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Nissan Leaf

Nissan Leaf, an all-electric car.

100 miles on a single charge isn't bad. The price ($30k) isn't bad. The fact that you need to have a charging station installed in your home may put some people off.

But the thing with electric cars is this: you still get your energy somewhere. Batteries still have to be made (and that's not great for the environment), and your energy comes from somewhere. If you live near a nuclear facility, it comes from that and may be the "best" method, but most people get their energy from places that use fossil fuels.

Your gas costs will drop, but your electric bill will shoot up a good amount. I wonder if they're close to equal? The electric bill might be lower… because you can't drive 200 miles in a day like you can with any other car. 😉

Is all-electric the way to go, or is a hybrid (with advancing fuel technologies) or even straight up "advanced fuel" the way to go?

5 Responses to "Nissan Leaf"

  1. For me, 100 miles per charge would be RAD. I very rarely drive more than 10 or 20 miles in a day. Between me and my fiancee, we already have two cars, and it'd be cool to have a sort of "daily driver" electric, and a gas or hybrid (or hopefully eventually an advanced fuel) "commuter" car for longer trips.

    I know you can bring up that "the energy has to come from somewhere," but, for example, we don't really talk about the tankers that deliver gas to the stations as part of the energy expense of gasoline... I think there's a good chance that electric companies can find ways to make more and more efficient energy. What we really need is significant advances in battery tech, and to invest in our grid. 🙂 As we see progress in those two areas, a full electric car will make more and more sense, at least to someone with driving patterns like me.

  2. If you live near a nuclear facility, it comes from that and may be the "best" method, but most people get their energy from places that use fossil fuels.

    Even if it does come from a fossil fuel power plant, the power plant is likely to have better pollution controls and higher efficiency than a gasoline engine. Gasoline engines are typically around 20-30%[1] efficient and fossil fuel power plants are around 30-50%[2] (depending greatly on what type of plant it is, when it was built, etc).

    I still stand what I said 5 years ago, hydrogen for fuel storage and for use in mobile applications is the way to go. Solving the hydrogen distribution problem will be easier than solving the battery storage/slow charging issues/toxic metals issues.

    Battery technology is only slowly improving these days. There are some new things on the horizon such as lithium-oxygen[3], but overall it's a really hard technological problem that doesn't look like there are going to be any leaps and bounds in the foreseeable future.

    Hydrogen distribution is just a logistics problem, not a hard technological one.

    With all that said, any step we take in the direction away from fossil-fuel only engines is probably a good step.

    [1] - http://www.fueleconomy.gov/feg/atv.shtml
    This is not the best source, but after several minutes of searching, the consensus from most sites I ran into was around 20-30%. If someone finds something more substantive please feel free to add.
    [2] - http://www.npc.org/Study_Topic_Papers/4-DTG-ElectricEfficiency.pdf
    [3]- And if you're concerned about safety issues with hydrogen (you shouldn't be), let me talk to you about lithium and water...

  3. But the thing with electric cars is this: you still get your energy somewhere. Batteries still have to be made (and that's not great for the environment), and your energy comes from somewhere.

    This is what I don't get about the hybrid craze. With hybrids, people are only considering the price at the pump (the savings at which are, incidentally, quite evasive).

    I have a hard time believing that a hybrid is better than a traditional gas car, when considered from end-to-end, from production to end-of-life. I have an extremely difficult time believing that a hybrid is better, end-to-end, than a new VW TDI.

    I personally think that the future lies with biodiesel or some similar technology. We already have a global infrastructure for petrol-based fuels, and biodiesel can easily ride alongside that. Other technologies (think "hydrogen" and "electric") don't lend themselves to that. I know a guy who owns an electric car company, and he doesn't see them as the end-all, be-all. He sees them as a local solution for the island he lives on. And, I think that's a great idea.

    I see biodiesel as the answer because it's so close to a fuel we already have, and it gives us something productive to do with all of that WVO. This is pretty similar to what happened to to give us petrol-based internal combustion engines in the first place: petrol companies had to figure out something to do with their toxic waste, and they came up with "let's fuel our cars with it."

    Here, McDonald's, KFC, and all of the rest can do something productive with their WVO: it can be converted to auto fuel. I personally think this is a much better policy than it is to take food and turn it into fuel. (I'm looking at you, ethanol.)

  4. I believe hybrid's are better then normal cars, simply for the fact that most tend to recoup energy from braking. However, if you take into account the energy to make the batteries, the toxicity, the metals, there may be an imbalance there.

    I think a 100mile all electronic is pushing the bare-mileage minimum for a vehicle. For me, that's perfect for a daily drive. But for many, if you include errands before/after work, picking up kids, running kids to practices/games, that could be very near to pushing the limit for a day.

    But $30k is too much. Give me a small car ala Ford Escort/Hyundai Accent, 2 door, 2 seater, good ride (I'm old, my back sucks) AC/Heat. No Stereo, I've got an iPhone. All electric, 100 mile max/charge $10k. I'll go buy it right now. Yeah, I know, dream on and instead put a battery on my mountain bike 🙁

    And you are point on about the energy having to come from _somewhere_. Just because one isn't burning gasoline with such a vehicle doesn't mean you are doing a whole heck of a lot because that coal fired energy plant's just going to have to kick it up a notch.

    I wish the US would go entirely Nuclear. It'd hurt some of the coal industry's comeback, but I believe it's the cleanest, and most efficient form of energy that we have yet. If all our plants were powered by Nuclear then an all electric vehicle would be great to charge from it.

    And 240v? Not 220? Or did I hear wrong?

  5. Nissan SUCKS
    Useless & stupid vehicle company
    Nissan are scum, morons & assholes
    All their vehicles are all shit, rubbish & all garbage
    Their companies must be removed from this face of this planet
    Nissan SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS & SUCKS


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