Finally! Nissan Unveils First Electric Car Design and It's a Keeper

 

Nissan’s EV revolution now has a face — you may call it LEAF. Available for purchase in late 2010.

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You’ve got to hand it to Nissan: they’ve been burning the midnight oil with their EV information blitz recently. I’m sure there are many blurry eyed and bedazzled marketing and engineering folks behind the Nissan EV scenes right now who are starting to wonder if they get paid enough.

From Nissan’s humble start last year with the rather non-bedazzling first generation EV test mule, to their wireless electric car charging plans, to their computer- and mobile phone-linked car communication system, to their preproduction runs of the final battery design, to, yes, even their recently announced advanced forest-scented air conditioning research, each step along the path has brought Nissan closer to the goal of introducing a mass-produced and mass-market priced EV to the world next year.

Well, now we know what their first EV model is actually going to look like — and it’s a damn sight better than the mercilessly ugly test mule, don’t you say? I’d even say the Nissan LEAF is gorgeous. I think I was the first one to publicly declare that Nissan was stealthily on track to EV world domination and as we get closer to the release date, my belief in that statement gets stronger and stronger.

Nissan says the LEAF will go 100 miles under real world conditions on a 24 kWh, 120 HP motor that can propel the bugger to a top speed of over 90 mph and carry 4-5 people. Nissan hasn’t released any official acceleration times yet, but claims that it will provide “stimulating acceleration.”

According to Nissan, when using a 50kW DC quick charger, the LEAF battery could be charged to 80% capacity in less than 30 minutes. However, charging to 100% at home using a standard 200V AC outlet will take about 8 hours.

You’ll also be able to converse with the car through your mobile device to control and monitor such things as:

  • Turning on the A/C a few minutes before you’re about to leave that unbelievably boring meeting to drive home on a *wonderfully* climate-changed 110°F day
  • Check the charge status of the vehicle
  • Calculate the cost to charge the battery

I bet we’ll see many more such remote features added as time goes on. Nissan’s press kit conveniently illustrates the remote access with an iPhone and it looks like we’ll even see a dedicated iPhone app.

So, I don’t know about you all, but I’m salivating with anticipation. Now, let’s see about getting a test drive, no?





About the Author

Not your traditional car guy.
  • Constantin

    YES YES YES ! EV IS BACK AGAIN ! ELECTRIC + SOLAR = FREEDOM FROM OIL !

  • Constantin

    YES YES YES ! EV IS BACK AGAIN ! ELECTRIC + SOLAR = FREEDOM FROM OIL !

  • Constantin

    YES YES YES ! EV IS BACK AGAIN ! ELECTRIC + SOLAR = FREEDOM FROM OIL !

  • They could have made it more pleasing to the eye.

  • They could have made it more pleasing to the eye.

  • Any word on price?

  • Any word on price?

  • Any word on price?

  • Nick Chambers

    Spiritof1976,

    I’ve talked with a few Nissan reps about this and, while none of them has given a firm price yet, they’ve all maintained that the car will be affordable to mainstream Americans and have said it will be in the same price range as other gas cars that sell for $15,000-$20,000. With Federal tax credits ($7,500) and some state tax credits, that price can be brought down significantly lower as well.

    However, the main way the car is rumored to be so affordable is because Nissan may be employing a battery lease model wherein you, customer, will own the vehicle but lease the battery from Nissan. Nissan’s Carlos Goshn has said the the cost to lease the battery and charge it will be less than the average cost most people see at the gas pump each month.

    The battery leasing is far from certain – even Nissan keeps saying they haven’t decided whether or not to do it that way yet. If they don’t lease the battery, you could expect the car to cost much more.

    I for one think the battery lease model is the way to go. You wouldn’t have to worry about maintenance on the battery (arguably the most expensive thing in an EV to repair and replace) and when the thing finally croaks after, say, 10 years, or 100,000+ miles, you won’t have to fork out for a new battery on your own — an item that could cost more than $10,000.

  • Adam

    Nissan is answering questions over twitter and through their US site here: twitter.com/NissanEVs and nissanusa.com/leaf-electric-car/

  • Adam

    Nissan is answering questions over twitter and through their US site here: twitter.com/NissanEVs and nissanusa.com/leaf-electric-car/

  • I think the price of the battery will go down over the next 7 years.

