Nissan adds more range to Leaf electric car

10 Sep 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

2016 Nissan Leaf Gets Best-in-Class 107-Mile Range.

The introduction of a more powerful battery to the range means that the world’s best-selling electric car will be able to travel up to a claimed 155 miles on a single charge.

The new battery is the highlight of an update package that Nissan hopes will see the new Leaf reinforce its position as the world’s leading electric vehicle (EV).NASHVILLE — Amid flagging consumer interest in electric vehicles and hybrids, Nissan will introduce an enhanced 2016 Leaf EV with 27 percent greater battery range. Nissan says that the longer range will significantly broaden the Leaf’s appeal – making it a true alternative to an internal combustion engine vehicle. “An up-to 155 miles opens the world of EV to thousands of drivers across Europe who before just weren’t completely confident that an EV would work for them.

The car’s top two trim packages, the SV and SL, have received a 30 kWh battery that claims an EPA-rated driving range of 107 miles for a full charge, compared to the 2015 Leaf’s 84-mile range. “Gas prices are obviously affecting the financial benefits of owning an electric vehicle, but there are other motivations for consumers to buy a Leaf,” says Tony Weeks, senior manager, Nissan EV sales and marketing. “They want the convenience of not having to go to a gas station. In addition, the 2016 Nissan Leaf will offer an enhanced infotainment system that is more user-friendly and gives drivers greater vehicle connectivity. However, looks are only skin deep, and Nissan is breathing new life into the aging LEAF with an available larger battery pack and new NissanConnect infotainment system. This extra range will make LEAF ownership an easy first choice, for many, many more drivers.” Available on Acenta and Tekna trim grades, it has exactly the same exterior dimensions as existing 24kWh unit and only a modest 21 kg increase in weight.

Charging points can now be located through the navigation system, which will take you to the nearest one of the near 500 Leaf friendly rapid charging points across the UK. According to the Japanese automaker, the menu screen graphics and customization process have been improved, while charging screen information is now automatically updated each time the ignition is turned on and with every 12 miles of driving. Nissan claims that driving range can be improved by using smartphone technology as it can pre-heat or pre-cool the cabin without using the car’s main battery energy. Indeed, Nissan is so confident about the performance and reliability of the new 30kWh battery that the capacity will be covered by an eight year, 100,000 mile warranty. Nissan said today the enhanced SV will retail for $35,050, including destination and before the application of a $7,500 federal EV credit — an increase of $2,100 from 2015.

The standard Leaf S will continue to be equipped with the 24-kWh battery with an EPA-estimated range of 84 miles with an unchanged price of $29,860. “Since Nissan LEAF launched in December 2010, we’ve become the global leaders in electric vehicle (EV) sales with an all-electric car specifically designed for the mass market,” said Andrew Speaker, director, Nissan Electric Vehicle (EV) Sales & Marketing. “We know that to maintain that leadership, we must continue developing battery technology that strikes that ideal balance between capacity, packaging, durability and affordability.” The base LEAF S gets a 5-inch color display that includes Bluetooth hands-free and audio streaming, hands-free text messaging, and NissanConnect with Mobile Apps that supports Facebook, Pandora and iHeartRadio. The Nissan Connect EV replaces the current Car Wings system and features an improved 7.0in touchscreen navigation system with a new design, making it easier to use.

This replaces the previous ‘Carwings’ system and comes with a seven-inch touchscreen, satellite navigation with specific EV information such as charging-point locations, as well as DAB digital radio. Designed to offer seamless integration with the new-generation NissanConnect EV infotainment system, it also features a completely revised navigation system, maintenance alerts and a car-finder facility. Judging by our experience with the newer NissanConnect system in other Nissans we’ve driven, the 2016 LEAF is getting a substantial upgrade in terms of functionality and usability.

Prices start from £20,790 including the £5000 UK government Plug-in Car Grant for a 24kWh Visia and rise to £27,940 (including UK government grant) for a 30kWh Tekna with a 6kW charger and solar cell. Featuring a new interface and digital radio receiver, it also offers a capacitive 7-inch touchscreen that allows owners to zoom in and out of maps and flick between menus just by moving their fingers on the screen. A second-generation model of Nissan Leaf, expected to go on sale in 2017, will be offered in a range of versions. “Expect the next-generation Leaf to mirror any other car, with a wide range of engine options, but ours will all be electric,” we were told by a Nissan insider.

The LEAF 30 kWh also introduces a number of subtle exterior design changes – including a new roof-mounted aerial along with the availability of a new colour – Bronze. Nissan also claims the Leaf is 40% cheaper to maintain than petrol or diesel-powered equivalents, due to the comparatively small number of parts in the car’s motor and drive unit.

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