Monday, January 21, 2013

Ford comes through and breaks my 20 mile barrier...
(Thank goodness!)

It is one good looking family car! It will look down right mean in black or slate grey!

Yep! you plug it in as well!

As you all know I have officially decided that to be a true plug in Hybrid you have to travel more than 20 miles on electric only... now Ford was in a bit of a mess when it published EPA numbers in the 47 mpg range when no one... not even the EPA could even reach that number. Most hit the 40 mpg some came did come close to 44 (highway) (but they where most likely going down hill with the wind at their backs).

Personally I was very disappointed that Ford would play with these numbers just to bring in sales when the technology is actually there to able to hit 47mpg... and they can do so by tweaking a few things... Just look at the 2013 Nissan Leaf; Nissan was able to squeeze out a reported 10% more miles per charge. How did they do this? Aerodynamics and tweaking the regen breaks, throw in a bit of reprograming and ... 8 miles where added.
So I believe that Ford can hit the 47 mpg number they just got to make good and step up to the plate.

That said I am writing to report that Ford has come through announcing a 21 miles per charge range!
This is big cause I really like the Ford Fusion. It is a good looking car both outside and in. Has that Aston Martin grill up front and it fits 5! And when the electric juice runs out the Liquid juice takes over. I can really see this car as a fantastic commute family car. Drive it during the day to work and back, and on the weekends take the family up to the mountains or down to the swamps! One thing that I really like about his car is the top electric speed.... ready? 85 miles per hour before the engine kicks in! So if you are a highway commuter and for some off chance your drives takes you in the opposite direction to traffic you can cruise at 85 miles per hour on the highway to work!
And just think about this. If you do get pulled over make sure you tell the cop how excited you are that he just pulled over someone doing 85 on electric power alone... who knows he might just let you off with a warning!

The design works all around

Interior feels sporty and ford has done a great job with the material fit. Although it does still feel a bit plastic at times. I would love to see a bit more leather especially on the upper dash

Out of all the Hybrids out there I think this one is the best (yeah yeah you Volt fanatics calm down! I only say this cause the Volt only has four seats... add a fitfh seat and I am all yours). Now could they have made it better (as in longer electric only range)... Always! and there is the possibility when Ford sees how well the car is selling they might increase that range to 30 miles per charge or dare I say 40 miles per charge! Remember the average American drives 90% of the time under 40 miles per day. I am at around 95% with the Disney, Palm Beach and Naples trips making up the other 5%

Now price is $49,495 and you get the $3500 tax rebated from Uncle Sam which is nice! The volt on the other hand only has 4 seats (This will lead to the "Sorry honey your staying home today" male syndrome which will eventually lead to the "I don't think so and you are sleeping on the couch for the next week" female Syndrome) As for the other stable Hybrids out there the Toyota is still the cheapest at $32,000 (11 mile electric range, really Toyota? I expected more from you) and the Honda $39,000 (13 mile electric range, again kind off weak Honda) So the Fusion plug in falls in the upper middle pricing range and kicks Toyotas and Hondas tail pipes in electric range.

One thing I would wait for and I really hope Ford is paying attention to what GM has done with Leasing incentives, is that you might find yourself around the $270 per month with $3000 down. GM Leasing is at $269 per month with $2800 down. Without the GM incentives you would be looking at around $450 per month. So Ford has to follow these steps to have good sales. I think they will.

So where does all this leave good o'l me? Well, I still want the Tesla, but that ain't gonna happen any time soon. And even thought the Fusion plug in is now in my radar I am still on the path to go all electric by 2015. That plus with the new Leaf pricing it is a win win for the leaf (and mua).... but I will have to say this, I could live with the Fusion plug in, and better yet I think I could live with the Ford Fusion Plug in AND a Nissan leaf in my garage for three years... that is until the Tesla arrives!

As always... stay safe, don't text and drive... and go kick that gas habit, or at least put a hybrid patch on the arm....

Monday, January 14, 2013

Thank you Nissan!!!!
You know how to make me smile!

 Looking good in grey! I'm getting it in white (keeps car cooler in Miami...)

I believe these are the hubcaps that come on the Leaf S... I don't like them, do you?

Come onnnn March!

Well, seems that Nissan Leaf is here to stay! not only that it has found a perfect place to park... right between the VW, Mini, and Fiat... plus a whole bunch of other sub $25,000 cars! Wow I am soooo excited!
As you have read from my last post Nissan decided to do some minor tweaks to the Leaf. These tweaks are all over... from new paint colors to interior options. But the biggest tweak (if you want to call it that) is a lower price model.
This 'affordable' model gives you a really nice car (minus the bloody hubcaps! Man I hate those things.) but no worries, with the cash you save you can get yourself the Aluminum wheels of the SV (all it takes is a little sweet talking to the dealer...) But if you really want the LED lights plus leather then the SL might be up your alley. 

Okay! Enough with all this talk... are you ready!
Here are the numbers:

Base Level Nissan Leaf S: $28,800 minus the $7500 federal income tax credit so: $21,300 (OMG!)

Mid trim Nissan Leaf SV: $31,800 minus the $7500 federal income tax credit so: $24,300 

All the bells and whistles SL: $34,840 minus the $7500 federal income tax credit so: $27,340

For all the above add a $850 destination charge.

You can just scroll down to my last post to see what you get in the S, SV, and SL models.

But one of the best parts to all this ($21,300 I still can't believe it!) is that the car is built in the USA (Tennessee plant) and the battery is built in the USA (same plant different building ;-), And how about the electric motor? you guessed it! USA (Different Tennessee parts plant) So the jobs stay here and you know that by getting a Leaf you are helping hundreds of American workers!

