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Monday, August 3, 2009

Nissan’s CEO Carlos Ghosn today unveiled the Japanese automaker’s new zero-emission electric-car - the Nissan LEAF. The model is scheduled to be launched in late 2010 in Japan, United States and Europe. The medium-sized hatchback, which comfortably seats five adults, is powered by lithium ion cells that power the 80 kW (107-hp) electric motor with a peak torque of 208 lb-ft. On a full-charge, the Nissan LEAF allows for a driving range of 100 miles with a top speed of 87 mph. Charging time takes approximately 8 hours on a standard 200V outlet.

However, buyers can opt for the DC 50kW quick-charger, which recharges the battery up to 80 percent in under 30 minutes. Nissan expects production capacity to reach 200,000 units a year by 2012. The first couple of units will be produced at the company’s Oppama, Japan, with additional capacity planned for Smyrna, Tennessee.

The lithium-ion batteries, which cost around $10,000 per vehicle, will be produced in Zama, Japan, with additional capacity planned for the U.S., UK and Portugal. Pricing for the vehicle is expected to come in around $30,000 for the U.S. market. Nissan said that it wants to mass market its electric vehicles globally by 2012.


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