Nissan showed a refreshed version of its all-electric Leaf today. Available to the Japanese market at first, it offers both more and less.
Through a number of system tweaks, the nominal range under the Japanese JC08 test cycle has been raised from 200km (124 miles) to 228 km (141 miles). Of course, that Japanese cycle is completely out of touch with the real world, but there is hope that under the right conditions, you might get more than 10 percent additional range out of the new Leaf.
In the more department, there are added computer functions that tell you for instance what percentage of battery power is left, or what the state of charge may be when your reach your destination. Leather seats are available, a BOSE energy efficient sound system, regenerative braking has been enhanced, and the cabin heater works with a power saving heat pump.
In the less department, there is a lower price by way of a more frugal “S” (as in Spartan?) grade that dispenses with luxuries such as aluminum wheels, LED headlights, or the germ killing Plasma Cluster Ion generator. With Japanese subsidies applied, the Japanese entry price comes down from nearly 3 million yen ($37,000) to some 2.5 million yen ($31,000).
The new Leaf also is less dependent on China. The rare earth used in the electric motor has been reduced by 40 percent.