The next-generation Nissan Leaf will feature a new and improved battery, which also means that the electric car could have a range of over 200 miles. “It’s coming,” Kazuo Yajima, Nissan’s global director of EV and HEV engineering, told AutoblogGreen in reference to the 60kWh Leaf. “I’m sorry I cannot say when.” This new battery is more than double the capacity of the current 24kWh model, which grants today’s Leaf a range of about 70 to 80 miles. And with the rise of electric cars from competitors, this longer range comes as a needed improvement to stay competitive. “In the near future, I believe, we can produce an electric vehicle that doesn’t have any driving range problem,” Yajima said.
The demand for the Nissan Leaf is at an all time high and continues to get even higher. According to Nissan’s Gareth Dunsmore, director of the automaker’s zero-emission business unit, there are strong hopes that up to 20 percent of European Nissan sales will be electric vehicles within the next few years (specifically, by 2020). As of March of this year, 6 percent of total sales in Europe were EVs. And if the company can come out with a car with a better range, this increase just may be possible.
But don’t expect Nissan to get into the plug-in hybrid model anytime soon. As Dunsmore noted, “When you are driving a plug-in, you have an electric motor and an internal combustion engine. You use the engine most of the time and it makes emissions worse. I see their relevance, but there is a compromise. I’m glad we took the step and built up a leadership in electric vehicles.”
The current Nissan Leaf gets up to 107 mile range when equipped with the 30kWh battery. With the convenience of your own home charging station, you can plug-in your Nissan LEAF® overnight—just like you would with your cell phone—and you’ll be all set for the start of a new day. And with Nissan LEAF® NissanConnectSM EV you can easily find public charging stations on your route, when you need to recharge on-the-go.