What it's like to drive

* Electric car here by 2012 * We drive prototype * Top speed 85mph; range 100 miles...

What it's like to drive

Performance is sprightly, benefiting from the fact the 80Kw electric motor can deliver maximum pulling power almost immediately.

As a result, although the 0-62mph time is 13 seconds, company insiders admit that the car's 0-40mph performance is equivalent to that of a high-powered V6 petrol engine.

However, no official torque figures or other acceleration times have been released.

'The EV is a completely different vehicle, but it is not a car that is boring to drive,' said Minoru Shinohara, Senior Vice President of Advanced Technology at Nissan. 'It delivers real performance in a practical way.'