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Nissan gets into the zero emissions game with the 2010 LEAF EV

When it comes to hybrid and electric vehicles, names like Prius, Insight, and Volt manage to grab the bulk of the limelight. The Toyota Prius is the darling of the "green" movement when it comes to fuel efficient vehicles and the Volt hasn't even made it into the hands of the buying public yet -- but it still garners attention from the automotive press (and prospective buyers).

Nissan is now looking to put its name up near the top of the list when it comes to zero emissions vehicles according to Autoblog. The company this weekend announced its new 2010 LEAF EV which melds Nissan/Renault's current design theme with an electric-only vehicle.

As with most next generation electric vehicles, the LEAF uses an advanced lithium-ion battery pack (48 modules, 90kW) and has electric motors which deliver 80kW (107 HP). The combo allows the LEAF to have a driving range of 100 miles and a top speed of 87 mph according to Nissan. By Nissan's estimates, the 100 mile driving range is enough to satisfy the daily commute requirements of 80% of American drivers (Nissan says that the average U.S. driver has a daily commute of less than 62 miles).

When it comes to styling, most would be hard pressed to call the LEAF "another Prius knockoff" which has been a label affixed to the Honda Insight. Instead, the LEAF takes its design direction from a few vehicles already in the Nissan stable including the Murano, Rogue, and Versa -- albeit with more aerodynamic curves and surfaces.

Given that the LEAF is a fully electric vehicle and doesn't have an "extended range" gasoline engine/generator like the Volt, the vehicle will rely heavily on a robust electric charging infrastructure. As a result, Nissan will initially market the vehicle in U.S cities which have taken the initiative to provide charging station for EVs including Phoenix, San Diego, Raleigh, and Seattle.

"Nissan LEAF is a tremendous accomplishment – one in which all Nissan employees can take great pride," said Nissan President and CEO Carlos Ghosn. "We have been working tirelessly to make this day a reality – the unveiling of a real-world car that has zero – not simply reduced – emissions. It's the first step in what is sure to be an exciting journey – for people all over the world, for Nissan and for the industry."

Nissan expects to market the LEAF in the U.S., Europe, and Japan next year. Pricing has not been announced, but Nissan describes the vehicle as "affordable".

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Price known on Yahoo Finance article
By TemjinGold on 8/2/2009 10:24:49 AM , Rating: 5
Listed as around $15k and starting at $10k. This is definitely a step in the right direction as, with any market, hitting the mainstream price range is key to success.

RE: Price known on Yahoo Finance article
By Brandon Hill on 8/2/2009 10:33:00 AM , Rating: 5
Are you sure you're looking in the right place? $10,000 is simply not feasible at all. You sure you're not looking at the price of a Nissan Versa?

By 9nails on 8/2/2009 10:39:49 AM , Rating: 5
Sound too low to be true. I wonder if batteries are not included at that price!

RE: Price known on Yahoo Finance article
By Mint on 8/2/2009 7:08:51 PM , Rating: 2
Googling, it looks like the battery pack is around $10k. However, it's a beefy 24 kWh, which shows real progress in battery pricing.

To me, this is more promising for PHEV. Why even bother making regular hybrids anymore? For $2000, make the all-electric range 20 miles. Then you save half a gallon per day, or ~$400/yr in the US and up to $1000/yr in Europe. Even if the battery only lasts 2,000 cycles, it will more than pay itself back.

While I believe AGW is happening, I also believe it's small potatoes and the real win here is reduction of urban air pollution and dependence on foreign oil. PHEV also means that we don't have to worry about the occasional long trip, which is critical for any technology to be widely accepted in the US. A charging infrastructure for cars has the chicken and egg problem.

RE: Price known on Yahoo Finance article
By Fireshade on 8/3/2009 7:04:30 AM , Rating: 4
Nissan wants to sell the car with leasing the batterypack.
That's how they plan to keep the (major) costs low.
Since the batterypack would be changed every 5-6 years, this would be quite a sensible solution for the buyer.

By 16nm on 8/3/2009 11:31:41 AM , Rating: 2
this would be quite a sensible solution for the buyer.

And Nissan, too.

