Because of the culture, history and technology background, Japanese car manufactories have many advantages in developing eco-cars, as well as Nissan. But different from another Japanese company, Toyota, known as the pioneer in this aspect, Nissan put its attentions on electric vehicles instead of hybrid cars.
The first electric vehicle made by Nissan in 1974 is “Tama Electric Vehicle”. At the end of 2007, the boss of the Renault-Nissan Alliance, Carlos Ghosn, announced the “zero emission” objective, a new concept in sustainable mobility. Through this project, the Alliance want to became the leader in electric power. They aim to achieve zero emissions through two future solutions: electric vehicles in the medium-term and fuel-cell vehicles in the longer term.
The Nissan Leaf is the important step of this project. The Nissan Leaf is a compact five-door hatchback electric car introduced in Japan and the United States in 2010. What’s more important and significant is that it is the world’s first mass-produced electric vehicle in car history. The name of the Nissan Leaf does not only mean “leaf”, but also is a short for Leading, Environmentally friendly, Affordable, Family car. As an all-electric car, the Nissan Leaf produces no tailpipe pollution or greenhouse gas emissions at the point of operation, and contributes to reduced dependence on petroleum. Among other awards and recognition, the Nissan Leaf won the 2010 Green Car Vision Award, the 2011 European Car of the Year, the 2011 World Car of the Year, and the 2011–2012 Car of the Year Japan.
Deliveries to retail customers began in the United States and Japan in December 2010, followed by various European countries and Canada in 2011. Today, the Leaf is the world’s best selling highway-capable all-electric car ever. The United States is the biggest market with over 40,000 units sold by early December 2013, followed by Japan with over 33,200 units sold through November 2013, then the European market. The global sales totaled 100,000 Leafs by mid January 2014, representing a 45% market share of worldwide pure electric vehicles sold since 2010.
In December 2013, a Nissan Leaf owner from Seattle, America has already put 100,00 miles on his Leaf, which prove the performance and range of an electric vehicle.
After the LEAF, Nissan has released several electric concept to show more evidence of Nissan’s leadership position in the zero-emission car industry. The latest one is the Nissan BladeGlider that was unveiled at the 2013 Tokyo Motor Show and has a unique architecture like its racing car Deltawing. Nissan is keeping going forward with its ally Renault.
Renault – Toward zero emission http://www.renault.com/en/innovation/eco-technologies/pages/s-orienter-vers-le-zero-emission.aspx
Nissan Zero-emission http://www.nissan-zeroemission.com/EN/STORYBOARD/
Nissan Zero-emission – history http://www.nissan-zeroemission.com/EN/HISTORY/index.html
Autocar – Nissan Leaf review http://www.autocar.co.uk/car-review/nissan/leaf
Autoblog Green –
This Seattle-area Nissan Leaf owner has already put 100,000 miles on his EV http://green.autoblog.com/2013/12/18/seattle-nissan-leaf-owner-surpasses-100000-miles/
Wikipedia – Nissan Leaf http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nissan_leaf