2010 Smart Fortwo Electric Drive

2010 Smart Fortwo Electric Drive

WattStation & Smart EVBy John Addison (7/21/11).

Popular Smart Car with Tesla Lithium Batteries

The Smart Fortwo is popular with city drivers that need to avoid $25 daily parking fees by fitting in spots to small for others. In 2010, 250 battery electric Smart EDs will be put on the streets of U.S. cities. Early in 2012, Smart plans to make over 10,000 Smart Electric Drives for sales globally and be a major player in urban electric cars. The new Smart Electrics deliver an 80-mile range per charge with a 16.5kWh lithium ion battery pack that consists of 18,650 Tesla format cells. Daimler owns Smart, Mercedes, and about 5 percent of Tesla.

This week, I talked with Derek Kaufman, Vice President with smart USA and Doug Gold, Director Northwest Operations, and looked at the new Smart Fortwo Electric Drive. Battery range varies with driving conditions, so Smart estimates the range of this pure battery-electric at 84 miles per charge. In Portland, however, Derek drove the car 110 miles on one-charge, demonstrating that he has good driving skills. Both gave me details of the new car included in this report.

With only 16.5 kWh of lithium batteries, the Smart ED has about the same range as the Nissan Leaf with 24 kWh because the Smart weighs only about 2,000 pounds. With 50 percent less weight than Nissan, the car needs less batteries. This gives room for Smart to under price Nissan. Smart ED pricing has not been announced.

2010 United States Demonstration

This year, 250 smart electric cars will be put on the road in these U.S. geographies:

  • Portland
  • San Francisco
  • Indianapolis
  • Orlando / Tampa
  • Washington DC / Boston

The pilot may be implemented as a 4-year lease, primarily to fleets, for about $600 per month. The pilot program will include electric utility partnerships, such as Duke Energy  in Indianapolis. The 250 electric cars for the U.S. in 2010, is part of a 1,000 to 1,500 electric car pilot globally.

In 2012 Smart Electric Drive to be Leased and Sold in Volume

In 2012, Smart will start making over 10,000 electric cars annually. If it succeeds as expected, the numbers could grow substantially in future years.

In a battle for urban parking spaces, the Smart Electric Drive will face serious competition from Toyota and Mitsubishi with their micro-compact electric cars. Market share will be fought with price and lease options.

The 2012 Toyota FT-EV will be commercially available before the 2013 Smart Fortwo Electric Drive, but the FT-EV  will have less range at about 50 miles per charge. Toyota will have a 70 mile per hour speed maximum, higher than advertised 62 mph for the Smart.

Electric Car Sharing

Daimler is now competing with Zipcar for long-term leadership in car sharing. In Austin, Texas, 500 Smart Fortwo gasoline cars are used by the day, the hour, or the minute. Uniquely, car share members can drive the car from one point and leave it at another. Daimler plans to expand the service nationwide and to include the new Smart Fortwo Electric Drive in the program. In Europe, Car2Go has piloted the Smart ED. In future years, the Electric will be included for U.S. Car2Go members. Daimler Car2Go Report

Electric Drive Specs

  • 16.5 kWh Lithium Ion Battery Pack
    • 2010 18,650 Tesla Cells
    • 2013 could use Evonic (Daimler JV) Li-Tech Lithium Nickel Cells
  • Energy Density 110 Wh/kg (could improve to 160 Wh/kg in future years)
  • Zytek Permanent Magnet Motor 20kW constant / 30kW peak
  • Single speed transmission 3.3 kW onboard charger / 13 amp
  • J1772 Connector
  • Level 2 charge 20-80% SOC 3 hours
  • Level 1 charge 0-100% SOC 8 hours

Top 10 Electric Car Makers for United States Market

New 2011 Honda Civic Hybrid with Lithium Batteries

New 2011 Honda Civic Hybrid with Lithium Batteries

By John Addison (updated 7/28/10; 7/20/10)

Honda Expands on All Fronts with Hybrids, Plug-in Hybrids, and Electric Car

In 2011 Honda will introduce a new Civic Hybrid using a new lithium-ion battery from Blue Energy, a joint venture company between GS Yuasa and Honda that will begin production of the battery at its plant in the latter half of this year. The lithium battery will be high-output, lighter weight than the older NiMH, and compact.

