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Nissan Unveils the LEAF Production EV

The Nissan LEAF. Click to enlarge.

In conjunction with the opening of its new, environmentally-focused global headquarters building in Yokohama, Japan, Nissan Motor Co., Ltd. unveiled the Nissan LEAF production electric vehicle. Designed specifically for a lithium-ion battery-powered chassis, Nissan LEAF is a medium-size hatchback that seats five adults and has a range of more than 160km (100 miles) on one full charge, based on an urban driving cycle (US LA4[1]). Nissan LEAF is slated for launch in late 2010 in Japan, the United States, and Europe.

A 24 kWh pack of laminated lithium-ion batteries from Nissan JV AESC delivers output of more than 90kW to power a synchronous AC motor delivering 80 kW (107 hp) of power and torque of 280 N·m (207 lb-ft). Top speed is 140 km/h (90 mph).

Connectors for quick and regular charge are at the front of the hood. Click to enlarge.

Nissan LEAF can be charged up to 80% of its full capacity in just under 30 minutes with a quick charger. Charging at home through a 200V outlet is estimated to take approximately eight hours.

Our car had to be the world’s first, medium-size, practical EV that motorists could afford and would want to use every day. And that’s what we’ve created. The styling will identify not only Nissan LEAF but also the owner as a participant in the new era of zero-emission mobility.

—Masato Inoue, Product Chief Designer

Nissan LEAF employs a completely new chassis and body layout. Nissan LEAF’s frontal styling is characterized by a sharp, upright V-shaped design featuring long, up-slanting light-emitting diode (LED) headlights that employ a blue internal reflective design. The headlights are designed to split and redirect airflow away from the door mirrors, thus reducing wind noise and drag. The headlights also consume just 10% of the electricity of conventional lamps, which helps Nissan LEAF to achieve its world-class range autonomy.

The LEAF in-dash monitor. Click to enlarge.

Nissan LEAF employs an exclusive advanced IT system. Connected to a global data center, the system provides support, information, and entertainment. The dash-mounted monitor displays Nissan LEAF’s remaining power—or “reachable area” in addition to showing a selection of nearby charging stations.

Mobile phones can be used to turn on air-conditioning and set charging functions even when Nissan LEAF is powered down. An on-board remote-controlled timer can also be pre-programed to recharge batteries.

Nissan LEAF is the first in the company’s forthcoming line of EVs. The first of Nissan’s EVs will be manufactured at Oppama, Japan, with additional capacity planned for Smyrna, Tennessee, USA. Meanwhile, lithium-ion batteries are being produced in Zama, Japan, with additional capacity planned for the USA, the UK and Portugal, and other sites for investment are under study around the world.

Nissan LEAF is a tremendous accomplishment—one in which all Nissan employees can take great pride. We have been working tirelessly to make this day a reality—the unveiling of a real-world car that has zero—not simply reduced—emissions. It’s the first step in what is sure to be an exciting journey—for people all over the world, for Nissan and for the industry.

—Nissan President and CEO Carlos Ghosn

Pricing details will be announced closer to start of sales in late 2010; however, the company expects the car to be competitively priced in the range of a well-equipped C-segment vehicle. Additionally, Nissan LEAF is expected to qualify for an array of significant local, regional and national tax breaks and incentives in markets around the world.

Nissan said that while LEAF is a critical first step in establishing the era of zero-emission mobility, it recognizes that internal-combustion engine (ICE) technologies will play a vital role in global transportation for decades to come. Because of this, Nissan said it is implementing its zero-emission vision through a “holistic” approach, which provides consumers a comprehensive range of eco-friendly technologies from which to choose.

Nissan offers a suite of automotive technologies, including CVT, Idle Stop, HEV, Clean Diesel, and ongoing research and investment in fuel cell vehicle (FCV) technology.

UDDS. Click to enlarge.

[1] The EPA Urban Dynamometer Driving Schedule (UDDS) is commonly called the LA4 or “the city test” and represents city driving conditions. It is used for light duty vehicle testing. Cycle length is 1,369 seconds, for a distance of 7.45 miles, with an average speed of 19.59 mph (31.5 km/h). The US Federal Test Procedure(FTP) is composed of the UDDS followed by the first 505 seconds of the UDDS. EPA also uses a Heavy Duty Urban Dynamometer Driving Schedule (UDDS) for heavy duty vehicle testing, which is not to be confused with the usual UDDS for light duty vehicle testing.



Apparently the price will be comparable gasoline-engine car
PLUS the lease for lithium-ion battery – Yikes.

I understand BMW leases the electric Mini for $850-a-month but they will take them back after 1 year since that’s all they need to meet California’s Zero emissions requirements.
Ummm - . As they say "(ICE) technologies will play a vital role in global transportation for decades to come."

