Nissan has sold over 120,000 Nissan LEAF electric vehicles around the world, and it could certainly be referred to as a green car, but being green goes beyond its fuel supply.
Of course, the greenest a Nissan LEAF could, at least from a refueling perspective, would be to charge it on solar power, and you can even get federal and state help to make it happen, installing a solar-powered electric vehicle charging station in your garage. Still, according to the French, you cannot market even a solar-powered Nissan LEAF as a “green car,” because there are still emissions and pollutants generated during its manufacture.
Every automaker recognizes this, and electric vehicles are still far below the margin when it comes to lifecycle emissions, that is, calculating emissions and pollutants generated from the manufacture, service life, and disposal of the vehicle. Even the Nissan LEAF isn’t as green as feet or a horse, but that doesn’t mean that Nissan can’t make it greener than some other automobiles. In addition to adding solar power to its manufacturing facilities, reducing the amount of fossil fuels burned, Nissan also puts recycled materials into the Nissan LEAF…
According to the infomercial, the Nissan LEAF is made with 25%, by weight, recycled materials, which is pretty impressive when you consider that a lot of that is lightweight plastics. 375 lb of every Nissan LEAF is made up of recycled metals, plastics, resins, even clothing. Recycling metal, for example, uses far less energy and chemicals than extraction and refining of raw ore. Recycling plastic reduces the amount of petroleum associated with the Nissan LEAF. Nissan’s approach to vehicle manufacture helps reduce the emissions related to this undeniably green car, no matter what the French say.
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