I love the idea of electric cars and have done for a long time.
Recently, one of my best friends Ray Flynn, proprietor of Flynns Garage (a Nissan Dealership in Carlow, Ireland), contacted me to let me know he is one of only 15 Nissan dealerships in Ireland who have been approved to sell the new all-electric Nissan Leaf. As such he had a limited number of slots available for a test drive and he wanted to know if I’d like one of them. I jumped at the chance!
The Leaf is a totally electric car relying completely on its 24 kW·h/90 kW lithium ion battery pack for power. The battery pack is rated to deliver 100 miles on a full charge but this can vary from about 62 miles (100 km) to almost 138 miles (222 km) depending on driving style, load, traffic conditions, weather (i.e. wind, atmospheric density) and accessory use.
Nissan Leaf under the hood
The car is a five seater with a spacious interior. It is very responsive to drive. My own car is a 2008 Toyota Prius and this is a much nippier car than the Prius. It handles well on the road and because there are 300kg of batteries under the floor, the car sticks to the road on corners!
Charge time varies on the type of charging (normal or fast) and whether the battery is fully depleted or only partially. Using a standard 220/240 volt 30 amp supply the battery can be fully charged in 8 hours. Fast charging using a 440V level 3 charger charges to 80% in around 20 minutes – these are typically the kinds of chargers you will see deployed in places like McDonalds, Tesco’s and motorway café’s I assume.
Nissan Leaf interior
There is a lot of technology built in to the car. It is connected to a global data center which provides support, information and entertainment at all times. The GPS navigation system delivers a constantly updating display of your range as well as showing all the charging stations on your route and it allows you to book a charging station to ensure that it is available when you arrive.
Mobile phone apps will allow remote turning on of aircon and heating as well as setting charging times to coincide with time of use rates from utilities…
Forty years is a long, long time from now, so making predictions about the state of the world in 2050 is a pretty easy thing to do. Who’s going to remember to fact check you? Nobody, that’s who. Still, it’s worth noting that Shell chief executive Peter Voser said yesterday that he expects plug-in vehicles to make up up to 40 percent of the global car market in 2050
“Energy efficiency can create 38,000 new jobs for North Carolinians while saving consumers $3.6 billion in energy bills, according to a new report released today by the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE). The report, North Carolina’s Energy Future: Electricity, Water, and Transportation Efficiency, suggests a broad set of policies that can meet nearly a quarter of the state’s energy demand and enables North Carolina to become a national leader in clean energy development and deployment while boosting the state’s economic growth.
The largest airport in the country, with the “greenest” parking lot, is in a bit of environmental trouble: a DIA raw sewage spill may have sent a million gallons of disgusting into waterways that can feed into the Barr Lake fishery and bird sanctuary (enjoy that, bald eagles).