Honda hybrids increased to 16% of total Honda sales in Japan in 2009 in the middle of a severe recession. This hybrid financial success is encouraging Honda to become more aggressive about hybrid cars and plug-ins, especially in the face of Japanese competition from ToyotaNissan, and Mitsubishi.

Honda introduced new models equipped with Honda’s original lightweight and compact IMA hybrid system, namely Insight and CR-Z. The percentage of hybrid vehicle sales among all Honda vehicle sales in Japan increased to 16% in 2009.

The Honda Fit Hybrid will be introduced in Japan this fall, capitalizing on the success of the Fit. Honda will introduce multiple models, mainly small-sized vehicles, equipped with its IMA hybrid system in Japan next year.

Electric Car and Plug-in Hybrid

Honda Motor Co., Ltd., President and CEO Takanobu Ito in his mid-year address today announced that Battery-electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles will be introduced in the U.S. in 2012; with a demonstration program of the technologies beginning this year. By the end of 2010 and continuing through 2011, Honda will roll out a battery-electric vehicle demonstration program in the U.S. with participants, including:

  • Stanford University
  • Google
  • City of Torrance, California

Last year, I saw a Honda concept vehicle that wowed drivers in the Americas, Europe, and Asia. Next year, Honda may begin sales of an electric car inspired by the EV-N concept design, with one seat in front and two in back.  The EV-N is a battery electric concept vehicle incorporated Honda’s own solar panels in to the roof of the concept, to charge the car while it is parked. Two of Honda’s U3-X, electric personal mobility devices are attached to the inside of each door. The two-door Concept is envisioned with a Lithium ion battery pack, and small electric motor for predominantly urban use.

The EV-N concept’s four-seat interior had adequate room due to a compact battery electric drivetrain. The seats had a mesh finish, both very light and easy to change. The interior used a minimal style, to reduce the weight of the vehicle, increasing range and performance.

The City of Torrance will receive a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle for evaluation by the end of 2010. A new plug-in hybrid system for mid-size to larger vehicles will be introduced in the U.S. market in 2012. Clean Fleet Report speculates that a potential plug-in hybrid platform is the beautiful Honda FCX Clarity. The Clarity already has an electric drive system and is the most technologically advanced fuel cell vehicle. A similar model could be offered with a small gasoline engine and gas tank, replacing the fuel cell and hydrogen tank. Honda could offer customers a choice between fuel cell and plug-in hybrid.

Clean Fleet Report predicts that the battery-electric car with be a smaller car for the urban environment designed to compete with the Toyota FT-EV and the Mitsubishi iMiEV.

The Blue Energy JV with Honda adds to the success of GS Yuasa which already has the Lithium Energy JV with Mitsubishi. The most popular electric car in Japan is the iMiEV. Mitsubishi expects to have sold 5,000 of these pure battery-electric cars by the end of this year.

Both Toyota and Ford have been implementing comprehensive plans to give customers a wide choice of hybrids, plug-in hybrids, and battery electric cars. Now Honda makes this competition much more interesting.

Tesla Partners with Toyota and Panasonic

Tesla Partners with Toyota and Panasonic

By John Addison – May 26, 2010

Model S = New Electric Car Range

Tesla is the first to put 1,000 electric cars on the U.S. highways. Like its Roadster, the company is going zero to sixty in less than four seconds. The Tesla Roadster has a rated range of 236 miles on a single charge. In Australia, a record 313 mile range was demonstrated. The Tesla Roadster has a battery pack capable of storing approximately 53 kilowatt-hours of usable energy, almost double the energy of any other commercially available electric vehicle battery pack.

In August the company reported its first profits. Tesla is developing a roomy Model S hatchback that starts at $57,400, about half the price of the Roadster. Tesla will start delivering the Model S in 2012 from its new factory in California. The Model S will have up to a 300 mile range, far beyond the Nissan Leaf 100 mile range the Chevy Volt 40-mile electric range, and current ambitions of other electric car makers. Top 10 Electric Car Makers

Tesla will compete with other sedan makers by also offering more passenger space, more cargo space, and a premium cache. With seating for five adults and two children, plus an additional trunk under the hood, Model S has passenger carrying capacity and versatility rivaling SUVs and minivans. Rear seats fold flat, and the hatch gives way to a roomy opening, so you can stow a mountain bike, 50-inch flat-screen TV. The Model S includes a 17 inch infotainment touchscreen.

