Will the all-electric 2010 Nissan Leaf be a Volt-slayer?

Nissan's in the game now: the Nissan Leaf, a dedicated electric vehicle, was presented yesterday at the company's new headquarters in Yokohoma, Japan. The EV will first be marketed to US commercial fleets in 2010.

With the exception of the Pininfarina BlueCar, I've got no love for hatchbacks, but you could do worse than the Leaf ...

Leaf

... Inside the cabin, the two-tier instrument panel offers a stylish touch …

Leaf dash

... The Nissan Leaf is promising substantially more for the buyer than competitor Mitsubishi's i-MiEV; more interior space, a more efficient battery (which will be leased), a more powerful motor, and a lower price.

Although the i-MiEV will beat the Leaf to some markets, the Leaf will probably beat both the i-MiEV and the Chevy Volt to the broader US market. For General Motors especially, that could be bad, bad news.

Leaf

Some specs for the Nissan Leaf:

  • Type: Dedicated electric vehicle
  • Class: 5-passenger hatchback
  • Manufacturer: Nissan
  • Propulsion system: 107 hp (80 kW) electric motor
  • Top Speed: 90 mph (145 km/h)
  • Vehicle range: 100 miles (160 km)
  • Fuel(s): Electricity
  • Battery system: 24kWh Lithium-ion
  • Time to full battery recharge: 12 hours (100V/15A), 6 hours (200V/15A)
  • Tailpipe emissions: No
  • Price: $25,000-30,000 (est.)
  • Availability: 2010 (US commercial fleets)

(Photos courtesy Nissan USA)

Nissan.jpg

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