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August 2, 2009
Nissan Unveils World's First "Affordable" Electric Car, Calls it LEAF
Nissan Motor Co., Ltd. today unveiled Nissan LEAF at its global headquarters in Yokohama, Japan, proclaiming that it is the world's first affordable, zero-emission car.
Designed specifically for a lithium-ion battery-powered chassis, Nissan LEAF is a medium-size hatchback that comfortably seats five adults and has a range of more than 160km (100 miles) to "satisfy real-world consumer requirements".
LEAF is slated for launch in late 2010 in Japan, the United States, and Europe. Ushering in a new era of mobility and zero-emission era, the car is the culmination of decades of investment and research.
"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."
• Key characteristics of the LEAF include:
1. Zero-emission power train and platform
2. Affordable pricing
3. Distinctive design
4. Real-world range autonomy - 160km (100 miles)
5. Connected Mobility: Advanced intelligent transportation (IT) system
"The 'LEAF' name is a significant statement about the car itself. Just as leaves purify the air in nature, so Nissan LEAF purifies mobility by taking emissions out of the driving experience," the company explains. "As an added benefit, because the vehicle has less mechanical complexity than a traditional gasoline-powered car, Nissan LEAF is designed to be friendly to the wallet as well as to the environment."
The company expects the car to be competitively priced in the range of a well-equipped C-segment vehicle. Additionally, Nissan LEAF is expected to qualify for an array of significant local, regional and national tax breaks and incentives in markets around the world.
"Nissan LEAF is powered by laminated compact lithium-ion batteries, which generate power output of over 90kW, while its electric motor delivers 80kW/280Nm. This ensures a highly responsive, fun-to-drive experience that is in keeping with what consumers have come to expect from traditional, gasoline-powered automobiles."
"Unlike internal-combustion engine (ICE) equipped vehicles, Nissan LEAF's power train has no tail pipe, and thus no emission of CO2 or other greenhouse gases. A combination of Nissan LEAF's regenerative braking system and innovative lithium-ion battery packs enables the car to deliver a driving range of more than 160km (100 miles) on one full charge (US LA4 mode)," says Nissan. "Extensive consumer research demonstrates that this range satisfies the daily driving requirements of more than 70% of the world's consumers who drive cars."
"And, Nissan's approach makes charging easy and convenient. Nissan LEAF can be charged up to 80% of its full capacity in just under 30 minutes with a quick charger. Charging at home through a 200V outlet is estimated to take approximately eight hours - ample time to enable an overnight refresh for consumer and car alike."
"Our car had to be the world's first, medium-size, practical EV that motorists could afford and would want to use every day. And that's what we've created. The styling will identify not only Nissan LEAF but also the owner as a participant in the new era of zero-emission mobility," said Masato INOUE, Product Chief Designer. "The engineers and designers behind Nissan LEAF worked to create a competitively priced real-world car that would enable Nissan to lead mobility into the zero-emission era. To ensure comfort, spaciousness and cargo capacity, Nissan LEAF employs a completely new chassis and body layout."
Nissan LEAF employs an advanced IT system. Connected to a global data center, the system can provide support, information, and entertainment for drivers 24 hours a day. The dash-mounted monitor displays Nissan LEAF's remaining power - or "reachable area" - in addition to showing a selection of nearby charging stations.
"The IT system is a critical advantage," says Tooru ABE, Chief Product Specialist. "We wanted this vehicle to be a partner for the driver and an enhancement for the passengers. We also wanted this vehicle to help create a zero-emission community, and these IT features will help make that possible."
Zero-emission mobility programs under the banner of the Renault-Nissan Alliance include partnerships with countries such as the UK and Portugal, local governments in the Japan and the USA, and other sectors, for a total of nearly 30 partnerships worldwide.
In these partnerships major efforts focus on three areas:
1. Development of a comprehensive charging infrastructure through public and private investment,
2. Incentives and subsidies from local, regional, and national governments, and
3. Public education on the individual and societal benefits of zero-emissions mobility.
According to Nissan Motor Co., Ltd., "LEAF is the first in the company's forthcoming line of EVs and is a major milestone in the realization of the Renault-Nissan Alliance's vision for zero-emission mobility. The first of Nissan's EVs will be manufactured at Oppama, Japan, with additional capacity planned for Smyrna, Tennessee, USA. Meanwhile, lithium-ion batteries are being produced in Zama, Japan, with additional capacity planned for the USA, the UK and Portugal, and other sites for investment are under study around the world".
Source: Nissan Motor Co., Ltd.
"Silence is the element in which great things fashion themselves together; that at length they may emerge, full-formed and majestic, into the daylight of life, which they are thenceforth to rule."
-- Thomas Carlyle
"All marketing managers, all auto makers, all car enthusiasts, all environmentalists, and all advertising & branding agencies may not agree that LEAF is a good name for a car.
But all leading political strategists would certainly agree that, in this case, LEAF is a Winning Name. This is so because top political strategists work at a finer and deeper level of advertising and branding. And this naming just corresponds to that.
Vote for LEAF!"
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