The Nissan Leaf is manufactured by the Nissan company and is an electric car. Leaf stands for Leading Environmentally friendly Family car. It has a 5 door hatchback style and was first introduced in the United States and Japan in the year 2010. The EPA’s official range for the Leaf of 2013 was 75 miles. The combined fuel economy for the Leaf was rated at 115 miles per gallon in the United States. The 2013 was given a range of 200 kilometer or 120 miles on the European driving cycle.
Deliveries of the Leaf started in December of 2010 to consumers in both the United States and in Japan. Not long after, the vehicles were delivered to other countries throughout Europe. By August of 2014, it is available in 35 different countries.
Currently, the Leaf is the bestselling all electric car that is capable of highway driving ever. As of September of 2014 there were more than 140,000 sold. The leading markets for the leaf are the United States, which as seen almost 64,000 of the units delivered. Japan has had more than 43,500 units delivered and there have been over 28,000 sold in the European market.
Since the Leaf is an all-electric car it does not produce any type of greenhouse gas emission or tailpipe pollution when being operated. The vehicle is helping to contribute to a reduction in petroleum dependence.
The Leaf has won several awards including the Green Car Vision award in the year 2010 and in 2011 it was named as the European car for the year and the world car for the year.
History of Development
The Nissan Altra was the first battery electric vehicle that was introduced by Nissan. The Altra was first seen at the International Auto Show in Los Angeles in December of 1997. The Altra was made from 1998 through 2002 and only about 200 were ever made. Most often it was used by companies for a fleet vehicle. Between 1999 and 2001, Nissan developed the Hypermini and sold a limited number to corporate and government fleets located in Japan.
In the year 2009, the EV-11 prototype was displayed and just a week afterwards a production version was shown at the Yokohama headquarters. It was during this time that the company committed to selling the vehicle in both Japan and the North American market for the end of the 2010 year.
Current Nissan Leaf
The current version of the Nissan Leaf is a 5 seat hatchback that is entirely electric. It gets its power from an 80 kW electric motor that is fed using a 24 kWh lithium ion battery pack. The output for the vehicle is 107 hp with 207 lb/ft of torque.
There are currently three trim levels of the leaf available, the S, the SV, and the SL. Even though the S is considered to be the base model of the vehicle, it still offers keyless entry and ignition, heated steering wheel, automatic climate control, and heated seats in both the front and the back, as well as an iPod interface, rearview camera, and Bluetooth. However, the entry level charger that is on board with the S will take 8 hours for the battery to be fully charged.
The SV and the SL have chargers that will cut the charging time to just 4 hours using a 240 volt charge dock. In addition, these trims have a B-mode that allows for aggressive braking in some situations. Some of the standard features include 17 inch wheels, 360 degree camera system for parking, and a navigational system.