Nissan Leaf: All-Electric Car Coming in 2010

Nissanleaf
Nissan is calling the just-unveiled Leaf the first “affordable” all-electric car. Expect the 100-mile-range EV to hit the U.S. in late 2010 when it will also go on sale in Japan and Europe. Nissan will start production in Japan. If demand is high enough, the automaker plans to build the Leaf in Smyrna, Tenn.

Nissan, of course, won’t say what affordable means except for “the company expects the car to be competitively priced in the range of a well-equipped C-segment vehicle.” The Sentra is Nissan’s top-of-the-line C-segment car, and its highest trim starts at $19,660. The only all-electric vehicle with any kind of price tag from an established automaker is Mini’s E, which is still a test case with a lease payment of nearly $900 a month.

What about the technology? Nissan says the Leaf will have quick-charge ability that will allow its batteries to be refilled to 80% capacity in less than 30 minutes. That’s a major feat for the burgeoning segment. A full charge through a household 200-volt outlet will take eight hours.

The 100-mile range is equal to what the Mini E gets, and one tester has already complained about “range anxiety.” The electric motor is good for an equivalent of 107 hp or about the same power as a Hyundai Accent. It also has some radical looks that to us could clearly be considered a futuristic Nissan Versa.

There are many more photos below. Nissan is saying what you see here is not a concept or even a far-out prototype, but a very near production vehicle.

Comments 

Maxwell

It has a "quick charge" that will give 80% in 30 minutes.

Later in the article "a full charge on household 200 volt outlet takes 8 hours."

What are you supposed to do? Have access to some super, high amp outlet putting out 1000 volts or something to get the quick charge.

maxwell,
Tesla had some kind of quickcharge device that was the size of a vacuum cleaner. Not sure they ever built that though. I'm guessing it would be similar.

Ziggy

I've read on other sites that it will be likely around $30,000. I hope it's more like $20,000...they'd sell them as fast as they can produce them (or at least produce the batteries for them). People will complain about it's looks. Looks won't really matter to folks if they no longer have to pay for gas. Heck it could look like the Aztec and it would sell if it was electric.

Greg

It's a special three-phase charger, and it's a bit pricey - something to the tune of $45,000 or so.

Honestly, I think that charging the car on a 220-volt outlet would be perfectly adequate and livable for 90% of your day-to-day driving - even if it does take almost eight hours. It's also important to keep in mind that that's length of time it would take to charge the batteries from 0% to 100%. Most of the time, drivers will end up plugging the car in after their 40-or 50-mile daily round-trip commute and will end up with a full charge in much less time.

Plug it in when you get home from work and by the next morning you're ready to roll again ... for 100 miles if you like. Sounds pretty good to me, and it's only going to get better from here.

tscurt

I know they won't meet the price point, but I really like it at 20k....guess I have to wait.

An affordable, normal-looking, 100% electric car? This is a dream come true. Electric cars are safe, clean, efficient. This is a really big step towards reducing greenhouse gases, lessening the impact of peak oil, and saving money in the process. American auto companies need to learn from Nissan on this one! I just finished reading “Two Cents Per Mile” by Nevres Cefo, which is the most informative book I’ve read on the topic, and I suggest it to anyone interested in electric cars.

Drivers habits will have to change , but the next decade is looking very promising for zero-emission cars. It will be good for the environment too. - http://www.nissan-leaf.com

andyv

I'm not sold. It could be a good idea if we got most of our power from nuclear or hydro, but that not the case. Therefore we would just be transferring the sin of polluting from the motorist to the electric company.
Secondly, I would still need to have a second vehicle that is large enough or something that uses fossel fuels to accomodate my family on those day trips, usually on the weekends. I would have to make sure we do not go further than 50 miles away from home. One slipup or miscalculation could mean that i would have to call AAA for a tow. A 400 or 500 mile range would make me consider.

Greg

@ andyv

If every car in the U.S. was replaced with an electric one and every single one of those cars drew power from a coal-burning power plant, the reduction in greenhouse gas emissions and other pollutants would be enormous.

