Range up 40%, motor output up 45%.
Japanese carmaker Nissan has finally revealed their latest variant of the Nissan Leaf, one that aims to address customers that want a stylish zero-emissions 5-door that can go further, and faster. It’s called the Leaf e+ and while it looks broadly like a Leaf or Leaf Plus, it actually has big changes under the skin.
For starters, there’s a much larger battery in there – in capacity, and not physical size. Thanks to the wonders of improved battery density, the Leaf e+ packs a 62kWh battery in almost the same space as the Leaf’s standard 40kWh pack. But thanks to that battery, range is up 40% to a total 364km (up from 241km, both figures based on US-EPA ratings), while the more powerful motors are now able to offer up 160kW (up from 110kW, representing a 45% power increase).
To run a bigger battery, you need a bigger charger. Nissan’s delivered on that front too, with the Leaf e+ packing a 70kW QuickCharging system that, apparently, can get the 65kWh battery charged up with a 100kW charger as fast as a 40kWh Leaf does with a 50kW charger. That’s not bad, considering the 55% capacity advantage of the Leaf e+.
Other unique touches include things like a larger 8-inch infotainment screen which, according to Nissan, offers better satellite navigation functionality and smartphone-like controls, like pinch-to-zoom and swipe-for-next-page and input-username-to-stalk-ex-on-social-media (that last one’s a joke).
The Leaf e+ also comes with ProPilot, a suite of advanced driver assistance (ADAS) systems that are designed to ease the burden on drivers, allowing for longer journeys with less stress. It starts with e-Pedal which transforms the way you drive, allowing you to speed-up and slow-down with just one pedal. Regenerative braking is something we’re familiar with, but e-Pedal is expected to bring this to a new level, with lifting off the accelerator pedal able to bring the car to a complete stop, even on slopes.
The ProPilot ADAS system also introduces semi-autonomous driving capability to the Leaf for the first time. ProPilot is designed to keep the car in lane and at a safe distance from the vehicle in front of it, like a mixture of intelligent cruise control and lane-keep assistance, effectively reducing the the cognitive load on drivers over longer journeys. Additionally, ProPilot in the leaf also comes with ProPilot Park, which takes over all controls to guide the Leaf seamlessly into a parking space.
The Leaf e+ will go on sale in Japan later this month, while the US market is expected to receive it later this year. The Nissan Leaf is slated for introduction here in Australia in the middle of this year – perhaps the Leaf e+ will make it too?
*Please note the discrepancy between Japanese & US testing standards – the standard 40kWh Leaf is rated for 400km based on Japanese standards, but only 241km on US standards. We extrapolate based on the 40% range improvement, on Japanese standards, the new Leaf e+ should do about 560km thereabouts.