Tag Archives: all-electric cars

Where no man has gone before

William Shatner and Leonard Nimoy reunite for VW TV spot

VW, VW e-Golf, vw xl1
Photo: VW

Did I ever tell you that I’m a huge Star Trek fan? Yuppers since the original series was on in the 60’s all the way to the end with the last of the franchise TV show, Enterprise. I have built most of the Enterprises along with some other star ships. In fact, what caught my eye about this spot is the screen grab on the left from the kid’s bedroom. Pretty close to what I had.

Me and William Shatner are tight. A couple of years ago a flying buddy of mine made a flying replica of the Enterprise A and I made a video, uploaded it to my YouTube site and that’s when the fun began. Views started climbing faster and faster. I started digging down into the comments and it turns out “The Shat”, Bill wants all his close friends to call him that, tweeted about the video and I tweeted back. Yup, we’re tight:) Go check it out but hurry right back.

Ok, back on topic here. VW is using the duo to introduce its e-Golf electric vehicle and its XL1, the mini-spaceship coupe that’s only sold in Europe due to its $140,000 price tag. Ouch! You know how I feel about electrics. Fun spots though. Read more about them and less about me here.

2013 Nissan Leaf SL

All-electric Nissan Leaf fun, functional and easy to recharge

I’ve driven my first all-electric car, Nissan’s latest Leaf, and I can assure you that if electric cars are to be our future, driving enthusiasts will still have fun behind the wheel.

A metallic slate Leaf, like I tested this summer.
A metallic slate Leaf, like I tested this summer.

Contrary to many perceptions the car isn’t slow, it isn’t cumbersome in any way and topping off the battery pack is as easy as plugging in your sweeper at home. In fact, the Leaf was enjoyable, earning praise from everyone who rode in it, even the driver.

First, put hybrids out of your mind when you think of the Leaf. This is 100% electric with an 80kw AC synchronous motor that generates 107 hp. Sure, that sounds flimsy, but it’s not. Electric motors generate monster torque from the get-go. Press the accelerator and the Leaf leaps to life, unless you put it in ECO mode. Don’t unless you need to extend your range a few miles in an emergency.

Linked up with what Nissan calls a 1-speed automatic transmission, basically a CVT as in so many other Nissan models these days, the power is delivered in one smooooth shot that keeps the mid-size Leaf (it rides on a 106.3-inch wheelbase similar to a Mazda CX-5 sport-ute like I drove last week, or a Chevy Cruze if you’re looking for something more mass market) moving relatively quickly.

This is not some Dinky or Tootsie toy car that feels like it’ll break if you hit a big pothole. It feels like a solid mid-size hatchback that’ll go the distance with its occupants cloaked in quiet comfort. Now that distance IS limited because Leaf, being Only electric, has a limited range. Driving it mid-summer (cold weather will further limit its lithium ion battery’s ability to hold a charge) I saw a 103-mile range after a full charge twice. Other days I had 98, 93 and 88 miles of range. Continue reading 2013 Nissan Leaf SL