RE: Price known on Yahoo Finance article
By mdogs444 on 8/2/09, Rating: 0
RE: Price known on Yahoo Finance article
By TemjinGold on 8/2/2009 11:51:44 AM , Rating: 5
Which linked article are you guys referring to? The one I'm talking about has this paragraph (and no mention of battery price):

Nissan has promised that the Leaf, which goes into mass-production as a global model in 2012, will be about the same price as a gas-engine car such as the 1.5 million yen ($15,000) Tiida, which sells abroad as the Versa, starting at about $10,000.

Geez try to point something out and people jump all over you for it. If I'm wrong, say I'm wrong in a mature fashion. I know not to ever post here again.

RE: Price known on Yahoo Finance article
By MDme on 8/2/2009 12:16:54 PM , Rating: 3
The linked article DOES say that the price will be similar to the 15k Tilda (Versa).

I think he shouldn't have been voted down. :)

RE: Price known on Yahoo Finance article
By imaheadcase on 8/2/2009 12:44:58 PM , Rating: 3
$10k is not bad price at all. If you can charge it from home I would get one assuming the following.

1. It wont double my electric bill each month. (I live in Missouri so electric is real cheap my last bill with 80-99degree was less than $100 a month for 1500sq ft house).
2. If weather does not do drastic changes to battery life/performance.
3. If the warranty covers battery going defective within so many years.

I work less than 10min walk away, but sometimes i like to venture to other areas nearby for entertainment.

RE: Price known on Yahoo Finance article
By kaoken on 8/2/09, Rating: -1
By aj28 on 8/2/2009 10:37:05 PM , Rating: 3
Can you read?

"Nissan has promised that the Leaf, which goes into mass-production as a global model in 2012, will be about the same price as a gas-engine car such as the 1.5 million yen ($15,000) Tiida, which sells abroad as the Versa, starting at about $10,000."

Using the same words, this reads simply:

"The Leaf will be about the same price as a car such as the $15,000 Tiida, which sells abroad starting at about $10,000."

By Ryun on 8/2/2009 12:41:41 PM , Rating: 4
I hate to play Devil's advocate (okay, sometimes I love it) but you probably should've linked the article in your first post to begin with. This is the internet after all, and people are always looking for chances to call you an idiot.

By mdogs444 on 8/2/2009 12:47:15 PM , Rating: 1
Im referring to this paragraph in the linked article

While it hasn't committed to anything yet, Nissan officials say they are shooting for similar warranty coverage to that of their more conventional offerings. Those vehicles come standard with three years/36,000 mile coverage, and powertrain coverage of five years/60,000 miles, and it will be interesting to see if Nissan can match those figures for the vehicle, it's electronic motor, and the expensive battery pack (estimated replacement cost: $10,000).

RE: Price known on Yahoo Finance article
By Brandon Hill on 8/2/2009 12:53:14 PM , Rating: 5
Nissan says that the battery pack alone is $10,000. Now add that to the cost of a well equipped Versa (b/c you know that an electric vehicle isn't not going to come stripped) and you're looking at at least $25,000 -- about the price of a fully loaded Mazda3s Hatchback or a nicely loaded VW GTI.

I'm sorry, but even in 2012, it is impossible to deliver a FULLY electric vehicle with a lithium-ion battery pack for $10,000 to $15,000. Hell, an Insight only has a relatively small NiMH battery pack and it STARTS at $19,000.

Just using some common sense debunks the Yahoo Finance article :-)

By joeindian1551 on 8/2/2009 1:22:18 PM , Rating: 3
But common sense takes time and we all know FIRST! is what really matters on the interwebs and in journalism.

RE: Price known on Yahoo Finance article
By imaheadcase on 8/2/2009 4:40:26 PM , Rating: 3
Common sense would tell a car maker to develop a car that cost $10k, instead we get car that cost the same as a new model gas car that out performs it in every way.

Fact is, these cars will only cater to the hippy environmental person and the rest would say "FARK PLANET EARTH" and get a gas powered car when it comes down to money.

By Spuke on 8/2/2009 7:05:00 PM , Rating: 2
and the rest would say "FARK PLANET EARTH" and get a gas powered car when it comes down to money.
People would not say that. Sure, the hippie and the trendy crowds would probably buy one but anyone else would do the math and see if it works for them.

