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Nissan unveils its electric Leaf


The zero-emissions Nissan Leaf is due to go on sale in late 2010

Unveiled at Nissan's Jampanese headquarters in Yokohama, the Nissan Leaf is a mass-production electric vehicle that wil be driven in Japan, the US and Europe.

The medium-sized five-door hatchback is is equipped with a 107hp electric motor that delivers 80kW and a lithium-ion battery pack that can be charged through any home outlet. It will reportedly have a driving range of more than 160km.

Top speed is expected to be 140kph.

The Leaf's batteries can be charged up to 80 per cent of its full capacity in just under 30 minutes with a quick charger while a full charge at home through a 200V outlet is estimated to take approximately eight hours.

"Our car had to be the world's first, medium-size, practical EV that motorists could afford and would want to use every day. And that's what we've created," said Masato Inoue, Nissan Product Chief Designer. "The styling will identify not only Nissan Leaf but also the owner as a participant in the new era of zero-emission mobility."

According to Nissan, the headlights have been designed to split and redirect airflow away from the door mirrors, in order to reduce wind noise and drag, and consume just 10 per cent of the electricity of conventional lamps.

Measuring 4445mm long, 1770mm wide with a height of 1550mm and a wheelbase of 2700mm, the Leaf is slightly larger than the Nissan Tiida.

The Leaf will come equipped with an advanced IT system that will be connected to a global data centre, providing support, information, and entertainment for drivers 24 hours a day.

Nissan will build the Leaf at its Oppama plant, Japan, with additional capacity planned for the firm's Smyrna plant in Tennessee, USA. The EV's lithium-ion batteries are being produced in Zama, Japan, with additional capacity planned for the USA, the UK and Portugal, and other sites around the world.

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