When the first Nissan Leaf models roll out in December 2010, mass production of electric vehicles will become a reality. Until then, only the high priced Tesla Roadster and limited numbers of the Ford Transit Connect EV, Fisker Karma and Chevrolet Volt will have managed to make a dent in this emerging segment, but the Leaf will be transformative as production keeps pace with demand.
And you can thank Nissan’s decision for pricing the car from $32,780 with helping to stir interest in electric vehicles, with a $7500 federal rebate lowering that price further. Importantly, if you live in certain states such as California, a $5000 state credit is also counted. Yes, a pure electric vehicle costing just over $20K could be a game changer, a car with no carbon emissions, with the ability to travel 100 miles on a single charge and one that will never see a gas pump in its lifetime.
Even with just this much information supplied about the Nissan Leaf, your interest is likely piqued, but it doesn’t stop there. The Leaf is a five-passenger five-door compact sedan sitting on a 106.3 inch wheelbase and is 175 inches long, 69.7 inches long and 61 inches tall. Those dimensions are similar in scope with what you will find with a Nissan Sentra. However, Nissan insists that the Leaf is underpinned by its own platform.
The Nissan Leaf features a laminated lithium-ion battery pack which can be recharged in eight hours. A quick charger is also available, reducing charging times to thirty minutes or less. On an extended trip this option can come in handy with the Leaf fully recharged when stopping for food. Then again, you gain only an additional 100 miles of range which means that the Leaf is definitely a city or regional car.
Nissan has also developed the Leaf to be well equipped which means that few drivers will need to pay for money sapping extras in order to enjoy their electric vehicle. The Nissan Leaf will include Nissan’s navigation system, tilt steering, cruise control, Bluetooth connectivity, power door locks and windows, premium sound system with XM radio, air bags and side curtain airbags, traction control and a vehicle security system. 16 inch alloy wheels, LED headlamps and a rear spoiler are also featured.
Top speed for the Nissan Leaf will be just above 90 mph with zero to sixty times likely to be impressive once that figure has been published. No electric car is a poke in that drivers enjoy full torque from the moment they step on the gas pedal.
The Nissan Leaf is available for customers to order, with a $99 refundable credit card charge securing your order. Most deliveries will take place in 2011 with wait times correlating with customer demand. So, if you want to be the first person on your block to own the Nissan Leaf, then placing your order sooner rather than later can go a long way to ensuring that becomes a reality.