The Nissan Leaf was unveiled in Yokohama, Japan, on Sunday and it’s set to spearhead the mass-market Electronic Vehicle (EV) revolution. Intent on capitalising on the emerging EV market, Nissan plans to start selling their zero-emission Leaf in America and Japan during the latter part of 2010. A five-door, five-passenger hatchback, the Leaf sucks it power from a 24-kilowatt-hour battery pack that’s made up of 192 lithium-manganese cells. Positioned flat beneath the vehicle’s floor to optimise weight distribution and ensure maximum passenger comfort, this clever piece of electrical engineering gives the Leaf a maximum cruising range of 160 kilometres – more than enough for the average daily commute. Charge times vary depending on outlet voltage, but a normal 220-volt power outlet will juice-up the Leaf’s battery in four hours. Once stored, all this energy powers an 80kW AC motor that gives the Leaf a limited top speed of 140km/h. With such a hi-tech powertrain nestling beneath its bonnet, Nissan have equipped the Leaf with their “EV-IT” range-monitoring system that keeps tabs on battery levels and – utilising the on-board navigation system – tells you exactly where and when to recharge.
Cut with design cues taken from the current Nissan Micra and Renault Megane, the Leaf has an incredibly aerodynamic body that aids in extending its overall range and minimizing wind noise when travelling out on the highway. Nissan is currently mum about how much their new electric car will actually cost when it’s released to consumers next year but their CEO – Carlos Ghosn – has hinted that the Leaf will wear the price tag of a comparable petrol-powered car.
Plugged into a 220-volt power outlet, the Nissan Leaf will take four hours to charge. Its range is pegged at 160 kilometres.
The Nissan EV-IT monitoring system tells you exactly how much energy is left in the battery and far you can drive before another charge is necessary.
A modern, fuss-free interior echoes the Leaf’s futuristic drivetrain technology.
An affordable, normal-looking, 100% electric car? This is a dream come true. Electric cars are safe, clean, efficient. This is a really big step towards reducing greenhouse gases, lessening the impact of peak oil, and saving money in the process. American auto companies need to learn from Nissan on this one!
If available in 2011, this or something like it will be my next car. I have no doubt that gas prices will continue to rise. I drive 10-50 miles daily depending on work schedule. I’ll keep the family SUV for vacation trips and use this car for work.
Let’s see, 220 volt, four hours to charge, 100 mile radius (translated: 75 miles max), no ability to recharge unless you find a 220 volt outlet and bring along your huge cable…this is nothing more than a golf cart, literally. The Chevy Volt will recharge itself with a very small motor, if it is needed. The Volt has ulimited range, average MPG 150. Prius claims 50 but gets 35, and that is using discarded Chevy battery technology from 25 years ago. I’ll pass on the “Leaf,” and wait for the Volt.
100 mile range.
Great, what kind of car to you drive if you have to go out of town?
The car gets 100 miles on a 4 hour charge on 200 volts. That means maybe one hour charge to 25 miles. A lot of people drive 25 miles to work. So if your battery goes dead 25 miies from home or your destination then you have to sit around and wait an hour for the battery to charge in order to get home? In America which is on 110 volt are people going to have to wait 2 hours after they find a charger to charge the battery enough to go another 25 miles.
This car is a joke.
Cars like this are a throw back to the Middle Ages when people never left the cities that they were born in and in most cases never ventured out of the community that they lived.
Who-hoo – the EV hatchback of my dreams…I would love one now….. Wish I didn’t have to wait until late 2010 to look at one. I AM concerned about the charging infrastructure,though, because I live in a condo, and can’t do it there.
You are the one in the Middle Ages. The vast majority of people (95%) drive less than 160/km a day. This would be a perfect 2nd car.
It’s a step in the right direction.
But there is one big catch, that is designed obsolesence.
This means the big companies drip feed technology they already have to maximise profits, because you’ll have to buy next years model which will have a range of 120 miles.
The vehicle should have some sort of dynamo system to re-charge whilst on the move, stop/start tachnology,quick change battey pack for no waiting to get charged up, it could also have micro thin solar panels on the roof so that it can re-charge in a car park or driveway.
Green??? Not until the U.S. builds some nuclear power plants. If this car is getting its juice from a coal plant you’re greener buring gasoline.
All this whining about a 100 mile range. Do everyone a favor and keep a diary of your mileage every day for the next year. By the time you realise that 300 days you drive far less than that 100 miles you’ll buy one. Oh, and the only charging station you need to worry about is the one in your garage.
Sign me up for one. The naysayers can fight over what oil is left a few years from now.
Yeah, as a second car the Nissan Leaf makes a whole lot of sense. For traveling to and from work and maybe a little commuting in between, it’s 160-kilometre range will definitely suffice the average motorist. But if you can only afford one vehicle and want to go down the eco-friendly route, I – like Dave Kay mentioned above – would wait for the Volt. Besides being game for the occasional road trip thanks to its axillary petrol engine, I also think the Chevy looks better too…
I am so excited for this car to be released!! Not only because I sell Nissans but because I think it has simple style and I think Nissan will make it affortable. I used to sell Toyota and I am far happier where I am now.
Molly – what do you think of the Prius?
By the time Volt gets released it will already be archaic. The car is amazing. For the person that said the prius claims 50 but gets 35mpg – I have a prius and I get no less than 40mpg with the ac on max, 90% humidity and over 90 degree heat here in South Florida. The Volt is nice but GM wanted publicity too yearly – they talk about the volt for what, 3-4 years now? And besides, I don’t think the Volt’s price would justify the car itself. The Leaf will probably be cheaper than prius, I would definitely consider getting one. Good luck to everyone with the $40K Volt.
