Archive for the ‘electric vehicle’ Tag

Nissan Leaf Vs. Ford Focus Electric: Compare Cars

Suppose you want to enjoy all the benefits of a battery-electric car–the smooth, quiet ride, the strong torque from a stop, and the very low cost per mile–but don’t necessarily want people to point at your car because it’s unusual looking.

That might be enough reason to consider the Ford Focus Electric rather than the Nissan Leaf, which is by far the best-selling battery-electric car sold in North America.

The two cars offer somewhat different answers to the same question: What should a compact electric hatchback look like?

The Ford Focus Electric is all but identical to the conventional Focus five-door hatchback. Even the different frontal appearance it pioneered was adopted for the gasoline models this year, so now you really have to look carefully to tell an electric Focus from the regular one. Exterior differences amount only to a couple of door badges, and a charge-port door on the left-front fender.

The Nissan Leaf, on the other hand, is a dedicated design with distinctive styling–no grille up front and lengthy clear headlight units that stretch far back along the fender line and are are topped with aerodynamic fins. It’s an unusual and, to many, polarizing look.

One is a car whose design says, “Hey, I’m electric!” The other hides its plug-in running gear in an utterly conventional body shared with a gasoline compact.

The Leaf was designed from the start as a battery electric car, with its lithium-ion battery designed into the floorpan and the area under the rear seat. The Focus design was retrofitted for battery power, and so it’s heavier and less optimized than the Leaf.

Still, the two cars are fairly close EPA ratings for range and efficiency. The Nissan Leaf has been boosted to 84 miles of range, with a rating of 99 MPGe (miles-per-gallon equivalent). Based on the distance it will travel electrically on the amount of energy contained in 1 gallon of gasoline.

The Focus Electric does just slightly better on both counts, with a rated 76 miles of range and a 105 MPGe rating. It also retains the good roadholding and fun driving experience of the stock Focus, and its 107-kilowatt (143-horsepower) motor is more powerful than the Leaf’s 80-kW (107-hp)–though the Focus Electric is also heavier. Both cars fit 6.6-kilowatt chargers (the very lowest-end model of the Leaf makes do with a slower 3.3-kW charger).

Ford’s electric Focus has a couple of drawbacks compared to the Leaf. First, it has no DC quick-charging ability, unlike the Leaf. At specially equipped charging sites, quick charging brings the battery pack to 80 percent of capacity in about half an hour–against four or five hours on a standard 240-Volt Level 2 charger for each car.

Second, the Focus Electric’s battery, charger, and onboard electronics greatly reduce available load space. The first 2011 and 2012 Leafs had chargers that stretched across the cargo bay between the strut towers, but the car was re-engineered for 2013 and ever since, Leafs have had cargo space roughly similar to that of conventional hatchbacks.

The Ford Focus Electric is built in Wayne, Michigan, on the same assembly lines as gasoline Focus models. U.S. Leaf models are produced in Smyrna, Tennessee, and powered by U.S.-fabricated lithium-ion cells as well.

If you’re considering either car, there’s another factor you should know: Nissan sells the Leaf throughout the country, and it has now sold roughly 75,000 of them in the U.S. Ford only sells the Focus Electric in selected states, and anecdotal reports indicate that in some of those locations, buyers will have to work hard even to get one that’s theoretically available. Over the last three years, Ford has sold no more than 4,500 Focus Electrics–not even a tenth of the Leaf’s total sales.

The base-level Nissan Leaf S model now starts at $29,860, with fully equipped models reaching toward the $40,000 mark. The Focus Electric has had its price cut twice, and now starts at $29,995. Both of those numbers are before any Federal, state, or local incentives, and both cars qualify for a $7,500 Federal income-tax credit and a $2,500 California state purchase rebate. Both Ford and Nissan have also offered $199-a-month lease deals for these models, which take advantage of the Federal credit to lower the monthly payments.

In the end, buyers need to decide if they want a low-volume, pretty-much invisible electric car, or a more distinctive design that’s sold in much higher numbers. Thus far, the market seems to prefer the latter–but if Ford ever decides to get serious about battery-powered cars, it’s cut its teeth on the Focus Electric and produced a perfectly good electric car in the process.

As Read on:

ENVI’s electric-vehicle technology


Introducing five distinct vehicle platforms with ENVI’s electric-vehicle technology from Chrysler LLC. Chrysler has been hard at work updating the three ENVI-powered Electric Vehicles (EV) you first saw in September 2008. Plus they added two more exciting products to their production-intent lineup. ENVI’s electric-vehicle technology enables a new standard of quiet, smooth and efficient operation.

