It is not secret that Toyota has been a leader in hybrid automotive technology from the first release of the Prius. Honda has also been in the game trying to capture market share with both generation one and two of the Honda Insight and, of course, there is the American companies like Ford with their Ford Fusion Hybrid that was newly announced for 2010. Nissan, however, has been the tortoise in this race to be the leader in hybrid and electric technology. They have released a hybrid Altima, but only in limited availability and haven’t had an electric car offering that could compete with new comers that are imminent like the Chevrolet Volt—that is until today.
August 2, 2009, Nissan unveiled their newest offering for the U.S. market—an electric car. Yes, Nissan is trying to get into the electric car market with their latest car called the ‘Leaf’. The Leaf is said to seat 5 adults and go 100 miles on a full-charge. Another interesting twist is that Nissan’s chief designer Shiro Nakamura said Nissan has opted to shun “the stereotypical toy-like appearance of electric concept cars in favor of lines that more recalled a "real car." Key styling elements that were used to achieve their design goals are: sleek aerodynamic silhouette with deck spoiler, blue tinting in the headlights and interior trim for high-tech look, raised headlamps to channel air away from side mirrors and reduce wind, recharge plug located under flip-up cap near grill, special “zero emission” logo to broadcast green credentials and light emitting diode headlamps and taillights.
Nissan LEAF Charging Port
The price hasn’t been set yet, but affordability is a key challenge, especially since the batteries for each car costs in the neighborhood of $10,000. Nissan’s goal is to bring the cost of the car, minus the battery, to within the same range as the comparable gasoline powered car. The idea behind this strategy is that the consumer will likely lease the battery at a cost that would be cheaper than what they would have paid for gasoline. If they can make the pricing work, then it is possible that the Nissan Leaf will be able to meet their 200,000 units a year and global mass marketing goal by the year 2012.
Nissan LEAF Interior
Looking for more electric car news and information? Then roll on over to AllCarsElectric.com and check out their stories on the new Nissan Leaf: 2011 Nissan LEAF: Batteries, 2011 Nissan LEAF Price, 2011 Nissan LEAF: Design Aimed at Mainstream Appeal.
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[Source: Automotive News]