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Nissan Leaf electric vehicle headed for U.S. market in 2010

Rafay Ansar

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Nissan has taken the wraps off its production-bound electric vehicle, named Leaf, that is plans to sell in Japan, the United States and Europe.

The Leaf seats five and measures 175 inches long--about the same size as a Versa sedan. It uses an 80-kilowatt AC electric motor and draws from a laminated lithium-ion battery pack--the same type of batteries used by cellular telephones and laptop computers. Nissan says the Leaf will have a driving range of 100 miles. The battery pack is mounted under the car's seats and floor.




Using a direct-current quick charger, Nissan says the Leaf's battery pack can be recharged up to 80 percent in less than 30 minutes. Recharging at home, with 200-volt AC service, will take less than 8 hours. Regenerative braking is also a key factor in extending the Leaf's range.




Nissan says the Leaf will be priced at about the same as a well-equipped C-segment vehicle--such as the Sentra--which points toward a sticker price somewhere near the $30,000 range.




Power-saving technologies include the use of light-emitting diodes for the headlamps, which are also shaped to direct airflow around the front door mirrors. Owners will be able to use their mobile phones to command the car's air conditioning to turn on.



Nissan plans to build the Leaf at its assembly plant in Smyrna, Tenn. It recently received funds from the U.S. government to build a battery-making operation in Tennessee.

SPECS

Length: 175.0 inches

Width: 69.7 inches

Height: 61.0 inches

Wheelbase: 106.3 inches

Driving range: 100 miles

Maximum speed: more than 90 mph

Motor type: AC motor

Maximum power: 80 kW

Maximum torque: 280 Nm

Battery type: laminated lithium-ion battery

Total capacity: 24 kilowatt-hours

Power output: more than 90 kilowatts

Energy density: 140 Wh/kg

Power density: 2.5 kW/kg

Number of modules: 48



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