Green machine debuts in Emerald Isle

A car dubbed the world's first affordable mass produced electric vehicle made its European debut in Ireland this month.

The Nissan Leaf launched at Grand Canal Dock in Dublin last Wednesday (August 4) before a month-long roadshow tour of the Emerald Isle.

Simon Thomas, Nissan International SA senior vice president of sales and marketing, said: “Today’s announcement brings zero-emissions motoring one step closer to reality in Europe.

“Nissan LEAF appeals to customers on many levels; it’s a zero-emissions car with all of the financial benefits that brings, but is also incredibly practical and fun to drive. It’s a powerful combination that is attracting many customers.”

Green minded car lovers will be able to book test drives at each of the roadshow stops becoming among the first in Europe to experience what the Nissan is calling zero-emission motoring.

Order books for the car have been opened in Portugal and Ireland since the end of July. It is a first step in winning a place on the list to receive one of the vehicles.

The car goes on sale in Ireland next February (2011).

More than 11,000 customers in Europe have signed up for regular updates on Nissan LEAF’s introduction since March, the company claims.

Meanwhile, orders in the US and Japan pre-orders have reportedly exceeded 20,000 units since online reservations began in April.

In Ireland it will cost €29,995 after the government tax incentives of €5,000. Nissan says this is no more expensive to buy and cheaper to run than a conventional compact family hatchback.

It estimates running costs for the fuel efficient cars in Ireland at less than €1.20/100km – an 80 per cent saving on an average 1.5 litre diesel family car.

The electric motor powered by a laminated lithium-ion battery produces some 80 kW of power and 280 Nm of torque – enough to reach a maximum speed of more than 140 km/h (90 mph), the company claims.

A fully charged battery gives a range of around 100 miles. For more details about the car go to the following link:

The car can be seen at the following locations in Ireland this month:

– Mahon Point Shopping Centre, Cork – Friday, August 13

– Headford Road Shopping Centre, Galway – Sunday, August 15

– Blanchardstown Shoppping Centre, Dublin – Friday/Saturday August 20/21

David Gibbs

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