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Breaking: Nissan Launches ‘LEAF’ Electric Car

Zero emissions vehicle to go on sale in U.S., Japan and Europe next year.

 |  Aug 01 2009, 9:04 PM

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Nissan has just unveiled a new zero emissions vehicle that is slated to go on sale in Japan, Europe and the United States next year. Called the LEAF, this C-segment (sub-compact) car is powered by an electric motor and lithium-ion battery packs. Nissan says it will be able to drive 100 miles on a single charge. The batteries will be able to be charged up to 80 percent in less than 30 minutes with a special quick charger, or in roughly eight hours through a standard 200V outlet. Nissan says that through extensive research the 100 mile range will be suitable for 70 percent of car buyers.

Output from the lithium-ion battery packs is rated at 80kW/280Nm, (107-hp and 207 ft-lbs of torque), which should make this sub-compact a sporty little car.

Pricing has yet to be released but Nissan aims to give the LEAF an MSRP competitive with well-equipped C-segment cars. That should put it near the $20,000 mark. The car will also qualify for government rebates and tax incentives desigend to help promote the sale of fuel-efficient cars.

“Our car had to be the world’s first, medium-sized, 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 the LEAF product boss Masato Inoue.

The first LEAFs will be built at Nissan’s plant in Oppama, Japan with plans to also start production soon at the company’s Smyrna, Tennessee plant. The LEAF is the first of three electric vehicles that Nissan plans to launch in the next few years.

 ”The Nissan LEAF is a tremendous accomplishment – one in with all Nissan employees can take great pride,” said Nissan President Carlos Ghosn. “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.

GALLERY: 2010 Nissan LEAF

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Official release after the jump:

 

 

NISSAN UNVEILS “LEAF” – THE WORLD’S FIRST ELECTRIC CAR 

DESIGNED FOR AFFORDABILITY AND REAL-WORLD 

REQUIREMENTS 

Event ushers in a new era for Nissan and a new era for mobility 

YOKOHAMA

Nissan Motor Co., Ltd. today unveiled Nissan LEAF, the world’s first 

affordable, zero-emission car.  Designed specifically for a lithium-ion battery- 

powered chassis, Nissan LEAF is a medium-size hatchback that comfortably 

seats five adults and has a range of more than 160km (100 miles) to satisfy 

real-world consumer requirements. 

NISSAN LEAF 

Slated for launch in late 2010 in Japan, the United States, and Europe, Nissan 

LEAF ushers in a new era of mobility – the zero-emission era.  The car is the 

embodiment of Nissan’s radical, transformative vision for the future and the 

culmination of decades of investment and research. 

“Nissan LEAF is a tremendous accomplishment – one in which all Nissan 

employees can take great pride,” said Nissan President and CEO Carlos 

Ghosn.  “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.” 

Key characteristics of the LEAF include: 

1.Zero-emission power train and platform 

2.Affordable pricing 

3.Distinctive design 

4.Real-world range autonomy – 160km (100 miles) 

5.Connected Mobility: Advanced intelligent transportation (IT) system 

The “LEAF” name is a significant statement about the car itself.  Just as 

leaves purify the air in nature, so Nissan LEAF purifies mobility by taking 

emissions out of the driving experience.  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.  As an added benefit, because the vehicle has less 

mechanical complexity than a traditional gasoline-powered car, Nissan LEAF 

is designed to be friendly to the wallet as well as to the environment. 

ZERO-EMISSION MOBILITY 

Nissan LEAF is powered by laminated compact lithium-ion batteries, which 

generate power output of over 90kW, while its electric motor delivers 

80kW/280Nm.  This ensures a highly responsive, fun-to-drive experience that 

is in keeping with what consumers have come to expect from traditional, 

gasoline-powered automobiles. 

Unlike internal-combustion engine (ICE) equipped vehicles, Nissan LEAF’s 

power train has no tail pipe, and thus no emission of CO2 or other greenhouse 

gases.  A combination of Nissan LEAF’s regenerative braking system and 

innovative lithium-ion battery packs enables the car to deliver a driving range 

of more than 160km (100 miles) on one full charge*.  (*US LA4 mode) 

Extensive consumer research demonstrates that this range satisfies the daily 

driving requirements of more than 70% of the world’s consumers who drive 

cars. 

And, Nissan’s approach makes charging easy and convenient.  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 – ample time to enable an overnight refresh for 

consumer and car alike. 

REAL-WORLD CAR 

The engineers and designers behind Nissan LEAF worked to create a 

competitively priced real-world car that would enable Nissan to lead mobility 

into the zero-emission era.  To ensure comfort, spaciousness and cargo 

capacity, Nissan LEAF employs a completely new chassis and body layout. 

