Nissan wants to become world’s largest maker of battery-powered cars and in order to achieve this goal has to sell over 1.5 million zero-emission models within five years. Nissan will sell this models with partner Renault and is betting that consumers will accept cars that need charging, but judging the rising fuel prices we might believe that both manufacturers are right and that people will start buying electric vehicles.
According to CEO Carlso Ghosn, the automaker wants to invest more than 300 billion yen ($3.9 billion) in environmentally friendly technologies by March 31, 2017.
“We want to take leadership in these technologies,” said Ghosn. As of this month, Nissan sold 15,000 Leaf EVs and it is preparing for Toyota’s alternative, the recently introduced Prius.
“I understand we were not the first in developing hybrid cars,” Ghosn said. “That’s completely fine, as long as we are the leading company in developing all-electric cars.”
Nissan will not stop here, as it will introduce three additional electric models by 2016 and a plug-in hybrid by 2015. Moreover, the Mitsubishi MiEV will be shipped to Nissan next fiscal year, as the two companies are preparing to expand their alliance. Nissan aims to produce 500,000 Leaf EVs by 2015.
Nissan LEAF makes use of lithium-ion batteries that generate more than 90 kW. It also uses an electric motor that gives you 80 kW and torques of 280 Nm. This makes the LEAF very responsive and very fun to drive, which is what customers have gotten used to when driving traditional automobiles.
However, the Nissan LEAF does not have a tail pipe, which is standard on internal combustion engine powered vehicles. This is because the LEAF does not emit any carbon dioxide and similar greenhouse gases. The Nissan LEAF has a regenerative braking system and its battery packs to help move it for more than 100 miles on a single charge.
This is more than enough for daily driving as extensive research has shown that most people drive shorter distances than that per day. Plus, Nissan has found a way to make charging convenient and easy. You can charge the LEAF up to 80% of its battery capacity in less than 30 minutes using a quick charger. But a full charge takes around eight hours when done through a 200 volt outlet at home.
Ideal for the real world
The designers and engineers of the LEAF worked to create a car that is ideal for the real world yet is competitively priced. It would be the carmaker’s entry into the zero-emission era. To guarantee spaciousness, ample cargo space, and comfort, the LEAF uses a new body layout and chassis.
Nissan product chief designer Masato Inoue says that the LEAF was designed to be the world’s first practical electric vehicle that drivers could afford and could use daily. And that is what they have come up with with a styling that is distinct and help distinguish it not only as the LEAF but also a willing participant in the era of no emission mobility.