With a range up to 300 miles and 45-minute QuickCharge, the Model S can carry five adults and two children in quiet comfort. The roomy electric car starts at a base price of $57,400, before the $7,500 federal EV tax credit and additional tax credits in many states. Yes, it will be more expensive than sedans from Ford, Nissan, and Chevy but with more battery storage for more range with 3 battery pack options offer a range of 160, 230 or 300 miles per charge.

Don’t pull-up to the Model S in your sedan and try to race. The Model S goes from 0-60 mph in 5.6 seconds with 120 mph top speed, and the promise of sporty handling in the chassis and suspension.

Panasonic Lithium Batteries

Tesla touts its expertise and intellectual property in a proprietary electric powertrain that incorporates four key components—an advanced battery pack, power electronics module, high-efficiency motor and extensive control software.

Tesla delivers more range per charge than other electric vehicles by including more lithium batteries. Tesla’s relationship with battery supplier Panasonic is critical. The Roadster uses 6,800 Panasonic lithium-nickel consumer-sized batteries integrated into a Tesla designed battery-pack with unique energy management and thermal management. The new Tesla Model S will use up to 5,500 Panasonic batteries.

Benefiting from Tesla feedback, Panasonic is improving the batteries with plans to take them to 4 amp-hours. Panasonic is the world’s largest seller of lithium batteries. It acquired Sanyo Electric to increase market share, expand into solar PV, and battery R&D innovation. Panasonic also makes flat-panel screens and automotive electronics. When Panasonic acquired Sanyo, Toyota increased its ownership to over 80 percent in the Panasonic EV Energy Company which makes prismatic module nickel metal hydride and lithium-ion battery packs.

Toyota Partnership

Tesla Motors has purchased the former NUMMI factory in Fremont, California, that once employed over 4,000 workers in a Toyota-General Motors JV plant. The factory is an important component in Tesla’s access to a $465 million in DOE loan facility, where funds can be issued in stages over 3 years as conditions are met.

In the future, Tesla will build the Model S sedan and future Tesla vehicles in Fremont. It is one of the largest, most advanced and cleanest automotive production plants in the world. Tesla’s move represents the chance for California to recover needed employment. The plant is capable of producing half a million vehicles per year or approximately 1 percent of total worldwide car production. The factory is located near Northern California’s Silicon Valley, very near Tesla’s Palo Alto headquarters. The short distance also ensures a tight feedback loop between engineering, manufacturing and other divisions within the company.

Toyota agreed to purchase $50 million of Tesla’s common stock subsequent to the closing of Tesla’s currently planned initial public offering, giving Toyota over 2 percent of Tesla. Tesla and Toyota intend to cooperate on the development of electric vehicles, parts, and production system and engineering support.

Nissan, Ford, and GM would all like to leapfrog Toyota for plug-in car leadership after years of watching Toyota dominate the hybrid market. Toyota, however, will fight to protect its leadership with a Prius Plug-in Hybrid, the Toyota FT-EV electric car, expanded offerings of Toyota and Lexus hybrid cars, the Panasonic battery JV, and now a partnership with Tesla.

“I’ve felt an infinite possibility about Tesla’s technology and its dedication to monozukuri (Toyota’s approach to manufacturing),” said TMC President Akio Toyoda. “Through this partnership, by working together with a venture business such as Tesla, Toyota would like to learn from the challenging spirit, quick decision-making, and flexibility that Tesla has. Decades ago, Toyota was also born as a venture business. By partnering with Tesla, my hope is that all Toyota employees will recall that ‘venture business spirit,’ and take on the challenges of the future.” President Toyoda likes to race cars and has driven the Roadster.

Tesla CEO and cofounder Elon Musk said, “We look forward to learning and benefiting from Toyota’s legendary engineering, manufacturing, and production expertise.”

Toyota introduced the first-generation Prius hybrid vehicle in 1997, and produced approximately 2.5 million hybrids in the twelve years since. Late last year, TMC started lease of Prius Plug-in Hybrids, which can be charged using an external power source such as a household electric outlet. The company also plans to introduce EVs into the market by 2012.

Daimler Partnership

Tesla has been skillful in developing strategic partnerships. Tesla also has a relationship with Daimler to supply technology, battery packs and chargers for Daimler’s Smart fortwo electric drive. Daimler holds more than 5% of Tesla’s capital stock. Daimler has orders for Tesla to supply it with up to 1,500 battery packs and chargers to support a trial of the Smart fortwo electric drive in at least five European cities. Tesla delivered the first of these battery packs and chargers in November 2009. Daimler also engaged Tesla to assist with the development and production of a battery pack and charger for a pilot fleet of its A-Class electric vehicles to be introduced in Europe during 2011. Tesla has ambitions to supply other vehicle makers.

