RELEASE DATE: December 2010
INNOVATION: The plug-in, zero-emissions car is no longer science fiction (in America), and Nissan hopes drivers will start thinking of their car like they think of their cellphone. For an average $2,200 on top of the sale price, a 220-volt plug is installed in the car owner’s garage that can fully charge up the Leaf in eight hours. Nissan also plans to set up quick-charge stations that can provide an 80 percent charge in 26 minutes. “This is a car that will make a statement,” says Al Castignetti, general manager of Nissan North America. Tax breaks can reduce the ticket price by more than $7,000, and buyers can get a 50 percent tax credit up to $2,000 on the cost of installing the home charger. But the technology is still developing—a full charge lasts only 100 miles.