3. Nissan Leaf: Mass-market master
Base price range: $29,860 – $35,970
Fuel economy ratings: 112-114 MPGe
The Nissan Leaf was one of the first all-electric cars to reach the mass market, and it remains the only one that has achieved any kind of sales success, both in the United States and globally.
For the 2016 model year, Nissan
is giving the mid-range SV and top-line SL trim levels a battery upgrade. The new 30 kilowatt-hour (kWh) unit promises a driving range of 107 miles, an impressive gain over the 84 miles found in the 24 kWh battery found in the base S trim. In other news, Nissan
recently announced a partnership with BMW
to provide 120 new public charging stations in 19 states so owners of the Leaf, i3, and other compatible electric cars, can find more convenient locations to “refuel” their vehicles. The units will support “fast charging” allowing batteries to reach 80 percent capacity in about 30 minutes. “Range anxiety” remains an issue with nearly all electric cars, but the 2016 Nissan Leaf’s higher capacity battery and the addition of new charging stations will go some way toward alleviating this issue. But if this is not a concern for you, the Leaf is a roomy and practical way to “go green.”