Aug 14, 2009
Nissan’s first mass-produced electric car to be launched in Japan, US next yearBack
Engineering|Oppama|Smyrna|Zama|Africa|Nissan|Nissan South Africa|Africa|China|Denmark|Israel|Japan|Portugal|Singapore|South Africa|United Kingdom|United States|Car Users|Product|Vehicle Manufacturer|Environmental|Fumio Uchiyama|Infrastructure|Pat Senne|Paul Gurney|Power|Tennessee
© Reuse this
The five-door hatchback, named the Leaf, will have a range of 160 km before it will need recharging, says Nissan South Africa product engineering division vehicle test group manager Paul Gurney.
Consumer research demonstrates that this range satisfies the daily driving requirements of more than 70% of the world’s car users.
The zero-emission Leaf is scheduled for its European debut in 2011, with suitable global markets to follow in 2012.
Nissan considers the vehicle’s name a strong statement about the car itself: “Just as leaves purify the air in nature, so the Nissan Leaf purifies mobility by taking emissions out of the driving experience”.
As electric vehicles are much more expensive than the traditional internal combustion engine, which has been around for a hundred years, the price of the Leaf is a matter of much interest.
Nissan says, though, that pricing details will only be announced closer to the start of sales in late 2010, but notes that it expects the car to be competitively priced in the range of a well-equipped C-segment vehicle. However, the battery, the most expensive component on the car, will only be leased to customers.
The Leaf is powered by laminated compact lithium-ion batteries, which generate power output of over 90 kW, while its electric motor delivers 80 kW/280 Nm.
The vehicle makes use of an on-board computer to advise the driver on remaining driving range, as well as on the location of the nearest recharge station.
The Leaf can be charged up to 80% of its full capacity in just under 30 minutes with a quick charger.
Charging at home through a 200-V outlet is estimated to take about eight hours.
Gurney says Japanese fuel costs for a comparable internal combustion vehicle will come to around R600/month for a 1 000-km drive distance, with the electric vehicle offering a recharge bill of roughly R120/month for the same distance.
The first Leafs will be manufactured at Oppama, Japan, at around 50 000 units a year, with additional capacity planned for Smyrna, Tennessee, US.
Meanwhile, the lithium-ion batteries are being produced in Zama, Japan, with additional capacity planned for the US, the UK and Portugal, and other sites around the world under investigation.
Gurney says the emphasis has been on deve- loping a “valid vehicle” delivering a solid performance, with sales not necessarily driven by an environmental agenda, even though it is a zero-emissions vehicle.
And What About South Africa?
Nissan South Africa brand and corporate communications GM Pat Senne notes that South Africa may only receive the Nissan electric vehicle once certain measures are in place, including recharging infrastructure, incentives, and once consumers have been educated on the use of such vehicles, which spells a radical shift from checking a fuel gauge.
The 2010 Japan launch will go hand in hand with government incentives, such as tax reductions, which will enable the introduction of the more expensive electric vehicle at an economically viable and competitive pricing structure.
“Nissan South Africa is busy working with the Department of Trade and Industry on the concept of zero-emissions vehicles,” says Senne, unwilling to divulge more information.
Nissan has already signed partnership agreements with around 30 government bodies for the introduction of its electric vehicle world- wide. South Africa is not included in this figure.
These agreements set the framework for the incentives necessary to make the launch of the electric vehicle feasible.
Signatories include Singapore, Israel, Portugal, the US state of Tennessee, Denmark and China.
Nissan South Africa product engineering division GM Fumio Uchiyama says the cost of the electric vehicle should reduce once economies of scale kick in, and once battery technology improves.
Nissan has a target of reducing carbon dioxide emissions from its vehicles by 90% by 2050.
Edited by: Martin Zhuwakinyu© Reuse this Comment Guidelines (150 word limit)
Other Components News
Recent Research Reports
Defence 2014: A review of South Africa's defence industry (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Defence 2014 report examines South Africa’s defence industry, with particular focus on the key participants in the sector, the innovations that have come out of the sector, local and export demand, South Africa’s controversial multibillion-rand...
Road and Rail 2014: A review of South Africa's road and rail infrastructure (PDF report)
Creamer Media’s Road and Rail 2014 report examines South Africa’s road and rail transport system, with particular focus on the size and state of the country’s road and rail network, the funding and maintenance of these respective networks, and the push to move road...
Real Economy Year Book 2014 (PDF Report)
This edition drills down into the performance and outlook for a variety of sectors, including automotive, construction, electricity, transport, steel, water, coal, gold, iron-ore and platinum.
Real Economy Insight: Automotive 2014 (PDF Report)
This four-page brief covers key developments in the automotive industry over the past 12 months, including an overview of South Africa’s automotive market, trade figures, production and the policies influencing the sector.
Real Economy Insight: Construction 2014 (PDF Report)
This five-page brief covers key developments in the construction industry over the past 12 months. It provides an overview of the sector and includes details of employment in the sector, infrastructure and municipal spending, as well as insight into companies’...
Real Economy Insight: Electricity 2014 (PDF Report)
This five-page brief covers key developments in the electricity industry over the past 12 months, including details of State-owned power utility Eskom’s generation activities, funding and tariffs, independent power producers and prospects for the sector.
This Week's Magazine
The broad-based black economic-empowerment (BBBEE) alignment process in the con-struction sector has begun, dur-ing which the sector codes of the Construction Sector Charter Council (CSCC) will be aligned with the revised Codes of Good Practice (CoGP), which come...
It is second time lucky for Toby Venter. Ten years ago he negotiated to buy the Kyalami racetrack, but “the deal did not materialise”.
Environmental solutions company I-Cat started construction work on its R22-million, 1 949 m2 environmentally sustainable office and warehouse facility, commissioned by I-CAT Environmental Solutions, at a launch event in October. The new sustainable I-CAT campus,...
Effective file synchronisation and sharing across an organisation’s structures can provide the basis for robust mobile-device and document management while maintaining proper backup, version control and content distribution. These are the lessons learned by complex...
Hotel group Carlson Rezidor currently holds the largest hotel pipeline in Africa with 30 hotels and 6 300 rooms under development. The hotel group develops and operates Radisson Blu in the upper upscale segment and Park Inn by Radisson in the mid-market segment. With...