By Brad Berman ·
January 09, 2010

Detroit Auto Show Gets Real, With Efficiency



In the past, the Detroit auto show was all about theater. Pulsating music, fog machines, and sexy models. Some of that remains, but at this year’s show, starting next week, automakers are getting real. After years of spending millions of dollars on glitzy displays but fighting higher efficiency standards, car companies are finally putting their energies into the battle for leadership in advanced fuel-saving technology.

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By Brad Berman ·
December 16, 2009

For Electric Cars, What’s In a Name?

As the Bard might have put it, “That which we call an all-electric emissions-free vehicle, by any other name would drive as sweet.” To gain mainstream acceptance by mainstream car buyers, electric cars will face all kinds of real economic and technical challenges—such as limited driving range, hefty price premiums, and lack of charging stations. But a car company’s first task in marketing an electric car or plug-in hybrid is coming up with a name that gives a sense of a bold new step in automotive technology, yet one that is not too strange or off-putting.

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By Brad Berman ·
December 01, 2009

A Boring Conversation about the Nissan Leaf

This morning, we got some time behind the wheel of a modified Nissan Versa outfitted with the Nissan Leaf’s electric drivetrain. And we spoke with Owen Thunes, senior project engineer for electric and fuel cell vehicles at Nissan’s Sacramento-based technical center. Thunes told us, "What’s remarkable about the Leaf is that it’s unremarkable."

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Nissan Leaf Details Revealed in National Tour

By Brad Berman ·
November 25, 2009


The national tour for the all-electric Nissan Leaf continues to make its way across the country. We were able to see the five-seat 100-mile-range car yesterday in Walnut Creek, California—a few days before it arrives at the 2009 San Francisco International Auto Show. This gave us an opportunity to confirm a few key points, and discover one or two others.

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By Brad Berman ·
November 23, 2009

The Volt and Leaf, One Year Away

The Chevrolet Volt plug-in hybrid, and the Nissan Leaf pure electric car, are both about one year away from reaching car dealerships. At the “T minus one year" mark, top-tier auto journalists are finding small faults with the cars, but are pronouncing them in great shape for a rollout in one year.

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By Brad Berman ·
November 06, 2009

Nissan Looks Beyond Its First Electric Car



Nissan released an image yesterday of a light commercial electric vehicle concept. It’s just a sketch, but the drawing signals that Nissan is moving forward with plans to build an entire electric vehicle program—rather than focusing on a single vehicle.

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By Brad Berman ·
September 21, 2009

Nissan Considers Battery-Leasing for Electric Cars

For the past few months, Nissan-Renault has been tiptoeing around the idea of leasing the battery packs that power its upcoming electric cars. The goal is to assuage consumer worries about getting stung with the high cost of replacing an electric car battery if it fails or loses too much capability over the course of years. Nissan has not confirmed details, but recent comments from executives show that the company is seriously considering the idea.

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By Brad Berman ·
September 10, 2009

European Carmakers Embrace Plug-in Cars


The growing list of part- or pure-electric cars to be displayed at next week’s Frankfurt Auto Show establishes a new litmus test for green cars at auto shows: Cars without plugs are behind the times.

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By Brad Berman ·
August 03, 2009

Blogosphere Responds to Nissan’s Electric Car


No longer an amorphous concept, Nissan’s electric car can now be stacked up against other hybrids and plug-in cars for its look and feel, features, and likely cost. The reviews from the blogosphere—usually an irreverent crowd—were mixed.

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By Brad Berman ·
August 01, 2009

First Photos and Video of All-Electric Nissan Leaf

After months of anticipation, Nissan today unveiled the Nissan Leaf, a medium-size all-electric hatchback that seats five adults and has a range of 100 miles. Check out first photos and video.

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