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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 mdogs444 on 8/7/2009 12:34:25 PM , Rating: 2
I'm fairly certain that the new Genesis 2dr is just a re badged & upgraded Tiburon. I say this because the pricing and motor selection is not on par at all with the 4 door version.

The Genesis is nice, I'll give you that. But what is "budget" about a $40,000 car, besides its name of course?

If Kia had a $40,000 car, it would make no sense either. It's like Chevrolet coming out with a $55,000 Malibu GT or something, and people claiming it doesn't look like a low end Chevy anymore. Well duh!

By sweatshopking on 8/7/2009 12:43:03 PM , Rating: 2
the genesis coupe is a completely redone vehicle. it is the spiritual successor to the tiburon, but it is real wheel drive, with a new drive train and undercarriage. yes it looks similar, but that is a good thing. and for the record, the coupe is not 40k (the sedan is) it is 21000 CAD. so i imagine cheaper south of the border. and the sedan isnt a budget car. it compares nicely to a 55k lexus, in many tests.

By lightfoot on 8/7/2009 6:34:56 PM , Rating: 2
it is real wheel drive

That's good, because I hate those fake wheel drive cars. They just don't have the traction that I want.

Rear wheel drive can also be nice.

By Brandon Hill on 8/7/2009 2:02:22 PM , Rating: 3
I thought you were a car guy?

First of all, the Genesis Coupe starts at around $22,00 and tops out at $29,500 for a fully loaded V6 Track model (6-speed stick).

The Genesis Coupe has absolutely NOTHING to do with the Tiburon. It's actually based on a shortened Genesis sedan chassis and is a RWD, four-seater available with a 210 HP turbo-4 or a 306 HP (IIRC) 3.8-liter V6 engine.

Both engines are available with manual transmissions. The Genesis Coupe (in V6 form) is seen as an Infiniti G37 competitor for $10,000 - $12,000 less. Sure, its interior isn't as nice as the G37, but it has all the right moves/performance for relatively little dough.

I'm personally looking to buy one once my Mazda 3s is paid off. The mid-cycle refresh for the Genesis coupe is supposed to add direct injection for both engines (~250 HP for the turbo 4 and ~ 330+ HP for the V6) and the turbo-4 is gonna be made available with a dual-clutch transmission.

I'll take mine with a turbo-4 and dual-clutch :)

Also, the Hyundai Genesis Sedan starts at around $33,000 or so and reaches $40,000+ for the V8 version. Hyundai has been selling boatloads of 'em.

By Spuke on 8/7/2009 3:18:14 PM , Rating: 2
The mid-cycle refresh for the Genesis coupe is supposed to add direct injection for both engines (~250 HP for the turbo 4 and ~ 330+ HP for the V6) and the turbo-4 is gonna be made available with a dual-clutch transmission.
Oooooh!!!! Really? DI and a DCT? Oh Lordy!! I need to keep an eye out for this car!! Thanks much! Maybe this will convince BMW that DCT's are needed on their 1 and 3 series cars.

By monomer on 8/7/2009 5:34:46 PM , Rating: 2
You're right, I should have said the Genesis Coupe. The pricing is certainly lower than the Sedan, but it still looks like a fairly upscale vehicle, which is what the OP was asking for.

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