The Nissan Leaf stores its power in a lithium-ion battery pack, also making it one of the first vehicles to use this advanced battery technology. Lithium-ion batteries, because of their high density-to-weight ratio, promise better acceleration and range than comparably sized nickel-metal hydride ones. Driving the Leaf's front wheels is an 80-kilowatt electric motor. Nissan says recharging at home (with a special 220-volt charger) will take 4-8 hours. A commercial quick-charge station can do it in about 30 minutes.
Pricing for the Nissan Leaf is expected to be surprisingly affordable. A federal tax credit will bring the price down $7,500. Residents of certain states are also eligible for additional credits. Annual costs for electricity will likely be a fraction of what it would otherwise cost for gasoline.
The Nissan Leaf is surprisingly fun to drive. Because maximum torque is instantly available, the Leaf jumps forward with sufficient alacrity to make you wonder if it should not be renamed "Leap." We reckon this electric vehicle's midrange punch is on a par with that of a Nissan Altima 2.5
Because the Leaf represents a clean-sheet design, Nissan was able to create a platform that centralizes the weight of its heaviest components -- the batteries -- within the span of the wheelbase. And this bit of physics when combined with a very low center of gravity makes the Leaf very responsive to directional changes.
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