Cars Nissan Nissan Leaf

Nissan Leaf

2018 Nissan Leaf

2018 Nissan Leaf High Resolution Drawings Exterior
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Shots Fired: The second-gen EV is coming to take on the Chevy Bolt and Tesla Model 3

The Nissan Leaf came to be in 2010 as the company’s first mass-produced, all-electric passenger car. Built on a bespoke platform based on the familiar Nissan B architecture it uses a synchronous electric motor and a range of battery packs that deliver up to 107 miles per charge. Although it has proven quite popular in several markets around the world, the first-generation Leaf has become rather dated now that GM has launched the Chevrolet Bolt and Opel Ampera-e, while Tesla rolled out the Model 3. Nissan is looking to catch up with the competition with a redesigned model that broke cover ahead of the 2017 Frankfurt Motor Show.

With more than 283,000 units sold globally as of September 2017, the Nissan Leaf is still the world’s best-selling affordable, mass-produced electric vehicle. But with the Chevy Bolt and Tesla Model 3 now in the picture, Nissan may have to cope with losing some of that market share. But the Japanese are ready to put up a good fight, as the new Leaf is a significant departure from the first-generation model. Sportier and more appealing to look at, it has a more upscale interior with new technology and a revised drivetrain with significantly more power and better range. Will it have what it takes to compete with the world’s most advanced EVs? Let’s find out below.

Continue reading to find out more about the upcoming Nissan Leaf.

94 photos / 7 videos

Latest Nissan Leaf news and reviews:

Nissan Prepares to Test Self-Driving Taxis In Japan in 2018

Nissan Prepares to Test Self-Driving Taxis In Japan in 2018

A two-week trial run could lead to bigger things in the future

Another day, another development in the race to put autonomous driving technology on the road. The latest bit of news comes from Nissan, which announced plans to roll out an autonomous ride-sharing pilot program with tech partner DeNA. The public test will take place in the Minatomirai district in Yokohama, Japan.

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2019 Nissan Leaf Nismo

2019 Nissan Leaf Nismo

Will it get a more powerful electric motor?

Introduced in 2010, the Nissan Leaf set many benchmarks in the electric car market and has become one of the most popular EVs out there. But, after seven years on the market, the Leaf got a bit long in the tooth, and with other companies having introduced more modern EVs in this niche, Nissan had no choice but to develop a second-generation model. Unveiled for the 2018 model year, the new Leaf is better in just about any department, but it’s still not as powerful and efficient as the recently unveiled Chevrolet Bolt and Tesla Model 3. This could change in 2018 when Nissan is reportedly planning to launch a Nismo version of its electric hatchback.

Although Nissan has yet to confirm that a Leaf Nismo is underway, the concept unveiled at the 2017 Tokyo Motor Show pretty much confirms that the Japanese firm is working on one. What’s more, the brand already announced that a "higher power, longer range version at a higher price" variant of the Leaf is in the works for the 2019 model year. Specs are still a mystery at this point, but the Nismo concept provides a few valuable hints as to what we may get in dealerships soon. Find out what we already know about the upcoming Nismo Leaf in the speculative review below.

Continue reading to learn more about the Nissan Leaf Nismo.

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Pops' Rants: Here's Why the Nissan Leaf Nismo Will Suck

Pops’ Rants: Here’s Why the Nissan Leaf Nismo Will Suck

I’m sick of badges and stripes...

If you’ve been following me, you probably know that Nissan is my favorite brand. Yeah, I know, why can’t I be a normal person and worship brands like Ferrari, Lamborghini or Bugatti? Well, I’m not in the mood to write a piece on why I like Nissan, so I’ll explain it in a few simple sentences. I think that cars made by this brand come with a lot of bang for the buck, I love its latest design language, and the massive efforts it makes to keep all motorsport projects alive. I also think that the Maxima, Juke, and Murano are exotic vehicles in their respective niches and that almost every other car or crossover have what it takes to give the competition a run for its money.

But I admit that Nissan has its own flaws. For starters, both the 370Z and GT-R are getting a bit too long in the tooth, which leaves the brand without a solid sports car lineup. Second, the Rogue and Rogue Sport are too damn similar, and the $3,000 price difference between them has cannibalization written all over it. And third, I simply can’t forgive them for giving up on the GT-R LM Nismo project at Le Mans. Nissan just gave up too soon. Which brings me to today’s rant: why can’t Nissan build every Nismo the proper way, as in with a significantly more powerful engine than the standard model? More specifically, why in the hell is the Leaf Nismo Concept — and at the same time the upcoming production car — just a regular Leaf with a nicer appearance? It’s so frustrating!

Continue reading for the full story.

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2017 Nissan Leaf Nismo Concept

2017 Nissan Leaf Nismo Concept

The compact EV may finally get a Nismo version, but don’t get excited yet!

The Nissan Leaf has been around since 2010, and it’s already one of the most popular all-electric vehicles on the road. The Japanese compact has been declared the best-selling EV in both 2013 and 2014 and sales have already surpassed 250,000 units as of 2017. On top of that, it has won numerous awards globally. Come 2017, and Nissan has launched the second-generation Leaf, a significantly improved vehicle that’s not only more appealing to look at, but also a better competitor to brand-new EVs like the Chevrolet Bolt and Tesla Model 3. And it seems that the second-gen Leaf may finally spawn a Nismo version. Or at least this is what the Leaf Nismo Concept that was built for the 2017 Tokyo Motor Show suggests.

Although it hasn’t been confirmed for production, the Leaf Nismo Concept seems ready to hit the assembly line, as every new feature it received is inspired by previous Nismo cars. As usual, it has a sportier exterior, while the interior is highlighted by contrast stitching and the Nismo-specific red trim. The drivetrain has also been upgraded with a new, sporty suspension and revised ECU. On the other hand, both the electric motor and the battery are as standard as they get, which raises some concern as to whether or not the production version of the Leaf Nismo will be an authentic Nismo vehicle or just an annoying visual package. But, let’s find out more about that in the review below.

Continue reading to learn more about the Nissan Leaf Nismo Concept.

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The New 2018 Nissan Leaf Might Be The Best Replacement for the VW TDI

The New 2018 Nissan Leaf Might Be The Best Replacement for the VW TDI

Last night Nissan finally unveiled the all-new 2018 Leaf, and it’s a massive improvement over the old car. The biggest news for EV fans will be the new 150-mile range. That’s nearly double what the original Leaf launched with. It’s even easier on your wallet with a starting price under $30,000, making it nearly $700 cheaper than the current model. But the best improvement is the all-new electric motor. The old car made a useable, but unimpressive 107 horsepower and 187 pound-feet of torque. But the new 2018 car makes 147 horsepower and 236 pound-feet of torque, and that is more amazing than you realize.

Let us put those power numbers into perspective. The Volkswagen 2.0L TDI engine, the best “performance” fuel-economy engine on the market before the Dieselgate scandal destroyed everything, produces 150 horsepower and 238 pounds of twist.
Nissan just made a viable alternative to scorned TDI buyers.

True, the TDI had some other advantages like a massive 600+ mile range before needing to be refueled, but on a pure day-to-day performance perspective, the new Leaf might work. If you bought a TDI to make your daily commute, and you still want something that is good for the environment while providing the same level of thrust, maybe you should call your Nissan Dealer.

