This is the Nissan Leaf, the car maker's brand new global, mass-market electric vehicle.
The Leaf will go on sale in the US and Japan next year, and in Europe by 2012. It has an electric motor with 108bhp and 208lb ft of torque, a 100-mile operating range, and will be priced to compete with well-equipped C-segment saloons, at around £20,000.
The Leaf is based on an entirely new platform designed to accommodate newly developed batteries as and when they come on stream. Positioned underneath its cabin floor is a battery pack containing 48 individual lithium ion battery modules. The pack weighs 270kg and can hold 24kWh of energy – enough to give the car a 100-mile range and also to send it to 62mph in just under 10 sec. Maximum speed is 90mph.
Nissan has been doing research into lithium ion battery technology since 1992, and says its competitive advantage lies in its ability to use manganese to make the positive electrodes of its cells, rather than cobalt or nickel. As a result, they can be made much more cheaply than rival batteries.