Nissan Dubs its Electric Car the ‘Leaf’

by | Aug 3, 2009

nissan-leaf2The all-electric car long-touted by Renault-Nissan has finally been unveiled, carrying the badge ‘Leaf.” The car, which is integral to Nissan’s partnerships to build charging grids in conjunction with various municipalities around the world, will be the first mass-production, all-electric car to be sold by a major automaker since the 1920s, reports the Los Angeles Times.

The car will officially go on sale sometime in 2010.

The five-seat compact has lithium-ion batteries, featuring 24 kWh energy storage and a maximum output of 90kW. The vehicle has a top speed of 90 mph and a range of 100 miles.

Using a high-capacity charger, recharging to an 80 percent charge will take less than a half-hour. Using a 200-volt home charger, the task will take about eight hours.

An innovative feature of the car is its IT connectivity, which will let drivers use their mobile phones to reset charging or turn on the air-conditioning, for instance. The connectivity also will enable Nissa to keep tabs on the fleet as the bugs are worked out.

The car, which will be manufactured in Japan and at a factory in Smyrna, Tenn., is predicted to cost less than $30,000, before tax credits.

Among some U.S. cities and regions to receive Nissan’s charging infrastructure are:

  • Tennessee
  • Seattle
  • Oregon
  • Sonoma County and San Diego in California
  • Phoenix and Tucson, Ariz.

Electric cars could comprise 64-86 percent of light vehicle sales by 2030, provided that consumers don’t have to buy the batteries themselves, according to a new study from the Center for Entrepreneurship and Technology at University of California, Berkeley. To build the infrastructure for battery charging and swapping systems over the next few decades, the cost may exceed $320 billion, the study found.

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