In a preemptive move to address any possible customer complaints, Nissan is setting up a rapid-reaction task force of technicians and engineers trained in the Leaf’s battery-driven drivetrain, ahead of next months release. The team, based out of California is set up for the purposes of visiting customers who experience issues and nipping problems in the bud.
Components of the Leaf represent unchartered automotive territory, and will need to be addressed by specially trained engineers and technicians. The concept mirrors Toyota’s Smart teams introduced to respond to complaints after a series of recalls. Nissan’s program was inspired by due diligence however, and not Toyota, one official said.
The American task force will have about 10 engineers and 30 technicians, to combat consumer anxiety. A similar support system is being introduced in Japan.
Refresher: Power for the Nissan LEAF 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. Prices for the 2011 Nissan LEAF will start at $32,780 but with a federal tax-credit prices will come in as low as $25,280, or for a lease payment of $349 a month.
2011 Nissan LEAF:
– By: Stephen Calogera
Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)