A University of Central Florida researcher and his 12-year old son have become the first ever to pilot a production electric vehicle over the 400-mile mark on a single charge. David Metcalf and his son Adam achieved the feat this weekend after a 423.5-mile journey through Florida lasting nearly 17 hours.
The University of California, Riverside, is working on a guidance system that chooses the smartest, range-extending route, not the shortest distance.
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.