Nissan Leaf Electric Car

The Nissan Leaf is the first battery electric car to enter the mainstream automotive market in recent years. It's the first mass-produced fully electric vehicle made by a large, world-wide automotive manufacturer. This and the fact that Nissan has been pushing the car heavily in marketing shows that EVs are a big, emerging part of our automotive landscape.

When the Leaf was first announced for production back in 2010, FutureCars did a full writeup on its specs at this link. Since then, a few things have changed, but the overall design and look are the same.

The 80kW (107hp) motor mounted in a front-wheel drive configuration and top speed of 90mph have not changed. The vehicle's range of 100 miles was shortened to 73 miles after the Environmental Protection Agency tested it and gave it a window sticker showing it was capable of 99 miles per gallon (equivalent) combined.

Since its release onto the market in early 2011, the Leaf has proved very popular amongst car buyers. Its relatively low price tag (under $30,000) and its extreme green cred packed into a near-luxury vehicle package have made it the car to be seen in.

Corporate fleets have been the biggest buyers thus far, as is expected, but regular consumers can purchase one through a Nissan dealership or try one out at select Hertz rental locations.

The Leaf includes a 24kWh battery pack that recharges in 4-8 hours at 220V and the 5-passenger hatchback is roomy and smart.

Being the first major, mass-produced EV on the market and with such rave reviews being given for it, it's likely that the Leaf will be synonymous with "electric car" in the same way the Toyota Prius has become synonymous with "hybrid."

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