Nissan Leaf Trial Begins in Victoria

Japanese manufacturer Nissan announced yesterday it will begin a lengthy five year trial program in the Australian state of Victoria, as part of a government program meant to research into the electric vehicle technologies.

The long program has been devised because the Leaf will not be launched in Australia before 2012. During the testing, households, private and government fleets, recharge infrastructure providers, electricity suppliers, distributors and retailers will try to see how they can make the Leaf blend in with an otherwise gas-guzzling culture.

"As the world seeks a solution for rising emissions and desires less reliance on fossil fuels, automotive power will increasingly turn to alternative energy. Electricity for zero emission mobility is clearly the preferred option," Nissan Australia CEO Dan Thompson said.

The program aims to find out how electric vehicles will impact the market (driver behavior, recharging, vehicle performance and efficiency) and how charging solutions providers can work together.

The Leaf, the first electric vehicle designed to be sold worldwide, can run for 100 miles (160 km) on a full charge, thanks to the laminated compact lithium-ion batteries that manage to develop 90 kW. The electric motors produce an additional 80 kW/280 Nm of torque.

Recharging the battery to 80 percent of its capacity can take as little as just 30 minutes thanks to a new charging system developed by Nissan. It will however still take 8 hours to bring the battery to full capacity from a 200V home outlet.

In the US, sales of the Nissan LEAF begin in December in California, Oregon, Washington, Arizona and Tennessee.
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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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