The 2012 Nissan LEAF (Leading, Environmentally friendly, Affordable Family) car is an appealing, highly performing, zero emissions electric automobile. The car requires no gasoline, running entirely off electricity. That's right, you never have to pay a cent for gasoline with this vehicle! Plus, without even a tailpipe, the LEAF does not emit a single molecule of greenhouse gas or polluting exhaust. No wonder the LEAF won World Car of the Year in 2011!
Of course, the Nissan LEAF does require energy to run. However, the US Environmental Protection Agency has determined that it offers an energy efficiency equivalent to the incredible fuel economy of 99 miles per gallon. Thus, the LEAF was rightly listed among the Greenest Vehicles of 2011 by the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy.
The Nissan LEAF runs off a high response, 80 kilowatt AC synchronous motor with a conveniently chargeable battery. The Nissan LEAF's range has been estimated at 100 miles per charge, according to the Environmental Protection Agency's LA4, or city driving, cycle. The Nissan LEAF comes with a 240 volt home charging dock and a 120 volt portable charging cable. The home charging dock combined with the 6.6 kilowatt onboard charger will fully recharge the battery from empty in several hours. The portable, 120 volt charging cable will add about 5 to 10 miles of range per hour, great for short-term or emergency charging. In addition, the Nissan LEAF can come with an optional 50 kilowatt DC fast charger that recharges 80 percent of the full battery capacity in just half an hour.
The 5 door, 5 passenger Nissan LEAF will speed along up to 90 miles per hour. With the battery placed under the floor, the Nissan LEAF's trunk and interior space do not suffer, and it has a lower center of gravity and therefore better handling than most hatchbacks. The included Nissan Carwings system uses a GPRS radio to show the car's position, driving range, and distance from charging stations. It also keeps up distance and energy statistics. Cell phones can be used to turn on the car's climate control, pre-heat or pre-cool the car, and adjust its charging functions while the Nissan LEAF is powered down, thus saving the battery. Because slowly traveling electric vehicles make very little noise, the Nissan LEAF also offers digital alert sounds to warn pedestrians and the visually impaired when it is moving at low speeds.
The Nissan LEAF comes with 4 wheel, power-assisted anti-lock and regenerative brakes, Nissan's advanced air bag system, zone body construction, and many other safety features. It also has Nissan's vehicle immobilizer system in addition to a security system. The stylish exterior includes aerodynamically designed LED headlights as well as an aerodynamic rear diffuser and underbody. The body-color bumpers and front grille plus the signature Zero Emission vehicle badging give this little hatchback a clean yet unique look. Its interior features light gray seats made of partly recycled fabric, Nissan's convenient Intelligent Key and push button start system, a hands-free Bluetooth phone system, a trip computer, and many other great offerings.