With great batteries come greater power.
Japanese automaker Nissan has revealed that an improved, longer-range version of its Leaf family hatchback will be coming for the 2019 model year. Dubbed the Leaf E-Plus, the new model will not only pack up to 320km of range on a full charge, but it’ll also offer greater shove insofar as performance is concerned too.
“When you have a bigger battery, with more capacity, it just opens up the door to be able to have more output. A larger capacity battery lends itself towards two things: One is obvious – range. The other one, which is less obvious but is equally true, is additional output.” — Brian Maragno, Director (EV Marketing & Sales Strategy), Nissan
The Leaf in its current form packs a 40kWh battery with 110kW and 320Nm, and an official US-EPA claimed range of 243km. The upgraded Leaf E-Plus will not just offer 320km on a full charge, but it may also offer as much as 150kW of punch. So the upgraded Leaf E-Plus’ stats are a significant leap upwards no matter how you cut it, and that may make or break sales with buyers who might be looking at their first electric vehicle.
Of course, a price premium is expected, but we reckon that’s justifiable. Unfortunately, Maragno didn’t reveal much else when he spoke to AutoGuide and revealed the impending Leaf E-Plus, and he didn’t speak at all about how an E-Plus variant might just pave the way for a Leaf Nismo in the near future.
But on the subject, Nissan Australia is (officially) keeping mum on the subject, saying that they are “preparing for the arrival of the second-generation Leaf,” and that’s that. But while a Leaf Nismo might remain a pipe dream, an E-Leaf variant will be here in due course, we think.