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The EV-11 prototype electric car was based on the Nissan Tiida (Versa in US) platform, but uses an all-electric drive train including an 80 kW (110 hp)/280 Nm (210 lbft) electric motor, 24kWh lithium-ion battery pack rated to have a range of 100 miles (160 km) on the EPA LA-4 or “city” driving cycle, navigation system, and remote control & monitoring using a cellphone connection through Nissan’s secure data center to the car.
The prototype was on display July 26, 2009. A week later, on August 2, 2009, the production version was unveiled at Nissan’s Yokohama headquarters and is set to begin selling in both the North American market and Japan in 2010.
Leaf’s charging oulet is located in the front of the car.
The Leaf uses a front-mounted electric motor driving the wheels, powered by a 24kWh/90 kW lithium ion battery pack. The expected cruising range is the same as the EV-11 prototype, as is the motor. The battery pack is made of air-cooled stacked modules.
Nissan claims that the car has a top speed of over 140 km/h (87 mph).
The battery can be charged with 440 Volt, 220 Volt and 110 Volt sources. With 440 Volts, it can be charged to 80% capacity in about 30 minutes with a special quick charger that sends 440/480 volt direct current to the battery. With 220 Volt, it can be charged in 4 hours, and in North America and Japan using standard household 110 Volt outlets it can be charged in 16 hours.
Nissan Leaf will employ an advanced IT system. Connected to a global data center, the system provides support, information, and entertainment for drivers 24 hours a day. The dash-mounted monitor displays the Leaf’s remaining power, in addition to showing a selection of nearby charging stations.
User mobile phones can be used to turn on air-conditioning, the heater and re-set charging functions even when the vehicle is powered down. An on-board remote-controlled timer can also be pre-programmed to recharge batteries.
Price and sales
Rear view of the Nissan Leaf exhibited at the 2009 Tokyo Motor Show.
Although an exact price has not been announced, the car is expected to cost US$25,00033,000. The Leaf’s pricing will be announced in April 2010, and Nissan will sell or lease the Leaf only with batteries included, forgoing the initial idea of leasing batteries to reduce the price of the car.
In mid-February 2010 Nissan announced that around 50,000 people have already registered in the U.S. to have first priority. The reservation process will begin in April, and after paying a fully refundable US$100 reservation fee, customers will be among the first in line able to order a Nissan Leaf. Orders are expected to begin in August and deliveries will start in select markets as early as December 2010.
Renault-Nissan has partnered with governments, public utilities, and private entities to produce the global infrastructure necessary to make the LEAF a viable concept. The Leaf, however, will not contain Renault-Nissan’s QuickDrop battery switch feature. Countries already signed up to this electric vehicle network include Portugal, the UK, New Zealand, Australia, Israel, Ireland, France, China, Singapore, Switzerland, Canada (British Columbia) and Monaco.
Nissan Leaf’s battery recharging station unit.
The U.S. Department of Energy has granted $99.8 million to Electric Transportation Engineering Corporation (eTec) for the EV Project, involving the installation of up to 11,210 charging stations in strategic markets: Phoenix (AZ), Tucson (AZ), San Diego (CA), Portland (OR), Eugene (OR), Corvallis (OR), Seattle (WA), Nashville (TN), Knoxville (TN) and Chattanooga (TN). Nissan has partnered with eTec on this project, and will supply 4,700 vehicles to individual and fleet customers in these areas beginning in the fall of 2010.
The EV Project will collect and analyze data to characterize vehicle use in diverse topographic and climatic conditions, evaluate the effectiveness of charge infrastructure, and conduct trials of various revenue systems for commercial and public charge infrastructure. The ultimate goal of The EV Project is to take the lessons learned from the deployment of these first 4,700 EVs, and the charging infrastructure supporting them, to assist in the streamlined deployment of the full production number of Leafs and other EVs.
The first vehicles to be sold in the U.S. will be produced at Nissan plant in Oppama, Japan. Commercial US production would begin in late 2012 at Nissan’s manufacturing facility in Smyrna, Tennessee. This U.S. plant will be modified with a $1.4 billion loan granted by the U.S. Department of Energy to allow the manufacturing plant to produce the Nissan Leaf and its advanced batteries. The retooled plant is expected to create 1,300 jobs. The Smyrna plant is expected to produce up to 150,000 vehicles and 200,000 battery packs annually.