But wait! there is more! How about Leasing? well for the base model its...

3 year lease and $199 per month! (Now I have not heard otherwise, so figure 3K down at signing) But still $199 per month! Awesome!

With these prices you can bet we will all see more Leafs out on the street... heck with these prices everyone looking to get a new lease should really look at the Nissan Leaf (Now it's a contender!)

So you ask when you can get one? Well stand in line behind me! Right now we are still looking at March so you only have two months left before you go electric and step into the future!!

As always, stay safe and don't text and drive... oh yeah, and go kick that gas habit... 

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

2013 Nissan Leaf update, welcome 6.6 charger!

 I like the color! Pictures courtesy of Nissan press kit

Looks the same? Supposedly drag went from .29 to .28

 Looks clean and classy in black! stays cleaner as well..

Here is the 2011/2012 dash slight mods. l kinda like the new black dash... classier?

 Great black color option (not so great in the Florida heat)

Here is the 'I am to lazy to look around before I drive' system. Okay I can see the benefit but if you drive this car for a long time then jump into a car that does not have it you might forget to look before you go. Just my opinion...

Now you don't have to use your cell phone to light up the charging port!

Well, fellow future Leaf owners we now have a good idea what to expect with the new model leaf. So here are the basics:
There will be three trim levels:

1. Leaf S
This will be your base trim level. LED lights will be replaced with projector beams (less expensive, and it will eat up more juice) It will also come with steel wheels and crappy plastic covers (Yeah you guessed it I hate hub caps)
No Nav computer (but who needs one with todays smart phones (insert iMaps joke here) and no remote connectivity so as you are lying in bed you can't turn on the A/C and cool off the car before heading off to work.
We do get the option of a rear view camera (smaller display) but really... after driving a Yukon if I need a rear view camera to park the Leaf I should hand over my drivers license!
And lastly the most important option; the 6.6 charger! Yippee!

2. Leaf SV
Here you get 16 inch alloy wheels plus the 6.6 charger, and offers LED lights and running lights as an option.

3. Leaf SL
You get yummy leather trim new 17 inch wheels and LED standard

Now for the SV and SL you can get the Premium (which means over priced) package options, which include a seven speaker energy efficient Bose audio system, and this nifty AroundView monitor system which personally I think is not necessary. Here is a money saving tip from Uncle Bob.... Turn your head around and look before you go... yep just saved you a bunch of cash!

The above is basic info. For 2013 model you can also expect:

Black upholstery option
Longer sunvisors (the old ones where useless)
Leather wrapped steering wheel
Blue tooth standard
Different battery state-of-charge display in % (I don't know how great this will be but it sure beats that bar they have now)
Charging port now has a light and can be locked
Better aerodynamics = better miles per charge
Two new colors Metallic Slate and Glacier White
And a new hybrid heater (what ever that means) but it does cut energy consumption. Not that I need it down here in Florida, but my readers in the North might want to look into this option.

Battery pack stays the same but energy management and regen breaking tweaks (a new 'B' switch for better regen breaking), plus aerodynamics will add a bit more range. Personally I would have liked a new battery pack with 30KW which would take you over the 100 miles per charge, but you can't have it all... No news on how many more miles but they are talking about a 10% increase or about 8 to 10 additional miles.

Now what I am excited about (it takes very little to excite me lately) is the 6.6 charger. What does this mean? If you run your battery down to 1% it will take 4 hours to charge it instead of 7 that the 3.3 chargers achieve. The big news here is that the percentage of you running the car to 1% charge is very,  very low. Most of the time you will be at around 50 to 60% depletion (40 miles per day average) So when you plug in at night you are looking at a 2 hour full charge for that middle of the night cookie dough run. Or if you are like me, I do the 40 miles during the day plug in when I get home at around 6 or 7 and if its Friday I know it will take us around 2 to 3 hours to get ready to go out for the night and I can be comfortable knowing that my Leaf will have a full charge.

Finally, as for which trim level I would get... good question since price has not been set. But from what you have read above I would like only three things, 6.6 charger, alloy wheels and Leather seats (I might be tempted to get the optional quick charge but I have yet to see a need for it).

Here is the link to Nissan's press kit.

That is it for now! I will update once I hear of pricing....
As always you can find the full article at Green car reports.

Be safe and don't text and drive...

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Off to see Mickey!

My favorite place to go... it is just a magical and happy world!

Okay, we are off to Disney so I thought it would be a good time to log the trip. We will be leaving from south Miami and arriving at Downtown Disney Plaza Hotel (No its not the Plaza from New York chain) But a great hotel to stay at!
Now, I will try to post live updates but since I am driving they will only happen when the kids are screaming for me to stop to go pee or eat or buy Lotto tickets. We will be heading on the turnpike which I believe will be where Tesla will be building the Super charging stations.
I will also log in fuel. My giant truck gets around 330 miles per tank so it is perfect as a Tesla 85 KW test of fuel vs Electric! No really there is no test since the Tesla will always win in my heart!
Kids packed... car full... coffee down... dogs crying cause they want to go.... (sorry guys wish I could) ETD is set for 10 am (that is if the family can get its act together...)

94 Bucks! Ouch! As you can see I was running on fumes. Interesting note here:
This is about 8 days worth of fuel... OR a little more than 2 months running an electric car!
Now do you see why gas is eventually going the way of the Dodo bird?

See you all in a few!
Now to figure out if there is an upload app for this Blog....
Safe driving everyone!