There’s been a flurry of EV news this month, with cars like the Chevy Spark EV, Honda Fit EV, Fiat 500e, and Smart Electric Drive all getting Autobytel’s attention in recent weeks for their gaudy EPA performances. Next up? The 2013 Nissan LEAF. Although the EPA has yet to post its official numbers for the vehicle, Nissan’s retail website is indicating efficiency grades of 130 MPGe city and 102 MPGe highway; using the EPA’s formula for deriving combined efficiency ratings—which assumes drivers spend 55 percent of their time in city travel and 45 percent on the highway—the 2013 Nissan LEAF would score 117.4 MPGe in that measure.
And those new ratings for the 2013 Nissan LEAF represent a pretty hefty increase as compared to the 2012 model. Specifically, the upgraded version outperforms last year’s LEAF by 24 MPGe/10 MPGe/18 MPGe (23 percent/11 percent/18 percent). The new model year also brings about a slight increase in range for the LEAF, to 75 miles, as well as available fast-charging alternatives that, obviously, reduce charging times. However, the most important change to the 2013 Nissan LEAF is surely the new entry-level model, since it brings the starting price of the lineup down below $20,000 in some markets. (See: http://www.autobytel.com/nissan/leaf/news/nissan-net-price-of-2013-nissan-leaf-slashed-to-18-800-115033/.)
The 2013 Nissan LEAF is arriving in dealerships now, but there’s also a new way to enjoy the EV experience—at least if you happen to be in New York City.
2013 Nissan LEAF Joins NYC Taxi Fleet
As some folks may recall, Nissan had earlier snagged a contract to provide purpose-built cabs for New York City, and those taxis—based on the Nissan NV commercial platform—should be going into service later this year. But those won’t be the first of the automaker’s products to join the city’s fleet: Six 2013 Nissan LEAF cabs are already on patrol in the Big Apple as part of a pilot program that was launched, appropriately enough, on Earth Day.
"Even though the [Nissan] Taxi of Tomorrow won't be on the road for another six months, we're already looking ahead to the taxi of the day after tomorrow,” said New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg. “Nissan's proven track record with electric vehicles will put us ahead of the curve in helping us answer important questions about incorporating electric taxis into the fleet so that we can achieve the goal of a one-third electric taxi fleet by 2020."
Further, in addition to providing an opportunity to put the 2013 Nissan LEAF through some serious real-world endurance testing, the EV cab program also will help prepare the city’s infrastructure for the steadily growing number of electric vehicles in use in this country. That’s because Nissan and its partners also will install “several” CHAdeMO-based charging stations in the city to take advantage of the 2013 Nissan LEAF’s new onboard technologies: Using a CHAdeMO system, the LEAF’s lithium-ion batteries can be charged to about 80 percent of capacity in less than 30 minutes.
“[O]ur relationship with the city provides us the ultimate proving ground to conduct this LEAF taxi pilot to help optimize the use of electric vehicle technology for future applications," added Joe Castelli, vice president, Nissan Commercial Vehicles.
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