Yes, we do know that other alternatives like the Chevy Bolt and Tesla Model 3 have even more power and performance, but those cars also have much higher price tags. We aren’t sure about you, but we feel like people buying $26k Volkswagen’s might not be able to afford the $38,000 asking price of a Bolt.

But what do you guys think? Is the new Nissan Leaf good enough to be a real competitor in the market now? And if you are a former TDI owner, please let us now, and be sure to give us your thoughts on this new car.

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2018 Nissan Leaf

2018 Nissan Leaf

Shots Fired: The second-gen EV is coming to take on the Chevy Bolt and Tesla Model 3

The Nissan Leaf came to be in 2010 as the company’s first mass-produced, all-electric passenger car. Built on a bespoke platform based on the familiar Nissan B architecture it uses a synchronous electric motor and a range of battery packs that deliver up to 107 miles per charge. Although it has proven quite popular in several markets around the world, the first-generation Leaf has become rather dated now that GM has launched the Chevrolet Bolt and Opel Ampera-e, while Tesla rolled out the Model 3. Nissan is looking to catch up with the competition with a redesigned model that broke cover ahead of the 2017 Frankfurt Motor Show.

With more than 283,000 units sold globally as of September 2017, the Nissan Leaf is still the world’s best-selling affordable, mass-produced electric vehicle. But with the Chevy Bolt and Tesla Model 3 now in the picture, Nissan may have to cope with losing some of that market share. But the Japanese are ready to put up a good fight, as the new Leaf is a significant departure from the first-generation model. Sportier and more appealing to look at, it has a more upscale interior with new technology and a revised drivetrain with significantly more power and better range. Will it have what it takes to compete with the world’s most advanced EVs? Let’s find out below.

Continue reading to find out more about the upcoming Nissan Leaf.

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New Nissan Leaf to Cost Less than Tesla Model 3, Chevrolet Bolt

New Nissan Leaf to Cost Less than Tesla Model 3, Chevrolet Bolt

Elon Musk isn’t going to like this

The Nissan Leaf is one of the most successful electric cars available right now, but the first-generation model is getting a bit long in the tooth, and it’s quite dated when compared to the much newer Tesla Model 3 and Chevrolet Bolt. A second-gen model is underway for a 2017 launch, but Nissan is still mum on the details, and we know a bit about its design thanks to a few leaked photos. Fortunately, a Russian website got its hands on a few spec sheets, and we now know a lot more about the upcoming EV.

Arguably the most important piece of information leaked here is the pricing. Apparently set at $29,990, the base price of the new Leaf undercuts the Tesla Model 3 and Chevrolet Bolt by $5,000 and $7,500 respectively. That’s a solid plus for the Leaf, but how does it fair on the performance front? Well, output is rated at 147 horsepower and 236 pound-feet of torque, a significant bump over the 107 horses and 187 pound-feet in the current model. This rating places it below the Chevy Bolt, which comes with 200 horsepower and 266 pound-feet of torque. A comparison to Model 3 isn’t yet possible as Tesla has yet to release the full details. The battery capacity is at 40 kWh, down from the Bolt’s 60 kWh and the Model 3’s 50 or optional 75 kWh capacity, but up from the previous Leaf’s 30 kWh.

Continue reading for the full story.

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2018 Nissan Leaf to Get Magical "E-Pedal"

2018 Nissan Leaf to Get Magical "E-Pedal"

After all, switching pedals is just so hard..

The debut of the second-gen, 2018 Nissan Leaf is just a couple short months away, so it should come as no surprise that Nissan is teasing its resident EV as much as it can. So far, we’ve seen a shot of the headlight, the grille, and a video that shows how the brand’s new ProPilot, semi-autonomous driving system works. And, based on spy shots we’ve seen, the next-gen leaf is going to be quite attractive in comparison to the current model. Now, Nissan has released yet another teaser, and dropped another bombshell on us – it’s known as E-Pedal, and it’s set to revolutionize your driving experience… or make you hate the future of driving even more.

Designed as a single-pedal system, the e-pedal automatically controls braking and acceleration based on foot position. So, when accelerating, it acts just like your normal, everyday accelerator pedal, but what it does beyond that is something else. See, when you begin to lift your foot off, the car will automatically begin to slow down, which one would assume has a greater braking effect than the usual coasting you get in most cars. If you take your foot completely off of the pedal in operation, the car will automatically stop itself, with the big selling point being that it will even stop and hold on a hill, all based on the input of your foot on a single pedal. You have to admit that it sounds pretty promising, and it’s another step toward fully autonomous cars, but will people actually make use of it and trust it? Well, that remains to be seen. Keep reading to see a short video and to learn more about the upcoming 2018 Nissan Leaf.

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2018 Nissan Leaf Grille Teased - Set to Debut on September 6th

2018 Nissan Leaf Grille Teased - Set to Debut on September 6th

Will it stack up better against the competition in second-gen form?

The bubbly and funky, first-generation Nissan Leaf is on its way out to make way for the second-gen model that promises to bring largely improved exterior looks, as much as 200 miles of range on a single charge, and an improved interior. Of course, we’ve only seen spy shots and a few teasers that go with a number of rumors that have been floating around. So far, we’ve seen two teaser photos – one of a wildly revamped headlight that is about as modern as it gets, and one of an all-new instrument cluster. Furthermore, we know that it will come with Nissan’s ProPilot system, which should be able to handle at least stop-and-go traffic on the highway. Now, Nissan has taken to Twitter to expose us to a third teaser, one that shows off the next-gen’s new “grille,” which really looks more like a piece of abstract art than it does an according-to-Hoyle grille. But, this baby is all-electric, so there’s really no need for anything traditional, right?

On top of this, Nissan has also announced that the new Leaf will make its debut on September 6, 2017, which means the order books should open shortly thereafter since it is coming to market for 2018. Its primary competition will be the Tesla Model 3 and the Chevy Bolt EV, with pricing likely to start in the mid-to-low $30,000 range. So, with that said, let’s take a quick look at the newest teaser along with the two that came before it to see just what the new Leaf is going to be working with.

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The Next-Gen Nissan Leaf Will Handle Those Frustrating Traffic Jams On its Own

The Next-Gen Nissan Leaf Will Handle Those Frustrating Traffic Jams On its Own

It’s set to go semi-autonomous, but what about battery capacity and range?

Between failed attempts to troll Tesla, and the range anxiety associated with electric cars, the Nissan Leaf really doesn’t receive the credit it deserves. I mean, don’t get me wrong; it is kind of ugly and looks like the bug-eyed bastard child that would result from a Lotus banging an early Honda Civic hatchback, but that’s ok. In the end, the Nissan Leaf has become the world’s best-selling, highway-capable electric car, with more than a quarter-million examples sold in the time it’s been on the market. So, despite all the negativity it gets, it really is an iconic car. And, that icon is about to go through a generational shift that will bring it up to speed and ready to compete with cars like the Tesla Model 3 and Chevy Bolt. As of now, we have almost no idea of what it will look like outside of a teaser image of the headlight that Nissan released a few months ago, but Nissan has just announced that it will be one of the first models to get its new ProPilot driver-assist feature.