RE: Price known on Yahoo Finance article
By GaryJohnson on 8/2/2009 4:46:25 PM , Rating: 2
Another article suggest that you'll buy the car but only lease the battery pack. It sounds like they might have figured out that the batteries, and replacement batteries, is where the revenue stream is.

RE: Price known on Yahoo Finance article
By Mint on 8/2/2009 7:33:31 PM , Rating: 2
I've been waiting for a company to figure this out. If people are excessively gawking at the premium that battery packs add, why not take advantage of their mathematical stupidity?

Charge them a little less than gas - e.g $6 per 100 miles - and keep ownership of the battery while removing most of its cost from the sticker price.

Imagine what could happen in Europe for corporate fleets. Electric drivetrains are very simple to maintain, yet right now $20 per 100 miles for maintenance and gas would be a bargain there right now.

By dagamer34 on 8/3/2009 11:23:53 PM , Rating: 2
To be honest, a consumer now owning the battery is a good thing because when it wears out from use, Nissan will be the on replacing it. And 5 years should hopefully make a big difference in advancing battery technology.

By JohnnyCNote on 8/2/2009 2:04:15 PM , Rating: 5
Geez try to point something out and people jump all over you for it. If I'm wrong, say I'm wrong in a mature fashion. I know not to ever post here again.

There was a time when there were all kinds of hardware reviews, discount price guides and a lot of useful information around here. Now the discount articles are ancient history, reviews rarely appear, and you can count on at least on good political flame-bait posting that brings out the same people making the same statements over and over.

My guess is that DT editors have found that when they have a good online argument, it brings more people to the site and drives up their click-through count with Google, making them money.

I often wonder why I bother coming around here any more. There are lots of sites where I can engage in political "discussion" (aka fights) with members that are much better informed. That which made Daily Tech interesting is ancient history. I can't blame you for not wanting to post here any longer . . .

RE: Price known on Yahoo Finance article
By headbox on 8/2/09, Rating: 0
By DJMiggy on 8/3/2009 2:41:16 AM , Rating: 2
what does this have to do with apple? *ducks*

By Starcub on 8/2/2009 3:28:48 PM , Rating: 2
The linked article states that the battery pack replacement alone is $10,000.

Given how much of the cost of the car is associated with the battery, you would think they would make this a scalable purchase (the battery already uses modular design). My guess is that far more people daily commute less than 63 miles. Someone who's daily commute was less than 25 miles/day could use a battery pack half as small (or more) and pay $5000 less. For many customers, something like this could mean the difference between buying a Prius and and this car.

By Fenixgoon on 8/2/2009 7:08:55 PM , Rating: 3
I highly doubt the price for the entire car is 10-15k. Why? According to this autoblog article, the battery alone costs about $10k to replace (search for "batteries not included")

Best of luck to Nissan (and GM) though. The faster the tech is adopted, the faster prices will be driven down.

Wait... Gas is still Cheeper
By GruntboyX on 8/2/2009 1:31:06 PM , Rating: 3
Someone Check My Math as i am not trying to be a troll or start a flame war. But..

If this car has 90KW battery back that gets it 100 miles then assuming a $.12 per KWH eletric rate. That means it will cost $.12 X 90 = $10.80 to travel 100 miles.

Consequently, an equivalent sized Nissan Versa gets 34MPG which means 100 miles will use 2.94 gallons (well say 3 not to be anal). National Average for Gasoline today is $2.70. So... 3 X 2.70 equals $8.10.

So as long as gas stays below about $3.00 a gallon electric vehicles are more expensive if not equivalent in price to operate. And that assumes electricity rates do not track the price of oil.

IF i did my math right. Then i don't see the american public accepting electric vehicles because it comes with more limitations than a tried and true gas vehicle.

Doesn't mean we shouldn't still investigate alternative fuels, but i feel it tarnishes the deal a little and hurts adoption.

RE: Wait... Gas is still Cheeper
By kaoken on 8/2/09, Rating: 0
RE: Wait... Gas is still Cheeper
By jhb116 on 8/2/2009 2:42:31 PM , Rating: 3
Assuming many other things are fixed as well. All that electricity has to come from somewhere - its just a matter of time before our electric prices follow oil prices. Why - to upgrade our (US) decrepit energy infrastructure. These types of cars would like force CA into a rolling blackout/brown outs again...

