Nissan Leaf - Auto electrónicoSu velocidad máxima es 140 km/h. No tiene caño de escape. Permite andar 160 km sin recarga. Estará en el mercado en un año y medio. YOKOHAMA, Japón, 2 Ago (AFP-NA) – El constructor japonés Nissan desveló este domingo su primer modelo de coche totalmente eléctrico, el "Leaf", primer paso concreto de su nueva estrategia centrada en el desarrollo de vehículos no contaminantes.

El "Leaf" fue presentado por el brasileño Carlos Ghosn, presidente de Nissan y de su aliado francés Renault, en la inauguración de la nueva sede social del grupo japonés en Yokohama, periferia sureste de Tokio.

Este automóvil de talla media y de diseño muy parecido a los de motor de combustión está equipado con una batería de litio-ion que, según Nissan, permite recorrer más de 160 km sin recarga. Su velocidad máxima es de 140 km/h. Nissan prevé comecializar el modelo a partir de fines de 2010.

Ya firmó 27 acuerdos de cooperación con países (entre ellos Israel y Dinamarca) o colectividades locales, a fin de crear una red de estaciones de carga de baterías.

El "Leaf" inaugura "una nueva era en la industria automotriz", declaró Ghosn.

Se trata de un coche "totalmente neutral para el medio ambiente, sin caño de escape y sin motor de combustión de carburante: tan sólo una energía silenciosa y eficaz aportada por baterías litio-ion de nuestra propia fabricación", destacó el empresario.

La batería puede cargarse en casa, en un enchufe, en ocho horas. En las estaciones de servicio, podrá recargar el 80% de su capacidad en media hora. Su autonomía fue calculada en base a estudios que muestran, por ejemplo, que el 90% de los estadounidenses maneja menos de 160 km por día.

Según Ghosn, el precio del "Leaf" será similar al de un vehículo de combustión, aunque la recarga de la batería costará menos que llenar el tanque con gasolina.

Nissan pretende lanzar a medio plazo una gama completa de vehículos eléctricos y apuesta por una demanda creciente gracias a las ventajas fiscales de los gobiernos a la compra de coches "limpios" y al alto coste del petróleo.

Nissan y Renault afirman ser "los primeros constructores mundiales de automóviles que invierten masivamente en el lanzamiento de coches eléctricos". También desarrollaron sus propias baterías, en cooperación con la firma nipona NEC.

Sus competidores Mitsubishi Motors y Subaru también lanzaron recientemente dos pequeños coches eléctricos, "iMiEV" y "Stella".

Pero según Ghosn, los proyectos son muy diferentes. "No tenemos la misma visión del mercado. Nosotros no vemos a los coches eléctricos como un nicho del mercado, sino como un mercado de masa", que llegará a representar "más del 5% de las ventas mundiales", asegura.

Toyota y Honda prefirieron desarrollar modelos híbridos (carburante y electricidad), que en los últimos meses tuvieron muy buena recepción en el mercado japonés.

Ghosn sostiene que la diferencia entre el coche 100% eléctrico y el híbrido es como la que existe "entre fumar un poco y no fumar".

El "Leaf" fue presentado el mismo día de la inauguración de la nueva sede de Nissan, que se mudó del rico barrio tokiota de Ginza a una torre de 22 pisos en Yokohama, la ciudad cuna de la empresa.

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