Currently reading: Tokyo video: Nissan Leaf
Full details of UK-bound electric car
Autocar
News
2 mins read
21 October 2009

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.

See the Nissan Leaf picture gallery

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.

However, the battery pack for the Nissan Leaf will be leased by the end user; it will not be sold along with the car.

Charging Nissan’s Leaf takes eight hours from a UK 240v supply, and 16 hours from a 110v socket. From a 400v three-phase charging station, an 80 per cent charge can be carried out in just 15 minutes.

However, the car will not be compatible with the Quickdrop battery swap centres that alliance partner Renault has mooted for its new breed of EVs.

“We don’t think Quickdrop centres are the right business model for Europe,” one Nissan executive told Autocar.

The Nissan Leaf has a cantilevered flap in its bonnet grille behind which is the socket for its charging plug. Otherwise it’s a distinctive but fairly ordinary-looking hatchback with a roomy, leather-clad cabin.

Nissan design chief Shiro Nakamura said at the car's unveiling at September's Frankfurt motor show: "We wanted this car to be distinctive and recognisable as a Nissan, but not too ‘out there’. It should look like a normal, familiar prospect, even if it won’t drive like one."

As a conventional family five door, the Leaf will also be welcomed by British buyers who regretted Nissan’s decision to abandon the European C-segment when it killed the last Almera. And as a completely emissions-free and affordable family car – a rival to Honda’s new Insight, Toyota’s Prius and GM’s forthcoming Ampera and Volt - it promises to be even cheaper to run and wins even greater environmental kudos.

Matt Saunders

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beachland2 5 August 2009

Re: Nissan Leaf EV launched

£20,000 nissan EV 108bhp 100 mile range £1200/year + electricity costs

£10,790 nissan 5dr note 108bhp over 200mile range about £125/year +petrol

(a simpler way of expressing it is to rename the battery rental as electric car road tax.)

now here is a bit more detail, the projected petrol cost over a year of the average car owner 10,000 miles is £1000 for above petrol car.

which makes the comparison

EV £20,000 and £1200/year + electricity consumption

Note 1.6 £10,790 and £1125/year including petrol

oh dear....even if the electric batteries are for recharged for FREE all year it still costs more to run let alone purchase...

the purchase price is nearly DOUBLE, almost £10k more!

now this shows how battery cars are not for those looking for economy...

CarEon 4 August 2009

Re: Nissan Leaf EV launched

The right way to go but...... not yet for Mr Average

1) 100 mile range - if this is quoted it is max achievable (like MPG figures) and if you are not constantly stop starting, like a fossil fuel car electric cars use more energy during acceleration. 60 if your lucky - with batteries in tip top condition - would you really drive the last 10 miles before empty.

2) It will cost a gallon of petrol before you drive it (based on 5 days a week usage = £4.60 / day). - That will get a similar sized family car 50 miles.

3) As I have said before and was confirmed by Autocar industry experts in the recent magazine article - electrical power distribution and generation vs efficient car, mile/mile produce about the same emmissions.

4)

North wrote:
3) we have buildings already in the UK that generate more power then they need (everyday) whilst completing the function as a works building; they sell power back to the grid.......they can charge this car for FREE!!

Yes they are called power stations and are gas or coal fired and mostly owned by the French.

Also a normal domestic UK house does not have enough land/light/wind to generate enough power to power the fridge and TV's let alone sell a bit back - Coronation street would be a bit noisy with all those wind turbines, are the gardens big enough for GSHP ?

Can a normal UK house generate 12.5A / hour @ 240V for 8 hours to charge the car and stop the peas de-frosting - I dont think so. - You can't go shopping tomorrow Luv - its raining again and the EV's not charged!, with a bit of luck it will be windy tonight, if you can get to sleep with the wind turbine running. Oh what a perfect world.

Forcing government institutions to make non viable uber-hyped energy efficient buildings is costing us the tax payer a fortune - they might work on a bench, but not in the real world!

5) What happens in the winter? - defrosting and heating.

6) My dog won't fit in the back!

7) As a friend once told me "you don't get owt for nowt" !

beachland2 3 August 2009

Re: Nissan Leaf EV launched

North all those points could refer to petrol cars aswell in terms of taxing/charging. when it comes to tax, the government wont differenciate when electric cars become popular.

i think the tax on co2 wont exist within the next 10 years anyway as i think world policies will dictate its not harming the environment.

i do think diesel will be banned in the future though if not very heavily taxed to make it unusable.

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