Nissan Planning to Upgrade Electric Leaf's Driving Range

By Jacob Brown | August 17, 2012
Since its introduction in 2011, the Nissan Leaf has become the best-selling electric car in the world, amassing more than 30,000 sales worldwide. Yet, that number isn't where Nissan wants it to be. In fact, despite the new technology and high price of it, there are rumblings that the car's sales numbers are downright disappointing. So what's Nissan planning on doing about it? Upgrading its technology. Then, it plans to start moving a second-generation car shortly thereafter. What we assume will be the 2013 Nissan Leaf will have an upgraded, more efficient battery, allowing for extended driving range. In the U.S., the 2012 Nissan Leaf has an EPA-rated driving range of 73 miles. Reports overseas say Nissan could be giving it 25 percent more range, which would peg it around 91 miles. Inasmuch, we've talked to suppliers for battery equipment that have mentioned Nissan plans to give the Leaf a 6.6-kilowatt internal charger instead of the car's current 3.3-kilowatt unit.
That would cut charging time in half, making it possible to top off a Nissan Leaf in around three hours—competitive with the newer Ford Focus Electric. Nissan may also introduce a low-cost model to spur sales. But doing so would likely take features from the Nissan Leaf. Considering the base SV model is already pretty bare, we're not exactly sure what Nissan could take out of it. Following the upgrades, we know that Nissan is readying a new Leaf with more regionalized designs tailored to specific markets. It's been reported that the European market will likely see a more radical design while the U.S. and Japan should have a little more conservative package. Nissan hasn't made any official announcements regarding the 2013 Leaf yet, so we anticipate the automaker will unveil its upgrades later this year, likely around November's Los Angeles Auto Show. Source: SankeiBiz (translated)