Nissan Leaf Hoped to Outsell Hybrids

Japanese manufacturer has high hopes for its first mass produced EV, the Leaf, and says the Toyota Prius and Honda Insight will have in the EV an opponent to be reckoned with. Nissan North America's vice president for product planning Larry Dominique says the fact the Leaf has a lot more money-saving potential than the hydrids will turn into a big advantage in the upcoming hybrid-EV race.

"We are very confident that Leaf will give a lower cost to ownership," Dominique was quoted as saying by at the automotive conference in Traverse City, Michigan. The hybrids have, in his opinion, good technologies behind them, yet they face bigger obstacles, especially on initial cost.

"We do believe that we're at this tipping point where if we bring in the right technology at the right price with the right execution... that we'll be able to convince people this is a great alternative," he added.

Nissan's Leaf can easily accommodate five adults and can run for 100 miles (160 km) on a full charge. The key to this intriguing operational range is the new regenerative braking system designed by the Japanese carmaker.

Recharging time for the Leaf has been long looked into, as Nissan says battery can be recharged to 80 percent of its capacity in just 30 minutes. A full recharge from a 200V home outlet, however, will take 8 hours.

Sales of the Leaf are expected to start in Japan, the US and Europe sometimes in 2010. Without the battery, the Leaf will be priced under 20,000 euros.
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About the author: Daniel Patrascu
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Daniel loves writing (or so he claims), and he uses this skill to offer readers a "behind the scenes" look at the automotive industry. He also enjoys talking about space exploration and robots, because in his view the only way forward for humanity is away from this planet, in metal bodies.
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