Nissan LEAF electric vehicleEnlarge Photo
Nissan is getting ready to release its first electric vehicle and to help butter up potential customers the automaker has today revealed images and details of the new car, which has been dubbed the ‘LEAF’. At the opening ceremony of Nissan’s new global headquarters in Yokohama, Japan today, Nissan took the covers off the LEAF for the first time and confirmed a late 2010 launch date for Japan, the U.S. and Europe.
Designed specifically for a lithium-ion battery-powered chassis, the LEAF is a mid-size hatchback that comfortably seats five adults and has a range of more than 100mi to satisfy real-world consumer requirements.
Key characteristics include a zero-emission powertrain and platform, an “affordable” price tag and a connected mobility intelligent transportation (IT) system. Power will come from laminated compact lithium-ion batteries, which generate an output of over 120hp, while the electric motor itself delivers 107hp of output and 206lb-ft of torque.
And with the ability to regain up to 80% of its full charge in just 30 minutes, it can get back on the road again in a hurry. A full charge takes about 8 hours, a typical overnight duration.
The real star is the new IT system, which connects the car to a global data center to provide support, information and entertainment around the clock. A dash-mounted monitor uses this information to show a 'reachable area' display, letting the driver know exactly how far they can go on the remaining charge. It also shows the nearest charging stations to make juicing back up easier.
Pricing details will be announced closer to start of sales in late 2010, however, Nissan is expecting the car to be competitively priced in the range of a well-equipped C-segment vehicle. Additionally, the LEAF is expected to qualify for an array of significant local, regional and national tax breaks and incentives in markets around the world. As an added benefit, because the vehicle has less mechanical complexity than a traditional gasoline-powered car, it will also cost significantly less to service and run.