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Production of 100% electric Nissan LEAF begins in Japan

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October 31, 2010

One of the first Nissan LEAFs is inspected (Photo: Nissan)

One of the first Nissan LEAFs is inspected (Photo: Nissan)

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We've been covering the Nissan LEAF with interest for some time and right on track to meet its previously-stated production deadlines, the 100% electric, Nissan LEAF has gone into manufacture at the Oppama facility in Japan.

Pricing and availability for The Nissan LEAF were announced in April and the first exports to United States in November and Europe in December will be in time to meet first sales set for December in Japan and the United States, and in selected European markets from early 2011.

The Oppama plant has an annual production capacity of 50,000 units but new facilities are planned for Smyrna, Tennessee in late 2012, and Sunderland, UK in early 2013. Once under-way these will have the capacity for an annual production capacity of 150,000 and 50,000 units respectively.

The Oppama plant also produces gasoline models such as Nissan Juke and Nissan Cube but part of the assembly line has been modified to mount battery modules at the stage of production where fuel tanks are traditionally installed. Motors and inverters are mounted at the point where engines are installed in gasoline-powered vehicles.

Part of the assembly line has been modified to mount battery modules at the stage of produ...

Nissan LEAF is the first 100% electric, zero--local-emission vehicle to be produced for the Renault-Nissan Alliance. To date the company says 80 partnerships have been signed with governments, municipalities and companies worldwide.

"This is a significant milestone, not only for Nissan and the Renault-Nissan Alliance, but also for the entire automotive industry," said Nissan President and CEO Carlos Ghosn at the Nissan LEAF offline ceremony. "Consumers are clear. They want sustainable and affordable mobility...and the Alliance is leading the way with cars that deliver exactly that, with the reliability, excitement and performance that consumers demand. The high-quality, innovative Nissan LEAF will radically transform what consumers expect from automobile manufacturers worldwide."

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7 Comments

This puppy is going to clean GM's Volts clock big time. It's about $15,000 dollars cheaper than the Volt and it has double the range with NO gas motor so it has ZERO emissions, unlike GM's vehicle. The big three are FAR behind the rest of the world with electric vehicles. They had better wake up.

Bob Komarek
1st November, 2010 @ 09:42 am PDT

This is not a serious EV. This is a modified gas platform. An EV should be a dedicated design, e.g., under 1500 lbs curb weight, low drag (.15?), and with a range of 400 miles. The range could be less if the charge time is under 20 minutes. I am assuming the buyer is looking for a practical alternative fuel vehicle. I would buy a lower range if I could get a platform with everything else making it a simple feat to replace the battery when a better one is made available. I expect big improvements in energy storage within the next 5 years.

voluntaryist
1st November, 2010 @ 01:46 pm PDT

I think that this car will prove popular to the residents of Honolulu. It should be ideal for the relatively short distances required. I hope Governor Lingle (soon to be a different governor after tomorrow's elections) or whoever will replace her will be good on the promises to install chargers at apartment and housing complexes, as well as in downtown parking lots.

Adrian Akau
1st November, 2010 @ 03:25 pm PDT

Voluntaryist, which make and model is the UNmodified platform that the Leaf is based on?

Terotech
2nd November, 2010 @ 10:30 am PDT

Dear Voluntaryist,

I agree with you completely. Being the first plug-in offered commercially, the Nissan company is manufacturing the LEAF as a modified gas platform. If it catches on as I believe it should, then the factory will probably be modified to make it into a dedicated design. Nissan is testing the waters without taking too much of a risk. I think it is making a good decision. I also agree with Bob in that it will outsell the Volt because of the $15,000 difference in price.

I personally like the head light design that deflects air flow away from the outside mirrors to reduce the Cd. Excellent thinking. I think air flow deflectors should also be installed directly in front of each tire.

Adrian Akau
2nd November, 2010 @ 10:31 am PDT

The LEAF works fine for me. 140 mile range if needed with 100% charge. 5-6 miles per 1 kWh so 50-60 miles on about 10 kWh's which is $1 in AZ. With my Solar it's free for the next 50 years. Not bad at all.

Lighter and less costly is also possible, I ride a bicycle most of the time.

Phx Eaa
10th June, 2011 @ 10:58 am PDT

I'd love to see a Nismo Leaf coupe RWD.

Gargamoth
5th November, 2012 @ 04:40 pm PST
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