It appears the electric car is back from the dead. You may have noticed that Nissan was conspicuously absent from the hybrid vehicle trend. While other manufacturers were pumping tons of money into hybrid research and development Nissan was pushing towards a true all electric vehicle. The end result is the 2011 Nissan Leaf; the first mass produced all electric vehicle to be put on sale for the American consumer. Below is a review of equipment and specs.

The New Nissan leaf is powered by a rechargeable lithium ion battery pack which makes it one of the first vehicles to use this advanced technology. This new Lithium ion battery has a longer range and better acceleration than the comparable sized nickel metal hydride batteries. There are a couple ways to recharge this system. 1) The Nissan station for the home which runs on a 220 volt system and will need to be installed by a certified electrician. This charger will take about 4 to 8 hours for a full charge. 2) The Commercial Leaf Charging Station, this option only takes about 30 minutes however at this time there are only limited locations for this method. Nissan is currently working with different municipalities and businesses across the country to develop the infrastructure of commercial charging stations. Fully charged the Leaf has an estimated range of 100 miles.

There are 2 trim levels available:

SV-Standard equipment includes keyless ignition, keyless entry, automatic climate control, 16 inch alloy wheels, power, locks, power windows, cruise control, LED headlamps, tilt steering wheel, 60/40 split folding rear seats, a height adjustable drivers seat, trip computer, cloth upholstery made from recycled materials, Bluetooth, six speaker sound system with CD player, auto dimming rear view mirror, satellite radio, iPod and USB interface, auxiliary audio jack, and a navigation system. The motor is an 80 kilowatt synchronous electric motor powered by a 24 kWh lithium ion battery pack convert kilowatts to horsepower. Output is 107 horsepower and 207 pound feet of torque. Standard safety equipment includes stability control, traction control, antilock brakes, side curtain airbags, and front side airbags.

SL-Adds automatic headlamps, rear view camera, spoiler mounted solar panel, fog lamps, and a cargo cover. All engine and standard safety equipment remain the same.

All Nissan leaf’s come standard with Nissan Connection, a remote system that reports battery recharging data and can activate the climate control from a cell phone.