Nissan Leaf ($25k, 100m Range, 100% Electric) VS. Chevy Volt?


I think they are both great ideas for everyone but me. Hopefully they sell enough to allow gas prices to plummet. Oh no there goes my job! FML I hope they fail. lol


100% electric isn’t really an option if it’s your only car, at least if you don’t want to jump back in time to Oregon Trail like restrictions where no one would even consider traveling more than 100 miles in a day.

It would probably be a reasonable 2nd car for a family where both commute. Have your gas vehicle you can take road trips in and do anything that requires going more than 100 miles and have one person commute daily in the battery powered car.

The biggest problem I see is trying to justify that $25k price, even if gas hits $5 a gallon. Buy a Honda Fit for $15k and it’s a far more practical car. That gives you 10K to play with, more like 12K by the time you buy a quick charger and pay an electrician to install it. We’ll ignore the fact that a ton of houses don’t have 40 amps free in their circuit boxes and would require even more money to update the box first.

An article on the Leaf says an average of about $3 to charge it for it’s 100 mile range.

Leaf: 12k/year / 100 miles a charge * $3 per charge = 360/yr in fuel costs

Fit 12k/year / 30MPG combined * $5/gal = $2000/yr in fuel costs

So 7.31 years just to break even, and you’re living with a far less practical car those 7.31 years. I think anyone good at math will pass.

EDIT: I also didn’t account for the fact that the $12k difference is an up front cost, meaning that $12k is money you could have invested while driving the Fit so it would be earning you interest while only withdrawing the extra 1640 you pay in gas each year.


typical american response

“If it doesn’t benefit my wallet, I don’t want it”

Of course there will always be a cheaper car that will offset the costs. Hey, instead of buying this car, maybe we should all just go buy $1k honda civics while we’re at it. Then the cost will be EVEN cheaper. I know that is an exaggeration, but spending $25k on a car isn’t all that much in the grand scheme. The $40k Volt or the >$60k Teslas, then I agree the initial cost is too high.


^In 7 years gas will be $8/gallon and that car will increase in value. :wink:


No, typical educated person raising a family response.

The cold hard truth is most people won’t pay a premium for a “green” solution that also requires them to sacrifice performance.

CFL’s became mainstream when their price came down.
Energy star appliances pay for themselves, so they’re big sellers.
High efficiency furnaces also pay for themselves easily over their lifespan, so they sell well.
The list goes on and on. Until the “green” choice makes sense economically it really doesn’t make any sense.


i woudl take the leaf…my daily commute is 50 miles…and i most likely wouldnt drive another fifty miles after work…again the argument can be said well 100 miles wont take me a road trip…i personally would never take any significant road trip in that small of a car lol…

the whole purpose of electric or hybrids is to safe Money and environment…so whats wrong with people trying to get a few more bux in their pocket…

going off of JayS numbers the 1640 bux wil def add up over time…but i guess we will see


you’re entitled to your opinion, but I think it’s a naive one…especially with the success that car companies have already had with hybrids (which don’t add up to your math either).


The huge difference with the hybrid is they’re not asking people to accept a significant performance decrease. It still has basically unlimited range and can function just fine as your primary vehicle. Plus, you can get a Prius for 22800 msrp before any tax discounts, so the ROI is looking better.


Well no shit, lol.

There are only 3 reasons people will buy these cars that I can see;

  1. That they will “save money” (real or perceived)
  2. They want to “fell good” about “saving the environment”
  3. Increased convenience

If #1 is only an illusion vs. other vehicle options (as we’ve been over countless times since Hybrids were first introduced) and you’re not a “feel good” hippie, then the only reason to buy one is that it offers some convenience over the vehicle you drive now. So which tech is more convenient to you? There is no right or wrong answer, it just depends on your situation. As I said, not ever having to go to a gas station again is something I like… but not enough that I would give up my SUV.


Apparently it’s a huge difference…but only to you (well not only, but it’s your opinion). That $3k price difference (which is splitting hairs), would definitely be made up for over time in gas savings.

I see plenty of people in my area driving smart cars, motorcycles, scooters… hell I see a guy heading to work every day that drives some funky 3-wheel 1 seat car. Guys I work with ride motorycles to save gas. These are all un-realistic vehicles to be driving as your primary vehicle. Plenty of people have no problem with making it work with their lives.


JayS is my perspective in this entire thread… A+


I think most auto-enthusiasts would say that the technology is cool, but that it’s not for them.

Hell, I wouldn’t buy one…I like my fast cars, and need shit that can tow and carry some lumber and shit.

People will buy them even if theyre not cost effective though. That’s my prediction. One of my co-workers was talking about buying a Fusion Hybrid a little while back. I think he was telling me that he optioned it up and it was a bit over $30k. I LOL’d inside…He will never get his money back in gas savings, and that is an absurd amount of money for a fucking ford fusion…but he seemed to really like the idea of hopping on the hybrid bandwagon.

I see where you guys are coming from…but I think you are underestimating the stupidity of the people out there.


I watched an ultimate factory type show on National Geographic the other day about the Volt’s pre assembly.
It was interesting to see a unibody car essentially hand built.

I would really like to know about cold weather performance of the batteries…
During undergrad, a Delphi guy brought an EV1 to class… It was an interesting little car.
It’s also the most aerodynamically efficient car GM has made. #2 is the volt.

Electric and Hybrid cars IMO are a waste of money. The only thing I like about them, is that they are
helping generate the interest required to further fund R&D efforts.

How much does it cost to convert a standard car to an electric car? That would be the cheapest way to
‘go green’

If I had an electric RWD cadavalier, that would be great. I would only have to turn on the engine to pass NY inspections every year…


in the big picture it’s all about working the technology so it’s better and cheaper in the future. this is all immature and for early adapters at this point. the cost effective version is probably 10 years away.


For the Volt, it is ALWAYS at partial-charge. The battery is designed to vary between 30-80% of “full rated charge”, meaning that of the 16kWH that the battery is capable of, only 8kWH is acutally “usable”. That leaves some energy “in the battery” for short-term acceleration maneuvers even when on the gasoline engine. The engine will then only recharge to the 30% level - and not a full charge.

This is done to conserve battery life. The Prius does it this way too. Li-ion performance degrades with the number of full charge-discharge cycles, and splitting up to multiple partial-charges increases battery lifespan.

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Alot of the time, it’s all about perception. I hear the Prius is the #1 vehicle in the San Francisco market, with about a 20% share (not Toyota, but the Prius alone). People will buy cars dependent upon what it “says about them”. Buying a Leaf or a Volt to make a statement is in no way different than anyone buying a 911 Carrera that never goes faster than 65 (my neighbor has one, but doesn’t know anything about cars except gas, keys, and go…


Hot and cold weather testing as well as performance and durability testing is underway. Things look fairly promising…

A coworker made an electric Saturn, cost him about $12k…


Two different people on the Nissan website asked about acceleration and the same answer was given; “It is surprisingly effortless”. WTF does that mean?!? I hope it is effortless I mean it is not a bicycle right?

If I did buy one I would definatley plug it into my house and kill the NYSEG power supply to see how long I could run my house.:smiley: I bet it would be at least a week.
If everyone drove these think of the tax implications, especially in NY where gasoline taxes are so high.


To those who thought the leaf wouldn’t sell

Looks like final pricing is ~32k. gov’t incentives (esp California) could bring the find price tag down to ~ 20k


Let me know when they actually sell 25k, or even get within shouting range of the top 10. It’s still just a toy.


lol theyre in limited production and only selling them in a few states…people are ordering though