Recharging LEAF is easy and very safe. You just plug it into a home AC outlet or connect it to a quick charger. The recharging doesn't begin right away, however. First the car and the recharger unit confirm that they are linked up, do a systems check, and calculate how much electricity is needed. If the connector is loose or if there is a possibility that the cable's shielding is damaged and current is leaking, recharging will not begin. Only after the car and recharger unit perform this mutual confirmation will recharging start. We're often asked, "Doesn't the car tingle when it's plugged into the outlet?" like something in the comics, but this is impossible. Since we knew ordinary people would be doing the recharging, we really took a lot of precautions while developing this system.
The lithium-ion batteries used in some personal computers were once said to pose a hazard. So when we put the Prairie Joy EV on sale on 1997, we took great pains to ensure the safety of mounting batteries in a car. We had independent tests done on the batteries-including repeated impact tests-during the development phase. We later gained even more experience with the Hyper Mini , released in 1999, and other EVs that use lithium-ion batteries, so we're confident that they are safe.
Impact safety standards in each country are becoming stricter, and data on those standards vary from country to country. In the United States, for example, the standards for rear-impact collisions are more stringent, and in Europe the standard for front-impact collisions involving two cars is stricter because it is based not on a head-on collision but one occurring on a diagonal. We built LEAF to clear the strictest standards in every region.