Nissan LEAF news
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Cars.com, a consumer website aiming to help ordinary people choose the right car, has named the 2013 Nissan LEAF its “Eco-Friendly Car of the Year.” The LEAF’s competitors this year were the Chevrolet Volt and the Volkswagen Jetta Sportswagen TDI, Cars.com executive editor Joe Wiesenfelder told PluginCars.com. The LEAF “is accessible, high-volume, and most recently started to address the limitations that have kept people from buying it,” he said.
Nissan yesterday announced a modest $180 increase in the starting price of the 2014 all-electric LEAF, compared to the 2013 model. The entry-level S trim is now priced at $28,900. The only change in features is the inclusion of the RearView Monitor as standard equipment on all models, where it was previously part of the “Charge Package.” The LEAF’s SV and SL trim choices will also be offered in 2014 with a $180 increase. The LEAF SV is now priced at $32,000, and the SL at $35,020.
This week the Green Parking Council (GPC) and Nissan announced a partnership in which the Japanese automaker is offering significant funding and charging station hardware to GPC members, as long as they commit to an accelerated installation schedule. The program is an extension of announcements by Nissan throughout 2013 that it will subsidize a CHAdeMO-based fast charging network across the U.S.
A Georgia man spent more than 15 hours in DeKalb County Jail on theft charges after police determined that he had stolen electricity from a local school when he briefly used an outlet there to charge his Nissan LEAF as his son played tennis. Kaveh Kamooneh was eventually charged with “theft by taking without consent” 11 days after the incident, when police showed up at his house and led him away to jail.
A common complaint about the all-electric Nissan LEAF has been its short range, officially 75 miles on a full charge according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. To address that challenge, Nissan could add options for consumers to purchase bigger battery packs to boost the LEAF’s all-electric range, Pierre Loing, vice president of product and advanced planning and strategy told PluginCars.com. “The packaging easiness (of the battery) makes it easier to put more batteries in the car, and you will see this,” Loing said during an interview this week at the 2013 Los Angeles Auto Show.
Nissan will boost its production capacity for the all-electric LEAF at its Smyrna, Tenn. plant in late December or early January, said Jose Munoz, senior vice president of sales, marketing, customer quality, and dealer network at Nissan Americas. Speaking to PluginCars.com on the sidelines of the 2013 Western Automotive Conference in Los Angeles on Nov. 19, Munoz said Nissan hadn’t determined the size of the increase, but that it would be “an important increase, not just a little.” The decision to increase production was based on the results of a study currently being conducted.
It’s not every day the CEO of a big company publicly tests out a product prototype, and then talks about it openly on camera. But that’s exactly what CEO Carlos Ghosn did last week at the CEATEC Japan 2013 Convention, a major electronics show. Moreover, the CEO of the Renault-Nissan Alliance said that its self-driving cars could reach the market sooner than 2020, as previously promised.
Nissan announced last week that it is adding the all-electric LEAF to its Certified Pre-Owned Vehicle program. Beginning in September, CPO LEAF's will be available backed by a robust Nissan's warranty.
After the devastating Japanese earthquake and tsunami of March 2011, automakers like Nissan and Mitsubishi have developed commercial systems which enable electric car owners to power their homes in an emergency, using electrical energy stored in their car’s battery pack. Now, in an attempt to help prefectures across Japan provide emergency power in the event of a future natural disaster, Nissan this week announced that it will donate one LEAF electric car and one LEAF-to-Home power station to a rest stop in each of Japan’s 47 prefectures.