Details are scant as of this writing, and Nissan has yet to even announce a rough timeframe for the next-gen Leaf’s arrival, but if you want an idea of how the ProPilot system works, you can look back to the Piloted Drive 1.0 Concept from 2015, which pretty much handled autonomous driving in heavy highway traffic. That’s pretty much what the next-gen Leaf will be able to accomplish as well. It should function similarly to that of Tesla’s AutoPilot, GM’s SuperCruise, and Audi’s traffic-jam assist feature. The question is whether or not you’ll feel like you’re being driven by a “skilled driver” as Nissan described it when debuting that aforementioned concept. Well, let’s take a look at the short video Nissan released and see what it has to say today.

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Nissan Hopes People Will Get Excited as it Starts to Tease Next-Gen Leaf

Nissan Hopes People Will Get Excited as it Starts to Tease Next-Gen Leaf

The plan is to take on the Model 3 and Chevy Bolt.

So, here’s the deal. The Nissan Leaf was the world’s first mass production electric vehicle, and Nissan has sold more than 260,000 examples of that little hatchback, but let’s not beat around the bush – it’s electric range isn’t the best. After all, it just recently crossed the 100-mile mark when Nissan added in a 30 kWh battery pack for the 2017 model year. Those 107 miles, however, just aren’t enough, with models like the Ford focus Electric, Bolt EV, Hyundai Ioniq, and even the BMW i3 beating it in range. And, let’s not even talk about how badly the more expensive Model S and Model X put it to shame. But, Nissan has made it clear that all of that is about to change as it launches a new campaign to garner interest in the next-gen Leaf prior to its debut later this year.

To launch off its new advertising campaign, Nissan has released a single teaser image that depicts what is apparently the front headlights. The projectors themselves will be rectangular in shape while a long LED strip will reside above the lens. Outside of the image, Nissan has yet to release any other information pertaining to the next-gen leaf. Based on spy shots that have been circulating the internet, it will look quite similar to the current model, keeping the weird and bubbly body, but at least it won’t look as goofy now that the bug eyes up front are gone. Since it’s set to compete against the Bolt EV and Tesla Model 3, it will likely have around 200 miles in range, but that’s purely speculation at this point. Some rumors suggest a 60-kwH battery. On the plus side, Nissan confirmed last year that the next-gen model will feature the brand’s ProPilot – a technology that operates in similar fashion to Tesla’s AutoPilot.

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What is Going on with the Nissan Leaf?

What is Going on with the Nissan Leaf?

When it comes to electric cars, the biggest turn off is the low range associated with most models. The Nissan Leaf, for instance, comes standard with a 24 kWh battery pack that offers just 84 miles of range between charges. Of course, there’s the Leaf SV that comes with a 30 kWh battery and a total range of about 107 miles, but to get that model (and the extra 23 miles of range that comes with it,) you have to shell out an extra $5,190. All of that is about to change, however, as a new order guide has revealed that the 24 kWh version of the Leaf will no longer be offered. But, that doesn’t mean you’ll have to shell out $34,200 to get into a new leaf.

Instead of dropping the entry-level Leaf altogether, Nissan got the bright idea to ax the 24 kWh battery and replace it with a 30 kWh battery. But to go along with that, the price for the entry-level Leaf S is also being increased by $3,440 to a total of $32,450. That makes the entry-level model just $1,750 cheaper than the mid-range Leaf SV. The Quick Charge Package is also now included as a standard feature, which surely helps Nissan feel justified in that massive price hike.

In fairness, the Leaf has performed quite well in comparison to other electric models in the first half of 2016. According to Fleet Carma, 5793 examples of the Leaf were sold through June 30, 2016, only being outsold by the Tesla Model S, Chevy Volt, Ford Fusion Energi PHEV, and the Tesla Model X. Competitors like the Fiat 500e, Volkswagen e-Golf, and Soul EV all failing to reach even half of the Leaf’s total sales through the end of June. Nissan did tell Green Car Reports that if a customer still wishes to purchase a Leaf S with a 24-kWh battery, he or she can visit the Nissan USA website or their local dealer to locate a 24-kWh model.

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Nissan Partners With Microsoft To Power New Connectivity Platform

Nissan Partners With Microsoft To Power New Connectivity Platform

Nissan and Microsoft are volting in and joining forces after the Japanese automaker announced that all Nissan LEAF models and Infiniti models in Europe would be be fitted with the company’s new Connect Telematics Systems connectivity platform. More importantly, these platforms will be powered by Microsoft Azure, a program that provides a global cloud platform that will allow car owners to have a remote connection to their vehicles, even when they’re not inside their respective cars.

Like most connectivity platforms that have been introduced at the Consumer Electronics Show, Nissan’s Azure-powered CTS platform will open up a world of new mobility and technological solutions for owners of the Nissan LEAF and Infiniti models across the pond. Among the notable features of the CTS is the ability to use mobile phones as substitute remote controls that will be capable of adjusting in-car controls from a distance.

A Hands-Free Text Messaging Assistant will also be introduced as a standard feature for all Nissan LEAFs around the world. Imagine the convenience of not having to read through and reply to text messages by hand. This feature cuts out that tedious and often dangerous practice, replacing it with a system that can read the text out loud to the driver and allow the driver respond by voice or through pre-set responses that can be accessed via switches on the steering wheel. Instead of having to write down “on my way” in response to a text, a driver can just say it out loud or press a button on the wheel to send the same message.

Nissan’s promise to deliver a more innovative and intelligent future for its connected technologies took a big step with its partnership with one of the biggest tech companies in the world. With this collaboration with Microsoft in place, Nissan is definitely on its way to making good on all of its promises.

Continue after the jump for the full story.

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Nissan Unveiled Leaf Piloted Drive 1.0 Concept; Plans Autonomous Cars By 2020

Nissan Unveiled Leaf Piloted Drive 1.0 Concept; Plans Autonomous Cars By 2020

The race to bring autonomous driving to public roads by 2020 is definitely on. It’s been established that Nissan has already joined this proverbial arms race. Now, the Japanese automaker is moving to the next step of its development with the unveiling of its latest prototype, a Nissan Leaf fitted with a new technology called Piloted Drive 1.0.

According to Nissan, the Piloted Drive 1.0 technology has been designed to make occupants of its autonomous vehicle feel as if they were being driven around by a “skilled driver.” Vague as that sounds, the technology, dubbed “Nissan Intelligent Driving,” is being complemented by an array of sensors installed throughout the new Leaf prototype. All in all, the car has 12 cameras, five radar sensors, four laser scanners, and ultra sonic sensors spread all over the vehicle.

How these cameras and sensors will come into play on Nissan’s autonomous vehicle is still unclear, but it is worth noting that Tetsuya Iijima, general manager of Nissan’s advanced driver assist systems strategy and engineering division, hinted that the technology being developed on the Leaf prototypes will eventually be used for mass production. If that isn’t a sign of things to come, then maybe the Japanese automaker’s plan to reveal a new concept model at the Tokyo Motor Show, one that will prominently showcase the company’s goal of marrying “car intelligence” and “electrification,” is the kind of validation that Nissan’s looking for to show that it’s serious about becoming a big player in the race to bring autonomous driving into public roads.

In the nearer future, Nissan said that it’s on schedule to debut two new technologies: a traffic-jam pilot and an automatic parking system by the end of 2016. That will be followed by an automatic lane-changing feature in 2018, a few years before its promise to launch a fully functioning autonomous vehicle.

