Nissan has revealed an updated version of its Leaf at CES, with a longer-range and more powerful e+ model promising a range of 239 miles, thanks to a 62 kWh battery. It will join the 40 kWh version currently available, rather than replace it.
The new motor fitted to the Leaf 3.Zero e+ produces 160 kW – compared to the 40 kWh’s 110 kW – and 340 Nm of torque for improved performance, particularly at higher speeds.
The larger battery represents a 40% range increase over the smaller version, with 62 miles more available on a single charge according to Nissan. The Japanese firm is forecasting 239 miles of range on a single charge, based on the WLTP tests, but has not homologated the model yet for testing. Official figures will be released later in the year.
Nissan’s engineers have managed to extract additional battery capacity without impacting upon interior space, with the new pack almost the same size as the Leaf 40 kWh’s set-up.
A 25% increase in energy density and 55% increase in energy storage capacity has been developed, with 288 cells in the battery, compared to the 192 cells in the 40 kWh equivalent. To accommodate the new pack, a five millimetre increase in ride height has come about, with other dimensions unchanged.
The innovative features launched on the Leaf 40 kWh are carried forward into the 3.Zero range, with ProPilot and e-Pedal technology the highlights. Additional features for the 3.Zero badge are a new 8-inch touchscreen infotainment system with additional connectivity services, including door-to-door navigation. A new NissanConnectEV app will be launched at the same time.
Nissan is pitching the Leaf up against rivals from Hyundai and Kia, which both have dual EV options from a single model, with the Kona Electric and e-Niro respectively – though the smaller battery e-Niro isn’t coming to the UK. Hyundai offers a 39 kWh battery alongside a 64 kWh version in the Kona Electric, and the e-Niro’s battery is the same size as the longer range Hyundai’s.
Gareth Dunsmore, director, electric vehicles and connected services, Nissan Europe, said: “The Nissan LEAF 3.ZERO e+ Limited Edition broadens the appeal of the LEAF family even further, adding more range to an award-winning package that remains great to drive and live with.
“Since we launched the new Nissan LEAF last year, the customer response has been outstanding. In an EV market that is constantly growing, sustaining the LEAF’s status as the most popular EV in Europe in 2018 is a testament to the strength of the product. We hope the LEAF 3.ZERO models will help continuing this extraordinary growth in 2019.”
The new Leaf 3.Zero range will start at £31,095 for the 40 kWh model, with the 62 kWh version starting at £36,795 – both prices including Category 1 Plug-in Car Grant. Order books are open now, with new versions of the 3.Zero 40 kWh model arriving from May, and 3.Zero e+ deliveries starting in summer.