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Nissan says its new electric car, the Leaf, gets 367 miles per gallon

Laura June
08.15.09
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Nissan's gotten into a bit of a bragging contest on Twitter -- possibly fueled by Chevrolet's recent, shaky claim that the Volt will get 230 miles per gallon. The company is now saying that its new electric car, the Leaf, will get an astonishing 367 miles per gallon... even though it's a 100 percent electric car, and runs on absolutely no fuel. So, isn't that zero miles per gallon? Well, yes and no: all these massive numbers are based on both the Department of Energy and the EPA's calculations for estimating equivalencies in electric cars. Why? Well, it seems that car companies are still giving us -- the prospective buying public -- MPG figures because they think that's what we understand best. Tony Posawatz, vehicle line director for Chevy's Volt recently admitted to the New York Times that the miles per gallon matrix is "probably not the best measure of goodness" for a car that uses no gallons at all, but that it's "what people are accustomed to." We agree -- he's got a point -- but people were also accustomed to the hi-fi, the corded landline, and the steam engine. We assure you: people understand that a car that runs on zero gas (and therefore gets an astonishingly low amount of miles per gallon) is really, really awesome. So the MPG matrix is useless when talking about electric cars -- we'll adjust!

Read - Nissan claims 367 miles per gallon for electric Leaf
Read - The Chevy Volt: mileage numerology

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