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AutoBlog: 2010 Nissan Leaf electric car: In person, in depth -- and U.S. bound

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Filed under: Car Buying, Japan, Technology, Hatchback, Nissan, Design/Style, Alternative Fuel

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2010 Nissan Leaf EV - Click above for hi-res gallery

It would be easy to paint Nissan as late to the burgeoning U.S. green party, as the company essentially only counts the Altima Hybrid to sell among its alt-fuel offerings - and that sedan utilizes technology borrowed from Toyota, and it's only sold in a few states in small volumes. While that may be the case, Nissan says their near-term prospects are really quite different. While the company has admittedly been cautious in marketing alt-fuel vehicles in North America, they have been hard at work developing electric vehicles - as well as the advanced lithium-ion batteries to support them - since 1992. What's more, officials say they are now singularly well-placed to leapfrog "transitional" powertrain solutions like gas-electric hybrids in favor of genuine zero-emissions vehicles, and they are promising that their first pure-electric car will reach U.S. shores late next year.

That car, the Nissan Leaf shown here, is the reason we find ourselves in the company's brand-new Yokohama headquarters today. Designed as a four-to-five seat, front-drive C-segment hatchback, Nissan says the Leaf is not just for use as a specialty urban runabout, but rather, it was designed as an everyday vehicle - a "real car" whose 160-kilometer+ (100 mile) range meets the needs of 70% of the world's motorists. In the case of U.S. consumers, Nissan says that fully 80% of drivers travel less than 100km per day (62 miles), making the Leaf a solid fit for America's motoring majority, even taking into account power-sapping external factors like hilly terrain, accessory draw, and extreme temperatures.

We were afforded an advance look at the Leaf ahead of the car's unveiling today, and while it was a hands-off affair, we did have the chance to formulate some in-the-metal first impressions and take a deep dive into the car's technology. Click through to the jump to learn all about it.


Continue reading 2010 Nissan Leaf electric car: In person, in depth -- and U.S. bound

2010 Nissan Leaf electric car: In person, in depth -- and U.S. bound originally appeared on Autoblog on Sat, 01 Aug 2009 21:48:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Normally, Nissan has the best looking cars of the Japanese automakers, but holy crap is that hideous! Makes the Prius look like a Aston Martin by comparison. :yuck:

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I disagree.

I think it's vice-versa.

Let's just agree that both are uglier than 99% of cars made before 1984.

This thing, just as the Prius & Insight, make a Datsun Honeybee &

Twin-Cam Corolla look like a Porsche 928 & Cadillac CTS-coupe.

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I disagree.

I think it's vice-versa.

Let's just agree that both are uglier than 99% of cars made before 1984.

This thing, just as the Prius & Insight, make a Datsun Honeybee &

Twin-Cam Corolla look like a Porsche 928 & Cadillac CTS-coupe.

versa?

pun intended?

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(100 mile) range meets the needs of 70% of the world's motorists.

90% of the time. The other 10% of the time, any owner who has this as their sole car will then get to learn about bumming rides off of friends when they need to travel more than 50 miles from home for work, vacation, or whatever. Could work great as a 2nd car that gets used for commuting, getting groceries, visiting close friends, but it's not likely to fit most peoples' needs for an only car.

I'm also waiting for the disclosure that it will only be sold in select markets. Of course they will say that is just initially, until they can increase production or make sure the market is there. Is this 1995?

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well it was just announced on yahoo that they will probably lease the battery packs with the car.

Nissan officials say pricing was held down in part by developing the entire powertrain, including the laminated lithium-manganese battery pack — arguably the most expensive single component on the car at around $10,000 — in-house with an eye toward affordability.

But the real trick is that the batteries won't be part of the selling price: Nissan's global approach will be to sell the car, but lease the battery pack.

The argument for leasing is that if you buy a gasoline car, the gasoline isn't part of the deal, and the battery pack in an EV (plus the electricity that it stores) can be likened to the gas needed to make a conventional car go.

The approach in the U.S, where consumers might be leery of buying a car, but having to lease an essential part of its powertrain, may be to simply lease the entire package, said Andy Palmer, Nissan's senior vice president and head of product planning.

http://autos.yahoo.com/articles/autos_cont...XNzYW4tbGVhZg--

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something for satty to trade the prius on

Good god no. Although it is getting close to time to unload the Prius. Miles are racking up and we're not keeping it beyond the B2B warranty.

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Good god no. Although it is getting close to time to unload the Prius. Miles are racking up and we're not keeping it beyond the B2B warranty.

well the 010 prius is here....

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well the 010 prius is here....

Think I haven't noticed? '10 Mustang convertibles are here as well. A simple swap of a bad 307 into the Buick would make a nice clunker too.

Well hell, the Mustang doesn't qualify for C4C, even in V6/manual form. Nor does the Camaro. Both are rated a combined 21mpg.

Accord Coupe V6 is also a no-go.

$4500 on a Clubman though.....

Edited by Satty
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My first "Datsun" will be a 90's 300Zx. :D

Love those cars.

Those were really fun cars...my sister had a '90 300ZX turbo back in the day...I drove it a few times...alas, it was not good on icy Boston area roads which led to it's demise..(she rear ended a Caprice taxi at 45mph near Logan Airport, where the road narrowed..)

Rob

Edited by Cubical-aka-Moltar
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mustangs i would wait for the new v6 next year unless you could spring for a GT.

I'd love a GT Premium convertible, but things are in flux and I dont know how money is going to work out. On the bright side, the Prius is either paid off or nearly paid off (I haven't really been paying attention) and its held its value decently, so thats basically a $20k down payment on something, which would pretty much cut the price of my desired Mustang in half. But a Clubman is tempting, even more tempting since it should be serviceable as a kayak/bike hauler, meaning I could clunk the Buick, and get a small return on that investment by selling off the good engines.

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I'd love a GT Premium convertible, but things are in flux and I dont know how money is going to work out. On the bright side, the Prius is either paid off or nearly paid off (I haven't really been paying attention) and its held its value decently, so thats basically a $20k down payment on something, which would pretty much cut the price of my desired Mustang in half. But a Clubman is tempting, even more tempting since it should be serviceable as a kayak/bike hauler, meaning I could clunk the Buick, and get a small return on that investment by selling off the good engines.

A GT Premium convertible or a CTS are really what I'm most interested in for my next new car...but an '11 Grand Cherokee would be the practical choice if I move back to the land of snow and ice (which is quite likely within the next 6-9 months).

Rob

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