2020 Nissan Leaf. Photo: Nissan

This week I'm driving the all-electric Nissan Leaf SL Plus, with a sticker price of $46,045.

The big picture: The Leaf has been around since 2010, but has long since been eclipsed by the Tesla Model 3, and other battery powered entries like the Chevrolet Bolt EV, Kia Niro EV and the Hyundai Ioniq.

  • But the 2020 Leaf, especially the Plus model with a longer driving range, is worth another look.

The Leaf is available with two battery sizes, and a full array of standard driver-assistance features.

  • The standard Leaf has a 40-kWh battery that provides a driving range of about 150 miles.
  • The Leaf Plus features a larger 62-kWh battery pack that can go up to 226 miles before recharging — at least on the mid-range S trim level.
  • Higher priced versions like my SL Plus are only rated for 215 miles, probably due to the added weight of extra features.
  • The $39,125 S Plus seems to be the sweet spot — it's well-equipped and has the longest range, though it still falls short of the 250-mile range on the standard Tesla Model 3.

The Leaf also features a new, louder sound — something that's required under new regulations that go into effect Sept. 1 for otherwise-silent electric vehicles.

  • When driving forward, under 18.6 mph, the Leaf emits a tone called "Canto" (Latin for "I sing").
  • In reverse, it emits a pulsing chime.

Go deeper

Sep 4, 2020 - Economy & Business

Battery firm QuantumScape taps public markets

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Yet another transportation startup plans to take the shortcut to an IPO and this time, it's a battery company.

What's happening: QuantumScape, a battery startup backed by Volkswagen and Bill Gates, said on Thursday it plans to go public through a reverse merger with Kensington Capital Acquisition Corp.

Erica Pandey, author of @Work
14 mins ago - Economy & Business

The high-wage jobs aren't coming back

Reproduced from Indeed; Chart: Axios Visuals

The pandemic has caught up with high-wage jobs.

The big picture: Early on, the pandemic walloped hiring across the wage spectrum and in every sector. Now, states have opened up, and the lower-wage retail and restaurant jobs have slowly come back — but higher-paying jobs are lagging behind.

Caitlin Owens, author of Vitals
55 mins ago - Health

The FDA plans to toughen coronavirus vaccine standards

President Trump and FDA commissioner Stephen Hahn. Photo: Pete Marovich/Getty Images

The Food and Drug Administration plans to toughen the requirements for a coronavirus vaccine emergency authorization, which would make it more difficult for one to be ready by the election, the Washington Post reported Tuesday.

Why it matters: Public skepticism of an eventual vaccine keeps increasing as President Trump keeps making promises that are at odds with members of his own administration.

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