Continue reading for the full story.

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2016 Nissan Leaf

2016 Nissan Leaf

Around since late 2010, the Nissan Leaf has yet to receive an overhaul, but while a second-generation model might still be a few years away, the Japanese did launch an update for the 2016 model year. Those of you waiting for a visual facelift will be disappointed, though, as the body carries over unchanged. On the other hand, there are plenty of upgrades to talk about in the drivetrain department, as well as a mildly updated interior.

With 180,000 units sold globally as of June 2015, the Nissan Leaf is the world’s all-time, best-selling, highway-capable electric car, a distinction it’s likely to retain following this update. The 2014 Nissan Leaf topped the EV/hybrid segment in the U.S. too, delivering 30,200 examples in 2014, a massive 33 percent increase over 2013 and the first time an electric car has sold 30K units. By comparison, its closest competitors (in terms of sales, of course), the 2014 Chevrolet Volt and 2315 Tesla Model S, sold only 18,805 and 17,410 units, respectively.

Will Leaf sales continue to grow now that the hatchback can be had with an upgraded drivetrain? It remains to be seen really, but with a range that now surpasses the 100-mile mark, the Leaf is likely to get a lot of attention. Keep reading for the full details.

Continue reading to learn more about the 2016 Nissan Leaf.

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Nissan Leaf Receives IHS Awards; Scores Record Sales in 2014

Nissan Leaf Receives IHS Awards; Scores Record Sales in 2014

When it comes to all-electric cars, the Tesla Model S is arguably the benchmark in today’s automotive industry. However, the all-American sedan is far from being affordable, with its $65,570 sticker making it as expensive as an Audi A7. As you may know, Tesla is already working on a smaller, more affordable vehicle, but until the Model III arrives, drivers who want to go green can take it to Nissan for a more financially viable option: the Leaf. The Leaf is a compact, five-door hatchback with decent performance and mileage.

It might not be as quick as the Model S with only 107 ponies and 187 pound-feet of torque at its disposal, and a full charge will only take it 75 miles, but the Leaf is the perfect alternative for short-distance travel. And with 30,200 units delivered in 2014 across the U.S., which accounts for the best-ever annual sales figure for any plug-in EV, customers seem to agree with that statement.

Besides posting a record-breaking sales year, the Leaf was also named the best Non-Luxury Traditional Compact Car in the annual IHS Automotive Loyalty Awards, which demonstrates the nameplate’s popularity among EV enthusiasts. It’s important to note that the Leaf is also the only plug-in vehicle to be included in the IHS Awards. That’s solid proof that the market needs affordable, reliable EVs more than it requires supercar-like performance and luxury.

Click past the jump to read more about the Nissan Leaf.

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2014 Nissan Leaf "Sparky"

2014 Nissan Leaf "Sparky"

Needing the right tool for the job often requires ingenuity. That’s exactly the case at Nissan’s Stanfield, Arizona proving grounds. The team of engineers needed a truck-like vehicle to haul test gear, but something that got great gas mileage around the 3,050-acre complex.

Meet Sparky, the wild idea a few Nissan engineers cooked up while trying to solve the dilemma. The team started with a stock Nissan LEAF, the all-electric hatchback and combined it with several parts scavenged off a Nissan Frontier pickup. The combination is something of a Frankenstein, but it gets the job done.

Not using a drop of fuel, little Sparky makes his way across the grounds and helps out with testing of future Nissan products. "I needed a project for a team building activity so we can bring the team together. We had a need for a truck. Something to drive around, a shop truck," says Roland Schellenberg, one of Nissan’s masterminds behind Sparky.

Helping build Sparky was Arnold Moulinet. “I went home and stayed up till like four in the morning making all kinds of designs for what would work,” he says. “We basically got the stock Leaf, and after reviewing a bunch of designs of pickup trucks that we have here at Nissan, we decided to go with a Frontier bed.”

Now the Nissan development team has an electrically powered mini truck that functions as park of the team. “It’s something that we all put together,” says Schellenberg. “We all share, so it has a little bit of everybody in there.”

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Nissan Launches "No Charge to Charge" Program

Nissan Launches "No Charge to Charge" Program

Nissan seems to be taking a play right from Tesla’s electric car playbook, as the automaker introduces its “No Charge to Charge” program. As the program’s name suggests, it allows new Nissan LEAF owners to charge their all-electric cars at any one of Nissan’s growing network of charging stations. Already live in 10 markets across the U.S., the 2,600 public charging stations and 200 quick charging stations will accept Nissan’s EZ-ChargeSM card.

Acting like a credit card, the EZ-ChargeSM card will give owners the change to fill their batteries, but without a bill at the end of the month. Nissan is planning to grow the network of quick-charging stations by an additional 500 units at Nissan dealerships, and local businesses and municipalities across the country. Those businesses and municipal partners will include those who’ve partnered with Nissan in key LEAF markets.

The EZ-ChargeSM card also opens up the nation’s leading five EV charging networks that include ChargePoint, Blink, CarCharging, AeroVironment, and NRG eVgo. The stations are accessible in the top-10 LEAF market across the country including the cities of San Francisco, Sacramento, San Diego, Seattle, Portland, Oregon., Nashville, Phoenix, Dallas-Ft. Worth, Houston and Washington, D.C. The dealer network will then extend into another 15 additional EV markets outside those cities.

LEAF owners will be able to charge their vehicles up to 80 percent in roughly 30 minutes at the quick-charging stations. Obviously the conventional charging stations will take longer to charge a depleted battery.

Click past the jump to read more about the Nissan LEAF.

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2014 Nissan Leaf

2014 Nissan Leaf

Nissan unveiled the Leaf in 2010, and there were no major updates until the 2013 model year when it was updated with a new, lower priced Leaf S grade, an array of new features for the Leaf SL grade, new option packages with available Around View Monitor and an available 6.6 kW onboard charger that reduces 220V charging time to four hours. Additionally, Nissan increased cargo space to 24 cubic feet with the 2nd row seat upright by relocating the onboard charger to the front of the vehicle.

For the 2014 model year, the model continues pretty much unchanged, with the only addition including a RearView Monitor standard on all grades and an updated EV-IT functionality with voice destination entry and SMS readout.

The 2014 Leaf will go on sale in late December 2013, and prices will be announced at a later date. As usual, the model will be offered three grades: S, SV and SL models.

Updated 01/08/2014: Nissan officially announced prices for the 2014 Leaf which is on sale now at Nissan dealers nationwide. Prices will start from $28,980 for the S version and will go up to $35,020 for the SL version.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2014 Nissan Leaf.

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Report: Loads of Performance Nissans are Coming Soon

Recently, Auto Express had a sit-down with Andy Palmer, Nissan’s executive vice president of product planning, and he let us all in on what’s coming up for the Nissan lineup. In the interview, Palmer confirmed that the Nismo Leaf would make it to production with numbers expected to be in the 125-horsepower and 320 Nm (236 foot-pound) range. That’s nothing spectacular, but it is a significant bump from the standard specs.

Palmer also confirmed that the 370Z Nismo would make its way to the UK, which we already get here in the U.S. He also let us know that the GT-R would receive the Nismo treatment sometime in late-2013.

