Nissan adding all electric Leaf to its lineup in 2010

Nissan Leaf
Nissan Leaf

Nissan Leaf dashboard
Nissan Motor Co showed off its new electric, zero emissions car, the Nissan Leaf this week, with the announcement that they will begin selling the Leaf hatchback a little over a year from now in the US, Japan and Europe.    Two more models of the Leaf are expected soon after.     The Leaf uses a laminate lithium-ion battery pack, which Nissan says gives the Leaf a range of over 100 miles.    The Leaf also uses regenerative braking and LED headlights that use just 10 percent of electricity of conventional headlights to increase the range between charges.   And speaking of charging – Nissan is saying that it’ll take about 30 minutes to get the battery pack up to about 80 percent of capacity using a quick charger.   Charging from home using a 200 volt source will take about 8 hours for a full charge.    While Nissan hasn’t announced pricing yet, they have said that they expect the Leaf to be affordable for the average family – priced similarly to other compact family sized cars.

If you want to see a bunch more pictures of the Nissan Leaf, go to

Update:  November 14, 2009

Prototype versions of the Leaf were shown in Los Angeles yesterday, and some journalists were allowed to drive “mule” versions of the Leaf. The event was to kick off a 22 city national tour for the Leaf.   Since Nissan is still not letting journalists drive the actual Leaf, the test drives were taken in cars using the Leaf drivetrain and engine.   Jim Motavalli, the author of Forward Drive: The Race to Build Clean Cars for the Future, and writer for the New York Times, states that his driving experience with two Leaf “mules” six months apart shows a much improved driving experience with the latest version of the Leaf drivetrain.      Nissan is expected to start taking reservations for the Leaf in the Spring of 2010.   Pricing still hasn’t been formally discussed, but Nissan is still talking about customers leasing the battery packs instead of buying them upfront.   Some signs are pointing to a Leaf without the battery costing about $25,000.    Nissan is also actively involved in setting up partnerships to create the needed charging infrastructure with outfits such as the Better Place Project, which is setting up a network of quick charting stations in Isreal and Hawaii.   Carlos Ghosn, the president and CEO of Nissan, also announced it’s 33rd partnership.   This one is with Reliant Energy, a subsidiary of Texas based NRG Energy.

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