December 24, 2010
Wow, who is this guy?! Hahaha just kidding, I remember you! It’s been such a long time since I last saw you, I barely recognized you! Anyway, big things going on in the green sector right now. If you live in the US, then there’s no doubt you’ve heard about the release of the 2011 Chevrolet Volt. Let’s drop some stats: It gets 60 mpg in hybrid mode, 37 mpg in gas mode, and an impressive 93 mpg in electric battery mode. The Prius can go crawl back into its shoebox as far as I’m concerned (it’s funny because the Prius looks like a giant shoe). Price tag? 40G. Okay maybe the Prius can come out of the box for a few more production years. It’s hard not to look at that MSRP, but there are benefits. Buyers may be eligible for a $7,500 tax break. And this thing is cool. Look at it! It looks faster/better than half of Chevy’s current lineup. It’ll give that old BMW m at the stop light a run for its money, too. But our Volt has a serious competitor in the form of Nissan’s latest technological breakthrough.
It’s called the Nissan LEAF. It’s a smartphone with wheels and it’s cooler than the original Tron movie. Its fuel economy? 106 in the city, 92 on the wide open road. The LEAF is 100% EV and that mileage stat is proportional to the amount of gasoline it would be burning … if it had an internal combustion engine. MSRP on this one starts as 32K. Not bad for the first step towards the future of cutting edge automotive technology. We’re talking about a vehicle that you charge like your iphone at night; when you’re sleeping, it is too.
So what are we comprimising here? Well we should look back at what each model has to offer. The Chevy VOlt allows for greater range flexibility thanks to its internal combustion engine. It has the advantage range-wise, performance-wise, and maybes even asthetics-wise. But, you’re still very much tied to the petrol companies and you’re still buying a GM. True, the American automakers have been improving over the past few production years, but they still lead the global industry is consumer complaints and mechanical issues. The Nissan LEAF, our little Japanese beetlebug, allows you to wave goodbye to OPEC with a grin on your face. Also, you’re buying Nissan quality and the cool-factor that only Nissan is supplying today. However, your range is limited and so is your driving performance. Also, the infrastructure for charging stations and parking meter/charging booth combos is lagging far behind the EV market. This means that 100% EV drivers will have to wait for investors to catch up until they take that road trip to Steve’s house. What it all comes down to is that both the Chevy Volt and the Nissan LEAF are exceptionally-designed, exceptionally-cool models and represent the consumer understanding that our buying habits greatly effect the world around us, and this, my friends, is a positive step for humanity.
Let me know what you think about these two green pioneering platforms by leaving a comment or shooting me an e-mail, you all always have great thought-provoking feedback. I’m sorry I’ve been gone for so long, but I’m back and that’s all that matters!