Nissan LEAF: Another Entry into the Electric Car Market

July 28, 2010 Updated: October 1, 2015

[ UK to Make Nissan Leaf Electric Car – NTDTV ]

Nissan LEAF: The new Japanese Nissan Motor's electric vehicle during the opening ceremony for the new company headquarters in Yokohama on August 2, 2009. (Toru Yamanaka/AFP/Getty Images)
Nissan LEAF: The new Japanese Nissan Motor's electric vehicle during the opening ceremony for the new company headquarters in Yokohama on August 2, 2009. (Toru Yamanaka/AFP/Getty Images)
The Nissan LEAF is a all electric five-door hatchback designed for customers who desire a emission-free car.

The Leaf will be 100-percent battery driven and Nissan says its first electric car will be able to go 100 miles on a single charge.

The actual distance will vary, as the type of driving, weather, and weight in the vehicle can cause that number to range between about 70 to 140 miles on a charge.

Regardless of the range, the more-than-600-pound $18,000 battery will make up most of the car in both weight and price.

The battery is expected to keep 70 percent to 80 percent of its full capacity over 10 years.

Nissan has enabled the Leaf to be charged via three different modes. A standard 120 volt outlet will take 20 hours, 240 volts will take 8 hours, and a special 480 volt 125 amp connection quick charge can bring the battery to 80% of its full charge in as little as 30 minutes.

Nissan plans to install quick charging stations at select dealerships. There is one drawback to quick charging if it is used as the primary method of recharging, because it will cause the battery to age prematurely, the Korean-based car manufacturer said.

Nissan is extending buyers a eight-year 100,000-mile warranty on the battery.

LEAF is an actually an acronym that stands for Leading, Environmentally Friendly, Affordable, Family Car. Nissan said the company worked very hard to make sure the LEAF lives up to its name, especially in regards to affordability.

In the US, Nissan has said the LEAF will cost $32,780.

The LEAF is of course eligible for $7,500 in government incentives under the electric vehicle federal tax credit that is part of the American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009 and will bring the price to a very reasonable $25,280.

There will also be a leasing option of $350 per month with a $2,000 down payment. Only the first 200,000 vehicles sold in the US will receive the full $7,500 in rebates, and a few States also have extra incentives for early adopters of electric vehicles.

Connected

The Leaf will be equipped with a remote access feature as the car will be connected 24/7 to a global data center, which will allow owners to use their cellphone to turn the air conditioning or heater while away from the car, and the car owner can set timers for when the car will start charging.

This will enable users to pre-heat or pre-cool the car while it is still connected to a charging station, and having the car charge itself during off-peak rate times when the cost of energy is cheaper.