Following General Motors’ announcement that they anticipate the Chevy Volt’s city fuel economy will reach 230 mpg plus 25kWh/100mi (85mpgge combined), Nissan announced on August 11, 2009, via its NissanEVs Twitter account, that they anticipate the Nissan Leaf can reach 367 mpg plug-to-wheel using the Department of Energy’s formula (22.5 kWh/100mi, 150mpgge).
Zero Emission Tour
Nissan Leaf at the 2010 Washington Auto Show, where it was announced as winner of the 2010 Green Car Vision Award by the Green Car Journal.
On October 22, 2009, Nissan announced The Zero Emission Tour, with stops in 22 North American cities. At each stop on the tour, visitors were able to view the car and learn about the benefits of zero-emission driving. The first stop of the tour was in Los Angeles on November 13, 2009, marking the unveiling of the LEAF in North America. Other stops on the tour included Berkeley, San Francisco, Seattle, Vancouver, Las Vegas, Houston, Washington, D.C. and Orlando.
The tour ended in February 2010 in New York City after visiting 24 cities, including two (Atlanta and Boston) that were added to the original itinerary due to requests. Nissan estimates that 100,000 people saw the company lithium-ion battery car.
Since the initial series of announcements, a number of commenters criticized Nissan for what was seen as misleading emphasis on the 100 mile range that was computed using LA-4 or “city” mode.Skeptics point out that electric cars, unlike gasoline-powered vehicles, tend to achieve optimal efficiency at low speeds, and, furthermore, Leaf’s bulky shape and its relatively large size (20% taller than the GM EV1 and almost 40% taller than Tesla Roadster) imply poor aerodynamics, making it perform poorly on freeways. As of February 2010, Nissan has not yet released the expected highway range of the Leaf. Its coefficient of drag (a parameter that’s crucial to its highway efficiency) has not been stated explicitly either; its designer went on record saying “…it is very good — without making it the typical one motion aeroform”, but stopped short of proclaiming it to have the lowest coefficient of drag among mass-produced cars (this title is currently claimed by Mercedes-Benz E-class, at 0.24).
Awards and recognition
Time magazine called the Nissan Leaf one of the 50 best inventions of 2009.
2010 Green Car Vision Award by the Green Car Journal at the Washington Auto Show. The GCJ editors considered that “This coming electric model will provide the features, the styling, and the driving experience that will meet the needs of a sophisticated and demanding market, while producing zero localized emissions and requiring no petroleum fuels.”
Aixam (neighborhood electric vehicle)
Bollor Blue Car
Citroen Berlingo Electrique
Mitsubishi i MiEV
Smart ED (production car)
Subaru Stella (2009)
Tazzari Zero (2009)
The Kurrent (neighborhood electric vehicle).
Th!nk City (production car).
Low-carbon fuel standard
Plug-in hybrid electric vehicle
^ Yoshio Takahashi (2009-08-03). “Nissan Unveils New Electric Car”. Wall Street Journal. http://online.wsj.com/article/SB124919217149699407.html. Retrieved 2009-08-03.
^ Nissan shows off new Versa-based electric vehicle prototype
^ 2010 Nissan Leaf electric car: In person, in depth – and U.S. bound
^ Nissan Unveils “LEAF” – The World’S First Electric Car Designed for Affordability and Real-World Requirements
^ “Nissan LEAF Specs”. Nissan. http://www.nissan-zeroemission.com/EN/LEAF/specs.html. Retrieved 2009-08-03.
^ a b Christopher Sawyer (February 2009). “Nissan’s EV and Battery Plans”. Automotive Design and Production. http://www.autofieldguide.com/articles/020903.html. Retrieved 2009-10-10.
^ Nissan Leaf Press Release Aug-02-2009
^ “G.M. Puts Electric Car City Mileage in Triple Digits”. New York Times. 2009-08-11. http://www.nytimes.com/2009/08/12/business/12auto.html. Retrieved 2009-10-18.
^ a b c d Jim Motavalli (2010-02-12). “Nissan Leaf Electric Car Comes to New York”. New York Times. http://wheels.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/02/12/nissan-leaf-electric-car-comes-to-new-york/?scp=1&sq=Nissan Leaf&st=cse. Retrieved 2010-02-13.