What That Means For You

• No compromise on performance, agility, space and design
• Instantaneous acceleration and responsiveness
• Continuing to drive the way you drive today
• Being environmentally responsible
• Ability to own one of these electric vehicles as soon as 2010
• At least three more models available by 2013

How It Works

– ENVI’s all-electric EVs provide a 150- to 200-mile driving range on zero gasoline and no tailpipe emissions

– ENVI’s Range-extended Electric Vehicles can travel 40 miles on battery power

– The range extender is a small internal combustion engine and integrated generator that produces electricity that extends the range to 400 miles,using very little gasoline

– Overnight charging with a standard 110-volt household outlet

– Charging time is cut in half with 220-volt household appliance power outlet

Check back for more details on these revolutionary vehicles or visit for more details

Nissan Planning Electric Vehicle Charging Network

by Tim Joseph

In 1996 we started seeing a small, funny looking car driving around the highways of Detroit. It was the GM EV1, an electric vehicle that would only be made for 3 years. As part of the lease on the EV1 you had to install a charging station in your home. The driver would be able to travel about 55 to 75 miles between charges making the EV1 an excellent commuter vehicle.

There were so many great things to say about GM’s first electric car but there were also some draw backs. You could not travel any further than your battery range and battery technology did not progress as quickly as General Motors had expected. After building 1,117 EV1’s and leasing them in California, GM took the vehicles back and destroyed them. This was about the same time the Hybrids came along.

Nissan has an answer the problems GM ran in to a decade ago. Their new electric vehicle will go one sale in the United States in 2012 and will no doubt raise some eye brows. A 30 minute charge will provide the owner with 80% battery power, approximately 80 more miles.

Mark Perry, Nissan’s director of product planning and strategy has said that “It will take three layers of charging: home chargers in the garage; workplace charging, including parking lots and garages in downtown business areas; and a public infrastructure built around the normal transportation areas, shopping malls, movie theaters, restaurants, and airports.”

Nissan is also asking their dealers to install charging stations as a courtesy to customer who are passing through. This demonstrates Nissan’s commitment to the Electric Vehicle program. Nissan’s Electric Vehicle will be a 5 seater that uses next generation lithium ion batteries to delivery a range of 100 miles.

Nissan Announces Advanced Hybrid Batteries

by Tim Joseph

A little more than two years ago I was at Nissan’s Tech Center in Farmington Hills, MI. The new Altima was being delivered to dealers and Nissan had us come in for a presentation. During the presentation someone asked when we could expect to get the Hybrid Altima in Michigan. We were told Nissan planned to have it in all 50 states sometime in 2010. They told us that hybrids at that point had not been profitable and that Nissan wanted to do things right before they were going to sell it. Fair enough I thought. Dozens of people since then have asked me about the Hyrid Altima and I have always told them probably 2010.

Today I was reading that Nissan is planning to roll out some hybrids in 2010. They sound like they’re right on track to meet the promised goal. They have committed to bringing a completely electric vehicle to the market by 2010 so why not a couple of hybrids? Nissan has stated that they will debut a completely unique hybrid vehicle in 2010. The new vehicle will feature advanced laminated compact lithium-ion batteries which will be mounted under the floor.

It looks as if Nissan will be able to do things right now and get the hybrids out there.

I will follow this story and keep you posted on any updates that come about in the next year.

Chrysler Unveils Dodge Circui

by Tim Joseph
What an exciting weekend. The biggest event of the year is upon us at the North American International Auto Show. Chrysler unveiled their all new electric vehicle, the Dodge Circuit. This is the reason we will go to the auto show this year. The Dodge Circuit is similar to Chrysler’s previous offering back in September but, as promised, looks more Dodge than Lotus.
The Dodge Circuit is a big step in electric vehicles. It is able to go from 0 to 60 in less than 5 seconds and has a top speed of 120 miles per hour. It features a 268-horsepower electric motor, an advanced lithium-ion battery system and a controller that manages energy flow. Owner’s of the Circuit will be able to travel 150-200 miles between charges and plugs in to a standard 110-Volt outlet.
While the 2 seat sports car may not be ideal for everyone, it certainly is a large step in the right direction. In September we saw three electric models. Chrysler could lead the electric vehicle charge and change the face of Detroit with this technology. For you environmentally conscious, the Dodge Circuit does not use any gasoline and leaves virtually no impact on the environment.
Dick Scott Online

Nissan’s Electric Vehicle

by Tim Joseph

You are looking at Nissan’s upcoming electric vehicle. It looks like it’s built from a Nissan Cube which will go one sale in the United States early next year. My sources tell me March. The electric vehicle that you are looking at will go on sale in 2010. Today Nissan tested the vehicle on their track for a small audience of journalists. It is powered by a 660 pound Lithium Ion battery that is designed to offer more power than the type commonly found in today’s hybrids. Those who were there said the vehicle was extremely quiet and being absent of engine noise. They also said that the vehicle accelerated quicker than comparable gas engine cars.

There is still no word on things like top speed, range between charges or price. I’ll keep you posted as I find things out. This might be something you want to get on the waiting list for. No one wants to pay for gas and I bet they’ll sell quickly.

Dick Scott Nissan (734) 495-1000