The 2012 Nissan Leaf is the second year of production for the first mass-produced, battery-electric vehicle of modern days. And it remains a milestone in many ways: It does everything a conventional car does, at least up to 70 miles or so of range, and emits no emissions at all.
Like the original Toyota Prius hybrid, the 2012 Leaf is easy to drive, it carries up to five passengers and a decent amount of their stuff, and it's priced low enough to make Nissan the clear leader in electric cars. At $35,000 and up, the price is hardly dirt-cheap. In fact, it's about twice what a comparable gasoline car would cost--before you begin deducting the various Federal, state, and local incentives that can reduce the cost by $7,500 to $12,000.
But for that money, you get one of the very few cars to score a perfect 10 on the High Gear Media green rating. One mile driven in a Leaf has a lower overall "wells to wheels" carbon impact than the same mile driven in a 25-mpg gasoline car--even if you...
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