I also wish they'd stop calling these "zero emissions" vehicles - again the electricity came from somewhere, most likely coal in the states, so it isn't exactly zero emissions.

RE: Wait... Gas is still Cheeper
By Solandri on 8/2/2009 11:33:51 PM , Rating: 2
As is pointed out below, 90 kW is the power output - the rate at which the battery can pump out energy. Not its capacity. Power is measured in Watts, energy is measured in watt-hours. They are totally different things, like miles per hour vs. miles.

RE: Wait... Gas is still Cheeper
By walk2k on 8/2/2009 2:07:26 PM , Rating: 1
That looks about right, only the charging process isn't 100% efficient so there is some loss, figure about 10-15% higher electric costs.

It also assumes 34 MPG which is quite optimistic, the 2009 Versa 1.6 Base gets 29 MPG combined, 26 city / 34 hwy. So yes if 100% of your driving is on the highway at 55 mph exactly with no traffic and you keep the windows up and the A/C off...

More likely you'd get closer to the combined 29 MPG which means your costs are now more like (3.5 gal x $2.70) = $9.45

Around town for short trips of course the electric vehicle really shines whereas your gas Versa might see 25 MPG or less, (4 gal x $2.70) = $10.80

All this assumes gas will stay below $3/gal (it won't) and that electric rates won't go down during the night when everyone is charging their cars which would be the plan if the whole world switched over to electric vehicles.

RE: Wait... Gas is still Cheeper
By Alphaman on 8/2/2009 2:32:50 PM , Rating: 5
Sorry, but your math is wrong.

If you check the specs on the car, while the battery pack can output a peak 90KW, it is a 24KWh battery.

24KWh * 12¢/KWh = $2.88

So as long as gas remains above $2.88/gallon, you're getting the equivalent of 100+ MPG with a fraction of the CO2 and other pollutants

Also, check your local utility rates to see if you get a break if you charge overnight. You may actually pay less.

RE: Wait... Gas is still Cheeper
By michael67 on 8/2/09, Rating: 0
RE: Wait... Gas is still Cheeper
By Keeir on 8/2/2009 7:24:04 PM , Rating: 2
No, his math was wrong

He multiple 90 kW by 12 cents per kWh and arrived at a cents only figure. He messed up his units.

Furthermore, 24 kWh is the total capcity of the battery. At most, we are looking at ~20kWh actually usuable or usuage figures around 200 Wh/Mile. A Versa uses .03 gallons/Mile.

If Gasoline costs 3 dollars and electricity .15 cents per kWh. Leaf is approx 3 cents in fuel per mile and Versa is 9 cents in fuel per mile.

By SpaceJumper on 8/3/2009 9:46:25 AM , Rating: 2
The government will eventually put road and misc. taxes on the electricity, and it will be the same as gas. It is not in the government agenda that to give you a better deal in the long run.

RE: Wait... Gas is still Cheeper
By michael67 on 8/3/2009 12:48:29 PM , Rating: 2
Yes his conclusion was wrong, but not his math, because he had taken the Nr's from Dailytech, so he was presented whit wrong Nr's to do his math, so his conclusion was only wrong because he was given the wrong Nr's to work whit.
As with most next generation electric vehicles, the LEAF uses an advanced lithium-ion battery pack (48 modules, 90kW) and has electric motors which deliver 80kW

It should have bin: (48 modules, 24 kWh, Power output over 90kW)

RE: Wait... Gas is still Cheeper
By Keeir on 8/3/2009 2:03:00 PM , Rating: 2
Units are a part of Math.

The correct answer to 90 kW * 0.12 dollars per kWh is 2.80 dollars per hour

BTW, maximum power output of Batteries is also very important. For example, the Mini-E, Tesla Roadster/S, and Chevy Volt need batteries capable for more than 90 kW, since thier motors can run at higher power levels. So I am not sure I would even call it the wrong numbers.

At best, the OP made an honest mistake, which he himself realized. But he would have realized the source of his mistake if he done the math correctly and ended with his actual units, rather than the mistaken ones.

