We discovered a slight improvement in economy when the LEAF was driven in the "Eco" mode. The faux-commute was fairly short in distance, but if the numbers were run for an entire year, the economy savings could really add up.
Recently, PluginCars.com decided to compare two Nissan LEAFs, head-to-head, in a competition for range and economy. The plan was to run one LEAF in the "Eco" Mode, while running the other in the normal "D" position, on a grueling course which started at Staples Center in downtown Los Angeles, driving to the top of Mt. Wilson, then returning to the bottom of Angeles Crest Highway.
Ford expects its 2012 Focus Electric to become the "first five-passenger electric vehicle with a 100 miles per gallon equivalent (MPGe)." The company will try to promote the magic triple-digit number as a key differentiator compared to the Nissan LEAF. But the Focus Electric's higher $39,995 price tag might be the more important number. Besides, the real-world numbers for driving range between the LEAF and Focus Electric are essentially identical.
Despite its official EPA rating of 32 miles in electric-only mode, the 2012 Fisker Karma plug-in hybrid returned a shocking 51.6 miles in electric-only mode during official efficiency tests conducted in Europe.
Weight is the enemy of fuel economy, and the Karma tops the scales at 5,300 pounds—SUV territory. The best hope for putting the Karma on a diet rests with the battery pack. But Fisker says most drivers will stay within the car's 32-mile electric range, with the equivalent of 52 mpg.
New to EVs? Start here
What Is An Electric Car?
Before we get going, let's establish basic definitions.
A Quick Guide to Plug-in Hybrids
Some plug-in cars have back-up engines to extend driving range.
Electric Cars Pros and Cons
EVs are a great solution for most people. But not everybody.
Seven Things To Know About Buying a Plug-In Car
A few simple tips before you visit the dealership.
Federal and Local Incentives for Plug-in Hybrids and Electric Cars
Take advantage of credits and rebates to reduce EV costs.
Eight Factors Determining Total Cost of Ownership of an Electric Car
EVs get bad rap as expensive. Until you look at TCO.
Quick Guide to Buying Your First Home EV Charger
You'll want a home charger. Here's how to buy the right one.
Electric Car Utility Rate Plans: Top Five Rules
With the right utility plan, electric fuel can be dirt cheap.
The Ultimate Guide to Electric Car Charging Networks
If you plan to charge in public, you'll want to sign up for charging network membership (or two).
Eight Rules of Electric Vehicle Charging Etiquette
Thou shalt charge only when necessary. And other rules to live by.