Nissan LEAF Electric Car Attracts over 100,000 Potential Buyers

Nissan LEAF Electric Car Attracts over 100,000 Potential Buyers

Leaf Rolls to Pure Electric Lead

[2014 Update] The predictions of success may have been a bit too optimistic, but the Nissan Leaf continues to roll forward with another record month in August 2014 with more than 3,100 sales, almost 19,000 for the year so far and a cumulative 60,000 U.S./130,000 worldwide since its introduction in 2010. It’s not  what they had hoped, but the trend is moving in the right direction. Some of the early

Rumors abound of new options for the 2017 Leaf with a larger battery pack option (a la Tesla) that could double range. More as that develops.

In the meantime the Leaf remains the poster child of affordable, functional EVs.

2011 Nissan LEAF with 100 Mile Electric Range

Over 10,000 Nissan LEAFs are now on U.S. roads. By December 2012, Nissan will have delivered 100,000 LEAFs globally. The LEAF is a pure electric with no gasoline tank. This sleek 5-door hatchback seats five. The electric range is 100 miles on the U.S. EPA LA4 city drive cycle. Go 70 miles per hour on the freeway and your battery will be near empty in 60 miles, nor will you get the full range climbing mountain roads.

My wife and I (John Addison) have been delighted with driving our LEAF since we took delivery in April. Living in a city, Marci only needs a 40-mile range for her speech therapy work at two schools; living two blocks from transit and car sharing, I rarely need one. For long-trips, or times when we both need a car, we drive our hybrid for driving longer trips rather than flying. 80 percent of the time, the LEAF is the only car either of us drive. We have never run out of charge, but we have been grateful for public charge stations on a number of occasions.

The LEAF is ideal for many who live in a city where range is rarely an issue, and where transit, car sharing, and car rental are also available. The average U.S. suburban household has two vehicles, so the EV could be ideal as one of those two. For many people, this will not be the best vehicle because the range limitation will not meet their work or personal demands. These people should consider a plug-in hybrid or car with great mileage.

This car is high-tech. The LEAF SV model includes an advanced GPS navigation system. You can control and monitor battery charging and even pre-heat/pre-cool and charging control with your smart phone. The LEAF has Internet/smart phone connectivity to the vehicle, and, Bluetooth connectivity; intelligent-key with push button start, Sirius/XM satellite radio capabilities, and roadside assistance with the vehicle wirelessly notifying a support center. The SL model also includes a rearview monitor, solar panel spoiler which supplies a trickle charge, fog lights, and automatic headlights.

How much did your last gasoline fill-up cost? $20? $40? $80? Your electric utility will typically charge you $3 to fill-up your LEAF. Your electric utility may offer low rates to encourage low-cost nightly fill-ups when electricity is available and cheap; these fill-ups may only cost a dollar.

Nissan LEAF Price

Nissan has dropped its Leaf prices and now retails them in all 50 states for less than $30,000. That’s before:

  • $7,500 federal tax credit + state incentives
  • 8 year / 100,000 mile drive system and lithium-ion battery warranty

We’ve tested the LEAF

Electric Drive System

Nissan LEAF is powered by 24kWh of laminated lithium-ion batteries made by the NEC-Nissan JV, which generate power output of over 90kW, while its electric motor delivers 80kW/280Nm. This ensures a highly responsive, fun-to-drive experience that is in keeping with what consumers have come to expect from traditional, gasoline-powered automobiles. The LED head lights reduce battery demand at night.

The Nissan LEAF includes an 8 year, 100,000 mile warranty. Since Nissan’s 24kWh lithium battery pack is likely to be half of the vehicle’s cost, warranty life will certainly be an issue. Some that normally buy will lease.

Charging

The car includes covered connectors for 110 volt changing and 220 volt J1772 smart charging. Although Nissan explored the idea with Better Place of battery swapping, or a separate battery lease, neither is being offered in the United States at this time. In 8 hours you are good for another 100 miles with a Level 2 AC220V home-use charger; in 26 minutes you can be 80 percent charged with a Level 3 DC 50kW quick charger. The 440v Level 3 chargers are scare, expensive, and certainly not for home use.

