There's also a safety consideration: if the controller burns out, an AC motor goes dead. If a DC controller fails you could end up with full pack voltage going through it, possibly burning it up in the process.
Reverse is also easier with AC. With DC you have to switch the wiring around, but with AC you just need to swap the timing of 2 of the 3 phases which isn't too hard since it's already all electronic controls.
Herm wrote:You would need a brushed motor.. lots of maintenance and brush dust issues.. and a bit harder to get rid of the heat since the winding would be on the rotor spinning around. Awful..
As far as I know, AC motors can
have brushes too, but the Leaf's motor does not being a permanent magnet type.