It has been five years since Nissan stole the automotive limelight with its Nissan LEAF electric vehicle. Now, the Japanese carmaker is celebrating its pioneering move with a number of milestones for its Nissan LEAF EV. Since 2010, Nissan remains the leader in EV technology, despite challenges from a number of carmakers around the world.
In fact, Nissan is still the largest producer of electric vehicles and its EV offerings have covered the most distance sans harmful emissions. As a matter of fact, Nissan LEAF customers have already covered a total distance of over two billion kilometers (1.2 billion miles), helping the environment free from 328,482 tons of carbon dioxide, according to Nissan's five year sales-volume based assumption.
In January 2016, Nissan is set to deliver its 200,000th LEAF, thereby officially making the emission-free unit the most popular and most successful electric vehicle in the world. Around 90 percent of total LEAF sales were made in the United States (90,000 units), Japan (50,000 units) and Europe (40,000 units). In the five years that Nissan has been producing the LEAF at its assembly lines, the EV has become a recipient of over 92 awards around the world, including Car of the Year in Japan and Europe, and the very prestigious World Car of the Year.
Nissan's tinkering with electric vehicles was not as recent as several years or even a few decades ago. In fact, Japanese carmaker had its first EV 68 years ago in the persona of the Tama Electric Vehicle. Nissan has since become more dedicated to in-house research and development of the EV battery, using materials from zinc and nickel hydride to lithium-ion.
In 1996, Nissan had the distinction of being the lead carmaker to successfully market the world’s first lithium-ion battery EV -- the Prairie Joy EV -- in 1996. The Japanese carmaker used the experience and knowledge gained from the development and sales of the Prairie Joy to take a big leap ahead of other auto companies and come up with the world's first mass-produced EV, the Nissan LEAF.
The huge success of the LEAF and the ever growing clamor for clean yet affordable electric cars have prompted Nissan to decide to invest over JPY500 billion in EV projects, including plans to expand further. Supporting the growth of the LEAF as well as Nissan's EV engineering expertise and investment, are nearly 10,000 CHAdeMO Quick Chargers (QC) available around the world. A QC is capable of recharging the LEAF's battery from low charge alert to around 80-percent capacity in just 30 minutes.
Around 6,000 of these 10,000 QCs are installed across Japan, making the country home to the largest QC network in the world. After half a decade of great LEAF success, Nissan is getting itself ready for the next five years. For starters, Nissan has already commenced sales of the 2016 Nissan LEAF with a new 30kWh battery in the US in November.
Sales of this new LEAF – which travels over 20-percent more miles per charge than the current EV – will commence in Japan this month and in Europe in January 2016. Nissan is confident that more and more people will shift to zero emission vehicles as EV technology continues to progress, thereby improving air quality and lowering noise levels.
In conjunction, the Japanese carmaker plans to accelerate its endeavor to make the dream of a zero-emission society come true by further developing and popularizing not only EVs but also related technologies.
Nissan President and chief executive Carlos Ghosn remarked that EV technology will remain at the core of Nissan’s product development efforts. He added that Nissan – with its EV technologies and innovations -- is inching closer to a zero-emission future.