How the 2015 Toyota Highlander drives.
Although many people are lauding the disruptive elements that Tesla Motors' electric vehicles bring to the auto industry, there's another project in the works that could eclipse Tesla in its impact on the way we drive. Google has been quietly developing its driverless vehicles for a few years now, and it's almost ready to begin testing its latest model on public roads.
Those days are long gone in an electric car as none to my knowledge even come with this option.
Spurred by a college friend’s Facebook post about the first year owning a Tesla Model S, I began really looking at what EVs were all about. I was getting 13 mpg in my 2004 Dodge Dakota and I did not just want a “new” car. I was not going to buy gas anymore, so I was only looking into going pure electric.
I researched them all – Nissan, Fiat, BMW, Cadillac, VW, Mercedes, Mitsubishi, Smart Car, Chevrolet, Kia and Ford. Not one perfect choice among this group, but several very likable options, including my personal preference leader, the Ford Focus Electric (FFE).
I noticed that the new Gen 1 cars are now selling with huge incentives and attractive leases nationwide. Various promos are allowing for cars to be sold at even below invoice (excluding the $7500 Federal credit and state rebates). The Gen 1 has had a good track record for reliability, and has had only a few known issues (fractured bearing cages, failed charging cables (since recalled), cracked charging ports, and a few electrical glitches).
At 50 mph, the Mitsubishi i-Miev can go 70 miles on a charge, the Nissan Leaf 97 miles, and the Model S 300 miles.
Compare this to what those cars can do at a typical 70 mph speed: 260 miles range for the Model S, 68 miles for the Leaf, and 40 miles for the I-Miev. That's about a 15% range gain for the Model S, a 63% range gain for the Leaf, and a whopping 75% range difference for the I-Miev. The Tesla Model S's being a heavy and aerodynamic car factors into its inefficient low speed range and more efficient, relative to that, high-speed range.
Imagine driving up to the gas station and seeing two Nissan LEAFs parked in front of both gas pumps?
Within 5 years, we are told, we are going to start to see the in roads of these self-driving vehicles and the ride sharing giant Uber is planning on using these.
Nissan Motor Acceptance Corporation (NMAC), which is an independent subsidiary of Nissan Motor Corporation (NMC), is responsible for customer leasing programs and in effect buys new cars from the parent company and then leases them to retail and fleet customers. As with any organization that buys and leases assets, part of the process is that at the end of the lease period they must liquidate that asset. In order to liquidate the asset, in this case a LEAF coming off of lease, they must decide on what the value, or residual, of the asset will be at that point in time.
This trend can be used to benchmark a car model vs its competitors within the same price range. There will always be outliers, but in general this trend works as a benchmark. As an example, if the MSRP of a car is 15 K and it sells 1,000 cars that is a failure. If it sells 500,000 cars, the car would be is a resounding success.
There are always qualifiers which have to be taken into consideration, these are either limited production, supply constrained, some other economic mechanism, or new model year/change in style mechanism at play.
It was fun, so we didn’t go out for much of a run until it was charged the Plugin Prius so we could see how much EV range it had.
The Mirai is about $60,000. It is about as slow as a Prius. The fueling on the road takes longer than a gasoline car, but less time than an EV. It is rated on paper for achieving about 70 miles per kg H2 cost about 8 cents per mile for fuel.