  • I think the price of the battery will go down over the next 7 years.

  • Steve Schaefer

    Wow. Cute too. I see success coming with this baby–can’t wait for a test drive.

  • Steve Schaefer

    Wow. Cute too. I see success coming with this baby–can’t wait for a test drive.

  • Steve Schaefer

    Wow. Cute too. I see success coming with this baby–can’t wait for a test drive.

  • Tim Cleland

    “I for one think the battery lease model is the way to go. You wouldn’t have to worry about maintenance on the battery (arguably the most expensive thing in an EV to repair and replace) and when the thing finally croaks after, say, 10 years, or 100,000+ miles, you won’t have to fork out for a new battery on your own — an item that could cost more than $10,000.”

    I see your point, but under the lease model, you’d never really own your whole car. If you go to sell it, the buyer would have to pay you for the car minus battery and then take over the battery lease. An analogy to a conventional car, would be if you could own the car, but had to rent the gas tank.

    Personally, I think the Volt concept is better: fully electric for ~40 miles, but also enables long trips with gas engine. Long trips (defined as greater than 50 miles one-way) would be impossible with the Nissan (unless you stay overnight somewhere and they allow you to plug in).

  • Tim Cleland

    “I for one think the battery lease model is the way to go. You wouldn’t have to worry about maintenance on the battery (arguably the most expensive thing in an EV to repair and replace) and when the thing finally croaks after, say, 10 years, or 100,000+ miles, you won’t have to fork out for a new battery on your own — an item that could cost more than $10,000.”

    I see your point, but under the lease model, you’d never really own your whole car. If you go to sell it, the buyer would have to pay you for the car minus battery and then take over the battery lease. An analogy to a conventional car, would be if you could own the car, but had to rent the gas tank.

    Personally, I think the Volt concept is better: fully electric for ~40 miles, but also enables long trips with gas engine. Long trips (defined as greater than 50 miles one-way) would be impossible with the Nissan (unless you stay overnight somewhere and they allow you to plug in).

  • Nick Chambers

    Tim,

    I see your point too, but the Volt is going to cost $40,000 and the LEAF will cost $15,000 with the battery lease program. And, when you are leasing the battery, as technology improves, you will be able to trade in your old battery for a new one that gets better range.

    I think extended range electric vehicles (EREVs) such as the Volt are a great concept. The problem is that right now they are way too expensive for the majority of folks. Sure if you’ve got the money and you want to do the right thing… GO FOR IT! The prices will come down over time and then the EREVs will be a great option for the mass market.

    But if you’re like me and are a two car household with a moderate income where one of the cars is used purely for commuting less than 100 miles each day, then the pure electric is the way to go. I personally don’t see any problem with selling a battery car and then having to pass on a lease. I bet Nissan will even offer both options – you can choose to own the battery or not depending on how much you want to shell out up front.

  • Brian

    “I see your point, but under the lease model, you’d never really own your whole car. If you go to sell it, the buyer would have to pay you for the car minus battery and then take over the battery lease. An analogy to a conventional car, would be if you could own the car, but had to rent the gas tank.”

    Considering the fact that you must go to some special building every couple days for this “gas” stuff, you might as well be “renting” the gas tank.

  • Brian

    “I see your point, but under the lease model, you’d never really own your whole car. If you go to sell it, the buyer would have to pay you for the car minus battery and then take over the battery lease. An analogy to a conventional car, would be if you could own the car, but had to rent the gas tank.”

    Considering the fact that you must go to some special building every couple days for this “gas” stuff, you might as well be “renting” the gas tank.

  • Brian

    “I see your point, but under the lease model, you’d never really own your whole car. If you go to sell it, the buyer would have to pay you for the car minus battery and then take over the battery lease. An analogy to a conventional car, would be if you could own the car, but had to rent the gas tank.”

    Considering the fact that you must go to some special building every couple days for this “gas” stuff, you might as well be “renting” the gas tank.

  • Tim Cleland

    “Considering the fact that you must go to some special building every couple days for this “gas” stuff, you might as well be “renting” the gas tank.”

    For the LEAF, you’d have to rent (i.e. lease) the battery and also pay for the electric power. It all depends on how much the lease will cost per month together with the price of electricity (I expect that may go up considerably as demand goes up from electric cars).

