Japan Comes Out With the First Mass Produced Electric Car

Japan Comes Out With the First Mass Produced Electric Car

Nissan Leaf All Electric Car

nissan leaf exteriorThe Nissan Leaf is a medium-size hatchback that comfortably seats five adults. It has a top speed of 90 mph and a range of over 100 miles.

The zero-emission car is powered by Lithium Ion batteries – such as used by cellphones and laptops. Using a direct-current quick charger, the battery pack can be recharged up to 80 percent in less than 30 minutes. Charging at home with 220-volt AC will take less than 8 hours.

Deliveries to retail customers began in the United States and Japan in December 2010, followed by various European countries and Canada in 2011, and as of February 2013, is available in 17 European countries, Australia and other international markets. The Leaf is the world’s best selling highway-capable all-electric car ever, and reached the 50,000 global sales milestone in February 2013.

As of December 2012, the top-selling markets are Japan, with about 21,000 units; the United States, with 19,512 units; and the European market, with almost 7,000 units delivered. Sales in Europe are led by Norway with 2,841 units and the UK with 1,334 Leafs sold through December 2012.

The Leaf uses an 80 kW (110 hp) and 280 N·m (210 ft·lb) front-mounted synchronous electric motor driving the front axle, powered by a 24 kilowatt-hours (86 MJ) lithium ion battery pack rated to deliver up to 90 kilowatts (120 hp) power.

nissan leaf dashboardThe pack contains air-cooled, stacked laminated battery cells with lithium manganate cathodes.The battery and control module together weigh 300 kilograms (660 lb) and the specific energy of the cells is 140 W·h/kg. Each battery pack costs Nissan an estimated US$18,000 (as of May 2010).The 2011/12 model Leaf has a top speed of over 150 km/h (93 mph) Unofficially, 0 to 60 mph(0 to 97 km/h) performance has been tested at 9.9 seconds.

The United States Environmental Protection Agency official range is 117 kilometres (73 mi), much less than the 160 kilometres (100 mi) promised by Nissan. The Federal Trade Commission, which is supposed to label all alternative-fuel vehicles, disagrees with the EPA rating, and considers that the correct range is between 96 to 110 miles (154 to 180 km). Although the FTC does not conduct its own tests as EPA does, it relies on a standard set by SAE International and the results reported by automakers. The Leaf has a range of 175 km (109 mi) on the New European Driving Cycle.

Based on third-party test drives carried out in the US, reviewers have found that the range available from a single charge can vary up to 40% in real-world situations; reports vary from about 100 kilometres (62 mi) to almost 222 kilometres (138 mi) depending on driving style, load, traffic conditions, weather (i.e. wind, atmospheric density), and accessory use. Nissan tested the Leaf under several scenarios to estimate real-world range figures, and obtained a worst case scenario of 76 kilometres (47 mi) and a best case scenario of 222 kilometres (138 mi). The following table summarizes the results under each scenario tested using EPA’s L4 test cycle and presents EPA rating as a reference

nissan leaf energy panelIn the last 12 months Europe registered significant growth of the CHAdeMO quick charging infrastructure. The number of these chargers which allow batteries to be recharged from empty to 80% battery capacity in around 30 minutes has rocketed from 158 to 601 in the last 12 months. The plans already in place are to more than double by the end of this year the number of installed quick charging installations. These units are being installed at strategic locations such as shopping center car parks or highway service stations, allowing the 50,000 Nissan LEAF owners to push the electric vehicle revolution even further.

The Nissan LEAF was the first mass produced EV winning the European, World and Japanese car of the year 2011. More than 50,000 units have been sold globally since its introduction in December 2010, making Nissan LEAF the world’s most selling electric vehicle. The AC motor develops 80 kW of power and 280 Nm of torque, enough for a maximum speed of 145 km/h. The electric motor is powered by a Nissan-developed laminated lithium-ion battery with an output of more than 90 kW. Recharging from empty to 100% takes eight hours with a normal charger and just 30 minutes from empty to 80% using a quick charger in optimal conditions. Nissan LEAF has been awarded five stars in the tough Euro NCAP tests, making it one of the safest cars on the road. Nissan LEAF comes fully equipped with air conditioning, satellite navigation, rear-view parking camera. European production of the Nissan LEAF will start at Sunderland in 2013.

December 11, 2010, the absolute first consumer-ready example of the world’s first mass-market, globally distributed, and relatively affordable 100% electric car was delivered into the hands of its first customer at a Nissan dealership outside of San Francisco, California. Given the relative obscurity, misunderstanding, and, sometimes, outright hostility that electric vehicles have lived under for much of the last 100 years, there are a great many who never thought this day would come.

first nissan leaf ownerIn what Nissan representatives call a “democratic” process—one which they seem to be altogether proud of—the gentleman to whom the absolute first Nissan LEAF was delivered is not an A-List celebrity (or even a B-, C- or D-Lister). Rather he is a quite normal tech industry employee from Redwood City, California, who just by the luck of the draw, happened to be the first person to get his LEAF order in when the opportunity opened up in August 2010.

And so, just by the luck of the draw, there are several things about the first LEAF customer, Olivier Chalouhi, that break some of the common misconceptions electric cars have often been associated with. Saying, “I think that there’s too much attention on me” and that Nissan deserves most of the credit for this day, Chalouhi showed quite a bit of modesty on a day when he was the center of attention of much of the automotive world media.

As for whether or not Chalouhi considered buying a Chevy Volt as well, he was quick to say it wasn’t even on his radar. He specifically chose to buy a Nissan LEAF over a Chevy Volt for several reasons: one, he was put off by the fact that Chevy dealers were given the ability to charge whatever price they wanted for the Volt, raising the price of an already expensive vehicle by as much as $20,000 or more; two, he felt the Volt was “really expensive” to begin with and out of the reach of the average customer that wanted to outright own the vehicle and not lease it; and, three, the Volt is not a “pure” electric model.

I knew japan would be the first to come out with the mass market EV. The have no oil in their country and loads of technology. It was only a matter of time. Even their government assists them with R&D.

  • 160 kilometers [100 miles]
  • seats 5 adults
  • 140 kilometers [90 mph]
  • lithium ion batteries
  • 8 hour recharge on high voltage
  • connected to nissan IT center for entertainment and data
  • mobile phone remote control of car features
nissan leaf in black nissan leaf in white nissan leaf in red

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Ex law school student. I was kicked out for revealing I had a heart actually beating inside. I used to be in a modern dance company. I'm working on my 7 miracles to be proclaimed a saint by the pope. #1 is really hard, but once i get over that hump the other 6 will be a cinch.

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