AutoGuide News Blog
The AutoGuide News Blog is your source for breaking stories from the auto industry. Delivering news immediately, the AutoGuide Blog is constantly updated with the latest information, photos and video from manufacturers, auto shows, the aftermarket and professional racing.
Specifications for the U.S.-built 2013 Nissan Leaf EV are still unavailable, but its official unveiling during the Detroit Auto Show on January 15 is drawing very near.
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:
A U.S. government initiative that would see low-interest loans granted to automakers who build environmentally-friendly cars in the U.S. appears to have one taker – Nissan. The Japanese automaker will spend anywhere from $500 million to $1 billion to update its Smyrna, Tennessee plant to build a green car and produce lithium-ion batteries.
While no specifics have been given the environmentally-friendly car is expected to be an electric vehicle based on an existing Nissan small-car platform. That leaves either the Versa or the new third-generation Cube. Nissan is currently testing an electric powertrain in a second generation Cube.
The Smyrna, Tennessee plant will be able to produce anywhere from 50,000 to 100,000 of the electric vehicles annually by 2012. Nissan will begin electric car production in Japan in late 2010, with an expected annual production of 50,000 units.