Nissan reveals all-electric sports car

Nissan Motors is teasing an all-electric two-seater sports car that would place it head to head with Tesla Motors.
Written by David Worthington, Contributor

The Nissan ESFLOW concept car will be unveiled at the 2011 Geneva Motor Show.

Nissan has put a trial balloon out for an all-electric sports car that would be built around its LEAF (Leading, Environmentally friendly, Affordable, Family car) production platform.

The Nissan ESFLOW concept car was announced on Wednesday. ESFLOW is being pitched as a two-seater souped-up sports car that makes driving a zero emissions vehicle “as much fun tomorrow as [driving] is today.”

However, a concept car is a far cry from a production model. In the software industry, products that do not yet exist but are backed by marketing are commonly referred to as "vaporware."

If the ESFLOW were built, Nissan would face competition from Tesla Motors, which is slated to begin manufacturing up to 20,000 Tesla Model S sedans per year starting in 2012.

ESFLOW would be built with an all aluminum chassis, and utilize the LEAF drivetrain. It would also have a number of safety features built into the frame. Its other features are envisioned as follows in a company press release:

  • Two electric motors, each driving a rear wheel
  • Laminated lithium-ion batteries mounted low for best weight distribution
  • Dramatic styling with wraparound windscreen for unobstructed visibility
  • 0-100km/h in under 5 seconds
  • Over 240kms on one charge
  • A stylish interior with LED display indicators

The LEAF became commercially available in the United States in Dec. 2010. Nissan forecasts that 4,700 vehicles will be sold in strategic markets where charging stations are readily accessible. Nissan today announced an order of 220 units in Japan.

Electric Transportation Engineering Corporation is installing charging stations within those markets in partnership with the U.S. Department of Energy. The Department of Energy has invested $114.8M into the project.

Nissan will provide a sneak peak of the ESFLOW at the 2011 Geneva Motor Show in March.

This post was originally published on Smartplanet.com

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