”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. 

DISTINCTIVE DESIGN 

Even the smallest details can yield tremendous effect. 

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 that announces, “This car is 

special.”  But the headlights do more than make a statement.  They are also 

designed to cleverly split and redirect airflow away from the door mirrors, thus 

reducing wind noise and drag.  And, the headlights provide yet one more 

benefit in that they consume just 10 percent of the electricity of conventional 

lamps, which helps Nissan LEAF to achieve its world-class range autonomy. 

Through bright trim colors inside, Nissan LEAF creates a pleasing and stylish 

cabin environment.  An environmentally friendly “blue earth” color theme 

originates from the Aqua Globe body color of Nissan LEAF’s introductory 

model.  This theme is carried into the interior through blue dashboard 

highlights and instrument illumination. 

CONNECTED MOBILITY IT SYSTEM 

Nissan LEAF employs an exclusive advanced IT system.  Connected to a 

global data center, the system can provide support, information, and 

entertainment for drivers 24 hours a day. 

The dash-mounted monitor displays Nissan LEAF’s remaining power – or 

“reachable area” – in addition to showing a selection of nearby charging 

stations.

Another state-of-the-art feature is the ability to use mobile phones 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- 

programmed to recharge batteries. 

“The IT system is a critical advantage,” says Tooru ABE, Chief Product 

Specialist. “We wanted this vehicle to be a partner for the driver and an 

enhancement for the passengers.  We also  wanted this vehicle to help create 

a zero-emission community, and these IT features will help make that 

possible.” 

HOLISTIC APPROACH TO ZERO-EMISSION MOBILITY AND ECO- 

FRIENDLY INNOVATION 

Nissan LEAF is a critical first step in establishing the era of zero-emission 

mobility; however, Nissan recognizes that internal-combustion engine (ICE) 

technologies will play a vital role in global transportation for decades to 

come.  Because of this, Nissan is implementing its zero-emission vision 

through a holistic approach, which provides consumers a comprehensive 

range of eco-friendly technologies from which to choose. 

For some consumers, Nissan LEAF will be the perfect match, and the only car 

they will ever need.  For others, Nissan LEAF will be a logical addition to the 

family fleet –  the optimal choice for the daily commute, for example. 

While zero-emission is the ultimate goal, the company is committed to ongoing 

innovation in eco-friendly technologies that increase efficiency and reduce 

emissions.  As a result, Nissan offers a comprehensive suite of automotive 

technologies, including CVT, Idle Stop, HEV, Clean Diesel, and ongoing 

research and investment in FCV technology. 

WORLDWIDE PARTNERS 

Zero-emission mobility programs under the banner of the Renault-Nissan 

Alliance include partnerships with countries such as the UK and Portugal, local 

governments in the Japan and the USA, and other sectors, for a total of nearly 

30 partnerships worldwide. 

In these partnerships major efforts focus on three areas:  

1.Development of a comprehensive charging infrastructure through public 

and private investment, 

2.Incentives and subsidies from local, regional, and national governments, 

and 

3.Public education on the individual and societal benefits of zero- 

emissions mobility. 

ZERO-EMISSION VEHICLE PRODUCTION 

Nissan LEAF is the first in the company’s forthcoming line of EVs and is a 

major milestone in the realization of the Renault-Nissan Alliance’s vision for 

zero-emission mobility.  The first of Nissan’s EV’s 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. 

ABOUT NISSAN MOTOR CO., LTD. 

Nissan Motor Co., Ltd. is a global automotive company with vehicle sales of 

3.411 million in 2008.  Nissan is present in all major auto markets worldwide, 

selling a comprehensive range of cars, pickup trucks, SUVs, and light 

commerical vehicles. 

NISSAN BLUE CITIZENSHIP 

Nissan is committed to making a better world through its commitment to 

corporate social responsibility.  This includes programs that focus on 

technological innovations that focus on people and care for the planet.  Our 

vision for zero-emission mobility is an outgrowth of our CSR approach, which 

we call Blue Citizenship.  Together, we are working with our Alliance partner, 

Renault, to make a better world through zero-emission mobility. 

For more information, please visit the Nissan Zero-Emission website: 

http://www.nissan-zeroemission.com

  • Mark Palatino

    I like the Aerodynamic Look of the car. I also like the way the charging door opens and has 2 Connectors. The interior
    looks Quite Comfortable, and has nice Displays. The area
    behind the seats seems to be quite Acceptable for cargo. I would like to drive one. Any chance the Robotic Agent could be added ? I even like the color. Sincerely, Mark