Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Latest on Volt and LEAF

As the Chevy Volt and Nissan LEAF roll across assembly lines and get prepped for delivery at dealer lots, interest and enthusiasm abound in media coverage. One of my very favorites is The Detroit Bureau's coverage. At first I was annoyed about receiving a boatload of emails from them - one per story and several come out each day. Then I started reading them and getting swept up in their coverage of Motor City and all things happening in the business - with much attention on green machines. So here's a couple of summaries on the two most anticipated models...

California Air Resources Board ruled the Volt falls short of not only conventional hybrids, like the Toyota Prius and Honda Insight but even the new diesel-powered Jetta TDI in a key test. As a result, Volt not only doesn’t get a coveted PZEV (for Partial Zero-Emission Vehicle) rating but misses the next-best SULEV category and slips into the rankings as a ULEV vehicle. But observers caution that the 2011 Chevy Volt may be taking hits because of its own efficiencies, ironically. And California regulators may take steps to modify their rules so vehicles like Volt, designed to run primarily in electric mode, get the technical benefit of the doubt.

As for the LEAF, some customers will be able to drive one home for $12,000, way below the sticker price. An array of state and local incentives, and even some incentives from green-minded employers, offer some great incentives, notes Mark Perry, the Nissan product planning chief overseeing the maker’s battery program.


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