RE: Wait... Gas is still Cheeper
By Keeir on 8/3/2009 2:04:07 PM , Rating: 2
Sigh, no edit button,

10.80 dollar per hour

RE: Wait... Gas is still Cheeper
By gorbush on 8/4/2009 3:39:43 AM , Rating: 2
You're right, but that number is true only for maximum output power.

By michael67 on 8/4/2009 2:10:42 PM , Rating: 2
Yep and unless your a race driver you will never use this mouths power all the time.
when your on your the speed limit and you trotted back you properly using about 10~20KWh

RE: Wait... Gas is still Cheeper
By kaoken on 8/3/2009 3:19:34 PM , Rating: 1
The terms NISSAN uses to describe battery capacity is misleading. NISSAN's "capacity" is the amount of power it can output in an hour, 24kwh. And it's over 90kw which is the max capacity in the traditional sense. So the amount of energy which is in the battery is 90kw.

And also, energy and power are the same thing.

RE: Wait... Gas is still Cheeper
By kaoken on 8/3/2009 3:23:58 PM , Rating: 1
Whoops I take that back, Power is energy per time.

RE: Wait... Gas is still Cheeper
By Ammohunt on 8/3/2009 2:54:10 PM , Rating: 2
And don't forget that there is no such thing as zero emissons. lat time i checked burning coal to generate electricity releases carbon.

RE: Wait... Gas is still Cheeper
By gorbush on 8/4/2009 3:56:44 AM , Rating: 2
To be precise: Carbon Dioxide and many more potentially deadly particles (i.e. SOx, NOx, even U238 and of course some dust). But there are installation that remove most of pollutants. There are even projects to pump CO2 under ground.
On the other hand power plant energy production in much more efficient than ICE (40-50% vs 20-30%). Even if you subtract 7-10% power transmition losses and charger efficiency (about 90%) it isn't that bad (33-43% vs 20-30%). Li-Ion battery can be recharged with 99% efficiency.

But the most desirable solution for power generation is to promote nuclear or even better solar and wind. Also natural gas isn't as bad as coal.

By itzmec on 8/2/2009 10:49:24 AM , Rating: 4
i wonder how much the 100 mile range drops when you introduce sub-zero temperature? and spinning in the snow to get going again at every traffic light and stop sign? and what does this do to ones monthly power bill?

RE: /
By Keeir on 8/2/2009 7:34:50 PM , Rating: 2
#1. The 100 mile range is on US LA4 driving cycle. Otherwise known as the old City Cycle. 100 mile range will only be feasible under certain conditions. In freezing weather with the heater going, 50 miles will probably be much more reasonable.

#2. Like anything else, it depends on how much you drive. If we follow Nissan/GM/Tesla figures, best case senario is around 200 wh/mile. Ultimately, provided your nightime charging is less than 15 cents per kilowatt hour and gasoline is around 3 dollars, the Leaf should have per mile costs 1/3 of full ICE and 1/2 of Hybrid type cars.

RE: /
By Spuke on 8/2/09, Rating: 0
RE: /
By bpwilldo on 8/3/2009 10:21:35 AM , Rating: 2
Then you want a KTM that has been outfitted with extra fuel tanks for Dakar.

RE: /
By bobsmith1492 on 8/3/2009 11:19:14 AM , Rating: 2
Heh, good luck finding an EV with a manual tranny.

Hint: there IS no tranny - it's a one-speed! (Or perhaps 2).

RE: /
By Spuke on 8/4/2009 4:57:15 PM , Rating: 2
Hint: there IS no tranny - it's a one-speed! (Or perhaps 2).
Unless the motors are on the wheels, there's a transmission.

This is NOT a zero emission car
By DOSGuy on 8/2/2009 11:50:57 PM , Rating: 2
"We have been working tirelessly to make this day a reality – the unveiling of a real-world car that has zero – not simply reduced – emissions."

They're not giving consumers very much credit if they expect us to believe that you can drive a car and produce zero emissions. Instead of burning gasoline, you're using electricity, which (at least in the United States) is largely produced by burning coal, a much dirtier source of energy.

