The Tokyo motor show - Nissan Leaf

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Nissan Leaf
Nissan Leaf
This is the Nissan Leaf, and, unlike some cars here at the Tokyo motor show, this is one that could make it to a showroom near you soon.

The first Leafs – or is that Leaves – should arrive in the UK in early 2011.

The car uses lithium-ion batteries to power the 115bhp motor. These are in 48 battery modules beneath the floor, with four thin battery cells in each module.

The car is expected to have a range of about 100 miles and a top speed of 90mph.

A full charge at home can take between eight and 16 hours, depending on the domestic electricity supply. Fast-charging stations can provide an 80% charge in just 30 minutes.

Nissan is in consultation with more than 30 local and national governments to help establish a global charging network.

How much will the Leaf cost?
Prices for the Leaf have yet to be revealed, although Nissan says that an electrically powered car should cost no more to buy and run than a conventional petrol-engined vehicle.

The British Government has indicated that it will give incentives of up to £5000 towards the cost of electric vehicles, to encourage consumers to switch to them from conventionally powered cars.

Ministers are set to announce how their electric-vehicle incentives will be managed by early next year.

Nissan wants the Leaf to be the world's first affordable electric car, which is why it has opted to make a mass-market small family car.

And the cool tech?
The Nissan Leaf will connect with mobile phones to allow the remote operation of in-car utilities and the transmission of battery and charging data.

The electric-powered Leaf will be compatible with the iPhone and other 'smart' phones that will be able to deliver information on charging locations, monitor the car's battery condition, programme charging times and remotely control the vehicle's air-conditioning system.

The data connection will help the driver assess the car's range and the location of charging stations while on the move. The phone connection will also allow the driver to program charging times while the car is connected to the mains at home (for example, to take advantage of lower-priced off-peak energy).

The driver can also use the phone connection to activate the Leaf's air-conditioning by remote control while the vehicle is on mains power. This means the cabin can be warmed or cooled before setting off – leaving the batteries the less demanding task of maintaining the temperature.

See it on video here

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