Nissan has just launched a new small car called the LEAF, a name that puts a fresh spin on being green. It sounds good to the ear, makes you feel good inside, and functions as an acronym spelling out the company's strategic direction for the vehicle: Leading, Environmentally friendly, Affordable.
The engineering team worked miracles developing the car's advanced technology, but securing the name was no easy task either. According to company insiders, LEAF was chosen since the process of photosynthesis is considered nature's “ultimate energy source” and the word itself translates well across languages and cultures.
Unlike the hybrid vehicles currently zooming around our streets and highways, the LEAF is 100 percent electric and produces zero emissions. Like, no tailpipe zero. The car's battery takes four to eight hours to charge on a 220V home charging unit, but Nissan is going the extra mile by building quick-charge stations that gets 80 percent of your juice flowing in about 25 minutes. That level of infrastructure investment indicates Nissan means business about a zero-emissions future for the automotive industry.
It should be noted that this is not the first vehicle of its kind, although the myriad technologies involved have advanced considerably from past offerings in the US. The car will initially be part of a pilot testing program similar to the leasing scenario GM set up for it's EV-1 electric car back in the late 90's. Thankfully the name has gotten better since then, too.