The biggest news comes in the form of the announced Nismo RS models. We already know that the Juke-R is heading to production, but it will almost certainly carry with it a $100,000+ price tag. Buyers can opt for a lower—powered Juke Nismo RS and still get good performance, without the huge price tag. This model will likely push 270 horsepower from its boosted 1.6-liter 4-pot.

The biggest of the big news is Palmer’s announcement that the 370Z and GT-R will both get an RS configuration in their next generations. We have no idea what to expect from these models and we likely won’t know until their respective base models arrive in 2014. The 370Z has a very high ceiling, as little has been done to make it perform on a higher level, but how exactly Nissan plans to add to the 545 horsepower that the GT-R already pumps from its 3.8-liter V-6 engine just baffles and excites us.

We will keep a close eye on the entire Nissan RS lineup and keep you updated as these models inch closer to production.

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2012 Nissan Leaf Police Car

2012 Nissan Leaf Police Car

Who said police officers can’t drive environmental cars? Nissan has just delivered a fleet of eight Leaf electric cars for Portugal’s PSP (Polícia de Segurança Pública) - the security force responsible for policing the large urban areas of the country.

The car driven by the police is a standard Leaf, but features flashing blue lights, sirens, and clear "Polícia" markings. The Police Leaf is still powered by the same electric drive motor that delivers a total of 107 HP and 208 lbs-ft of torque. With only 30 minutes of charge, the car has an autonomy of 80 miles.

"We pride ourselves in being the first police force in the world to incorporate cars with zero-emission technology as part of our 5,000 vehicle fleet," said Superintendent Paul Gomes Valente, National Director of PSP. "We want to continue reducing pollution in large urban centres and the introduction of the 100 per cent electric Nissan LEAF sets a new benchmark for our fleet," he added.

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The Nissan Leaf Sets an Odd Record at the Goodwood Festival of Speed

The Nissan Leaf Sets an Odd Record at the Goodwood Festival of Speed

Okay, it is odd enough to say that the Nissan Leaf is running at the Goodwood Festival of Speed, but it’s even odder to say that it actually set a lap record there. This strange record set at Goodwood was the fastest time up the famed hill while driving in reverse. That’s right; they drove the entire 1-mile Goodwood hill in reverse.

There are some people in this world that have a hard enough time backing out of their driveways, let alone driving a mile in reverse. Then again, many years ago, I had a friend drive his 1980’s Civic CRX in reverse the entire 3-mile trek home, after his transmission got stuck in reverse gear.

In order to set this record, the team that worked with Terry Grant, the lucky driver stuck taking on this task, actually removed the reverse speed limiter, so he could essentially drive the Leaf in reverse just as fast as he could. Well, he definitely didn’t hit top speed, as his best time came in at 1:53, which equals out to an average speed of about 30 mph.

That’s still an insane feat, though, as driving a car in reverse at 30 mph is definitely not a simple thing, but to traverse the Goodwood’s twisting track is a completely different animal. Hats off to Terry Grant and his team for coming up with such an insane idea and actually executing it.

You can see one of the videos of this stunt above and the other two can be found after the jump.

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Nissan wants to break its own reverse-driving record at Pikes Peak

Nissan wants to break its own reverse-driving record at Pikes Peak

The Pikes Peak International Hill Climb is famous for a lot of things. Last year, a whole lot of things happened, including Nissan’s record-breaking attempt climbing the hill with a Leaf...and doing it in reverse.

This year, the Japanese automaker is headed back to Pikes Peak and to no one’s surprise, they’re attempting to break their year-old record. Professional stunt driver Terry Grant will once again man the wheels of the electric Leaf as it tries to complete the 1.16-mile hill climb course faster than it did a year ago. It’s a unique record, to say the least, one that Nissan is all too happy to have as its own.

"The LEAF Reverse Record isn’t going to be easy and will be very challenging," said Grant. "I’d prefer to do it on a nice straight and level strip of tarmac rather than on Lord March’s drive. The hill not only climbs, but is also full of twists, turns and obstacles."

We’ve seen some weird record attempts in the past, but we have to admit, Grant’s record attempt at Pikes Peak is something we’re really looking forward to.

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Gran Turismo 5: 2.03 upgrade now available for download

Gran Turismo 5: 2.03 upgrade now available for download

The first downloadable package for the new Gran Turismo 5 became available back in October, followed by a second upgrade package for December, and now GT5 honchos have come up with a third update to to add to the collection. Think they’re overdoing it a bit? Yeah, so do we, but making money is always at the forefront of these decisions.

The new 2.03 update package includes 12 new home themes and wallpapers, better tire wear prediction in B-Spec races, and adjustments to the Chaparral 2J race car’s performance point index. Gamers can also choose between two different packages. Car Pack 3 includes models like the Nissan Leaf, the 2010 Aston Martin V12 Vantage, the 2011 Lamborghini Aventador LP 700-4, the 2011 MINI Cooper S Countryman, and the classic Volkswagen Beetle. Price for this package is $5.99.

The second update package choice is called the Speed Test Pack and includes an 18.82 miles long track where you can test models like the Red Bull X2011. The price for this package is $3.99.

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2012 Nissan Leaf Nismo

2012 Nissan Leaf Nismo

At the beginning of 2011, Nissan unveiled the Leaf Nismo RC concept, offering up an "extreme" version for their electric car. Now, the company has taken it back a notch by presenting a new Nismo Concept at the 2011 Tokyo Motor Show - right next to the Juke Nismo - that strips the racing qualities, but moves forward with the Nismo package.

The new Nissan Leaf Nismo Concept features an extreme body kit, including a front aero bumper, a rear under protector, rear diffuser, extended side sills, and 18-inch alloy wheels. The front bumper incorporates LED lighting which is arranged transversely to accentuate a sense of motion. Unfortunately, that’s where the modifications end, which isn’t unusual for an electric vehicle. The Nissan Leaf Nismo is still powered by front mounted electric drive motor that only outputs 80 of those kilowatts for a maximum output of 107 HP.

"Nissan LEAF has shown that zero emission mobility is no longer a dream but a reality. The Nismo Concept not only proves the hidden potential of Nissan LEAF but also adds even more excitement and energy to LEAF, delivering a guilt-free yet exhilarating driving experience that can be enjoyed by every car enthusiast," said Hideaki Watanabe, Corporate Vice President, Nissan Motor Company and head of the company’s electric vehicle business unit.

UPDATE 01/29/13: The Nissan Leaf NISMO has been green lighted for production, which should be good news for the struggling model. The only caveat is that the model will be available only in Japan with no performance enhancements.

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Top Gear Season 17: Episode 6

Top Gear Season 17: Episode 6

Top Gear’s 17th season flew by just like that, didn’t it?

The sixth and final episode aired over the weekend, and unlike the past episodes, this one more than lived up to the expectations. Richard Hammond got the show off to a promising start with a great segment about the Lamborghini Aventador. From there, the show picked up some steam with a pretty hilarious segment featuring Jeremy Clarkson and James May as they embarked on an electric-car crusade around town. Some unforeseen circumstances resulted in a few mishaps, but all in all, the duo managed to make the most out of their respective cars - Clarkson had the Nissan Leaf while May had the Peugeot Ion - to finish their adventure in one piece. But even that wasn’t enough to convince the two about the potential of electric cars in the future.

