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Nissan‘s Leaf electric car has been in such high demand that the company is struggling to build them fast enough. It’s stopped taking new orders just to fulfill its current demand.
Out of 27,000 total orders so far from the United States, Japan, and Europe, it has only completed 10,000. The remaining 17,000 will be pushed back to the next fiscal year in April—enough time for the Oppama, Japan plant to reach its maximum capacity. It will be able to build 50,000 Leafs by then, and would be able to take 33,000 more orders from those clamoring to ride the lightning.
Nissan wants to get their international factories going to fulfill demand, which could see the electric car built in England as well as Tennessee. One possibility could be to open new assembly lines earlier than scheduled, but Nissan is also planning a new factory that can churn out lithium-ion battery packs, which won’t be ready if they do so.
[Source: Automotive News via Carscoop]
Zero emissions vehicle to go on sale in U.S., Japan and Europe next year.
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
Official release after the jump: