2012 Nissan Leaf: Test Drive


The plug thingy to plug into the car is easy enough to use, Jeff Foxworthy says even a 5th grader could do it.  This is the power supply thing for 120V which just plugs into any standard wall outlet.  It's about the same size as the power supply for my work laptop (the laptop is a beast).


The Leaf uses the two-tier setup like the Honda Civic.  Instead of engine coolant temperature, tachometer, and fuel tank level gauges, you get battery temperature, power meter, and battery level gauges.  The center readout is currently showing a lifetime average of 4.6 miles per kilowatt-hour of energy usage with a total of 2558 miles on the car.  Using some quick math, we can calculate an equivalent mile per gallon economy.  Power costs between 10 cents and 15 cents per kilowatt-hour, so we'll say 12.5 cents.  Regular gas is currently about $3.50 around LA, so the cost for one gallon of gas would get you about 28 kWh of power.  28 kWh times 4.6 miles per kWh gives you an equivalent fuel economy of 128.8mpg.  Not too bad, eh?  


The 'shifter' is the toggle doohickey thing.  Reverse is to the left and up and Drive is to the left and back.  There is also the ECO mode which is twice down.  Park is the center button.  The parking brake is the switch at the bottom which you push or lift to turn on and off the parking brake.  FYI, if the parking brake is on and you hit the throttle long enough, the car will automatically turn off the parking brake.  My bro-in-law and I tried, you know, for the sake of MIQ readers.  No hand brake turns are possible in the Leaf, sorry.  Oh, I forgot to mention the Leaf uses the modern standard issue 'key' which just has to be somewhere near the car.  To turn on and off the car, there is a power button.  The current generation of kids won't know what it means to turn the key anymore.  My newest car is a 2006, so none of this fancy stuff.


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