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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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By Chemical Chris on 8/9/2009 2:16:47 PM , Rating: 3
For those long trips, I would suggest taking the bus, or flying. The bus is cheap, you dont have to do any work, just sit there and read a book or something. A lot of busses now have WiFi and power outlets, so you have even more infotainment options.
If you only need to travel long distances occasionally, then why not take the bus then, and have an electric car for around-town activities.
And really, whats wrong with bus? Is it really that bad/are you really that high and mighty? Just think of all the extra money you'd save on gas, or getting a smaller, cheaper car. The small amount of (perceived) extra convenience of driving rather than busing is more than offset by the financial and environmental factors. I mean really. C'mon.


RE: What about people who drive long distances?
By Keeir on 8/10/2009 12:59:11 AM , Rating: 2
Just curious where you are from...

Bus options are not really that great in the vast majority of the United States. Nor are they particularly cheaper than driving. Especially when you consider transportation requiredments at the other end.

For example, Seattle WA --> Portland OR is well outside the Leaf's range at 175 miles one way. Yet at ~3:00 max driving time and around ~6 gallons of gas (even in a poor car) its cheaper than a one-way ticket on greyhound at 27.00 dollars, and is much faster (greyhound takes around 4:00 of time). Its also cheaper than Amtrack, at ~35 for the same trip.

Not that I disagree with your statement, but your assertion that the extra convenience is perceived is clearly in error as is the idea that the bus is inheritantly better financially or even enviromentally (Buses do use alot of fuel in some areas... approaching parity with Hybrid type cars per person and a Diesel powered bus in the US anyway would be very dirty)

On top of all this, there are very few places serviced by Buses reliably enough in the US to make this practical. Someone in Seattle can get to Portland, but not Mt. St. Helens or Rainer, or any of dozens of other places a reasonable person may want to go on occasion.....

By JediJeb on 8/10/2009 5:26:32 PM , Rating: 2
True, and for those of us who would need to drive over 50 miles to get to the nearest bus station or airport or even rental car office, it just wouldn't make sense since unless they let you recharge while you are parked you may not make it home when you return.

By Spuke on 8/10/2009 4:44:27 PM , Rating: 2
For those long trips, I would suggest taking the bus, or flying.
There is no bus where I live. The closet one is a 45 minute DRIVE and would require someone to pick me up (driving) at the other end (if I were going to Phoenix). A lot of places I visit have no bus service and require a car to get there. Unless you live in a large metropolitan area AND never go outside that area, public transportation in the US is either non-existent or it sucks or it's too expensive compared to driving. Occasionally, I fly if I need to maximize time or if it's just too far (over 500 miles).

There is a train station (local) about 20 minutes away. It only goes to certain destinations so I can't take it everywhere but it does allow connections with other trains. It's not cheap and the hours are limited so we use it more for fun than anything but some people do use it for commuting (does save time during rush hour).

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