Inside Nissan's Electric Vehicle (VIDEO)

We took Nissan’s (NSANY) electric car for a spin in Bear Mountain State Park, which you can see in the video below, complete with our thoughts on the experience. (Don’t be fooled by the thumbnail of a pickup truck. This is an EV review. YouTube is just messing with us for some reason.)

The car still doesn’t have a name, or a final design, but that’s intentional on Nissan’s part. It is slowly dripping out information to keep people chattering about their electric car during the run up to its full release. The final car will probably be a five door hatchback.

It won’t roll out until 2010 in select markets–Oregon, Tennessee, Sonoma County, are a few of the lucky winners early on. In 2012 it’ll be on the mass market.

Nissan says that the car is 99% recyclable and it will sell batteries to utilities once they are no longer usable in the car. Nissan also says that even if gas fell to $1.10, it’s still cheaper to fuel up an EV. Here’s some maths it uses to sell that assumption:

  • A gas car that get 30 mpg, with gas costing $4/gallon, each mile costs $.13.
  • An EV paying for electricity at $.14 kWh, each mile costs $.04

The car has three levels of charging: One is just plugging it into a standard 110 Volt outlet, which would take 8-10 hours to charge. Two is a 220 Volt which is like the outlet for a dryer or a fridge. That takes four hours. Level three is still being worked on, but it’s a 480 Volt charge which gets to 80% in 26 minutes. It stops at 80%, because above that fast charging strains the battery. Nissan fast-charging as a commercial, not residential, application.

The final price isn’t settled yet. The hope is for it to cost the same as a family sedan. Nissan’s CEO has said no one will pay $40,000 for an EV. So look for the $20,000-$30,000 range. If that happens, we see Nissan having a big hit on their hands.

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