Fittingly, the final segment of season 17 took a more serious turn with an inspiring story about a Cross Country racing team in Wales for disabled British soldiers. It’s a humbling way to end a very interesting season and puts into perspective what the human spirit is capable of accomplishing despite the challenges that seemingly lies in front of it.

Details after the jump.

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The Car Show: Season 1 Episode 3

Following the debacle of a first episode for Top Gear USA, The Car Show comes at us again with hilarity and automotive variety in their third episode of the season.

In this episode, Adam Corolla (comedian and car enthusiast), Dan Neil (automotive columnist for The Wall Street Journal), John Salley (4-time NBA Champion and actor), and Matt Farah (SmokingTire.com) take part in a number of segments that made us laugh at loud, literally. Mixed in with the good times and "Lambo-quality comedy," the guys take part in a test comparing the automated driving versus actual driving in a 2007 BMW 328i sedan, a comparison of the Audi R8 and the Chevrolet Corvette Grand Sport, and an interview with racing legend, Pete Brock.

The fun doesn’t stop there as the boys go through their 0-60 and Adam’s America segments, as well as a trip to North Carolina for some dirt track racing.

Hit the jump for details on The Car Show: Season 1 Episode Three.

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Video: Nissan Leaf Nismo RC Test Session

Video: Nissan Leaf Nismo RC Test Session

A few days ago Nissan announced that the Leaf Nismo RC would make two demonstration runs at the Le Mans series: the first at 21:15 on Thursday, June 9th and the second at 12:10 on Saturday, June 11th local time. To prepare for this event, the EV racing car has been put through a test session at Sodegaura Forest Raceway, fairing quite nicely on the track. The video was shot from an on-board camera and captures the full view of the test, as well as the driver’s impressions of the car.

The Leaf Nismo RC is powered by a high-response 80kW AC synchronous motor that delivers a total of 107 HP and a peak torque of 207 lbs-ft. At the first testings, the Nismo RC concept made the 0 to 62 mph sprint in 6.85 seconds and hit a top speed of 93 mph. In racing condition, it has an autonomy of 20 minutes.

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Video: Top Gear's electric car woes continue with the Nissan Leaf

Video: Top Gear’s electric car woes continue with the Nissan Leaf

Top Gear has never been shy of dealing with controversies and lawsuits, having spent an inordinate amount of their time and resources deflecting complaints left and right, including a recent dispute with Tesla over the state of their electric sports car.

Turns out, Top Gear’s electric car curse has come back and bitten Jeremy Clarkson in the hiney a second time. In the middle of their EV test drive with the Nissan Leaf and the Peugeot iOn, the former’s electric power runs out on the Britishman, leaving him stranded and at a loss of what to do with the latest debacle. Worse off, the whole incident happened in the city and outside of the Top Gear test track. After much deliberation and a few requests to boot, the two crackling hosts - together with a number of good-hearted volunteers - were able to push the stricken Leaf into the University of Lincoln where an outlet was ready, willing, and waiting.

In the event that Nissan decides to file a lawsuit against Top Gear similar to Tesla, the British show at least has visual evidence of what transpired, probably saving them a whole truckload of money.

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2011 Nissan LEAF NISMO RC

2011 Nissan LEAF NISMO RC

Whoever believed electric cars couldn’t be fun clearly did not see Nissan’s latest racing concept, the Leaf Nismo RC. Okay, some may call it ridiculous, but the fact that we’re all going electric one day makes this new concept a sight to behold. Basically, Nissan has taken their Leaf model, added full carbon fiber bodywork, a tweaked engine, and some much needed graphics to turn their "green" little hatchback into what they are hoping will be a spunky racer.

The Nissan Leaf Nismo RC concept features full carbon fiber monocoque bodywork with removable front and rear sections, fixed windows, LED headlights and taillights, and a driver-adjustable rear wing. The concept is painted in a special Pearl White paint with blue NISMO/Zero Emission graphics. Compared to the production version model, the RC Concept is 3.9 inches shorter, 0.8 inches longer, 6.7 inches wider, and 13.8 inches lower. The changes made to it accomplished a 40% weight loss.

For the powertrain, Nissan used a high-response 80kW AC synchronous motor that delivers a total of 107 HP and a peak torque of 207 lbs-ft. This motor is charged by a lithium-ion battery composed of 48 compact modules. Unlike the production version Leaf, the RC concept’s electric motor shoots power to the rear wheels. At the first testings, the Nismo RC concept made the 0 to 62 mph sprint in 6.85 seconds and hit a top speed of 93 mph. In racing condition, it has an autonomy of 20 minutes.

The Nissan Leaf Nismo RC concept will be making special demonstration appearances at various motorsports venues in 2011, but first it will be displayed at the 2011 New york Auto Show.

UPDATE 05/16/2011: Nissan has unveiled a new video of the Leaf Nismo RC showing the concept being tested at the Sodegaura Forest Raceway on May 13, 2011. Hit the jump for the video.

Updated 06/03/2011: Nissan announced that the Leaf Nismo RS will make two demonstration runs at the Le Mans series: the first at 21:15 on Thursday, June 9th and the second at 12:10 on Saturday, June 11th local time. With this occasion the company has revealed new images of the racing car. You will find them in out picture gallery.

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Gas prices on the rise; What are our options?

Gas prices on the rise; What are our options?

Throughout the past several weeks the economy of the United States and other large importers of oil have struggled to maintain positive amidst the turmoil in the middle-east. Civil unrest and pressure have led to a decrease in oil production and increase in the price for a single barrel. We have seen prices reach the $100 mark and beyond, and there are no signs of a ceiling.

These two year highs for the price of crude oil have led to OPEC releasing more supplies from our reserves, but it has not quelled the price hike. California is currently suffering from the highest prices nationwide and they have reached within a cent of $4.00 per gallon for regular unleaded. This has put added strain on a struggling economic environment for many people and, if this continues, it will drag our economy further down. With cars like the Toyota Prius and other hybrids hitting the market every week, it is good to see that the manufacturers are realizing that gasoline will not be the answer to our future problems.

The major auto shows and car introductions across the world, including the biggest in the United States, Detroit, are where auto manufacturers try to sell the public hot-air. Most of the amazing and futuristic concept cars are so far on the other side of being a production possibility they might as well be alien. The recent economic climate across the world has shifted the car companies in a new direction and the consumer continues to pull them even further. People are eager for cars that are economical and exciting – most people enjoy driving, just not having to pay $4.00 per gallon to do it.

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2011 World Car of the Year finalists officially announced

2011 World Car of the Year finalists officially announced

The Geneva Motor Show is now in the rear-view mirror, which means that the spotlight has now turned to the New York Auto Show this coming April, and if there’s one thing that we can all look forward to in New York, it’s that it will be the site of the 2011 World Car of the Year awards.

All in all, 39 vehicles were included in the initial entry list comprising of new cars from all over the world. From these 39 cars, the list was whittled down to ten finalists with the top three contenders from these 10 cars receiving the final nominations for the 2011 World Car of the Year title.

The cars that are subject for nomination are selected and voted on by an international jury panel consisting of 66 automotive journalists from 24 countries around the world. Each member of the panel has been appointed by the World Car Steering Committee on the merits of their experience, credibility, and influence within the auto industry in their respective countries and, to an extent, in the region.