Don't get me wrong, I think this is a great step in the right direction. Nuclear power is making a comeback, and there is a big push towards solar, wind, geothermal and tidal power. These so-called zero emission cars may actually be zero emission cars someday, but not yet. Now that they've removed the gasoline, the next step is to switch to clean electricity.

RE: This is NOT a zero emission car
By WackyDan on 8/3/2009 10:27:11 AM , Rating: 2
Fair point...But***

It is far more efficient to charge/take energy from the power grid then to run a gas engine to get you from point a to b.

ie; I'd wager the charging produces less carbon/pollutants per mile than the gas engine.

By pachai on 8/3/2009 12:04:52 PM , Rating: 2
It MIGHT not be truly Zero emissions
if you include the generating station, BUT!

1. As WackyDan mentioned, using electricity
to move stuff is far more efficient than
using explosions to move stuff, and then
having to get rid of the heat, etc.

The formula is something close to
Gas engine, 15% efficient
Electric motor 85% efficient (and getting better)
(and stopping in a gas car creates waste heat,
but in an EV, it charges the battery.)

2. In the forseeable future, there's really only
one source of gasoline: oil, and much of it is foreign.
But there are an infinite number of sources of
electricity, many of them "Zero emissions" -
Solar (photo Voltaic), wind, hydro (most of Canada),
Solar (steam turbine), waves.

There's even a company using Speed Bumps to make

You can even hook up exercise bikes to the grid!
(gives about a yard of range :-)

Someone should do it for hampsters in school...

By werepossum on 8/3/2009 5:36:59 PM , Rating: 2
Assuming you charge from solar panels (and assuming your solar panels were created using energy from solar panels and so forth back to the Virgin Mary), then the car would truly be zero emissions not counting its own construction, maintenance, and disposal. That's close enough for me.

RE: This is NOT a zero emission car
By Keeir on 8/3/2009 2:37:04 PM , Rating: 2
Zero Emissions... no

But here are some fun numbers. I will use C02 emissions as a base here, since whether you believe in AGW or not, at this point it appears sweeping policy decisions will be made the world over based on this emission

A Toyota Prius gets 50 miles to 1 gallon of gas.
1 Gallon of gas will produce ~8,800 grams of C02.
Toyota Prius --> 176 grams of C02 per Mile

A Nissian Leaf gets 100 miles to 24 kWh of electricity. So thats .24kWh/mile.
Lets assume 100% is made from Coal, NG, and Nuclear in turn
Coal= 1,041 grams per kWh * .24 = 250 grams per mile
NG = 622 grams per kWh * .24 = 150 grams per mile
Nuclear= 17 grams per kWh * .24 = 4.1 grams per mile

For the sake of ease of calculation, All renewables will be assumed as Nuclear, and all others as Coal.

In the US, 250 * .512 + 150 * .2 + 4.1 * .288 = 159 grams per mile

And this is -Worst- case senario including entire C02 for the electric car and only consumption for the Prius.

Comsumption only puts 2007 figures at 145 grams per mile.

And yet again, I am assuming that the Full 100% battery will be used. More likely only 80% of the battery will be used. Yielding more like 116 grams per mile. Which will get better each and every year as more and more old Coal and Gas plants are taken off-line and replaced with new more efficient Coal and Gas plants. Or potentially much much better if Nuclear is used. In fact, Nuclear, Wind, Hydro type power would result in C02 levels at 2% of the Prius's numbers per mile.

RE: This is NOT a zero emission car
By Spuke on 8/4/2009 5:00:50 PM , Rating: 2
In fact, Nuclear, Wind, Hydro type power would result in C02 levels at 2% of the Prius's numbers per mile.
That's also if you ignore CO2 produced during manufacturing.

Right-hand drive US car?
By 9nails on 8/2/2009 10:28:41 AM , Rating: 2
Nice looking car. I'd consider it if the price were right. Looking at the pictures, I couldn't help but think that those were of a prototype. And especially without the American's left-hand driver's position, I'm really wondering if these pictures reflect images of what will actually be in the showrooms.

RE: Right-hand drive US car?
By SunAngel on 8/2/2009 12:47:46 PM , Rating: 2
in layman terms...can we all expect an american version?