  • Tim Cleland

    “Considering the fact that you must go to some special building every couple days for this “gas” stuff, you might as well be “renting” the gas tank.”

    For the LEAF, you’d have to rent (i.e. lease) the battery and also pay for the electric power. It all depends on how much the lease will cost per month together with the price of electricity (I expect that may go up considerably as demand goes up from electric cars).

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  • Uncle B

    The “Volt” is just port of the GM(American) “Smoke and Mirrors” show to dump old corporate clean-up liabilities on the taxpayer. GM(China) with its ultra modern, all new, computer driven, electric and hydraulically assisted methodologies, will show up just in time with a ‘Market Appropriate” car, possibly a BYD knock-off, and blow you away! The new Chinese GM car will cost just as much, if not more than current American built cars, due to mark-up, but have all the features GM executives used as their passports into the GM(China) enterprise, stolen, with patent rights, in the states. They moved their assets to the Shanghai market and the stable ‘yuan” to evade the devaluation of the sawbuck we are experiencing here and now! I expect, when oil reaches $100.00 bbl, the flood of Chinese cars will be let loose on the Americans, displacing even Ford, and the Japanese builders and swamping us with good, reliable, and thoroughly modern cars, at or just below parity price-wise, but with astounding guarantees and good mileage! Watch for carbon fiber construction, the U.S. is short of it but not so, industrious China! They make surpluses where ever it pays to! This Nissan battery car will be copied, improved, re-built in China for cheap, and out-priced in the American market place, and around toe world if it sells at all! Remember, the financial vultures who ran GM(America) into the ground while GM(China) turned a 30% profit, are at the helm, and they take no prisoners!

  • Uncle B

    The “Volt” is just port of the GM(American) “Smoke and Mirrors” show to dump old corporate clean-up liabilities on the taxpayer. GM(China) with its ultra modern, all new, computer driven, electric and hydraulically assisted methodologies, will show up just in time with a ‘Market Appropriate” car, possibly a BYD knock-off, and blow you away! The new Chinese GM car will cost just as much, if not more than current American built cars, due to mark-up, but have all the features GM executives used as their passports into the GM(China) enterprise, stolen, with patent rights, in the states. They moved their assets to the Shanghai market and the stable ‘yuan” to evade the devaluation of the sawbuck we are experiencing here and now! I expect, when oil reaches $100.00 bbl, the flood of Chinese cars will be let loose on the Americans, displacing even Ford, and the Japanese builders and swamping us with good, reliable, and thoroughly modern cars, at or just below parity price-wise, but with astounding guarantees and good mileage! Watch for carbon fiber construction, the U.S. is short of it but not so, industrious China! They make surpluses where ever it pays to! This Nissan battery car will be copied, improved, re-built in China for cheap, and out-priced in the American market place, and around toe world if it sells at all! Remember, the financial vultures who ran GM(America) into the ground while GM(China) turned a 30% profit, are at the helm, and they take no prisoners!

  • Uncle B

    The “Volt” is just port of the GM(American) “Smoke and Mirrors” show to dump old corporate clean-up liabilities on the taxpayer. GM(China) with its ultra modern, all new, computer driven, electric and hydraulically assisted methodologies, will show up just in time with a ‘Market Appropriate” car, possibly a BYD knock-off, and blow you away! The new Chinese GM car will cost just as much, if not more than current American built cars, due to mark-up, but have all the features GM executives used as their passports into the GM(China) enterprise, stolen, with patent rights, in the states. They moved their assets to the Shanghai market and the stable ‘yuan” to evade the devaluation of the sawbuck we are experiencing here and now! I expect, when oil reaches $100.00 bbl, the flood of Chinese cars will be let loose on the Americans, displacing even Ford, and the Japanese builders and swamping us with good, reliable, and thoroughly modern cars, at or just below parity price-wise, but with astounding guarantees and good mileage! Watch for carbon fiber construction, the U.S. is short of it but not so, industrious China! They make surpluses where ever it pays to! This Nissan battery car will be copied, improved, re-built in China for cheap, and out-priced in the American market place, and around toe world if it sells at all! Remember, the financial vultures who ran GM(America) into the ground while GM(China) turned a 30% profit, are at the helm, and they take no prisoners!

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