Japan's third largest automaker, Nissan has unveiled the much-awaited electric car called the 'Leaf', timed with the opening of its new headquarters in Yokohama yesterday.
The zero-emission hatchback, powered by lithium-ion battery with a range of more than 160km (100 miles) on a single charge, will go on sale in Japan, the US and Europe late next year and the company intends to add two more models later.
Describing the Leaf as "the world's first affordable zero-emission car," the automaker said that the car was powered by laminated, compact lithium-ion batteries, which generate power output of over 90kW, while its electric motor which delivers 80kW/280Nm, can reach top speed of 140kmph.
Timing the unveiling of the Leaf with the opening ceremony of Nissan's new global headquarters in Yokohama, south of Tokyo, chief executive Carlos Ghosn drove the Leaf to the stage accompanied by Japan's former prime minister Junichiro Koizumi, Kanagawa prefecture governor Shigefumi Matsuzawa and Yokohama city mayor Hiroshi Nakada.
"Nissan Leaf is a tremendous accomplishment - one in which all Nissan employees can take great pride," said Carlos Ghosn. "We have been working tirelessly to make this day a reality - the unveiling of a real-world car that has zero - not simply reduced - emissions. It's the first step in what is sure to be an exciting journey - for people all over the world, for Nissan and for the industry."
With no tail pipe and no emission, the car can be charged up to 80 per cent of its full capacity in just under 30 minutes with a quick charger. Charging at home through a 200V outlet is estimated to take approximately eight hours for an overnight charge.