Eligibility for the World Car award is important in determining which cars can be nominated for the awards. This year, all candidates for the awards must become available for sale on at least two continents from January 1, 2010 to May 30, 2011.

Apart from the World Car of the Year title, other awards that will be announced at the New York Auto Show include the World Performance Car of the Year, the World Green Car of the Year, and the World Car Design of the Year.

Check out all the nominated cars for each of the categories after the jump.

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TopSpeed’s Best of 2010: Commercial of the Year

It is more than just proven theory that good advertising improves product sales. Usually people spend millions just for letting the public know that they actually exist on the market and that they have something to sell. The same thing applies to the automotive industry. A good commercial can make anyone take a certain car into consideration when going to a dealer to make their purchase.

It is a fact that makers like Mercedes, BMW, and Audi have impressive commercials and that Lamborghini and Ferrari makes us say "Wow!" every time we watch one of their videos, but this time we’re turning our attention to something a bit different. This year, we believe the commercial of the year should go to the "Nissan Leaf - Polar Bear."

If asked if this commercial made us take the Nissan Leaf into consideration then we would have to be honest and say no. Truth is, we were impressed with the vehicle long before that. The great thing about this commercial is that it made people think of the repercussions of their decisions. Don’t get us wrong, we’re not persistent tree-huggers by any means, but from time to time, it’s good to be aware of the effects our decisions cause to the creatures surrounding us.

This Polar Bear commercial was heartfelt and powerful, and that is why it was our pick for Commercial of the Year.

2010 Nissan Leaf
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The Finalists For The European Car of the Year

In the glorious country that is the United States of America, we have an interesting and ineffective way of naming our favorite vehicles. It seems every magazine - and sometimes states - gets to name their favorite car of the year. While this can be great for the automaker’s advertising, it can confuse the public just a tad. What car is better here, the winner of Magazine A or Magazine B?

In Europe, things go a bit smoother. Seven different publications from seven different countries pick what they think is the best car of the year. It takes a few months, but in the end you get one winner, which was the Opel Insignia last year.

The finalists for this year came down to the Alfa Romeo Giulietta, Citroën C3/DS3, Renault/Dacia Duster, Ford C-Max/Grand C-Max, Nissan Leaf, Opel/Vauxhall Meriva, and Volvo S60/V60.

If those are the choices, we choose the Alfa. The Volvo puts up a strong case, but nothing compares to that Italian soul and passion. Despite our pick, we doubt the jurors will feel the same.

So which vehicle do you think deserves to be Car of the Year? Hit us up in the comments section below.

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Video: Nissan Leaf - Polar Bear commercial

Nissan’s new commercial for the Leaf electric vehicle will either make you feel all warm and fuzzy inside, or it will make you question the direction Nissan is going with this whole thing. The commercial starts off with a lonely Polar Bear who, in seeing that its polar wonderland is melting away, finds its way into a suburban town. The polar bear finds himself in a garage of a Nissan Leaf owner and proceeds to give the owner a hug for thinking about him and his home. We guess it’s better than those other commercials where the bears have bits and pieces of toilet paper stuck to their butts, but we have to wonder what those guys who deny global warming would have to say to all of this. We, on the other hand, find it rather touching.

Refresher: The Nissan Leaf features a set of batteries made up of laminated lithium ion cells that are capable of delivering over 90 kW of power and weigh only 440 pounds. The battery pack sends it stored energy to the Leaf’s front mounted electric drive motor that only outputs 80 of those kilowatts for a maximum output of 107 HP. Nissan claims that the Leaf will take 8 hours for a full charge from a 200 V source; so a high capacity 220 V outlet is recommended, otherwise it will take twice as long for a full charge from a standard 110 V AC outlet.

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Nissan Announces Leaf Attack Plan

Nissan Announces Leaf Attack Plan

With all the news surrounding the Chevrolet Volt, Nissan had to conjure up something of their own. Today, at the Plug-In 2010 Conference, Nissan North America’s executive vice president, Carlos Tavares, announced that the Leaf’s battery pack will be covered for quite some time, eight years in fact or 100,000 miles. Not surprisingly, that is the same amount of coverage that GM offers with the Volt.

Nissan has also announced the Leaf’s big rollout plan. The car will launch in December in California, Washington, Oregon, Arizona, and Tennessee. These are all the states that really matter, except Tennessee. The orders from these five states will make up the EV Project.

Following that first wave of Leaf based attacks; the EV will be sent to Texas and Hawaii in January of 2011. Once those two states are dealt with, the Nissan will swarm over to North Carolina, Florida, Georgia, Washington DC, Virginia, Maryland, South Carolina, and Alabama in April. The rest of us in Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania and the other ‘not worth it’ states will get the car later in 2011.

There is plenty more Leaf based information in the press release. Hit the jump for the release.

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Thousands will get a chance to drive the Nissan Leaf

Thousands will get a chance to drive the Nissan Leaf

Nissan’s new Leaf seems to have taken the place of the Volt on the front page of the automotive news section. Probably because the Volt has been years in the making and it still isn’t here. Either way, the Leaf is coming and Nissan wants you to take one for a drive.

The company has already had pre-orders for the Leaf, so driving one obviously isn’t important to some people. To us though, it is and, in September, all of us will get that chance. Though Nissan hasn’t yet launched its onslaught of advertising, Nissan will offer tens of thousands of people in major cities a chance to drive the new Leaf.

Nissan is hoping that once you drive the car, you will buy the car. Nissan has yet to reveal all the details on the events, but the chances are high that a Leaf will make the trip to a dealership in your city. Until then, get ready for the advertising that is soon to be on every television station, radio station, and newspaper across the country.

Brian Carolin, who is senior VP for sales and marketing at Nissan North America Inc., said that the advertising will “emphasize the car’s zero emissions” and that the “visual of no tailpipe is going to be a central part of our marketing communications.”

Contact your “Nissan Leaf Reservation Specialist” to make sure you don’t miss out on the fun.

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Nissan LEAF caught unmasked in Arizona

Nissan LEAF caught unmasked in Arizona

It’s amazing what people can do with a camera. A Nissan LEAF fan has captured images of the electric car driving on the streets of Arizona. This time, there is none of that spy photo tape and garbage that obscures the view of the car. Here is the LEAF in black with all the bits showing.

The photos were posted on a Nissan LEAF fansite and show the cars five-spoke alloy wheels and thin LED taillights. The only bit of tape on the car is on the Nissan badge/charge port access panel.

It actually looks very good, much better than the Toyota Prius and Honda Insight. If you want one and haven’t already reserved one, you may be out of luck. Reservations have already exceeded the number they are going to make in the first year, but Hertz has them for you if you want to rent one.

The LEAF will run about $25,280 after all the tax credits. The car has a range of 100 miles and a 107 horsepower output and 206 pound-feet of torque. A great city car than for people who want to help save the world.

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Apple CEO Steve Jobs reveals new iPhone 4; contest to win a Nissan Leaf comes with it

Apple CEO Steve Jobs reveals new iPhone 4; contest to win a Nissan Leaf comes with it

Apple CEO Steve Jobs finally revealed the newiPhone 4 today and while the rest of the world is already fawning over the new Apple gizmo, we in the auto industry had our curiousities picqued when in the middle of his presentation, Jobs also revealed a new ad for the 2011 Nissan Leaf.

