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We are heading out to go take the Leaf for a spin. I will report later this evening when we get home. :D

 

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See, "fyi.. I've considered the Leaf, but damn it's ugly. And not in a "so ugly it's cute - Steven Tyler/Mick Jagger" kinda way! " that's I think a big part of their reasoning behind these designs. If they MAKE the electric / hybrid available but its so ugly/non car like then people don't want it and they can say hey see we had them available but consumers didn't want them. Why I want to do my conversion, take a car that looks like a car and make it just go. No need to be all Jetson ish or other planet roverish just a car that works on electric.
 

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Nissan has put too much time and money into this thing to want it to fail, including a lot of good advertising, (unlike GM with the EV1), and a good part of the looks have to do with aerodynamics, battery placement, and usable interior space. Again I'll point to the Prius which many, including myself, thought looked like crap yet still ended up selling very well.
 

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Nissan has put too much time and money into this thing to want it to fail, including a lot of good advertising, (unlike GM with the EV1), and a good part of the looks have to do with aerodynamics, battery placement, and usable interior space. Again I'll point to the Prius which many, including myself, thought looked like crap yet still ended up selling very well.
It's aerodynamics are about average, at least as far as drag is concerned.
 
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Done with our drive. Pics when we get home. We are at Dennys getting dinner so will fill in later. First impressions are very good. :)
 
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Pics are up at:
http://greenev.zapto.org/63ev/63_EV/Leaf_Test_Drive.html
http://greenev.zapto.org/63ev/63_EV/Leaf_Pics.html

I was quite impressed with the Leaf. I had reservations but was pleased to have them lifted. It is not a cheap car but not overly expensive either. You can buy or lease. 8 year warranty for the Battery. 10 year for the car. Sweet. It has plenty of room for the driver and front passenger. My wife said the rear seating was fine. It is very comfortable and fits large sizes tall and big well. Plenty of leg and head room. Handles well. Quite peppy and will do 0 to 60 in 9.3 seconds. Almost as good as my TDI and the torque is excellent. It just moves out. Its not a sports car but one could be made easy. I was just impressed and have driven a few different electric cars. I'd say you'd be hard pressed to build one just as nice for the price. AC or DC. This sucker is silent. Kinda Creepy quiet. If it were not for some added noise at low speeds you would not hear this sucker coming up from behind. Period. It's that quiet. Distances have been from 70 to 130 miles per charge. During the test driving that has been going on for some time now the cars are averaging 115 miles per charge. They are allowing the drivers to just go. We did not get to go on the freeway but I did get it up pretty good. It just plain scoots out. Some ICE cars would struggle to keep up. Plenty of storage room too. Good for commuting and car pooling. Imagine the savings in energy if you car pooled with one of these puppies. :)

The only thing I did not like was the short drive.

Black is the Best color and White the next. Then the Blue and Maroon then Silver. Silver sucks.

Sorry no Green Leafs. I may actually get the black one but I hate black out here because its so damn dirty. Shows up real bad on black. Might get white. One of the two will be picked. The blue is not as nice as I'd expected and the Maroon is just not my thing but it looks ok in that color. Silver really sucks. It really shines nice in Black and White. Black being the best after seeing them in person. It wears black real well.

I am quite impressed. It is a game changer. Guaranteed.

Pete :)
 

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First, thanks for the review. My ONLY issue with the LEAF is the design. I just don't think it's attractive (personal taste.) Having said that, I am planning a 20K+ conversion as we speak with lithium, soliton, etc, and it really makes me stop and think twice about moving forward. If I can get a LEAF for the same or just a bit more, doesn't that make MUCH more sense?? I'd get a warranty and a much more marketable vehicle if I decide to sell it a couple of years down the road (I never keep cars for long; I like variety.)

Now the real question is, "can I get a LEAF in Indiana?" And like you, I think it looks MUCH better in black. But I'm also compulsively neat, so black is out right off the top! I dig maroon.. love that color on cars. You've really got me thinking now... damn... :confused:
 
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They are rolling them out everywhere from what I know. Now if you don't keep cars for very long you can lease and change out in 3 years if you want. That is not uncommon at all. I suspect that these will hold excellent value. The batter pack is accessible for changing out and maybe by the time the pack really craps out if they do, you can upgrade to a pack the same physical size but more capacity. That is the hope as technology advances. I am still in the DIY mode but it is for sure going to be a game changer because if the Leaf does well all the other manufactures will roll out their models and just open up the market with affordable electric. No more needing to convert unless your favorite vehicle in the world just needs electric and the only way to do that is to convert it. But for electrics to really change the game they will have to be real good looking and not these funky things. I don't mind the Leaf's look but really hoped for better and more futuristic designs. Some day maybe. For now I am glad I can buy a nice electric with payments and warranty for a decent price.

Pete :)

As for the noise maker, it really is not much at all. I actually did not even notice it from within or standing outside while they drove away on their test drives. Can't say, cause I was so focused on the car I guess I just missed it and it was a bit noisy from lots of folks talking. So maybe the tiny bit of noise was just drown out. No need to disable that.

Pete :)
 

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If I can get a LEAF for the same or just a bit more, doesn't that make MUCH more sense??
I think so. 'Course, that also depends on how much the required charger and installation cost. I spent around $20k to convert a Swift that has around 75 mile range. It is inferior to a vehicle like the Leaf for room, comfort, and acceleration, and has no warranty. I sure enjoy driving the Swift, but I think the Leaf would be better. For $5k more I'd have gone that route, but I'm not sure what an installed charger cost. As far as looks, I'm too pragmatic to care much. That always takes a distant second place to functionality. I actually like the looks of the Prius - all of them. Probably because they are aerodynamic - functionality.
 

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I think the Leaf charger is around $2k. As for Leaf availability it's going to be pretty limited from what I understand for the first year. They've already stopped taking reservations at 20K or so. I agree that conversions of similar cost and range make a lot less sense at this point unless you want to do a specific vehicle or just like the challenge.
 

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Well, realistically, once you add sales tax, charging station, any options.... you're probably looking at 30k easily with the Leaf. Not to mention the added cost of insurance and annual registration for a new vehicle. An EV gets registered (in Indiana anyway) as the donor car. Maybe if I work really hard to keep my costs down as close to 20k as possible, it still makes sense to do a conversion. Plus, I'd have a car I like the looks of and the satisfaction of doing it myself. That's worth a lot of dollars too.
 
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