Right now, the Nissan LEAF EV runs on pure electric power. No gas-station stops required. No carbon emitted. These are just some of the many reasons the media and consumers are so enamored with it. But if you think the current LEAF is as good as it gets...think again.
Yes, the Nissan LEAF is considered one of the greenest vehicles available, and has been since before it was even released less than a year ago. But, already, Nissan is working to make it even greener.
See, while the Nissan LEAF is undeniably green, it draws power from the solar panel, which is largely created by nuclear power plants. Nissan also has the foresight to see that as the LEAF becomes more mainstream, so too will unnecessary battery waste...Nissan explains that even after the LEAF is retired from the road, the battery will likely still have 80 percent of its life expectancy.
In aiming to mitigate each of the two aforementioned issues, Nissan is developing solar-powered charging stations. The new solar-powered system, Nissan is working on utilizes electricity generated by nearly 500 solar panels on the roof of their Yokohama headquarters. Nissan reports that the four batteries they've placed in the lower, cellar-like level of the building store enough electricity collected by the solar cells to fully charge a LEAF EV for 365 days.
When will a solar-powered charging station be available to the general public? Sooner than you might think. To expedite the process, Nissan has joined forces with Sumitomo Corp. Together, they plan to deliver at-home solar-powered charging stations to individual Nissan LEAF owners, by April 2012. They're aiming to bring the innovative system to businesses and public facilities next year, as well. Field tests of the solar-powered charging stations are to begin, this December.
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