Sunday, November 28, 2010

Nissan Leaf 99 mpg, will be introduced in some U.S. markets in December

The Nissan Leaf electric car, which has been given an official EPA fuel economy rating of 99 mpg, will be introduced in some U.S. markets in December. All cars must be given an EPA fuel economy label rating in order to be sold in the United States.

The EPA created the “mpg-equivalent” rating because the Nissan Leaf uses electricity and not gasoline for fuel. The 99 mpg rating will make Leaf the most efficient mid-sized vehicle sold. Nissan has been heavily promoting the Leaf as having a full driving range on a complete charge of about 100 miles, but the label it provides says the Leaf gets just 73 miles on a full charge.

The EPA officially rates Nissan Leaf as producing no greenhouse gas emissions, and also gives it the best possible rating for other pollutants.

It however trails behind the electric "Nissan Leaf" for which the EPA rated an estimated 99 mpg. The EPA gave the Volt a rating of 93 MPGe in all-electric mode. This comes below 99 MPGe, the rating assigned for the Nissan Leaf earlier this week. The EPA has also rated the Volt’s range at 35 miles, when it was powered by a 400-pound lithium-ion battery pack.

Depending on conditions, GM would continue to describe the Volt’s battery range between 25 miles and 50 miles. The Chevy Volt, when running on gasoline alone, will have a traditional EPA fuel economy rating of 37 miles per gallon in combined city and highway driving.

In comparison the Chevrolet Volt’s rating tops out the 2011 Toyota Prius, Pirus has an EPA rating of 51 miles per gallon in city driving and 48 in highway driving.

Electric cars have created the rent-seeker's dream. By contrast, the Leaf could make the same trip using subsidized electricity for little or no fuel cost. Consumers have long wondered what kind of fuel-economy rating an electric car would get from the Environmental Protection Agency. The EPA has approved a rating of 99 miles per gallon for the 2011 Nissan Leaf in combined city and highway driving.

But we’ll have to wait awhile to find out how the Nissan Leaf main rival, the electric-gasoline powered Chevrolet Volt, will compare. The agency derived the Leaf’s fuel-economy figure using an equivalency formula it designed to give car shoppers a standard by which to judge overall fuel efficiency and environmental impact for a wide range of vehicles using a variety of fuels and power sources.

The fuel-mileage tag will be part of the car’s window sticker, called a Monroney label.

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