Currently reading: Tokyo video: Nissan Leaf
Full details of UK-bound electric car

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.


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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.


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" !

North 3 August 2009

Re: Nissan Leaf EV launched

Ordinary bloke......for are right they will tax it, but it depends on how, if they used electric levy the vehicles could effectively wirelessly send information to a charge account as it where or keep a log for download etc (for tax validation) or they could use smart metres which automatically levy depending on usage.....??....the msart metres we are all it could be that route or charge per mile.....this is what I thought for charge per mile:

1) to try and keep track of the changing of cars would be near impossible (considering the cars are not doing it now)....and you can charge them anywhere a way from smart metres...

2) if they charged per mile its fair based on usage i.e. different roads at different times get changed differently

3) charge per mile can be retro fitted

4) charge per mile can be altered also for the type of car electric or not..thus the petrol/diesel users would pay more and more and effectively green pulled or pushed through

5) there is likely to be three main solutions, battery, Chevy Volt type and hybrid, the hybrid will be large units, chevy volt medium and battery quite small....INITIALLY...then we will get more and more battery units for every size....

6) the road charging is easy to police, you can advance pay or pay on the day per mile (thus different payment systems that do not hinder low income users)....and its all wireless as you drive.....

that is what I think...the other reason is like the Nissan item i.e. safety via GPS..self driving cars will be here in what?....for mass market...15 years.....20 years (it will not be far off) if you have a wireless system it starts to build the software infrastructures and wireless infrastructures required for total computerised motoring....anti collision etc.....

That is what I makes sense in terms of usage and progression....of course the other argument is that with Smart metres they could do exactly as you say i.e. levy from I think road charging....but who knows!!!????

ordinary bloke 3 August 2009

Re: Nissan Leaf EV launched

North wrote:
and then you do not need to tax it
I wouldn't bet on it - once there's a significant proporrtion of electric cars on the roads and the Treasury starts to "lose" revenue they'll introduce a road tax for the electric cars as well, and possibly a levy on the price of electricity as well. Its inevitable.