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Nissan LEAF to make an appearance in five test markets late next year

Just a few days ago, Nissan revealed the LEAF electric vehicle to the public. The 5-door hatchback looks relatively conventional and Nissan promises that the vehicle will be "affordable" when it hits the streets.

Yesterday, Nissan announced that the LEAF will be released in limited numbers next year in the United States. According to Nissan, 5,000 LEAFs will be spread evenly through five markets: Oregon, Phoenix/Tuscon, San Diego, Seattle, and Tennessee.

Nissan credits the recent announcement of $2.4B in federals grants for battery development for its relatively quick time-to-market plans for the LEAF. Nissan will be partnering with eTec, a company which provides charging stations for EVs, to help provide the infrastructure to support vehicles like the LEAF. ETec received nearly $100 million of the $2.4B grant.

"Nissan appreciates the support of the Department of Energy in helping jumpstart the electrification of the transportation sector," said Nissan of North America's Scott Becker. "This is a major step in promoting zero-emission mobility in the United States. Nissan is looking forward to partnering with eTec to help make electric cars a reality and to help establish the charging networks in key markets."

Nissan's LEAF can travel 100 miles on a single charge and reach a top speed of 87 mph thanks to its lithium-ion battery pack and electric motors.

The first 5,000 LEAF EVs to reach the American market late next year will be made in Japan. Nissan plans to start building the LEAF in its Tennessee plant in 2012.





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RE: What about people who drive long distances?
By SiliconJon on 8/7/2009 10:00:05 AM , Rating: 3
A mile a day? I would say why do you bother starting the car, and instead hop on a bicycle, however my less than three mile (total) commute and broken cycle would make me a hypocrite.

As for occasional lengthy trips, if I had a new vehicle that was so incredibly cheap to drive I would no problems trading a family member vehicles for the trip - they would probably fight each other given the cost of some of their commutes. Though the fighting would do them no good, as I would choose one of the more efficient vehicles to trade.


By hduser on 8/8/2009 1:21:12 PM , Rating: 2
I agree 3 miles is bicycle distance or maybe scooter. Walking isn't out of the question on a nice day.

How can you loan an electric car to a family member if they can't charge it? From what I read about the Leaf, it has a charger that takes 220V. Seems like it's kinda limited in access to households. Who knows how big the charger is.


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