The LEAF is ideal for those who can install a charging unit in their garage. Many drivers, however do not own a garage, so a hybrid or public transportation may be better choices. Over time, we will see charging available at many employers and in multi-unit dwellings such as condos and apartments.

Green Features

Many of the early adopters of the 40,000 EVs on U.S. roads use renewable energy (RE) to charge their vehicles. The RE can be solar or utility provided renewables. Electric car critics and opponents claim that EVs will only result in more coal power. So far this has not happened. Even if coal power were used, the 70% efficient EV uses far less energy than the typical 15% efficient gasoline powered vehicle.

The LEAF and charging unit is designed for smart charging. Through an Internet browser, smartphone, or the car’s display, you can set-up a preference for nighttime charging when unused electricity is available on the grid. When your utility provides for it, you can set-up a preference to charge when excess RE is available. At your fingertips, you can override a normal preference.

Much of this electric car is designed for recycling, and recycled materials are used in building the car. 98 percent of the lithium batteries are expected to be reused in stationary applications or recycled. Nissan LEAF makes extensive use of recycled and recyclable materials, such as seat fabric, instrument panel materials, and front- and rear-bumper fascias. The LED head lights reduce battery demand at night.

Space

The 2011 LEAF offers more space than it would appear from an outside glance. You can seat 5 passengers. When it was brought to San Francisco, then Mayor Gavin Newsom at 6 foot, 3 inches, comfortably got in the driver’s seat. He also fit in the back seat. The 60/40 split fold-down rear bench seat is easily lowered when we load the car with school supplies, sporting equipment, bicycles, and luggage.

Safety

Safety features include vehicle dynamic control (stability control), traction control and six airbags. Nissan has included a number of safety features in the Leaf including:

  • 3-years of roadside assistance including in price
  • Advanced air bag system (AABS)
  • seat-mounted driver and front-passenger side-impact supplemental air bags
  • front-seat active head restraints (AHR)
  • pipe-style steel side-door guard beams (all side-doors)
  • Zone body construction with front and rear crumple zones
  • Energy-absorbing steering column
  • Tire pressure monitoring system (TPMS)
  • Vehicle dynamic control (VDC)
  • Traction control system (TCS)
  • SL Model review monitor provides a video display of the rear camera for safer backups and parking.

Specs

Dimensions

  • Length: 4445 mm / 175.0 in.
  • Width: 1770 mm / 69.7 in.
  • Height : 1550 mm / 61.0 in.
  • Wheelbase: 2700 mm / 106.3 in.
  • Weight 3,200 to 3,400 pounds.
Driving range over: 160km/100miles (US LA4 mode)
Max speed (km/h): over 140km/h (over 90mph)
AC Motor
  • Max power (kW): 80kW
  • Max torque (Nm): 280Nm
Battery
  • Type: laminated lithium-ion battery
  • Total capacity (kWh): 24
  • Power output (kW): over 90
  • Energy density (Wh/kg): 140
  • Power density (kW/kg): 2.5
  • Number of modules: 48
  • Charging times: home-use AC200V charger: less than 8 hrs
  • Optional quick charger DC 50kW (0 to 80%): less than 30 min
  • Battery under seat & floor

 

Future

Nissan started with a 50,000 car per year LEAF production in Japan. Nissan added U.S. manufacturing in 2013. The Tennessee assembly plant will grow to the capacity to build 150,000 Nissan LEAF electric cars per year, and 200,000 lithium-ion battery packs per year. The lithium packs also are used in Nissan’s hybrid cars. Within three years Nissan will be in volume manufacturing of the LEAF in the United States, Japan, and the UK. Nissan is going after the global market just as petroleum prices near triple their 2008 low and as major cities impose congestion fees for non-zero-emission vehicles and they have a lead worldwide in EV deliveries.

Other Cars to Investigate

Electric Cars. Nissan is facing battery electric competition from the Tesla Model S on the high-end and more directly from the Mitsubishi i, Ford Focus EV, Toyota RAV4 EV, Honda Fit EV, Chevy Spark EV, BMW i3, Smart fortwo EV and Fiat 500e with more to come. Top Electric Cars Report

Plug-in Hybrids may be a better answer if you only have one car and need greater range at times. With a plug-in hybrid, when your lithium battery is near depletion, a gasoline engine engages, giving you hundreds of miles of added range between charges or gasoline fill-ups. You can order a Chevy Volt with a 40-mile electric range, a Toyota Prius Plug-ins with a 14-mile electric range or a Honda Accord plug-in while Ford has both the Fusion and C-Max with plug-in versions. On the high-end, Cadillac just added the ELR, Porsche has a Panamera plug-in.  Top Electric Cars Report

Neighborhood EVs. There are 40,000 of the GEM and other 25-mph low-speed electric vehicles on the U.S. roads in university towns, fleets, and retirement communities. With federal and local tax breaks, the net cost is often under $10,000. With the growth of electric cars and charging stations, sales may actually increase for cost-leading light electric vehicles. These will continue to be ideal for many fleet applications and the most cost-effective for short-range trips.

