Please don’t put your feet on the dash

by Ernie Hernandez on July 15, 2016

Feet on Dash

It’s not worth it

Recently I was driving from San Diego to Yuma. These long freeway drives can be boring, especially for those driving even longer distances. In an effort to get more comfortable as a passenger sometimes it might be tempting to put your feet up on the dash. In fact, along the way I saw more than one vehicle driving along with the front passenger’s feet up on the dash, similar to what you see in the image above. Please never do this while riding in another’s car , or let anyone else do this in your car while you are driving. No one ever plans on having a collision but they happen.

Airbags deploy at varying speeds, depending upon the severity of the impact, and these speeds can reach 200 miles per hour. You can imagine the destruction to the human body that can occur when your knees are driven into your face in less than the blink of an eye. If you can’t imagine it, here’s a link to an article that will describe it in detail. This is a short post, but one that contains information I hope you share with those you care about.


Will next-gen LEAF land before Model 3?

by Ernie Hernandez on June 27, 2016

Model 3

Model 3 shows demand for affordable, high range electric cars

With the introduction of the Model 3 in March and the receipt of deposits for over 250,000 in its first two days, Tesla has shown the world that there is, indeed, demand for an affordable, high range electric car. At least if its first name is Tesla. Since that time, the order tally has reached well over 300,000 units. Unfortunately, the Model 3 will not be available for at least a year and a half and that is only true for a select few. The question is, which will land first – Model 3 or LEAF?

The two main attractions of the Model 3 (beyond it being a Tesla) is that its starting MSRP (manufacturer suggested retail price) is $35,000 and with its 60 kilowatt-hour (kWh) battery, it has a driving range of over 200 miles. I’ve said for some time now that these particular numbers hit the sweet spot for broader electric car uptake. Currently the Nissan LEAF has the highest range available in the $30,000 price range, with the 30 kWh versions offering a 107 mile EPA combined range. To double that range currently takes stepping up to the Tesla Model S 60 with a starting MSRP of $67,200, including destination fees. Tesla has none in inventory, but it could be custom ordered. The least expensive Tesla immediately available is a Model 70D (no longer in production) in the Rocky Mountain area for $86,350. Many potential EV owners do not want to spend that much. The Chevrolet Bolt will start production at the end of 2016 according to Chevrolet, so availability should be early 2017 at the latest. The Bolt also offers a 200+ mile range with its 60 kWh battery and its expected starting price is $37,500.

So where does that leave the LEAF? Just last week AutoblogGreen spoke with Nissan engineer Kazuo Yajima, Global Director of EV and HEV. Yajima confirmed the 60 kWh battery for the LEAF, just not when. The 2018 LEAF will likely be the next generation which will usher in this battery pack along with an all new body style. Nissan floated the IDS Concept in Tokyo last year with a 60 kWh battery and some futuristic looking lines. While we don’t expect the LEAF to be this dramatic looking, we can expect some similarities. Nissan has been moving their entire global design team to incorporate some key styling cues, notably the V-Motion grille, boomerang headlights and tail lights, and the floating-roof design. The current LEAF has no grille, so that element remains to be seen, but the others will likely be incorporated to some degree. The question remains – when will we see this new car? In my view, we will see this new LEAF after the Bolt hits the market, but prior to the first Model 3 hitting the ground. Tesla has said late next year for their Model 3, but they are notorious for missing deadlines. I suspect the 60 kWh LEAF will be in garages by the end of next year. With only 2,700 Model Xs delivered in its first six months or so, we think it could be awhile before Tesla can fulfill the majority of those Model 3 deposits.




Fuel costs of EVs vs. gas powered cars

April 23, 2016
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EVs still cost less to drive About three years ago we wrote an article about the comparative operating costs of electric cars vs. gas powered cars (found here). Three things have happened since then – the cost of gasoline has gone down, the cost of electricity has gone up, and the average new car goes […]

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Can Nissan stay relevant in the EV space?

March 20, 2016
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Will others take the lead? When Nissan introduced the LEAF to the US market in December of 2010 I don’t know that anyone saw what this vehicle would do to the future of transportation. Certainly there were lofty goals and aspirations, but much of that was dreams and wishes with no real understanding of how […]

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LEAF owners buy more LEAFs

February 8, 2016
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LEAF receives IHS Automotive Loyalty Award There are currently well over 30 automobile brands sold in the United States, from Acura to Volvo. Each brand offers an array of models. I’m not even going to make an attempt to tally them all. 2015 saw almost 17.5 million vehicles sold in the US, the best year […]

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EV charging is getting easier

December 24, 2015
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More places to charge with easier access Currently, EV drivers must collect an assortment of charging network access cards if one is to be able to charge at the nearest charging station. This issue harkens back to the days when gas stations had their own credit cards but the idea of bank cards had not […]

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Nissan IDS Concept shown in Tokyo

November 7, 2015

┬áNissan IDS Concept takes EVs up several notches Styling carries the expected futuristic cues, a 60 kWh battery is on board, but the most notable features of the electric drive IDS concept are its self-driving capabilities. Nissan has been working on autonomous vehicle design since the 1990’s – one of the first automotive manufacturers to […]

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Volkswagen – It’s Simple

September 27, 2015
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Turn the emissions control systems on Much has been reported in recent days about the Volkswagen emissions control scandal. Little has been said about what to do about it. It’s simple – turn the emissions control systems on. Having read many reports about the situation, it is clear now that Volkswagen has emissions control systems […]

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2016 LEAF gets 107 mile EPA range, new battery warranty

September 10, 2015
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New larger battery increases range, price Nissan has announced the release of the 2016 LEAF with a 30 kilowatt hour battery as standard equipment in the SV and SL models, providing an EPA rated mileage of 107. The S model continues with the 24 kilowatt hour, 84 mile EPA range battery. “The new battery offers […]

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Free Advance Reader Copy of The Electric Car

September 6, 2015

Update: This offer has now expired. Thanks to all of you who requested the advance reader copy. Look for ebook publication on Amazon soon. With National Drive Electric Week almost upon us, what better time than now to publish my new ebook – The Electric Car: Is an Electric Car Right for You? As my […]

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