If you do some research, you'll find that your suggestion (that the extra demand for electricity would simply result in an equal - if not greater - amount of pollution generated from coal-burning power plants meeting the higher demand) is unfounded ... and simply not true.

Dan

@greg

Sadly, to a limited extent, the threat of increased pollution due to using coal to power electric cars is very well founded. Well to wheel studies have demonstrated that if coal is used as your power source, CO2 emissions actually increase about 20%.
The limit in the truth is that the power mix is not 100% coal, in fact it is only about 50%. To further that, we can assume that the existing power mix is powering the existing power needs, so when we add electric cars to the mix we'd be powering them with new power plants (or increasing production at underutilized ones). These are almost guaranteed to be a mix of natural gas and wind. Natural gas plants powering electric cars cuts CO2 emissions by over half. Even if the oil that would otherwise be used by the cars were burnt in a power plant and then used by the cars, there would still be a 5%-10% drop in CO2 emissions.
Even if the CO2 emissions weren't improving, fuel costs drop, and you move your pollution sources out of crowded, urban areas, to less dense rural areas, improving air quality overall.

J

Maxwell,

FYI, batteries recharges like how the logarithm graph grows.
Therefore it charges quick in the beginning and slows down to top off. (In fact, it never tops off)

Thinkerdude

It is a good start, I hope it is affordable.

Nissan launch a new adorable electric car and its name is Leaf.
very well upholstery .

Bill K.

I don't think it looks bad..sort of like those mazdas the university kids like. Looking for one of these car manufacturers to start using what we've learned by people testing out various hypermiling methods. Why not a 'smart' GPS with all the traffic light timings on a memory card ( updates from your phone ). So, as an example, your cruising up a hill and a couple hundred feet away ( just over the top of the hill ) is a red traffic light. The GPS identifies your position...checks the traffic light timings...and light a small led bar on your dash/steering wheel/etc. So you back of the accelerator and coast over the hill. The light is still red so your regenerative braking kicks in slowing you just a bit more
( and recharging your battery ). Just as you've slowed to 10-15 m.p.h. the light turns green and you slowly get back on the accelerator. Nice savings. C'mon GM add that to your On-Star.

jon

specks: cost: will it conect with home electric.

Harvey

Thanks Dan for the breakdown. So many get emotional about this issue without researching the chemistry/physics interactions of various energy production issues. You have helped clarify. I would like to see some info on the eventual disposal of batteries and the impact on enviroment.

Howard

I want an electric car, but currently can not afford to buy a car. One thing I have been wondering for some time now is why can't the manufacturers adapt the current cars charging system to the electric car, in my gas powered car the alternator provides the electricity for the spark to ignite the gas.

John

The only reason alternative powered auto's are going thru growing pains is due to the fact that the Republican Oil Barron subsidized politicians are not the majority in the Federal Government at this time. All of this attention and field trials should have seriously been finished during President Carter's administration. GM (General Motors) was building ethanol powered models of most of its stock and selling them only to Brazil (late 70's thru Present), all the while they flat refused to sell them to American citizens here in America. G.W. Bush slapped a large excise tax on Brazilian sugar cane produced ethanol preventing that fuel from substituting for gasoline in America. And of course H. Bush at one time owned a Oil Company, later VP Cheny certainly was in the pocket of Exxon-Mobile. You want to see electric autos gain a firm foothold in Americas transportation network? Obama needs another term as president and Democrats need to build on their majority.

Bo

Howdy,

I'm sure that many on this post will be surprised to hear this, but I am a petroleum engineer and I would be estatic if this product really hit the market. I work for a company that produces only natural gas, and the demand for gas and coal would rise greatly with the release of this product. If electric cars such as this are released then we would likely shift from oil to natural gas and coal to meet energy demand. Honestly, I think that global warming is a false lie made up by left-winged politics and scientists to create "crisis". To me, electric cars would allow us to tap into the huge reserves of coal and gas in THIS nation, and reduce out dependence on OPEC to fuel our transportation. Therfore I am a big supporter of all electric cars and hope that they do penetrate the market in the upcoming decades. I'm sure that some wind, solar, and nuclear would be used if manufacturers start building electric cars, but fossil fuels will still produce a large majority of the energy for this nation, but the fossil fuels will be AMERICAN!!!

