Although Nissan never had one of the most popular hybrid lines of vehicles, their recent announcement of the world’s first affordable, zero emissions car is certain to bridge the gap between hybrid and electric vehicles when it’s released. Nissan’s LEAF is set to hit the American, Japanese, and European markets late 2010, and will not only be appealing to drivers for its lack of exhaust, but also for its ability to meet real world driving challenges, like cruising for 100 miles on a single charge.

Another breakthrough capability of the Nissan LEAF is the ability to reach up to an 80% charge of the full battery life in just under 30 minutes with a new quick charger. This allows drivers to keep the laminated compact lithium ion batteries charged up on longer drives. On shorter drives, the regenerative braking system kicks in and provides more power to the electric motor.

If you’re more inclined to drive a vehicle with technologically advanced add-ons, how about the power to turn your A/C on before you get to your car using your mobile phone? You can also remotely control when the batteries are to be charged, regardless of your vicinity to your vehicle.

Nissan’s newest introduction to the eco-driving market may not be the solution to long-distance, zero-emission driving that many people are looking for, but it’s certainly a step in the right direction.

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