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Nissan unveils Leaf EV

2009-08-03 09:07
Nissan, which as a major Japanese manufacturer has been relatively quiet on the low emissions front while Honda and Toyota have delighted in the hybrid wars, has secured a major coup over its rivals.

The carmaker has unveiled its Leaf, a medium-sized zero-emission car with a range of more than 160 km.

"Nissan LEAF is a tremendous accomplishment - one in which all Nissan employees can take great pride," said Nissan president and CEO Carlos Ghosn.

"We have been working tirelessly to make this day a reality - the unveiling of a real-world car that has zero - not simply reduced - emissions. It's the first step in what is sure to be an exciting journey - for people all over the world, for Nissan and for the industry."

On sale 2010

The five-seater will be launched in Japan, the US and Europe from late 2010 and the carmaker expects pricing to compare favourably with other C-segment models.

Leaf, whose name implies purity, is powered by compact lithium-ion batteries that generate more than 90 kW while its electric motor produces 80 kW and 280 Nm.

A quick charge of around 30 minutes should charge the car up to 80% of its capacity, although home charging should take about eight hours.

Using the lithium ion battery packs and regenerative braking system, the car should be able to travel more than 160 km on a full charge, the company claims.

Leaf is packed with innovative features including a dash-mounted display showing the car's remaining power and a selection of charging stations.

Another feature is the car's ability to, via cellphones, turn on air-conditioning and set other functions.

Nissan's Leaf is the company's first in a line of promised electric vehicles. The first units will be built at Nissan's Oppama facility while additional capacity is planned for its Smyrna plant in the US.


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