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Japan: The Nissan LEAF proves slick in wintry test drives in northern Japan

Auto journalists put the all-electric Nissan LEAF through its paces on three powdery test courses in Shibetsu, Hokkaido, this week, in the freezing temperatures of northern Japan.

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Some 230 meters above sea level, media gathered to assess the LEAF’s driving performance and handling in extreme weather conditions, icing any concerns that wintry weather could drastically reduce battery performance.

Chief Vehicle Engineer Hidetoshi Kadota said that despite a reading of minus 9 degrees Celsius (15.8 degrees Fahrenheit) outside, the LEAF battery stayed between 5 and 10 degrees Celsius (41 and 50 degrees Fahrenheit).

In the more extreme cold of Canada and Norway, a battery-warming system can keep the LEAF primed to charge at normal capacity, the same as outside temperatures of around 20 degrees Celsius (68 degrees Fahrenheit).
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