Nissan Leaf (2012)

Nissan plans on making the Leaf hatchback the world's first mass produced pure electric car, with very agreeable pricing announced for Japan and the US — AU$35k and AU$27k, respectively, after government rebates.


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Derek loves nothing more than punching a remote location into a GPS, queuing up some music and heading out on a long drive, so it's a good thing he's in charge of CNET Australia's Car Tech channel.


In brief

Although it looks like a larger, melted Tiida hatchback, the Leaf is much more than that. If Nissan has its way, it will be the first mass produced pure electric car, with the company hoping to churn out 50,000 in its first year. Compare this to the 1700 or so Mitsubishi i MiEVs that have been sold between July 2009 and March 2010.

Motivated by a 80kW/280Nm electric engine, the Leaf can reach a top of 140km/h and has a predicted driving range of 160km. The lithium ion battery pack is situated under the seats and floor and should still have 70 to 80 per cent of its original capacity by its 10th birthday.

Nissan Leaf cutaway

A lithium ion battery pack lies underneath the passenger area. For more photos, check out the launch gallery and our hands on gallery.
(Credit: Nissan)

As yet unseen mobile phone apps will let drivers check up remotely on their car's battery status and change the climate control temperature whenever it's plugged in. Sat nav-equipped Leafs will be able to display nearby charging stations, as well as a radius of the car's predicted range.

Infrastructure

Nissan's dealers in Japan, at least, will help purchasers to install charging units at home. The company will also install charging points at each of its 2200 dealers throughout Japan. 200 of those dealers will also be equipped with a quick charging unit that can replenish 80 per cent of the battery's capacity in 30 minutes; a full charge on a regular 240V system requires roughly eight hours.

Nissan Leaf and charging station

The Leaf hooked up to a charging station. For more photos, check out the launch gallery and our hands on gallery.
(Credit: Nissan)

According to Nissan, there should be at least one quick charge unit within a 40km radius throughout Japan. No specific infrastructure announcements have yet been made for Australia.

Outlook

Although the Leaf is due to go on sale in Europe, Japan and North America in late 2010, it won't be coming to Australia until 2012. Japanese pre-orders for the car will begin in April 2010, with the base price set at ¥3.76 million (AU$44,350) or ¥2.99 million (AU$35,260) after government incentives. In America the Leaf will retail for US$32,780 (AU$35,610) before federal government rebates and US$25,280 (AU$27,470) after.

Nissan Leaf interior

The Leaf's sat nav system promises a map with a range radius overlay. For more photos, check out the launch gallery and our hands on gallery.
(Credit: Nissan)

With Australian sales still a long way away, no local price has been announced, but the local Nissan arm hasn't ruled out allowing customers to purchase the car and lease the expensive battery pack as a method of reducing the Leaf's sticker price.

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NinKenDo posted a comment   

It looks like a car!

Not a very good looking one, but it actually looks like a car and not some Apple designed Moon Buggy.

Excellent.

 

Bazz posted a comment   

RonN, the roof is not big enough to make a measurable difference in charging the battery.
Pay; it is more efficient than a petrol car even using coal fired electricity.

In the US they are installing charges in your garage for overnight cheaper charging. It will be interesting to see how fast Better Place installs their chargers in shopping centres etc.

 

pay posted a comment   

how can it be a zero emission car if it uses electricity from a coal fired power station

 

si posted a comment   

looking at the first picture i cant help wondering if it could not be layed out with a rear engine...

 

RonN posted a comment   
Australia

Why does it not have solar panels on the roof to help charge it,??




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User Reviews / Comments  Nissan Leaf (2012)

  • NinKenDo

    NinKenDo

    "It looks like a car!

    Not a very good looking one, but it actually looks like a car and not some Apple designed Moon Buggy.

    Excellent."

  • Bazz

    Bazz

    "RonN, the roof is not big enough to make a measurable difference in charging the battery.
    Pay; it is more efficient than a petrol car even using coal fired electricity.

    In the..."

  • pay

    pay

    "how can it be a zero emission car if it uses electricity from a coal fired power station"

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