RE: Right-hand drive US car?
By michael67 on 8/2/2009 5:19:40 PM , Rating: 2
Unlike US company's, most other company's build left and right seated cars for almost all there models

And for Nissan was the Skyline the exception that came only for the right seated marked, but after 2001 the new V35 Skyline was also available for the left seated market

RE: Right-hand drive US car?
By Dorkyman on 8/3/2009 9:47:51 PM , Rating: 2
No, it's meant to be that way, even in America. That way, when you run out of juice, you can roll down your window and conveniently ask pedestrians to help push you to the nearest charging station.

RE: Right-hand drive US car?
By Keeir on 8/2/2009 7:25:58 PM , Rating: 2
Supposedly this is the production intent proto-type. There may be minor changes, but the major factors are set and the final car should be more than 90% similar to this proto-type.

By TheEinstein on 8/2/2009 8:57:56 PM , Rating: 4
1) Recharge rate is?

2) Battery corrosion, crystalification, or other issues which will reduce the life span of the battery?

3) Acceleration, can it actually get some speed when needed?

4) Warrant distance is? 100,000 miles? 50,000 miles? 20,000 miles? Limited Parts?

5) How will this affect the lithium market which mathematically is not up to par with keeping even just the United States fully lithium?

6) How much energy does it need per week?

7) Will severe cold or severe heat damage the batteries?

8) If they answer all those questions to my satisfaction then I have one last: What colors does it come in?

By Keeir on 8/3/2009 3:02:20 PM , Rating: 2
1.) Figures from Autobloggreen and various other sources
Recharge from 110V standard US plug = 16 hours
Recharge from 220V semi-standard US plug = 8 hours
Recharge from Special Charger = 30 minutes for 80%. (These apparently are being built in select cities already. The charger only costs 45,000, which is very reasonable in comparison to a fuel pump)

2.) Unknown. Nissian has researched and have the capacity to build thier own special batteries. Manganese Spinel is the type they are working on... which makes sense. Manganese Spinel type is the same used by LG the primary supplier for the Chevy Volt battery. (Its important to note that Nissian has limited max power to around 90 kW, whereas the Volt battery must do above 110 kW. This tends to make a battery more fragile) Since Nissian is making thier own batteries, there are no tech specs floating around that I can see. From the Chevy Volt specifications released so far, I think it would be reasonable to assume that at the end of 10 years/150,000 miles, the Leaf would retain 50-75% of its original capacity, and through fancy battery management proably 75% of driving range. (Far Better than Tesla which has the same figure at 5-7 years)

3.) Up in the air. I have read that projected 0-62mph times are around 10 seconds. Based on the information provided, I thinks thats slightly optomistic, but reasonably so. (~100 max HP, but 200+ ft-lbs of torque). I guessing 10-12 seconds real-world.

Far more worrysome is the ~90 mph maximum speed. I think realistically, 85 mph will be lucky, a speed that is easily reachable on many US highways... sometimes even the "expected" speed... and if its required to have 90kW battery draw to obtain that speed, Range is likely to be ~20 miles at that speed.

4.) No idea. I think the confusion is that Nissian will persue different plans in different parts of the world. Some areas will be lease only. Some will be purchase car, lease battery. Some may be purchase only. Warranty will likely be similar to "normal" cars for most of the parts. If they want to sell the battery in California though, I believe they will need to do the 10 year/150,000 mile warranty or lease the battery.

5.) This is really over-rated. Lithium is highly recyclable and to this point, no drastic demands have been put on the system. In the long run, there is alot of Lithium out there in the world and the push to actual find and exploit these reasources may actually -lower- lithium prices.

6.) How much do you drive per week? The Leaf should consume around 200wh-250wh/mile in "normal" US driving. They currently are claiming less than 200wh/mile, using LA4. Do you currently exceed EPA estimates for mileage? if you do, 200wh/mile is probably okay. If not 250wh/mile is more reasonable.

7.) Manganese spiral Lithium Ion are alot better than other types of batteries in this regard as well. Lithium Iron Phosphate I believe are even more durable in regards to temperature. The short answer is yes. Severe Cold and Heat will damage the batteries, but Nissian will likely include a battery management system that will heat/cool the batteries to the appropriate temperature before go. This will probably be annoying if you park outside on days >100 degress F or <32 degrees F.