By John Addison (updated 9/14/11; original 4/27/10); updated by Michael Coates (9/14/2014)

Road Test: 2013 Nissan Leaf

Road Test: 2014 Chevy Volt

 

 

Nissan LEAF Electric Car will start at $32,780 including the Lithium Battery

Nissan LEAF Electric Car will start at $32,780 including the Lithium Battery

(March 30, 2010)

Sale, Lease and Reservation Details for the Nissan EV

Nissan announced U.S. pricing for the 2011 Nissan LEAF electric car, which becomes available for purchase or lease at Nissan dealers in select markets in December and nationwide in 2011. Nissan will begin taking consumer reservations for the Nissan LEAF April 20, months ahead of other electric cars in this price range.

Including the $7,500 federal tax credit for which the Nissan LEAF  will be fully eligible, the consumer’s after-tax net value of the vehicle will be $25,280. The Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) for the 2011 all-electric, zero-emission Nissan LEAF is $32,780, which includes three years of roadside assistance. Additionally, there is an array of state and local incentives that may further defray the costs and increase the benefits of owning and charging a Nissan LEAF – such as a $5,000 statewide tax rebate in California; a $5,000 tax credit in Georgia; a $1,500 tax credit in Oregon; and carpool-lane access in some states, including California.

As a result of aggressive pricing and the availability of the $7,500 federal tax credit whose benefit is immediately included, Nissan will be able to offer a monthly lease payment beginning at $349, not including state or local incentives, which could further reduce the net cost of the Nissan LEAF.

The vehicle at the standard SV trim level is well-equipped with a variety of standard features, including an advanced navigation system and Internet/smart phone connectivity to the vehicle, including pre-heat/pre-cool and charging control. Nissan LEAF is equipped with energy-efficient LED headlights and makes extensive use of recycled and recyclable materials, such as seat fabric, instrument panel materials, and front- and rear-bumper fascias. Other standard amenities include Bluetooth connectivity; Intelligent-key with push button start; Sirius/XM satellite radio capabilities and roadside assistance. Safety features include vehicle dynamic control (stability control), traction control and six airbags. The SL trim level, available for an additional $940 (MSRP), adds features including rearview monitor, solar panel spoiler, fog lights, and automatic headlights.

Reservations on April 20

In order to ensure a one-stop-shop customer experience, Nissan is carefully managing the purchase process from the first step, when consumers sign up on NissanUSA.com, until the customer takes the Nissan LEAF home and plugs it into a personal charging dock.

■Nissan begins accepting reservations on April 20 first from people who have signed up on NissanUSA.com, and, after a brief introductory period, to all interested consumers.

■Consumers will be required to pay a $99 reservation fee, which is fully refundable.

■Reserving a Nissan LEAF ensures consumers a place in line when Nissan begins taking firm orders in August, as well as access to special, upcoming Nissan LEAF events.

■Rollout to select markets begins in December, with nationwide availability in 2011.

Charging Equipment

In tandem with the purchase process, Nissan will offer personal charging docks, which operate on a 220-volt supply, as well as their installation. Nissan is providing these home-charging stations, which will be built and installed by AeroVironment, as part of a one-stop-shop process that includes a home assessment.

■The average cost for the charging dock plus installation will be $2,200.

■Charging dock and installation are eligible for a 50 percent federal tax credit up to $2,000.

■Using current national electricity averages, Nissan LEAF will cost less than $3 to “fill up.”

■Nissan LEAF also will be the sole vehicle available as part of The EV Project, which is led by EV infrastructure provider eTec, a division of ECOtality, and will provide free home-charging stations and installation for up to 4,700 Nissan LEAF owners in those markets.

This major announcement gives Nissan a lead over Toyota, General Motors, Ford and others that will also be offering electric cars. Top 10 Electric Car Makers 2011 U.S. Offerings