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Nissan Leaf
STATUS: A new range-extending model joins the lineup - Nissan's cornerstone electric vehicle has what the automaker calls "cool-tech" styling. The front end has an actual (but non-functioning, since there's no radiator to cool) grille that helps make the car appear larger than it actually is. To keep up with the times, Nissan introduced the Leaf Plus in 2019 that has an estimated range of 215 miles. That's a considerable improvement compared with the base S, SV and SL ranges that are estimated at 150 miles. The Plus's 62 kilowatt/hour battery pack is more energy dense than the 40 kilowatt/hour version in the other three trims. The extended-range model also gets a 215-horsepower electric motor, giving the plus a top speed of 106 mph. The Leafs (Leaves?) to out at 92 mph. To accommodate the added battery bulk, the Leaf Plus's ride height has been increased by about a half-inch. Topping up the Plus's batteries takes about 11.5 hours using a 240-volt home charger; 7.5 hours for regular Leafs. A 480-volt Level 3 commercial charger will provide an 80 percent top-up in 40-60 minutes.
Base price (incl. destination): $30,900 (excluding tax credits)
Type: Compact hatchback
Engines (h.p.): Electric motor (147/215)
Layout: Front-wheel-drive
Transmission: Single-speed controller
Base mpg equivalent (city/highway/combined): 124/99/112
Base weight (lb.): 3,430
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