Geneva motor show 2010 - Nissan Leaf

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Geneva motor show
Geneva motor show
Nissan's revolutionary Leaf has taken pride of place on the company's stand at the Geneva Motor Show.

What is it?
From the outside, the Nissan Leaf looks like dozens of other mid-sized five-door family hatchbacks: a bit bland, perhaps, but inoffensive.

Under the facade, however, it represents nothing short of a revolution in car thinking. The Leaf is an all-electric car and will go into production before the end of this year.


















A sign of things to come
Nissan and its alliance partner, Renault, are putting a good proportion of their eggs in the basket marked 'electric vehicles'. They reckon that with the increasing focus on tailpipe emissions, EVs could be claiming 10% of car sales within the next few years, and plan to have the models ready to satisfy the demand.

The Leaf, built on a bespoke platform rather than one adapted to take an electric motor and a battery pack, is just the start. It’s powered by a 105bhp electric motor supplied by a 90 kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery pack mounted beneath the rear seats and floor.

Range anxiety allayed
Nissan claims it has a range of up to 100 miles, depending on how many of the car's features are in use when driving, and a top speed of 90mph. A full recharge takes eight hours through a standard mains socket, but an 80% charge is possible in half an hour with the right equipment. The batteries are also recharged while coasting and braking.

When can I buy one – and how much?
Left-hand-drive car go on sale at end of this year, with UK-spec models due to arrive early in 2011. What Nissan hasn't declared yet is how it intends to market the car – will there be a leasing arrangement to cover the batteries, or just outright sale? It also hasn’t given any indication of likely running costs.



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