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EPA gives Nissan Leaf a rating equivalent to 99 mpg

November 23, 2010 |  2:28 pm

Leaf The all-electric Nissan Leaf will be the most fuel-efficient car on the market when it starts reaching buyers next month, according to the federal government.

The Environmental Protection Agency gave the vehicle a rating equivalent to 99 miles per gallon. The previous record holder, the Toyota Prius hybrid, was rated at 50 mpg.

The Leaf, according to the agency, will reach up to 106 mpge, or miles-per-gallon equivalent, in the city and 92 mpge on the highway, traveling up to 73 miles on a full battery. Nissan had previously said the vehicle could run 100 miles on a single charge.

Owners will spend about $561 a year on electricity to power the car –- Prius drivers pay about $867 for fuel, the agency said. The battery will require seven hours to fully juice up using a standard 240-volt charger, known as a Level 2 unit.

The Leaf will use 34 kilowatt-hours of power every 100 miles. The government agency’s formula equates one gallon of gasoline to 33.7 kilowatt-hours.

The rating, which follows a series of tests by the agency, will appear on stickers pasted to the Leafs, which will go on sale in five states, including California, in December. The agency has yet to rate the Chevrolet Volt, a plug-in hybrid that switches to a gas-powered engine when it runs out of electricity.  


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Photo: The Leaf at the L.A. Auto Show. Credit: Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times