I sold a lot of prius when I was at Toyota so the income was good. I just thought prius customers were a different breed all together. Not bad just different that Nissan buyers. I also dont really like the look of the Prius so that was something I always tried to overcome.
My Daughter owns a Prius…. says 50mpg, gets 55!
I own a Civic Hybrid…says 44mpg, gets 44mpg.
Average commute in America: less than 40 miles.
This looks like a good alternative!
Yes, we need more nuke/wind/geothermal/small hydro plants in America…that’s a no brainer.
Chevy Volt=vaporware right now, it’s still a Chevy, be prepared for poor fit and finish and old school engineering…I hope it works.
At little simple math here to do the energy comparison since it’s not that obvious. They state the car will travel 100 miles on its 24 kWh battery pack. That is the equivalent of .66 gallons of gasoline. Sounds pretty good right. Hold on. The average efficiency of electricity delivered to a consumer in the US is about 33% That means that you really go through the equivalent of 2 gallons of gas to go that 100 miles. I’m guessing battery charge/discharge efficiency is around 90% So it really gets around 45 mpg. Which is pretty good. The whole point though is the electricity from an electric car can be sourced from anywhere vs a regular or hybrid system relies on petroleum.
I still think that the Volt will surprise us all. In fact GM have to make it work and they are going to make damn sure that it’s a) well priced, b) more efficient than the Prius and c) available to motorists across the world. While I have no beef with the Nissan Leaf, I just think that the Volt makes sense for people who go on a lot of long trips and live in countries where the infrastructure doesn’t cater for continual wall charging. South Africa is a perfect example: try juicing up your half-empty Leaf when Eskom has cut the power to your suburb for an entire day – you’re not going anywhere pal!
I agree with you Molly – that Prius is probably the dullest thing on the road today. At least the Volt has a little attitude etched into its sheet metal. Interestingly enough though, Chevy build quality isn’t that bad over here in South Africa…
Nissan’s lying when they say “Zero emissions” unless your electricity is solar-generated. “Emissions generated elsewhere so you can feel prius…I mean, pious without actually achieving something” would be more like it.
That said, even though I love big-bore V8 rumble like no other sound on earth, I’d probably consider a car like this for commuting if I didn’t have kids and a wife, whom I occasionally drive around in my car. I’d think adding that much weight (the kids, not my wife!) would substantially cut the range. I’d also like to see what heat, radio, A/C, etc. do to the range. 160km on flat straight roads at comfortable autumn temperatures, windows up, no headlights on, maybe. In real life, probably not so much.
To all you naysayers, you must consider that the Volt and the Leaf are the ‘Model T’ of electric vehicles. They are both a massive revolutionary step forward and are going to change the world. Nobody wants to get ripped off on a $40K first generation EV but the Leaf addresses that. It is affordable for the average Joe to purchase and will therefore go into mass production. And for those who want to use the coal-based energy argument….weak…really weak. I find it ironic that you do not factor in the amount of coal-based energy used in refining crude oil into gasoline. The MPG rating is only what is burned through the tailpipe and ignores the energy used in creating gas. It seems that it is one of those arguments that is only used when it benefits the person using it.
GREAT! My first new car was a Nissan … GOOD engineering (still have that old truck too). I’ll buy it (if the price is not excessive and battery replacement reasonable. Government Motors will NEVER come out with the Volt and if they per-chance do it will SUCK like everything else they sell that is designed to break (bad engineering… SOB’s should have listened to Deming like the Asians did). This car fits the bill for 90% of my driving needs in a big western state and I’ve got 60 amp 220 in my garage just waiting to feed it at 7 cents a KWh ( works out to about 1.6 cents per mile… screw you seven sisters!)
You know, you’re supposed to plug the car in overnight to let it charge completely, thus allowing you to get 75-100 miles on a charge.
So, uh, think before you speak, okay?
All I know is that I would like a hatchback EV that charges in a VERY short period of time somewhere other than my condo. How will that be handled for all EVs? GROUP HUG………
This news is almost too good to be true- an affordable, all-electric car, with lots of bells, whistles, and promises of performance. American car maker shoulds take note, becuase this is something they should have been developing last decade. I just finished the book “Two Cents Per Mile” by Nevres Cefo ( http://www.twocentspermile.com ), and the history of u.s. electric cars are amazing. GM built an all-electric sports car called the EV-1, and toyota built a version of the RAV4 that was electric (RAV4-EV). Then, GM stopped leasing the EV-1s, and crushed them in the desert. Then, they sold the patent to the car’s batteries to Chevron Oil, who sued Toyota to stop producing the RAV4. The story goes on- oil companies have systematically suppressed electric cars in this country, and now as national industries, and as individual consumers, we are going to suffer from it. I recommend anyone interested in the economy, jobs, the environment, or automobiles learn more about electric cars and read this book.
This Car is really nice, really good looking and the most important is that it is eco-friendly. The CO2 emissions are increasing much, and the big usage of automobiles last years, means that it will not stop increasing. We should reduce it, with such cars, like this. I hope that car builders will pay more attention to the earth and will care about it much more.
two cents per mile is completely right! ever watch the movie Who Killed the Electric Car? Best thing you could ever watch. It does step by step on how the car companies and GOVERNMENT crushed all EV from mass production because the oil companies paid the government to shut them down.
just use Brown’s gas in your car(oxy-hydrogen) This hybrid fuel cell and fancy battery technology is far too expensive and unecessary. Thereare already suppliers of this technology in the USA , but the car manufacturers must develop it as they have the money. Of course, the oil suppliers will lose out horribly.
I dont really like the design. But i think its a good car. You can never judge a book by its cover. Same goes for the cars. Its performance is not based on its looks. So great car.