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Nissan's LEAF Gets Its Tailpipe Chopped Off in the Name of Zero CO2 Emission

Illustration for article titled Nissans LEAF Gets Its Tailpipe Chopped Off in the Name of Zero CO2 Emission

The LEAF may be compensating for the lack of a tailpipe with 30 minute "quick charges" and the ability to go for miles and miles on a single charge (100 miles to be exact), but hey, it's eco-friendly.

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Nissan's quick to separate its newest vehicle from the pack by detailing that the smiling face formed between the car's headlights isn't the only friendly thing about it:

Unlike internal-combustion engine (ICE) equipped vehicles, Nissan LEAF's power train has no tail pipe, and thus no emission of CO2 or other greenhouse gases. A combination of Nissan LEAF's regenerative braking system and innovative lithium-ion battery packs enables the car to deliver a driving range of more than 160km (100 miles) on one full charge.

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Surprisingly, charging the LEAF doesn't take all eternity and you can be ready to go in less time than it takes to get a sunburn in the Florida sun:

Nissan LEAF can be charged up to 80% of its full capacity in just under 30 minutes with a quick charger. Charging at home through a 200V outlet is estimated to take approximately eight hours - ample time to enable an overnight refresh for consumer and car alike.

We'll know more about pricing of this zippy little thing as the LEAF gets closer to being on the market (around late 2010), but it's expected to qualify for an "array of significant local, regional and national tax breaks and incentives in markets around the world." Saving money and the environment? Maybe this eunuch of a car is worth it after all. [Nissan]

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DISCUSSION

I'm certainly no expert on car design, but I gather that the E-Cars are shaped the way they are because the aerodynamics are so much more important to E-Cars rather than normal cars.

They are trying to maximise the miles per charge obviously because traditional cars can fill up in 2 minutes rather than 30.

However the most important reason apparently is because there is no engine noise in the cabin while driving, passengers really really notice the wind noise that comes from drag - you know how your ears focus on one sound if there is nothing else to compete with it? Think of a dripping tap at night.