Nissan LEAF electric vehicle production process detailed

Nissan Motor Co., Ltd. has started production at its Oppama facility for the all-new 100% electric, zero-emission Nissan LEAF, which is slated to go on sale in December in Japan and the United States, and from early 2011, in select markets in Europe. In November, the company will begin exports to the United States, followed by shipments to Europe in December. "This is a significant milestone, not only for Nissan and the Renault-Nissan Alliance, but also for the entire automotive industry," said Nissan President and CEO Carlos Ghosn at the Nissan LEAF offline ceremony. "Consumers are clear. They want sustainable and affordable mobility...and the Alliance is leading the way with cars that deliver exactly that, with the reliability, excitement and performance that consumers demand. The high-quality, innovative Nissan LEAF will radically transform what consumers expect from automobile manufacturers worldwide." Nissan LEAF will be produced at the Oppama Plant along with popular gasoline models such as Nissan Juke and Nissan Cube. Part of the assembly line has been modified to mount battery modules at the stage of production where fuel tanks are traditionally installed, and motors and inverters are mounted at the point where engines are installed in gasoline-powered vehicles. Production quality and efficiency are assured by applying the Nissan Production Way (NPW) in every step of the assembly process. Nissan LEAF's lithium-ion battery modules are manufactured at the Automotive Energy Supply Corporation (AESC) operation in Zama, Japan, which is a joint-venture of Nissan Motor Co., Ltd. and NEC Corporation. The battery module, which contains 4 battery cells, are assembled at Zama and then shipped to the Nissan Oppama facility, where 48 of them are assembled into the electric car's battery pack. Hidetoshi Imazu, Executive Vice President of Manufacturing, said, "Oppama will serve as the 'Mother Plant' for the production of Nissan LEAF. We will use all of the know-how and learnings from Oppama to ensure the highest quality at all sites that manufacture Nissan EVs." Sites for future production of Nissan EVs include Smyrna, Tennessee, in the United States and Sunderland, England, in the UK. The Oppama plant has an annual production capacity of 50,000 units. Nissan LEAF will start production at Smyrna in late 2012 and at Sunderland in early 2013. At full ramp up, Smyrna will have an annual production capacity of 150,000 units, and Sunderland will have a capacity of 50,000 units. Nissan LEAF is the first 100% electric, zero-emission vehicle to be produced for the Renault-Nissan Alliance. Nissan, together with its Alliance partner, Renault, aims to be a global leader in zero-emission mobility. To date, the Alliance has signed 80 partnerships for zero-emission mobility with governments, municipalities and companies worldwide.

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BMW 1-Series M Coupe revealed
Following an unrelenting teaser campaign, BMW has officially unveiled the 1-Series M Coupe. Designed to be the spiritual successor to the original M3, the 1-Series M Coupe "embodies the unmistakable M feeling in a highly concentrated form." It features aggressive bumper fascias, bi-xenon headlights (with LED "eyebrows"), flared wheel arches, and 19-inch light-weight alloy wheels. Only three exterior colors will be available and they include Alpine White, Black Sapphire Metallic and Valencia Orange Metallic. Inside, the cabin boasts sports seats, Boston leather upholstery, and Alcantara trim. Other goodies include a revised instrument cluster, a sport steering wheel, and orange contrast stitching. On the options list, customers will find dual-zone automatic climate control, comfort access, a Harman Kardon audio system, BMW ConnectedDrive (aka internet access), and GPS navigation with an 8.8-inch display. As expected, power is provided by a twin-turbo 3.0-liter inline six-cylinder engine with 250 kW (340 PS / 335 hp) and 500 Nm (369 lb-ft) of torque. It is mated exclusively to a six-speed manual transmission which allows the 1,495 kg (3,295 lb) car to accelerate from 0-100 km/h (62 mph) in 4.9 seconds, 0-200 km/h (124 mph) in 17.3 seconds, and onto an electronically-limited top speed of 250 km/h (155 mph). In terms of efficiency, expect an average fuel consumption of 9.6 L/100km (24.5 mpg US) and CO2 emissions of 224 g/km. To ensure the car handles like a proper BMW, engineers installed an aluminum-intensive suspension which uses a double pivot front axle and a five-link rear. Furthermore, the coupe has been fitted with an M differential that "responds to differences in rotational speeds in the right and left rear wheel, redirecting drive torque within a fraction of a second." Despite being marketed as a 'pure' sports car, the 1-Series M boasts an alphabet soup of handling technology. Highlights include DSC (Dynamic Stability Control), Antilock Brakes (ABS), anti-slip control (ASC), Dynamic Brake Control (DBC), and Cornering Brake Control (CBC). When all else fails, the high performance braking system calls on internally-ventilated cast iron discs - that measure 360mm front / 350mm rear - to bring the action to a halt. The 1-Series M Coupe will debut at the North American International Auto Show, before going on sale in Germany this May with a €50,500 (including VAT) price tag. 78 high resolution photos - http://www.worldcarfans.com/110121029971/2012-bmw-1-series-m-coupe-unveiled





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