Today is online reservation day for the Nissan Leaf (which probably should have been called the Nissan Guppy, because the front looks like a fish mouth). However… if you drop $99 (refundable) on one, you can join over 115,000 people who have expressed interest in driving and/or buying the car.
The website is nissanUSA.com; firm orders will be taken in August; deliveries will start in December. The car’s MSRP will be $32,780, but a number of federal and state credits can bring the price down to $25,280, and there are credits to offset the $2,200 charger cost and installation fee. You can lease the car for $349 a month.
Those who have driven it love it. You’ll get used to the front end.
We wrote about GM’s EN-V last week and its attempt to address the problems of driving in an increasingly difficult urban environment. Popular Science has also come up with eight technologies that will conceivably be game-changers in the commuting world of 2020.
These include things like
- traffic probes (GSA-networked cars to provide traffic, weather, and accident information)
- platooned cars (to prevent tailgating)
- “sticky” lanes to keep cars on track (like slot cars) by satellite pinpointing
- “smart” intersections that communicate with cars to prevent accidents
- and smart parking lots that tell drivers where to park (which good ol’ tgriffith reported on in February).
Don’t hold your breath waiting for any of these, although it will be interesting to see which of them finally does make the historical cut.
One report we overlooked on a car that looks interesting: AMP Electric (the company that has done EV conversions to cars like the Sky and Solstice) brought a converted 2010 Chevy Equinox crossover to the New York Auto Show.
AMP has made this car into a rear-driver with near-50-50 weight distribution, capable of 0-60 mph in under 8 seconds. I mean, that could turn this mom-and-pop people hauler into a zero-emissions performance vehicle. A hot Equinox! Also, with a driving range of up to 150 miles on a full charge, the car would fulfill most commuter needs.
Just maybe we could be entering a new era with electric cars. Would you be more likely to buy an AMP-Equinox or a Nissan Leaf?