Nissan promised a long-range version of the of its wildly popular Leaf vehicle back in 2017. Now, the company is finally making good on its promise. The new version of the electric car has a nearly 40 percent improvement in range, letting it travel 226 miles on a full charge. Nissan made the announcement this week at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.
The new vehicle will become available around the world in the coming months. Nissan said that the car will be marketed in the U.S. and Canada as Leaf Plus and marketed as Leaf E+ in the rest of the world. The new model will make its debut in Japan this month and will be coming to the U.S. in the spring. Nissan says the vehicle will be made available in Europe in “mid-2019.”
Denis Le Vot, senior vice president and chairman, Nissan North America, said, “The new Nissan LEAF e+ offers all of the style, convenience and electric vehicle benefits that have helped make LEAF the best-selling electric vehicle in the world, plus even more driving excitement, range, power and choice. Customers now have a selection of powertrains and models to best suit their driving needs.”
The highlight of the new Leaf is a new 62kWh battery pack that increases the range of the vehicle by about 76 miles over the current 40kWh version. That extends the range from about 150 miles to 226 miles on a single full charge. The new battery pack is almost the same size as the older one and will take roughly the same amount of time to charge.
The new model also gets a new 150 kW motor, which generates the equivalent of about 200 horsepower. The previous models had a 110 kW motor that generated just shy of 150 horsepower. The more powerful motor allows the car to accelerate from 50 to 75 miles an hour 13 percent more quickly and increases the top speed from 90 miles an hour to 100, says Nissan.