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Friday, April 02, 2010
Nissan LEAF Electric Car
Image: © 2010 theirEarth.com

Nissan's 2011 LEAF Electric Car

MONTE-CARLO, MONACO - We took this photo of the Nissan LEAF electric car at the 2010 EVER Show (EVER: Ecologic Vehicles - Renewable Energies) in Monaco (March 28, 2010). The Nissan LEAF seats five people and will start production at its first manufacturing facility in Oppama, Japan later this year with an annual production of 50,000 vehicles. In late 2012, the Nissan LEAF will go into production in Smyrna, Tennessee in the United States, with a planned full capacity production of 150,000 units annually. The Nissan LEAF is an all-electric vehicle and is powered by an 80 kW electric motor that develops a maximum torque of 280 Nm and can hit a maximum speed of 140 km/h (87.0 mph).

The Nissan LEAF's Product Chief Designer, Masato Inoue said recently, "Our car had to be the world's first , medium sized , practical EV that motorists could afford and would want to use every day". Nissan says that the LEAF has a fully charged driving range of up to 160 kms (approx 100 miles) and the company says that with the daily average commute for 80% of the global population being under 100 kms/day (62.14 miles/day), the LEAF should meet many driver's needs.

The Nissan LEAF uses a lithium-ion battery pack delivering a total output power of more than 90 kW. The lithium-ion battery pack is comprised of 48 modules that are mounted at under floor level and below the rear seats of the vehicle. Each battery module can be individually serviced.

The LEAF's lithium-ion battery pack is supplied by Automotive Energy Supply Corporation (AESC), which is a joint partnership between Nissan, NEC Corporation, and NEC Tokin. In total, Nissan and AESC are building a global manufacturing capacity to produce 475,000 unit battery packs annually with a planned annual production of 65,000 units in Japan, 200,000 in Smyrna, Tennessee in the USA, 60,000 units in Sunderland in the United Kingdom, and 50,000 units in the CACIA plant in Portugal.

The Nissan LEAF's battery can be charged to 80% capacity in 30 minutes using a commercial DC 50 kW charger, and in 8 hours off of a household 220-240 V home outlet. Nissan engineers estimate that the battery pack on the LEAF will still be able to store 70-80 percent of its capacity after ten years of use. Nissan has also designed the total set of component parts that make up the LEAF electric car to be 95% recyclable at the car's end of use period.

On the exterior, the headlights are special advanced LED (light emitting diode) type with a blue reflective background. Nissan says that these headlights use 50% less electric energy than conventionlamps and save on battery power consumption.

Inside, the Nissan LEAF electric car has an onboard navigation system and a multi function touch screen display on the centre dashboard console. The touch screen allows the driver to pre-program the charging routine and visually observe battery performance. The driver can also use their mobile phone for pre-A/C air conditioning while the car is still connected to the home AC outlet for power. A mobile phone can also be interfaced with the Nissan LEAF to receive messages about the battery charge condition.

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