-God bless-
Bo

skinner

Zero emissions???

Where is most of the electricity coming from?

COAL

ROY LIZ

WOULD LIKE TO BE THE FIRST
IN MONTANA TO OWN ONE OF YOUR NEW ELECTRIC VEHICLES

ROY LIZ

WOULD BE HAPPY TO ATTACH
SOLAR BATTERIES TO THE CAR
TO RECHARGE THE BATTERIES

greenmatt

When you think of an Electric Car, what comes to mind? Three wheels? Weird bubble shaped 2 passenger vehicles? 50 miles on a charge? 0-60mph in... does it even get past 35? And you wonder why nobody you know drives one? But things are changing, finally! There appears to actually be a legitimate contender in the recently-taken-seriously electric car market. Nissan has created … drumroll please... the Leaf! OK, so the name's cute, but cute rarely sells cars in the U.S. While there's a chance this won't be the name on the back of the car come the release date, the real question is: What can this puppy do? For starters, it has all four wheels, looks like a fairly normal car, and can seat 4-5 adults while still accommodating cargo. And speed? It maxes out at 90mph, which is fast enough, and can accellerate to 60 in about 11 seconds – a little slower than a Humvee – but once again, fast enough. However, with all it has going for it, there is one major issue that needs to be resolved before (or soon after) the car hits the American market at the end of this year, and it has to do with charging. The Leaf gets 100 miles to a charge, which isn't bad, especially compared to the competition, but then what do you do after 100 miles? Nissan is pushing to create an infrustructure than would accommodate charging stations, but there are going to need to be a lot of them, and currently, there are none. This means you must charge it at home, overnight, like your cell phone. A full charge takes about 8 hours using your home's 240 volt system, but a 480V quick charger can fill er up in half an hour. This means a 400 mile drive to visit granny will take you 2 extra hours just sitting around waiting to charge. There are talks of battery exchange stations that would have a robot remove your batter and replace it with a fully charged one in less time than it takes to pump gas, but so far, they don't even have plugs situated for convenient charging, let alone robots! Given time, and public desire, the Leaf seems like a totally realistic alternative to gas, and for those who just want a car to drive the kids to school, commute to work in, come home, and charge back up for the next day, it's perfect. Oops, did we forget to pick the kids up from school? We can't go back – not enough battery! ;)

John

I'm sure the battery is a more expensive part in the car, but would it be possible to put 2, 3, or 4 batteries in the car if someone wanted a longer range. I also like the idea of battery swap stations along side charging stations. I still think this is a good start to providing a demand for more renewable energy research. Along with removing demand away from non domestics resources. In my point of view mostly positive.

E

All of my power is hydroelectric, nice being on the western side of the US. Lovin my $24 power bills. I really would like a Volt when there a few years old

Elizabeth

I have heard on CNN that there is an inventer/engineer in Atlanta,Lonnie Johnson,who has made an air/lithium battery& JTEC engine that gets 1000 miles per charge. He can find no $ backing,wonder why that is? Who do you suppose would find it in their best interests to not at least speak w/ him?

Dan

Elizabeth-

Likely because he is full of it.

Zack

Dan, you have it backwards in your earlier post above. Wheel to Well studies done by the Electric Power Research Institute in Palo Alto California show that electric cars charged exclusively with coal generated electricity still have per mile emissions of CO2 that are 20 percent less than a conventional Internal Combustion engine car.

eric

It's funny, all you granolas out there who think they are saving the world driving an electric car need to ask themselves, "hmm, I wonder what happens to the battery when it dies out." It goes into landfills and becomes toxic waste. Way worse than the pollution from gas based vehicles.

twh

Yea the quick charge is assuming you have a transformer in your backyard, or where ever you happened to run out of battery at.

twh

john- NO, adding batteries means adding weight which counteracts MPG. Also the more battery, the higher voltage needed to charge (unsafe levels).

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