Regrettably, the ad can only be viewed using the new iPhone 4, which, of course, we still don’t have. In the event that you’re picking one up in the near future - and by near future, we mean, like, next week - it might be in your best interest to watch the ad and enter the contest to win a 2011 Nissan Leaf. Seeing as the field would probably be thin at best, the chances of you going home with Nissan’s electric car increases. And oh, you’re going to be going up against Jobs himself, who saw fit to enter the contest. As if he needs to win one.

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Nissan Leaf sold out

Nissan Leaf sold out

Believe it or not, the 2010 Nissan Leaf has been sold out. Okay, that’s really not that hard to believe considering it was able to get 6,635 reservations in just three days, but some people might consider that shocking for an electric car. In a recent interview, Nisssan CEO Carlos Ghosn said "We think there is a big future for this car. I can already tell you that the production for 2010 is already sold out." Everyone at Nissan was probably breathing a huge sigh of relief considering it will already take themthree years to make a profit on this vehicle due to the expensive components involved in the electric car’s production.

The 2010 Leaf will arrive at dealerships in December, but Nissan has already received a total of 13,000 reservations in the past month. The Leaf will be offered in two trim levels: the base SV model, priced at $32,780 ($25,280 after a federal tax credit of as much as $7,500) and the top trim level, priced at $33,720 ($26,220 after the tax credits).

Full story after the jump.

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Nissan exec: "Nissan Leaf will only make a profit in the third year"

Nissan exec: "Nissan Leaf will only make a profit in the third year"

TheNissan Leaf may be a hot item these days but Nissan is trying to keep expectations at a minimum knowing that profit for the model will only begin to squeeze in somewhere around the third year - and that’s on the assumption that it maintains a healthy sales diet in that time frame.

According to Brian Carolin, Nissan’s U.S. sales and marketing head, "Over the course of the vehicle life, it is profitable – in year three." The long wait for profit for the Leaf really comes as no surprise to a lot of us, especially given that the car - apparently, it comes with a battery that costs $18,000 - isn’t exactly light on the pockets. Overall, the Leaf will come with a price tag of somewhere in the neighborhood of $33,000 and is likewise eligible for a $7,500 federal tax credit.

So, now that we know how long it’s going to take Nissan to climb back into the black, we’re a little more apprehensive to say that the Leaf will be a cash-cow for Nissan. Three years, if you haven’t checked yet, is a pretty long time.

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Nissan Leaf receives 6,635 reservations after only three days

Nissan Leaf receives 6,635 reservations after only three days

Any doubts regarding the popularity of the new Nissan Leaf were quelled after Nissan’s first all-electric vehicle received 6,635 reservations in just three days since reservations were made available with each reservation coming with a required $99 refundable deposit online.

While the official public reservation for the Nissan Leaf will begin on May 15, people that have expressed prior interest in the car - those who forked over the 99 bucks - were given first dibs on reserving Nissan’s EV vehicle for themselves.

According to Nissan, the company is targeting the 25,000-order treshold by the time the car officially hits the market at the tail-end of the year. The 6,635 prior-reservations is a good start for Nissan in it’s mission to become one of the first brands to release an all-electric platform. The car is likewise expected to carry a price tag of $25,280, excluding the charging station each Leaf owner is required to have set up at their homes.

On top of the popularity the Leaf has obviously gained, Nissan is optimistic that the interest surrounding the Leaf will continue to grow as the months pass.

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We drive the 2011 Nissan LEAF, kind of

We drive the 2011 Nissan LEAF, kind of

While Chevrolet is still setting the stage for the future of battery powered vehicles with the Volt, the Japanese automaker Nissan has been perfecting the art of the electric car for over 60 years now and their all new LEAF BEV is just about ready to roll off the assembly line in order to become the first mass market affordable electric car. As part of the Nissan LEAF Zero Emission Tour, the hamburger brand brought their Aqua globe show car from Detroit all the way down to Orlando where we got a chance to get up close and personal with it and a ride behind the wheel of the user friendly test mule that features all of the parts that make it work. Nissan has been investing heavily in the advancement of lithium ion technology ever since they teamed up with NEC to produce revolutionary hybrid battery packs that produce nearly twice the energy density compared to traditional units which mean they will last longer with a much more potent charge that have powered everything from fictional animatronics dinosaurs in Jurassic Park to texting teenager’s cell phones in Japan’s Shibuya district.

The LEAF is about as green as a new car can get, not only does it lack a tailpipe to emit harmful emissions, but the seats were made from recycled plastic bottles and even the tire supplier was chosen because of their diminutive carbon footprint. Despite being an electric car with a compact electric motor in place of an internal combustion engine under the hood, Nissan has chosen to keep with the traditional two box layout, albeit quite curvaceous and a bit wide in the back. Nissan chosen to set the LEAF apart from the rest of the lineup with a variety of blue anodized emblems and Zero emissions logos. The LEAF offers room for five and lots of cargo thanks to the ultra low shelf in the trunk, and even fully loaded, the additional weight won’t compromise the LEAF’s range. Speaking of distances, Nissan expects that their new electric vehicle will be able to travel up to 100 miles between charges, more than enough for the average daily commute, and reach a 90 MPH top speed, making it more than adequate for highway use.

Continued after the jump.

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2010 Nissan Leaf

2010 Nissan Leaf

In a very bold move Nissan Jidosha Kabushiki-gaisha has made history by unveiling their first zero emissions vehicle intended for mass production. In an attempt to skip the gas/electric hybrid craze and jump directly into plug in electric vehicles, it might appear that Carlos Gohsen is set on taking over the world like a James Bond villain with the long awaited lithium ion beattery technology. This past Sunday the Japanese automaker unveiled the Nissan Leaf, a five door electric vehicle with a 100+ Mile range at their home base in Yokohama. The Leaf features a sharp, upright V-shaped body with a pair of slanted LED headlights that were designed to cleverly split and redirect airflow away from the door mirrors, thus reducing wind, noise and drag.

Those top secret batteries that we were talking about are made up of laminated lithium ion cells that are capable of delivering over 90 kW of power and weigh only 440 pounds. The battery pack sends it stored energy to the Leaf’s front mounted electric drive motor that only outputs 80 of those kilowatts for a maximum output of 107 HP. The interesting thing about an electric motor is that they make their peak torque at 0 RPM, we know this sounds crazy, but unlike the internal combustion engine, the amount of energy an electric motor can do is based upon how it was made and it delivers that power at one constant amount. That is a healthy 208 lb-ft of torque. The instantaneous power should provide off the line acceleration comparable to the Infiniti G35 sports car.

Of course the question with any purely electric vehicle is how long will it take to charge? Nissan claims that the Leaf will take 8 hours for a full charge from a 200 V source; so a high capacity 220 V outlet is recommended, otherwise it will take twice as long for a full charge from a standard 110 V AC outlet. There is an impressive 50 kW AC fast-charge capability. This allows for an 80% charge of the lithium ion batteries meaning you can go up to 80 miles with only a 30 minute charge, or if you are really in a hurry, you can get an additional 31 miles after being plugged in for only 10 minutes. Although the hardware necessary is a little too expensive for in home use, leave that up to your local municipality. The disadvantage of having to run with all that electronic gear onboard is the excess weight, however because it can be mounted low in the chassis it should make for a decent handling package.

Press release after the jump.

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