Leaf EV Gets 367 MPG, Says Nissan
By Brendan Moore
Nissan, not to be outdone by GM’s claim of 230 mpg for it’s new Volt, has stated online that it’s new Leaf EV will get 367 mpg. That is approximately 60% better fuel efficiency than the Volt’s stated fuel mileage.
There does, however, seem to be an obvious problem with Nissan’s claim of fuel mileage for the Leaf. Since the Leaf is an EV, it uses only electric current to move itself, with a range of 100 miles available with the battery pack. The Volt is an EV with a supplemental gasoline-powered engine; in other words, a hybrid that uses both electricity and gasoline to power the car.
There is a U.S. Department of Energy methodology for translating petroleum-equivalent fuel economy for electric vehicles, and that is believed to be what Nissan is basing its fuel mileage estimates on. It should be noted that neither the Chevrolet Volt or the Nissan Leaf has been tested by the any U.S. federal agency at this point.
Nissan made the statement on its Twitter page yesterday after GM’s announcement of the Volt’s fuel mileage. “Nissan Leaf = 367 mpg, no tailpipe, and no gas required,” was the message Nissan Media Relations sent out on Twitter yesterday, adding, “Oh yeah, and it’ll be affordable too,” for good measure. The last comment is obviously Nissan’s commentary on the Volt’s $40,000 USD price tag. Nissan plans to sell the Leaf EV for around $30,000 USD.
So, the battle has been joined.
GM’s announcement yesterday about fuel mileage seemed to be kind of a stretch to many, considering that many daily uses of the Volt would never require the gasoline engine to kick in at all. For those people, Nissan’s statement about fuel consumption for an EV that cannot use gasoline/diesel must seem sublimely ridiculous.
But this is marketing and public relations spat, not an engineering discussion. What’s important is this struggle are the conclusions the buying public reaches regarding fuel economy of the vehicles involved and the “green” credentials of the company that offers those vehicles, not what engineers think.
GM, lambasted for decades as a poor corporate citizen for producing so many gas-guzzlers, wants the high ideological ground that the Volt is parked on. Nissan, while not suffering from the same negative environmental public perception legacy that GM battles on a daily basis, wants the same thing GM wants – to be perceived as the automaker doing the most to combat the environmental damage automobiles do to the world, whilst saving their customers a great deal of money in energy costs. There is also the concurrent sidebar issue of presenting yourself as a leader in technology for the car companies.
GM fired the first shot in this skirmish yesterday; Nissan responded today, and there will be more responses from other auto manufacturers in the future.
COPYRIGHT Autosavant – All Rights Reserved