Nissan has opened a new chapter in its ambitious plans to be a global leader in pure electric zero emissions vehicles.

At their new headquarters in Japan on Sunday August 2nd, the Nissan LEAF pure electric car was unveiled.

The car is a compact or C-class sedan with distinctive and special styling.  It is a 5 door hatch with seating for 5, and utilizes unique LED headlamps that use 10% as much energy as traditional headlamps.  The lights are also designed to slice the wind and direct it away from the side mirrors to improve aerodynamics.

The vehicle uses Nissan/NEC proprietary large format laminate batteries that total 24 kwh.  They power an 80 kw/280 Nm torque electric motor that gives the car a top speed of 90 MPH.  Charging is through a port on the front hood and takes 8 hours at 220 though is capable of 80% in 30 minute fast charging where available.

The car also has a wireless IT system that connects it to a global monitoring center 24 hours per day.

"Nissan LEAF is a tremendous accomplishment - one in which all Nissan employees can take great pride," said Nissan President and CEO Carlos Ghosn. "We have been working tirelessly to make this day a reality - the unveiling of a real-world car that has zero - not simply reduced - emissions. It's the first step in what is sure to be an exciting journey - for people all over the world, for Nissan and for the industry."

Nissan plans to begin selling the car in the selected US markets in late 2010 and plans to build 50,000 in its first year of production.

Pricing has not been announced, but Nissan claims it will be comparable to a well-equipped gas powered C class sedan.

Nissan is hoping this car will serve as a realistic everyday car that will sere people's needs without producing emissions.  It will of course like any limited range EV not be practical for all uses though Nissan claims this range will satisfy 70% of global and 98% of US drivers daily needs.