With gas prices hovering around 4 bucks a gallon in the USA, and closer to 7 in Europe, Nissan could probably say nothing about the new all electric Leaf and it would sell.
Playing off of the number zero, Nissan’s latest TV spot plays into two factors the Leaf represents. Zero gasoline consumption, and zero emissions. (the latter is debatable when you consider how electricity is made) The spot is well shot and edited completely playing up the Leaf’s place amongst today’s cars.
I’d love to know how many people they convince to trade in their gas guzzling planet killer SUV’s for one of these. Somehow I’m thinking that number will be pretty small here in the USA.
Yesterday I made the trek from Kansas City to Chicago land via the highways and byways of Missouri, Iowa, and Illinois. As we motored North and East, the cost of gas crept up slowly topping out at $4.45 a gallon on the South side of Chicago.
The good thing is, my MINI was rocking the mileage at 36+ per gallon the whole trip. I set the cruise at 75, let the car roll and watched the miles go by. While I didn’t get 36 plus the whole time the lowest average my dash board read out gave me was 35.1 which isn’t that bad when you consider how hilly I-80 is in Iowa, and the fact that I was going faster than the gas sipping sweet spot of 65 miles per hour.
Stopped behind a truck on I-80 in Illinois. So much construction hampered my mileage with frequent stops.
OK, I’ll admit it… I’m a lead foot. I like to drive fast, I have a fun car with a lot of pick up, and I tend to take advantage of it. It’s hard not to mash the gas pedal down and rack my way through all six gears getting the car up to speed. I like pushing it through winding roads, and I like snaking through busy traffic on the freeway leaving all the left-lane lollygaggers in my wake.
Lately though, as the price of gasoline has edged toward 4 bucks a gallon, (and inspired by Kristy’s Honda Insight 45 plus to the gallon) I have been trying to drive a little bit gentler.
The result of my new driving style has been an increase in fuel economy from about 24.5 mpg to 30 mpg. I know it’s not great, but it is better, and I’d probably get better than that if I drove the freeway to work. Red lights kill you and Kansas City’s lights are all out of sync. Hit one green light, you might hit another but don’t count on it. The best part is, that my gentle driving style during the week means more gas in my tank on Saturday and Sunday. All of this translates to a few hours of fun driving without feeling guilty. Yes that’s right I do not feel guilty about having fun driving my car just for the sake of driving it. And I don’t feel guilty about putting the top down and stomping on the gas.
Even after today’s run about town, I am still getting 30 mpg, and if I push it I might be able to get it close to MINI’s projected mpg of 35, although I know you never get what the EPA says you will. None the less I’m getting better mileage than I was and that is a good thing.