News

Nissan Leaf unveiled

  • All-new, all-electric car
  • Range of 100 miles
  • On sale in late 2010
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This is the Nissan Leaf, an all-new, all-electric car that will go on sale next year.

The five-door family hatchback will compete directly with conventionally powered rivals and hybrid vehicles such as the Toyota Prius.

100-mile range
The Leaf is powered by a 107bhp electric motor, fed by lithium-ion batteries that are mounted under the cabin floor. A regenerative braking system aids efficiency by storing the energy created under braking.

A range of 100 miles is achievable from a full charge, which takes around eight hours using a standard domestic socket. However, a 30-minute, 80% charge will be possible from a special quick-charge unit.

Advanced IT system
'Range anxiety' is overcome by a sat-nav system that shows a map of the driving area that's currently in range or whether a pre-set destination is achievable.

A mobile phone can also be used to control many of the car's functions from a remote location. A text message can switch the car's air-conditioning on or off, while also allowing the driver check the state of charge of the vehicle's batteries.

On sale in 2010
On sale in late 2010 in Japan, the US and mainland Europe, the Leaf is not expected to reach the UK until 2011.

Prices haven't been released, but Nissan promises it will be 'competitively priced in the range of a well-equipped C-segment vehicle'. We expect a starting price of around 19,000.

The Leaf will be the first of a range of new battery-powered models from Nissan. It is expected to launch a number of fully electric vehicles that will be sold alongside its petrol and diesel-powered models.