Print 20 comment(s) - last by FishTankX.. on Nov 2 at 11:48 PM

Leaf production underway in Japan  (Source: Nissan)
U.S. and UK plants production will start later

One of the most anticipated plug-in electric vehicles to be unveiled this year is the Nissan Leaf and we are getting closer to the launch date for the vehicle. Motor Trend reports that Leaf production has started in Japan and the plant building the EVs will be the model for future Leaf production facilities around the world.

The Leaf is being built in the Nissan Oppama facility in Japan which has a production capacity of 50,000 units right now. Presumably, that capacity can be increased in the future if needed. Once the vehicle is in full swing and the demand increases, Nissan will roll out similar assembly lines to plants in Smyrna, Tennessee and the Sunderland plant in England.

The U.S. assembly line will have a production capacity of 150,000 units per year at full tilt and the Sunderland plant will be good for 50,000 Leaf vehicles that will be used to meet demand in England and Europe. Nissan will take lessons learned in the assembly process at the Oppama facility and roll those tricks out to the other manufacturing plants as needed.

"Oppama will serve as the 'Mother Plant' for the production of Nissan Leaf," said Hidetoshi Imazu, Nissan's executive VP of manufacturing. "We will use all of the know-how and learnings from Oppama to ensure the highest quality at all sites that manufacture Nissan EVs."

Nissan revealed in March that the Leaf's price will be $32,780 before the $7,500 federal tax rebate. Nissan will also be offering a lease on the Leaf at $349 per month with the rebate coming to Nissan rather than the buyer.

The EV is good for 100 miles on a single charge and will have a top speed of 87 mph. Nissan is also reportedly considering offering Leaf buyers a rental car for longer trips when needed. 

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Small business opportunity.
By priusone on 10/25/2010 10:15:41 AM , Rating: 2
The sooner they get these all electric vehicles into blonder hands, the sooner I can start offering a service to drive out to where someone is dead on the side of the road and charge them to give them a quick charge. I have a 2,000 watt generator waiting.

RE: Small business opportunity.
By Spuke on 10/25/2010 11:19:15 AM , Rating: 1
I have a 2,000 watt generator waiting.
At how many volts?

RE: Small business opportunity.
By Wy White Wolf on 10/25/2010 12:13:23 PM , Rating: 2
2K genny - FAIL - too small!!!

Better go get a bigger one as I don't see anyone wishing to sit there all day while you charge them up.

RE: Small business opportunity.
By bobsmith1492 on 10/25/2010 2:13:02 PM , Rating: 2
Does this thing plug into 120V service for charging? If so, a 2KW generator is perfect. For a standard 15A breaker:
120V x 15A = 1800W

RE: Small business opportunity.
By Samus on 10/25/2010 2:24:18 PM , Rating: 2
I really have to question the logic of using a generator to recharge an electric vehicle. Even at peak, generators are only 80% efficient.

RE: Small business opportunity.
By Spuke on 10/25/2010 3:17:58 PM , Rating: 1
With a typical inverter generator, you'll need to convert back to DC to charge these batteries. Why do that? Just keep it DC and avoid the conversion losses. At home, you don't have a choice but if you're going to do this as a service, don't do it that way. Get yourself a 12hp Hatz diesel engine and pair it with a 300A alternator with an external multistage voltage regulator. That will cut down on the time and fuel usage over a generator.

PS - Probably won't work cause LI batteries require different charging protocols. I have no idea what those are.

RE: Small business opportunity.
By priusone on 10/25/2010 5:06:08 PM , Rating: 2
It's not about efficiency, it's about the "customer" being stranded on the side of the road with no more juice in their cells. The basic idea is to be able to charge someones batteries enough to get them home, slightly lighter in the pocketbook, of course.

I have the 2,000 watt generator for small time welding and for camping.

Thank you Japan & the Nissan Leaf!
By Hafgrim on 10/25/2010 2:13:16 PM , Rating: 2
Cant wait to buy mine and stick a sticker on the side that says screw u gasoline stations! ^^

Hehe! Finally!

RE: Thank you Japan & the Nissan Leaf!
By marsbound2024 on 10/25/2010 4:08:25 PM , Rating: 2
Then watch as passing motorists laugh at you when you are broken down on the side of the road and there's not a charging station anywhere in site.

RE: Thank you Japan & the Nissan Leaf!
By roadhog1974 on 10/25/2010 7:17:23 PM , Rating: 2
Why are ev's or nissans somehow unreliable?

RE: Thank you Japan & the Nissan Leaf!
By marsbound2024 on 10/25/2010 7:36:44 PM , Rating: 2
Um, wow. Flew over your head, that one.

I was referencing when he runs out of "gas" so to speak. When his batteries deplete, he'll be on the side of the road without a place to charge up. That's when the gas users will be laughing at him. *Sigh* for having to explain.

