Jul 15, 2010
The Nissan LEAF is our first ever totally electric vehicle, with no emissions whatsoever! As with all Nissan vehicles, the Nissan LEAF is rigorously tested for impact safety and will meet or exceed all regulatory standards.
Unlike a traditional hybrid, which uses a combination of electricity and gasoline, the Nissan LEAF is 100% electric. While running the vehicle uses electricity, “idling” does not, since the electric motor does not need to run if the vehicle is not moving. Of course, this would vary to some degree based on whether you are using the heat, air conditioning, audio, or other accessories included in the vehicle. Additionally, coasting or applying the brakes will cause the electric motor to act as an electricity generator, and the Nissan LEAF recovers and stores this energy back in the battery. This will help extend the distance you will be able to drive before needing to recharge your vehicle.
The Nissan LEAF is a great car for your family. It runs very quietly, since it has a quiet electric motor rather than gas, which will allow for family conversation. Because it has no gas tank, the internal space is more than sufficient for both passengers and cargo. The Nissan LEAF seats five people, and three child seats will fit in the back seat.
The features available for this electric vehicle include air conditioning, a navigational system, a stereo, power steering and power windows, Bluetooth, and more. It is front-wheel drive. To save on power usage, it uses LED headlights and taillights.
The battery will have an average lifespan of about five to ten years with normal usage. There will be a charging timer in the car which will allow you to control when it charges; you will also have controls via computer or internet-enabled phone. Charging will take from four to twenty hours, depending on the voltage of the outlet to which you attach it. The least amount of time needed will be with a 480v “quick charge” hookup. The midrange (about 8 hours) can be expected with a 220/240v hookup, which can be purchased and installed at your home. The longest time taken to charge will be from a standard 110v hookup, which is the electricity that is already running through your home. Based on the US average of $0.11/kWh, a full charge will cost less than $3. It could even be less still if your area has special rates for off-peak hours and you use those hours for charging.
The federal government is offering a tax credit up to $7,500 for qualified purchasers, and also a tax credit for installing a home charger (if one’s tax liability shows a need for credits). In some places, state and local incentives may also exist.
While the LEAF will be produced in Japan for the first two years, after that it will be made in USA, in a factory in Tennessee. The Nissan LEAF will be available for purchase in limited quantities in select areas beginning December 2010.