nissan-ev-leaf.jpgNissan unveiled its new electric car yesterday. The Leaf, a medium-size hatchback, debuted with a top speed of 87 miles per hour (140km) and a travel range of 100 miles with seating for five adults.

“LEAF is the world’s first affordable, zero-emission car,” says the Nissa global website.

Slated for launch in late 2010 in Japan, the US, and Europe, Nissan Leaf ushers in a new era of zero – not simply reduced – emissions, based on its lithium-ion battery-powered chassis.

There is no price announcement yet, but the Japanese company calls it “affordable”. Pricing details will be announced closer to start of sales in late 2010.

The Nissan Leaf is expected to qualify for an array of significant local, state and national tax breaks and incentives in markets around the world. As an added benefit, because the electric vehicle has less mechanical complexity than a traditional gasoline-powered car, Nissan Leaf is designed to be friendly to the wallet as well as energy efficient and beneficial for the environment.

Unlike internal-combustion engine equipped vehicles, Nissan LEAF’s power train has no tail pipe, and thus no emission of CO2 or other greenhouse gases.

Its 100 mile (130km) range satisfies the daily driving requirements of more than 70% of the world’s consumers who drive cars.

Charging at home through a 200V outlet is estimated to take eight hours, but the battery can be charged up to 80% in just 30 minutes using a quick charger.

The first of Nissan’s EV’s will be manufactured in Japan, with future additional capacity planned for Smyrna, Tennessee. The lithium-ion batteries are being produced in Japan, with additional capacity planned for the USA, the UK and Portugal.

See the Reuters video coverage of Leaf below…

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