Nissan LEAF 100% Electric Car - Test Drive in Austin, Texas

Real Estate Agent with REALTY AUSTIN-Austin, TX



Blue Nissan LEAFOn Friday, December 17th, the Nissan LEAF Drive Electric Tour came through Austin, Texas at the Domain shopping center in North Austin. Nissan had set up an enormous exhibit in the parking lot with detailed information about the new Electric car on the block. I was super pumped to be one of the first participants in Texas for this exciting event.

In January 2011, there will be two more stops in Dallas, Texas and Pearland, Texas. If you have the chance to make this event, I highly recommend you sign up now. Details can be found at But let's get to the good stuff below:



Nissan Leaf Engine


The Nissan LEAF is 100% electric. What does that mean? Well, for starters, no gas! That's right, no filling up the tank. This car has Zero Emissions to help the environment. The retail price estimated to be about $35,000. However, you will have extra separate cost options on how to "charge" the vehicle's battery. From what I was told, there will be 2 home options to choose from and then 1 for when you are on the road. The first home option would be to buy a separate hand-held charge (kind of looks like a jumper cable) that you can plug into a 220V in your garage, that takes about approx. 20 hours to charge the battery fully. The second home option would be to have a charging station installed by an licensed electrician (extra monetary charge) that could be a removable fixture in your garage but similar to a "gas" tank.  See the photos to understand what I'm talking about. You could take it with you if you decide to move/sell your house, or it would be a great marketing tool for the future, if these vehicles take off. Similar to solar panels, you can market your garage as Green option with the plug-in station already installed. This option would take about 8 hours to charge your battery, so you can leave it plugged in while your are sleeping so the car will be fully charged in the morning. The last option would be to drive to some of the city charging stations that would be in and around town, such as at Whole Foods (while you are grocery shopping) and possibly in the near future, Cracker Barrel, for those freeway stops. In fact, the Whole Foods flagship store here in Austin, Texas has one. And you might even see our resident celebrity Lance Armstrong driving his LIVESTRONG Nissan Leaf around the Austin City Limits.

Electric battery charging station


Black Nissan Leaf










Red Nissan Leaf


 What is the catch? Well for now, the cars are designed to be drivin within the City Limits. Their initial charge only lasts for up to 100 miles. So therefore, this would be a most excellent choice of vehicles for a Realtor like me. Eventually, there are going to be charging stations on most of the heavily driven Interstate highways/freeways like I-10 which runs nearby from San Antonio to Houston and so forth.

p.s. I just recently switched from a 2006 VW Passat to a 2009 Chevy Malibu Hybrid to try and save some gas money. But 100 % electric would be awesome!





White Nissan LEAF


****If you liked my blog, PLEASE vote from now until January 20th, so that I can have a chance a winning a FREE Nissan Leaf. Just click on the link below, enter your email address, and then open the email from Nissan to verify it, so it counts. I don't have access to your email addresses and Nissan swears they aren't gonna spam you. It's just a 1 time only/per email address vote. 

**** Good karma will come to you and please feel free to email the above link to your family and friends. ****



Also, if your curious how my test drive went, and to hear more detailed information about the Nissan LEAF, watch my YouTube video below taken my the lovely marketing rep, Brigette, as she videotapes me driving.


Comments (8)

Kathy Denworth
Century 21 Schwartz Realty - Islamorada, FL
Realtor in the Florida Keys, Islamorada, Key Largo

I cast my vote for you. The one thing that I don't understand is that they still have to create the electricity which often pollutes and burns fossil fuels. What about the impact of the batteries when they can no longer be charged?

Dec 21, 2010 10:16 PM
Michael J. Perry
KW Elite - Lancaster, PA
Lancaster, PA Relo Specialist

With gas prices now over $3.00 per gallon, they're gonna sell alot of these !!!!!!!!!!!!*L*

Dec 22, 2010 12:59 AM
Debbie Barrera
REALTY AUSTIN-Austin, TX - Austin, TX
Your Austin Texas Connection

Hi Kathy, Thanks for the vote! And @Michael too. Supposedly, the website says that the electricity being used is going to be about the same use of electricity as single family home, so I guess we will see the impact in the near future. The batteries...well they are lithium ion so I know that some foreign companies recycle laptop computer batteries, I'm hoping that these car batteries will eventually be recycled as well. But I don't work for Nissan. Please feel free to reblog and share with your followers.

Dec 22, 2010 07:45 AM

@Kathy - Your comment/concern regarding electricity production is a valid one, but you have to take into consideration two factors: (1) your local power generation mix and (2) the so-called "well to wheels" cost of delivery gasoline to vehicles. On the first point, where I live, our power is mostly hydro-electric, nuclear, cng and wind - with only 15% or so being attributed to coal.  This relatively clean energy mix makes it so that EVs about 90% cleaner than a gas burner. On the second point, while there is a definite carbon footprint associated with any power generation, once you factor in the energy used to extract, transport, refine and deliver a usable gasoline product (the "well to wheels" cost), an EV in even the dirtiest coal-fired states will be more environmentally friendly than traditional cars. Finally, if you have solar panels on your home or garage, owning an EV can be completely sustainable, zero emissions driving experience.  Only riding a bike would be cleaner, and I'm not sure you can fit a family of four and groceries for the week on a bike. ;)

To your second point, unlike the nickel-metal-hydride batteries used in the Prius and Honda hybrids, lithium ion batteries are not toxic and not considered to be hazardous wastes by the EPA (meaning they can be thrown into landfill).  As Debbie mentioned with lap-top batteries, these too can be recycled.  Nissan and others are also looking for "second-life" applications for the batteries after their useful automotive life and envsion used EV batteries to be used in things like smart grid storage for renewables - like wind and solar farms - which are not always consistent sources of power and can be hard to store.  


Dec 23, 2010 03:06 AM
Debbie Barrera
REALTY AUSTIN-Austin, TX - Austin, TX
Your Austin Texas Connection

Hi A.C. - Thanks for the wonderful information. You answered some great questions. I hope I win this car. Sounds like you are interested in buying one.

Dec 23, 2010 07:15 AM
Joan Cox
House to Home, Inc. - Denver Real Estate - 720-231-6373 - Denver, CO
Denver Real Estate - Selling One Home at a Time

Debbie, this is one cute car, but where would the signs go?     Sounds like a great car and the wave of the future!

Jan 04, 2011 12:07 AM
Debbie Barrera
REALTY AUSTIN-Austin, TX - Austin, TX
Your Austin Texas Connection

Thanks for reading Joan. All the batteries, brake fluid, windshield washer fluid, etc..are all under the front hood. I think with some smaller signs, they could fit in the trunk located at the back of the car. I was so excited about the "no gas" or "no exhaust pipe" concept, that I forgot to actually look at the trunk space. There is always the back seat...

Jan 04, 2011 02:07 PM
Phil Leng
Retired - Kirkland, WA
Phil Leng - Retired

Hi Debbie,

This is the end of 2011, and the Nissan Leaf is available.

You were ahead of your time with this post.



Nov 25, 2011 10:43 PM