Nissan Unveils LEAF

Nissan Motor Co is taking the gloves off and planning to climb the automobile industry ladder, leading the way with zero-emissions vehicles, with the unveiling of its new electric vehicle, named “LEAF,” on Sunday, reported Reuters.

American consumers can expect to see the new LEAF, named for its environmental cleanliness, in late 2010, though they will be in short supply. Nissan claims that the LEAF will be the first affordable ($25-30,000) electric vehicle, reported MotorTrend Magazine.

Nissan’s electric vehicle program has surpassed its other attempts at fuel efficiency, like the use of continuously variable transmissions (CVT).

The LEAF seats five, measures 175 inches long, uses an 80-kilowatt AC electric motor and draws its power from 192 lithium ion (LiOn) batteries – the same type of batteries used in cell phones and laptops, reported Auto Week.

MotorTrend reported that the LEAF has a range of 100 miles before needing to be recharged. Reuters reported that Toyota Motor Corp and Volkswagen AG have announced that they plan to launch similar vehicles “in the next several years, but expect implementation to take time due to the vehicle’s high cost, limited driving range and long charging times.”


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