Nissan Unveils Second-Generation 150-Mile LEAF Electric Car

By · September 06, 2017

2018 Nissan LEAF

Nissan debuted the second-generation LEAF on Tuesday night. The new version of the world’s best-selling all-electric car will get a bump in driving range to 150 miles (from its current 107 miles) while keeping its price below $30,000. At the same time, Nissan toned down the model’s geeky high-tech looks of the outgoing EV—replacing it with the brand’s more conventional design features (such as its V-Motion grille, two-tone color scheme, and floating roof).

The 2018 Nissan LEAF goes on sale in the US early next year.

The so-called LEAF 2.0 is equipped with a 40-kilowatt battery that enables the car to travel further on a single charge—beating out all other EVs except the 60-kWh 238-mile Chevrolet Bolt and vehicles offered by Tesla Motors. While offering less range than those models, most buyers can expect to pay several thousands of dollars less for a LEAF than for a Bolt or Tesla Model 3.

The new LEAF is also more powerful than its predecessor—increasing its power output from 107 horses to 147 hp, while its torque jumps from 187 pound-feet to 236 lb-ft. As found in competing models, the charging time for the 2018 LEAF is about eight hours via a 240-volt charging station or about 40 minutes to go from empty to 80-percent when using a public fast charger.

The Nissan LEAF’s technology had been lagging behind the competition but the 2018 Model now represents a compelling combination of decent range and a low cost. The lower price tag arguably comes at the expense of class-leading range and the quality of the interior. Early reviews say the new LEAF lacks amenities such as a telescoping steering wheel and comes with abundant use of hard plastics. However, the 2018 LEAF does employ high-tech driver-assist features, such as ProPilot Assist, Nissan's lane-centering intelligent cruise control.

The updated EV could be seen as a stepping stone for the company. Nissan is also preparing a 60 kilowatt-hour version of the LEAF offering around 225 miles of range—to go on sale as soon as late 2018. There are also rumors about a future small SUV based on the LEAF. (The company has promised a full line of EVs since soon after the first LEAF was introduced in late 2010.)

With the introduction of the 2018 model, the automaker said it aims to double (or even triple) its annual sales of the Nissan LEAF. “If it’s successful, the LEAF will be a major part of the portfolio of Nissan,” said Chief Executive Hiroto Saikawa. “EVs will no longer be a niche product.”

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