^ a b c d e “Nissan Leaf Tour Ends In NYC With Success”. Electricnick.com. 2010-02-12. http://electricnick.com/2010/02/12/nissan-leaf-tour-ends-nyc/. Retrieved 2010-02-13.
^ Jim Motavalli (2009-08-03). “Nissan Unveils Leaf, an Electric Car”. New York Times. http://wheels.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/08/03/nissan-unveils-leaf-electric-car/. Retrieved 2009-10-05.
^ Matt Saunders (2009-09-15). “Nissan Leaf EV launched”. http://www.autocar.co.uk/News/NewsArticle/AllCars/242048/. Retrieved 2009-10-06.
^ a b “Secretary Chu Announces Closing of $1.4 Billion Loan to Nissan”. U.S. Department of Energy. 2010-01-28. http://www.energy.gov/8581.htm. Retrieved 2010-02-13.
^ Alex Nunez (2009-08-11). “Nissan pokes fun at Volt, claims 367 mpg equivalent for Leaf EV”. AutoBlog.com. http://www.autoblog.com/2009/08/11/nissan-pokes-fun-at-the-volt-claims-367-mpg-equivalent-for-leaf/. Retrieved 2009-10-05.
^ “To clarify our previous tweet, the DOE formula estimates 367mpg for Nissan LEAF”. Nissan via Twitter. 2009-08-11. http://twitter.com/NissanEVs/status/3248710288. Retrieved 2009-10-05.
^ U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (2000-07-12) (PDF). 10 CFR Part 474, Electric and Hybrid Vehicle Research, Development, and Demonstration Program; Petroleum-Equivalent Fuel Economy Calculation; Final Rule. U.S. GPO, Federal Register Vol. 64 No. 113. http://frwebgate.access.gpo.gov/cgi-bin/getdoc.cgi?dbname=2000_register&docid=00-14446-filed.pdf. Retrieved 2006-09-22.
^ Proposed Rulemaking to Establish Light-Duty Vehicle Greenhouse Gas Emission Standards and Corporate Average Fuel Economy Standards. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. 2009-09-15. http://www.nhtsa.gov/portal/nhtsa_static_file_downloader.jsp?file=/staticfiles/DOT/NHTSA/Rulemaking/Rules/Associated Files/MY2012-2016_CAFE_GHGN_PRM.pdf. Retrieved 2009-10-05.
^ a b Nissan announces dates for the Nissan LEAF Zero Emission Tour
^ “Nissan is turning over a new zero-emission Leaf”. Los Angeles Times. 2009-11-14. http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-nissan-leaf14-2009nov14,0,6555931.story. Retrieved 2009-11-20.
^ “In Race to Market, Nissan Electric Car Takes Shortcuts”. http://www.wired.com/autopia/2010/01/nissan-leaf-2/. Retrieved 2010-02-16.
^ “EV Range High Anxiety: Normal Driving May Cut Range In Half”. http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/ev-range-high-anxiety-normal-driving-may-cut-range-in-half/. Retrieved 2010-02-16.
^ “Tesla Motors – Roadster Efficiency and Range”. http://www.teslamotors.com/blog4/?p=70. Retrieved 2010-02-23.
^ “Zero Emissions, All Green: Introducing the Nissan Leaf EV”. http://blogs.motortrend.com/6537775/green/zero-emissions-all-green-introducing-the-nissan-leaf-ev/index.html. Retrieved 2010-02-23.
^ “The 50 Best Inventions of 2009”. Time Magazine. http://www.time.com/time/specials/packages/article/0,28804,1934027_1934003_1933970,00.html. Retrieved 13 November 2009.
^ Green Car Journal Editors (2010-01-26). “Nissan Leaf Electric Car Wins 2010 Green Car Vision Award”. Green Car Journal. http://www.greencar.com/articles/nissan-leaf-electric-car-wins-2010-green-car-vision-award.php. Retrieved 2010-01-27.
Nissan Zero Emissions Website
Nissan Leaf Press Release Aug-02-2009
Official Nissan LEAF Web Site
Autobloggreen In Person Indepth Report
AutoWeek – Nissan Leaf electric vehicle headed for U.S. market in 2010
Nissan Leaf EV – The Future of Electric Cars on its Shoulders
Nissan Leaf and Charging Station Information
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