Henry Gibson

There is a pretense that electric cars are much cleaner so they should not be plug-in-hybrids. Under no circumstances should any full electric car be allowed to be sold in the US that does not have a fuel powered range extender. This is not primarily to keep the car running when the battery runs low, but it is to prevent the idea from being reinforced that electric cars have a limited range, as this news does. It is also to prevent the use of excessively large batteries at high capital costs.

This car has too high of power for most car uses.

It should also have been built to use the same ZEBRA battery pack that the TH!NK does.

I just heard of a new buyer of a hybrid car(even) who was afraid to drive to a town in the mointains because he misunderstood the idea of a hybrid and thought that he would run out of battery going up hill. This is because of all of the useless talk about the limited range of electric cars. There should never be any full electric vehicles, and it should not be hard to have electric starting RCV gasoline generators of 100 watts and more for golf carts even.


To those who question the wisdom of banning all full electric cars to promote an idea, I can only say that all our present political difficulties would be eliminated if there were no competing ideas.

Innovation is good in theory but, if it fosters aberrant ideas it must be stamped out.

As a first step we must all be forced to think alike.

Sieg Heil


Yeah, he does tend to be rather dictatorial doesn't he?

Multi-Modal Commuter Dude (formerly known as Bike Commuter Dude)

I, for one, think that there should be a ban on internal combustion engines. Despite the comments of Heir Gibson, and his ill-educated hybrid driving amigo, most people understand that you can drive an electric car pretty far. I had an internal combustion driving friend (even) who wouldn't drive at all because she thought that global warming and poisonous pollution would destroy civilization and our ecosystem. She even believed that the whole system was run by a bunch of corrupt profiteers! CRAZY!

Personally, I will be first in line to buy a LEAF. Perhaps, I will pass HG's hybrid buddy at the chain-up area as I drive over a mountain pass...


I think that this car is wonderful. It is now Who Resurrected the Electric Car. Nissan should be given an award for their contribution here. They have been working on this kind of car for a while now and the vision and determination are what we need from automakers.


Looks like a good move to me.

There will be a large market for a 100m electric. That certainly means it will get at least 50m even with aggressive driving. That will be enough for many drivers.

And if the range isn't enough then they won't buy; no mandate from Heaven says we should all be alike.

Quality, recharge time and convenience, and the cost of the batteries will IMO be more important than the range.


It might be great.

It might be expensive "Pricing details will be announced closer to start of sales in late 2010"

It might be that the batteries are only for a 1 year lease and be yet another Who Killed the Electric Car.

Justin VP

I think this is great. An idea doesn't have to actually work out to be important. Car mfr's will learn a lot in the process, and maybe it'll be the next best thing.

The car will probably be a wee bit expensive, since we all know that batteries aren't yet ready for primetime at a reasonable cost. But it'll still sell to early adopters, and you need a first step before a second step.

And those of you who think this is a terrible idea, just don't buy one. Consumers vote with their pocketbooks. EVs, REVs, Hybrids, etc... bring them all to market and see what makes the most sense.

None of of know yet what the best option for the future will be. On my part, I'm sure enjoying watching the evolution of transport. In the big scheme of things, there's a fast change happening right now, and what makes it fun is that we really don't know how it'll shake out.


Once people find out that they can get by with 100 mile range, perception may start to change. I could get by with one and if I wanted to go on longer trips, I drive the EV down to the car rental place and get one of theirs for the weekend at discount rates. I try different models and put all the high mileage on their vehicles.


If I had a BEV with a 20mile range it would handle 100% of all the trips I NEEDED to do last year.
If I had a BEV with a 100mile range it would handle 100% of all the trips I actually did last year.
If I had a BEV with a 200mile range it would handle 100% of all the trips I wanted to do last year.
If I had a BEV with a hitch for a genset trailer it would handle 100% of all the trips I've ever done in my life.


One more feather in the cap of the HEV/EV movement. It would be interesting to know how they plan to implement the "quick charger" - a higher voltage/current device. Where will these chargers be placed? What will the premium be for a 30 minute charge?

If as on autobahn and interstate systems, gas stations had 3-4 quick chargers - you could reasonably expect to drive the length of the system with no battery worries.

TT, thinking with one mind is necessary - if you only want one thought. Achtung!


I would put these and other EVs into rental. Your car is in the shop for yet another fix and you need wheels. You hop into one of these, it is quiet and you really like it, now you have lots of people more interested in the idea.


Sounds like a good battle plan to me. ;-)


Batteries or on-board e-storage units will evolve in performance and price will be reduced up to ten folds (and more) by 2020/30.

Of course (as for large LCD TVs, Digicams, Home computers, microwave ovens etc) the first 10 to 20 million units will be more expensive than ICE equivalent and their performace will not meet everbdody's expectations, but with 10 to 20 years, nobody will want to buy another ICE vehicle.

Installing a good ruggedized 220 VAC outlet + a 40 Amps timer in TT's garage may help to convince him. The power required is no more than for the kitchen stove. An interlock between the stove (or the hot water tank) and the PHEV/BEV overnight charger could avoid having to change the total house power requirements.

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