By Hafgrim on 10/27/2010 2:11:28 PM , Rating: 2
First of all you said "broken down" in your op.. So his reply is valid.

Second just like you dont run out of gas before going to a gas station in your dino car I wont run out of "juice" electric power before going home.

Third The Nissan Leaf has a GPS system that is tied to the battery power-level system that work together to calculate and warn you far in advance of your maximum range from home or nearest charge station so you dont go beyond by mastake.

Nissan I Thank you for allowing me to never stop at a gas station EVER again. =)


silly fools would buy one
By undummy on 10/25/2010 6:59:37 PM , Rating: 2
We're definitely going to need more coal burning power plants to charge these electric vehicle. Screw you gas station. I'm buying coal futures and coal company stocks.

And, can't wait to see 'national' rolling blackouts. No one remembers California's rolling blackout debacle a few years ago? Didn't it make them change their mandatory e-car requirement?

We need several million e-cars to show how pathetic they are, and how pathetic the grid is. Should be an interesting 'science project'.

Hindsight isn't 20:20. Hindsight is a riot ;-)

Rumor is that once we have too many e-cars on the road, China will run a really really big extension cord from their coal burning plants to our grid. They'll save us again!

RE: silly fools would buy one
By Qapa on 10/26/2010 5:29:07 AM , Rating: 2
That sickens me!

You guys have a sh*ty power grid and need to fix it anyway, and then you say: "oh, e-cars are bad because we have a sh*ty power grid" ?!

You already need to fix your grid anyway, so just get to it, NOW rather than after more blackouts occur!! And then you won't have any problems with e-cars.

Remember that, no matter what some people would like, e-cars will not replace all other cars in 1 year or in 5 years for that matter. So you have plenty of time to take action now and fix the damn grid.

And in the meantime, lots of e-cars will start to be there are using the grid... in 5 years we should hope that most cars sold/produced are e-cars or hybrids with 100+ miles of electric autonomy. Which means most new cars would not need to go to the pump. Still, you should find how many cars in your country have less than 5 years? And of those, not all will be electric... so it will be a progressive change... like all changes. So start fixing your grid and stop whining about it already!! Stop seeing problems, go for the solutions!!

RE: silly fools would buy one
By FishTankX on 11/2/2010 11:43:47 PM , Rating: 2
Nobody was saying this when people were installing central air air conditioning systems, which I believe, take up more power than the slow charging system on this vehicle. A good central air system will run maybe 8KW. This is for a 50,000 BTU system to cool an entire house. If I understand correctly, even under quick charge conditions (3 hours to full) the leaf won't draw any more than that. And it'll most likely draw that power at NIGHT. Which is when the power grid is under the least strain, because all of the office buildings, their ACs, and the lights in all the homes are OFF. Thus, your argument is somewhat fail.

Additionally, this won't actually require the construction of new power plants, as I mentioned above, the majority of charging will occur at night time. Since it's off peak, we won't need more peak generation capacity. It's unlikely that in a given month, the average person would have more than 1 or 2 days when they need an additional 100 miles of range.

By Sazabi19 on 10/25/2010 10:00:37 AM , Rating: 2
Looks like Nissan is really trying on this one, offering a rental car for trips that will be outside of the range of your car. Good move on them, Hope it works out well.

RE: Cool
By FishTankX on 11/2/2010 11:48:59 PM , Rating: 2
It would make quite a bit more sense if Nissan merely rented out generator trailers to leafs that needed to go outside their range.

Surely a 30kw generator costs less than a car? o.O

I could be completely wrong
By Chaser on 10/25/2010 4:54:10 PM , Rating: 3
But it's my opinion this car is going to sell extremely well once it's available in the U.S.

By douggrif on 10/27/2010 1:47:35 PM , Rating: 2
Electric cars cannot compete in the marketplace without heavy (>20% subsidies)tax payer support. The battery packs rely on the availability of rare earth metals which are 90 percent controlled by our old friend Communist China, who also owns most of our international debt. And wait until you find out the real cost of trying to recyce those environmentally unfriendly heavy metals and acids found in the battery packs. Guess who will pay for that? At the same time, ever increasing energy efficient gasoline vehicles are achieving real gas mileage as good as hybrids and real operating efficiency better than any electrics. Also proven oil resources are increasing each year not decreasing as has been predicted for the past 40 years or more. So once again we taxpayers get stuck with the bill. At a time when we can't seem to figure out how government can stop rising unemployment (except for government workers) it seems like a good idea to cut all government subsidies and let electrics compete just like automobiles have historically done in the past.

By The Imir of Groofunkistan on 10/25/10, Rating: -1
"This is from the It's a science website." -- Rush Limbaugh

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