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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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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.

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