissan Leaf

Senior editor Joe Wiesenfelder holds EV court with fellow editors Mike Hanley and Kelsey Mays. Joe has put both the Chevy Volt and Nissan Leaf through their paces for full reviews. The three editors discuss the cars’ strengths and weaknesses as well as how both are pretty darn good cars — no matter where their power comes from.

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Chevy Volt is definitely better choice.


Nissan does not require level II charging. See extensive discussions at

Claude Z

The Leaf is a proven quality built vehicle that costs less than the much over-hyped Volt. Unless you are a state university educated municipal employee it's clear the Leaf wins hands-down.


"The leaf is a proven quality built vehicle???"
Really, how many years have they proven the quality of building these???

Amuro Ray

@ Skinner,

Actually, in a way, many years. In a way 'coz indirectly since mid-90's. EV testbed vehicles were introduced to NY City or State Gov (Altra EV) and CA Universities (Hypermini) in 1998, and there have been other Leaf Protoypes (Cube and Tiida EVs) since mid-2000's. Thus, the technology R&D has been 'bou 15 years.

Of 'coz, no one can guarantee the LEAF will be a long term reliable vehicle until, maybe 4-5 years down the road.

Claude Z

Nissan has leased the Leaf to five different companies (IBM being one of them) in Japan since late 2007. Come back tomorrow for your next lesson.

Alan Montague

Chevy Volt is definitely not the better choice. How many moving parts does it have? How many accessories are required in the servicing requiring owners over the life of the car requiring hands in deepening pockets for after sales car replacement? How high are fuel cost going to reach per gallon or litre when people can place photo-voltaic panels on their own homes to cross subsidise their travel costs with clean energy and or the travel of others to reduce filthy fossil fuels. No sorry, I have a Nissan Leaf and the volt may be a good car but it is fossil fuel car with an electric engine in it and needs servicing with higher premiums and burns what we should no longer burn.

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