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Transportation Power

Will the Nissan Leaf Take On the Tesla Model S At Half the Price? 398

cartechboy (2660665) writes "Ask most people why they won't consider an electric car, and they talk about range anxiety. And I can easily imagine why 84 miles of range isn't enough. Now it sounds like Nissan is listening, as well as watching Tesla's success. The company plans to boost the Leaf electric car's driving range with options for larger battery packs. Not long ago Nissan surveyed Tesla Model S owners, and they probably heard loud and clear that longer driving range is very, very important. So it looks like the Leaf might get up to 150 miles of range, possibly by the 2016 model year. The range increase will come from a larger battery pack, possibly 36 or 42 kWh, and more energy-dense cells. Either way, clearly Nissan is looking to expand the appeal of the world's best-selling electric car, and increasing its driving range is pretty clearly a key to doing so. I just wish Nissan would ditch the weird styling while they're at it."
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Will the Nissan Leaf Take On the Tesla Model S At Half the Price?

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  • Mass transit (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Katatsumuri ( 1137173 ) on Tuesday April 22, 2014 @12:25PM (#46815915)

    I hope that eventually logic will prevail and properly organized mass transit (including maybe self-driving taxi cabs) will replace most of the private cars. Then we will not have to argue about the little details like individual vehicle range, styling or retail price.

  • by Ralph Spoilsport ( 673134 ) on Tuesday April 22, 2014 @12:52PM (#46816153) Journal
    Look - you wanna sell a jillion Nissan Leafs? Make the look like THIS [], and I would buy one in a fuckin' heartbeat. Electric cars don't have to look like lumpy golf carts.
  • by suutar ( 1860506 ) on Tuesday April 22, 2014 @01:37PM (#46816597)

    Close, but not quite. Most people own a car _older_ than 10 years. Not all of them bought it new. There is some truth to both the stereotype of the guy who has to have the new hotness every couple of years and the guy who would never think of buying anything less than two years old to weed out lemons and avoid the early value cliff.

  • by lgw ( 121541 ) on Tuesday April 22, 2014 @01:49PM (#46816695) Journal

    I think that's exactly right. The "range" on electric cars is best case (no radio, no climate control, being that dick who won't accelerate on the on-ramp, etc). "Half" is probably a good engineering fudge factor, and a 40 mile practical range doesn't cut it.

    I'm pining for a serial plug-in hybrid. Give me an electric car with a pure-electric drive drain, Tesla-style, but stick a super-efficient 50 HP generator under the hood, and give it a small gas tank. Now I'm quite happy with a 40 or even 30 mile practical range. Most days that's good, and the generator can run in the parking lot when it's not.

    (You can make amazingly efficient turbine engines if you don't care about weight. Forget the terrible helicopter engines, think industrial power generation: multiple heat exchangers, possibly multiple expansion stages, cool, low-pressure exhaust with no waste. Scaled down to 50 HP I expect it would fit nicely in a car. And if it lets you save 80% of the battery weight it can be a good trade.)

  • by BasilBrush ( 643681 ) on Tuesday April 22, 2014 @04:02PM (#46817867)

    1000 times thank you. I've had to repeat the "Volt is a Prius" mantra far more than I care to.

    The reason you are having to repeat it so often, is that you are mistaken.

    The Volt is a serial hybrid. The ICE only powers a generator. The power from the generator can be fed both into the electric motor, or can be used to recharge the batteries.

    This is unlike the Prius, where the motor has a mechanical linkage to the drive wheels.

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