Nissan Leaf Uncovered

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As we told you earlier this week, Nissan was planning to unveil a new electric vehicle on August 2… and they did. Now, we’re going to let you in on some of its features. The Leaf is a medium-size electric hatchback that is powered by laminated compact lithium-ion batteries that manage to develop 90 kW, while its electric motors produce 80 kW/280 Nm of torque.

Nissan states the car 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. The name Leaf was chosen specifically to underline the importance of the car. Having no emissions at all, the Leaf doesn’t need a tail pipe, so that’s one conventional system less to worry about servicing.

"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”, said Nissan President and CEO Carlos Ghosn.

With less mechanical complexity than a traditional gasoline-powered car, Nissan states (without giving any exact figures) the Leaf will be an affordable option for the conventional internal combustion powered vehicles.

Nissan thought about recharging time also and overcame the issue with a new charging system that recharges the battery to 80 percent of its capacity in just 30 minutes. A full recharge from a 200V home outlet, however, will take 8 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,” said Masato INOUE, Product Chief Designer.

Sales are expected to begin in 2010 in Japan, United States and Europe.
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