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2010 Nissan Fuga / Infiniti M35h Hybrid – Click above for high-res image gallery

Nissan Leaf iAd on 4th generation iPhone – Click above for high-res image gallery

If there's ever going to be a green car cage match, we can guarantee that one of the fighters will be Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk, who apparently can't pass up the chance to take on any competitor. His latest target? The lithium-ion battery pack in the Nissan Leaf, about which Musk had some critical things to say in a conference call with investors this week.

2011 Nissan Leaf – Click above for high-res image gallery

Following his announcement of the Nissan Leaf's 8-year, 100,000-mile warranty during the plenary session at the Plug-In 2010 Conference this morning, Nissan North America's executive vice president Carlos Tavares spent some time with reporters answering our questions about just what this means for Nissan and Leaf buyers. We asked the first question that came to our mind when the warranty details (such as they are at this point) were revealed, namely, how much more might this cost Nissan than Gen

Nissan Leaf EV – Click above for high-res image gallery

After inviting hundreds of people to Japan to check out the production-ready Leaf electric vehicle, Nissan has begun a much smaller effort in launch markets in the U.S., thus far conducting test drives in San Diego and Los Angeles, California. I managed to snag a last-minute slot in the latter, figuring I'd mostly confirm my initial impressions gleaned from tooling around Dodger Stadium's parking lot in a prototype last December. I did and I didn't.

Nissan is reportedly considering building a sports car based on the electric drive hardware from its new Leaf EV. From a business perspective, it would likely make sense for Nissan to follow the same path set forth by Toyota/Lexus with premium hybrid models, and indeed, the Leaf is already pegged to get a pricier sibling at Infiniti. A premium battery electric vehicle could be sold a significantly higher price point, helping to subsidize the cost of more mainstream models like the Leaf.

It's Monday afternoon and you know what that means. It's time to submit your questions for this week's podcast. We've got a list of topics to discuss below, starting with a supercar question to get our resident curmudgeon warmed up. Got a question for our intrepid team of podcasters? Now's the time to ask away. Don't forget to vote on which questions deserve our attention the most, though we'll try to get to as many as we can. Discussion topics for Autoblog Podcast #187, which we'll record tonig

Nissan is reportedly considering building a sports car based on the electric drive hardware from its new Leaf EV. From a business perspective, it would likely make sense for Nissan to follow the same path set forth by Toyota/Lexus with premium hybrid models, and indeed, the Leaf is already pegged to get a pricier sibling at Infiniti. A premium battery electric vehicle could be sold a significantly higher price point, helping to subsidize the cost of more mainstream models like the Leaf.

Carmakers don't typically ask prospective customers how long the warranty should be on their new car. That decision is usually made based on how much the manufacturer thinks longer warranty coverage will cost and what its competitors might be doing. However, as we enter the era of electrification we are dealing with a major new factor: the battery packs.

Nissan Leaf test drive – Click above to watch video after the jump

Chevrolet Volt battery pack – Click above for high-res image gallery

Up until now, Nissan has managed the pre-ordering process for the Leaf without a hitch. From taking reservations to conducting home charger assessments, the step-by-step process of ordering the Leaf has moved right along with seamless precision, making Nissan appear rather well prepared to undertake the complex process of offering a breakthrough electric vehicle to the public. Prepared or not, we expected a snag somewhere along the way and it finally happened.

The initial surge for Nissan Leaf pre-orders has long since died down, but the company is still steadily racking up more potential sales, albeit at a much slower rate. The last time that we updated the Leaf's pre-order status, U.S. interest stood at 13,000 strong with an additional 6,000 claimed in Japan. Now, Nissan reports that more than 15,000 U.S. buyers have plunked down their $99 reservation fee and stepped in line for the Leaf. Combining the U.S. and Japan, pre-orders for the Leaf now sta