By monomer on 8/4/2009 5:38:41 PM , Rating: 2
8) It comes in only one color: Al Gore Green ;)

Err, what recharging infrastructure?
By Bateluer on 8/3/2009 9:31:58 AM , Rating: 2
I live in Phoenix, haven't seen any recharging stations or anything like that being built anywhere.

I suppose you could the vehicle in your garage, if you have a house, during off peak hours. Does it require a special charging station/unit witha proprietary design? I doubt you can simply plug it into a standard 220V wall outlet?

RE: Err, what recharging infrastructure?
By SpaceJumper on 8/3/2009 9:51:35 AM , Rating: 2
You can start your own business by setting up a recharging station in front of your house.

By Bateluer on 8/3/2009 12:34:14 PM , Rating: 2
Not a bad idea, but thats a poor location. It'd have to be along a highway rest step or hotel I would think. Charging the car isn't going to be a 5 minute pit stop, odds are you're probably at least going to stop for a long lunch/dinner before you continue your road trip.

By coolkev99 on 8/3/2009 8:35:25 AM , Rating: 2
Styling isn't too bad, however I'd never buy a car that I can't do a roadtrip in.

RE: roadtrip?
By HelToupee on 8/3/2009 9:31:25 AM , Rating: 2
I agree with you on the range. This would be perfect for me though, as I drive ~80 miles a day to get to and from work. Still would need a gasoline car for weekends / roadtrips. If they'll let me have one for 15K, I'll buy it right now.

As for the styling, are we looking at the same car? That car has a serious case of ghetto-booty. Just look at that huge lump under the hatch. WTH is that!?

While I have a Prius
By SiliconAddict on 8/2/2009 11:57:35 AM , Rating: 2
My next car will be able to do the whole 40 miles on battery only thing like the volt. The small trips to BBuster, the grocery store, Microcenter, target, etc make this a no brainer. Right now the Prius is pretty much off the list because it looks as if they aren't even working on such a design. But I'm not planning on replacing my car for at least another 4-5 years anyways....sooo. That and I'm not going to go with any car that keeps me from doing the most basic things in the computer without needing to pull over. Having to pull over to chance my settings for the hands free BT settings from my personal phone to my work phone or having to pull over to allow my passenger to input a destination in the car's GPS....Damn lawyers.

Did I miss it or is it missing?
By Fnoob on 8/2/2009 2:43:34 PM , Rating: 2
Considering this : "Given that the LEAF is a fully electric vehicle and doesn't have an "extended range" gasoline engine/generator like the Volt, the vehicle will rely heavily on a robust electric charging infrastructure."

- I am surprised that no mention was made of how quickly this thing recharges . Kinda relevant I would think.

By LumbergTech on 8/2/2009 7:37:41 PM , Rating: 2
don't get me wrong...

you always have to do the math when purchasing a vehicle..

but...if these things went into mass production and actually did guessing that the prices of batteries could come down pretty fast....they just need to turn some profits and be able to further develop the tech

By soghjai on 8/3/2009 12:04:32 PM , Rating: 2
Other than the battery, an electric car is cheaper to build than a gas powered car. The motor and transmission is much simpler to design and build which means it'll cheaper and more reliable. From what I read from the articles Nissan is using a new type of Li-on battery technology which makes it cheaper to build and less prone to exploding.

Hybrids on the other hand are far more expensive because you have to pay for the electric motor, gas motor, battery, and complex transmission. If they can sell a hybrid for $20K i don't see why they can't see a fully electric car for $15K.

Regarding Pricing
By btc909 on 8/3/2009 7:33:16 PM , Rating: 2
Yahoo Auto posted this:

To the degree that price matters, Nissan's also got a big edge in the EV world. Pricing hasn't been announced, but the company insists the Leaf will be "affordable" with pricing equivalent to a well-equipped C-class (compact) car.

That's a European compact, though, and they're a lot better equipped, and more costly, than compacts in the U.S. so figure $28,000 to as much as $35,000 (the range for Nissan partner Renault's Megane hatchback) — not super cheap, but a bit less than the five-place Chevy Volt.

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