AAA Study: Extreme Cold Has Chilling Effect on EV Range

EVcharging

When it comes to all-electric vehicles, the primary source of apprehension for most would-be buyers is range, and logically so. After all, once your EV's battery runs out of juice, unless you happen to be pulling into a charging station at that very moment, that's as far as you're going — at least until the tow truck shows up. While good planning can prevent that scenario, EV drivers must also account for the sometimes-dramatic swings in range caused by varying weather conditions, especially extreme cold.

A Winter in the Nissan Leaf

A new study released this month by AAA found that EV range can be reduced by as much as 57 percent based on the outside temperature. At the AAA Automotive Research Center in Southern California, researchers conducted a simulation to measure the driving range of three all-electric vehicles in cold, moderate and hot weather, and temperature played a major role in driving range for all three.

By Matt Schmitz | March 28, 2014 | Comments (17)

More Electric Cars Than Ever, Still Not Available Everywhere

Where the electric cars are

As more manufacturers introduce electric cars, these battery-powered vehicles are becoming something people see on the road every day. At least in some parts of the country, they are.

More Alternative Fuel News

The number of purely electric vehicles offered in the U.S. will grow to a dozen by the end of this year. Many of those EVs are available only in a small number of states, however, with California being the epicenter of electric-car sales.

By Rick Popely | March 11, 2014 | Comments (1)

2013 Nissan Leaf Cargo Capacity Breakdown

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Since its introduction for the 2011 model year, the Nissan Leaf has been a key player in changing the notion that electric cars are golf-cart-sized toys with little practicality for hauling people and cargo.

Research the 2014 Nissan Leaf

The Leaf's efficient battery packaging and hatchback body style mean the EPA-estimated 75-mile-range Leaf has impressive amounts of cargo room for an electric car, and also good usability compared to non-electric hatchbacks.

By Joe Bruzek | January 23, 2014 | Comments (0)

Nissan Announces Pricing for 2014 Leaf

2014NissanLeaf

After slashing the price of the Nissan Leaf by $6,400 a year ago, the Japanese automaker this week announced that pricing for the 2014 version of the all-electric, zero-emissions car would remain virtually the same. Across the board, starting prices on all three trim levels have increased by $180. The 2014 Leaf is on sale now nationwide.

Nissan Lowers Leaf Price $6,400

The starting price for the lowest trim level, the Leaf S, is now $29,830; the midrange SV trim is $32,850; and the top SL trim is $35,870. All prices include an $850 destination charge. With the federal tax incentive for purchasing an electric vehicle, the Leaf price could drop as low as $22,330, and even further with state incentives such as those in California.

By Matt Schmitz | January 10, 2014 | Comments (1)

Report: Plug-in Sales Increased 84% in 2013

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In January 2013, Nissan cut the starting price of its Leaf EV by $6,400. Shoppers responded and Leaf sales more than doubled by year's end. For the segment, 2013 sales for plug-in hybrids and electric vehicles increased 84 percent, according to Ward's Automotive data reported by the Detroit News.

Shoppers bought more than 96,000 plug-in cars in 2013 — 47,600 EVs and nearly 49,000 plug-in hybrids, the Detroit News reports. Meanwhile, traditional non-plug-in hybrid sales increased by 15.3 percent, reaching nearly 490,000 new-car sales in 2013.

Automakers cut prices on "nearly all" plug-in hybrids and EVs to jump-start low demand, the newspaper said. Still, it didn't work for all players. In August, GM slashed $5,000 off the starting price of its Chevrolet Volt, but sales ended the year down 1.6 percent, which iswell below former GM CEO Dan Akerson's 2011 annual production goal of 60,000 Volts.

By Kelsey Mays | January 6, 2014 | Comments (0)

Study: Most Clueless About Electric Vehicle Subsidies

PlugInHybridIncentives

Similar to the old "if-a-tree-falls-in-the-woods" question, if government incentives to encourage the purchase of plug-in vehicles are offered, but no one knows about them, do they make a difference? A research team at Indiana University conducted a survey that shows not only are consumers unaware of available subsidies, rebates and other benefits — financial and otherwise — to owning a plug-in hybrid or electric vehicle, that disconnect could be keeping sales of the zero-emissions electric vehicles from reaching White House goals.

By Matt Schmitz | November 19, 2013 | Comments (3)

Top 10 Worst Auto Industry Names

SkyActiv

The auto industry has its share of bad names, and we're not talking bad car names. No, these are bad industry names: drivetrains, technologies or trim-naming schemes that leave car shoppers scratching their heads, rolling their eyes or just plain laughing. Our editors racked their heads for the choicest bungles, and here are our top 10. Some are marketing missteps; others are engineer speak that marketers should have rescued.

Read on.

By Kelsey Mays | August 15, 2013 | Comments (6)

Ford Hopes Focus EV Price Cut Sparks Sales

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If you've noticed automakers like Nissan, Honda and GM reducing the prices of their electric vehicles in recent months, then Ford's plan to slash the 2014 Focus EV's price won't come as a shock. Despite Ford's insistence that it would not follow suit, the Detroit automaker is now wooing mainstream buyers with a $4,000 discount on the EV for 2014, according to the Detroit News.

The new base price for the Focus EV is $35,995, including a $795 destination charge. That's down more than 10% from the previous base price, though still more than $6,000 costlier than the Nissan Leaf, the newspaper noted. A $7,500 federal tax credit knocks the price down to $28,495, including destination; in California, an additional state tax credit takes the price down another $2,500.

By Matt Schmitz | July 11, 2013 | Comments (0)

Can Nissan Charge Stations Help EV Skeptics Turn Over New Leaf?

NissanLeafCharging

A new offering from Nissan will take you from zero to 80 in 30 minutes — that is, from a depleted battery to an 80% charge after a half-hour in the all-electric Nissan Leaf. The automaker is supporting the addition of 100 new quick-charge stations at its dealerships in 21 markets across the nation by April 1, 2014, as part of an effort to speed the expansion of vehicle charging and to foster consumer awareness of EV capabilities.

This latest initiative follows a pilot program of charging stations installed at two-dozen dealerships on the West Coast, which allowed the automaker to study customers' charging habits and the impact on dealer operations. Richard Luengo, general manager of Nissan of Downtown Los Angeles at the intersection of two heavily traveled freeways, said his quick-charge station averaged about 10 sessions per day during the test program and had resulted in improved business for the dealership.

By Matt Schmitz | July 9, 2013 | Comments (5)

U.S.-Built Nissan Leaf Gets Mileage, Sales Jolt

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Nissan is getting a lot of mileage out of its decision to move production of the 2013 Leaf to the U.S. from Japan — not just in terms of fuel economy improvements but in sales figures as well. The EPA has given the electric vehicle's 2013 version a 16-mpg bump in its mileage ratings thanks to enhancements made following the move stateside. Meanwhile, a price reduction helped propel the Leaf to its best sales month ever in March, bringing total U.S. sales to 25,000 since the car debuted.

The EPA now rates the Leaf at 129/102/115 MPGe city/highway/combined compared with its previous rating of 106/92/99; that amounts to a combined-mileage increase of 16 mpg. According to Left Lane News, a more aerodynamic front fascia and a 129-pound weight savings thanks to a new charging unit made the mileage boost possible.

By Matt Schmitz | May 21, 2013 | Comments (2)

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