5,000 Nissan LEAF EVs coming to U.S. next year, onboard black box will monitor recharging habits

Nissan announced today that it is committed to an early launch of 5,000 units of its new Nissan Leaf electric-car in the Unite States late next year. The plan will require Nissan North America to gear up to sell the Leaf two years ahead of its mass-market launch, said Nissan.

According to Nissan’s director of product planning and strategy Mark Perry, the first 5,000 U.S. units of the Leaf will take part in a 5-market study of the electric-vehicle’s driving habits. He said that Nissan wants to study how consumers drive and recharge their vehicles.

“We’re moving fast,” Perry says. “This is not a test to determine whether or not it’s going to work. This is the beginning of mass marketing.”

The 5,000 customers who purchase the car must agree to have their recharging habits monitored by a black box installed in the car for the first two years of ownership. Perry said that Nissan will have requirements for the first 5,000 Leaf customers to make sure that their habits can provide the automaker with meaningful data.

Pricing of the Nissan Leaf will be announced closer to launch.

Refresher: Power comes from a 107-hp electric-motor that runs on power supplied by lithium ion cells. On a full-charge, the Nissan LEAF allows for a driving range of 100 miles with a top speed of 87 mph. A full charge takes up to 8 hours on a standard 200V outlet. Buyers can opt for the DC 50kW quick-charger, which recharges the battery up to 80 percent in under 30 minutes.

2010 Nissan Leaf EV:

– By: Kap Shah

Source: AutoWeek