2016 Nissan Leaf Expected To Receive Larger Battery, Small Range Boost

Cameron Aubernon
by Cameron Aubernon

Consumers looking for a new Nissan Leaf may soon have the option for a better battery with improved range on certain trims.

Right now, the best anyone can do is the 24-kWh battery good for 84 miles of travel on a single charge, Inside EVs reports. However, the 2016 model may see a 30-kWh battery delivering power to the SV and SL trims; the base S would keep the 24-kWh pack. The publication estimates range would come between 105 and 110 miles per charge.

The pack is likely a stopgap measure for Nissan as it prepares the second-gen Leaf for its showroom debut in Q2 2017, though the automaker remains silent on the subject thus far. The new EV is expected to deliver a range of 180-200 miles, while its styling will be more conventional than its current eco-trendy looks.

Price of admission for the 2016 model is expected to remain the same as now, beginning at over $29,000 for the S trim. Three new colors will also be available — Forged Bronze, Coulis Red, Deep Blue Pearl — while Morningsky Blue and Cayenne Red are dropped from the palette.

[Photo credit: Nissan]

Cameron Aubernon
Cameron Aubernon

Seattle-based writer, blogger, and photographer for many a publication. Born in Louisville. Raised in Kansas. Where I lay my head is home.

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  • PrincipalDan PrincipalDan on Jun 01, 2015

    Just paint it the raspberry-esque lavender of the building behind it and the dang thing would blend in...

  • LeMansteve LeMansteve on Jun 01, 2015

    I would be significantly more comfortable buying an electric car if the battery capacity didn't degrade significantly with time. Right now it seems that electric cars make the sense if you lease them.

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    • Redmondjp Redmondjp on Jun 04, 2015

      @Master Baiter Yes, but unlike a CamCord with 100K miles on it that you can sell for a very high resale value, how much will you be able to sell your off-lease Leaf for with a bad battery pack? And who is going to pony up for a new pack just to sell the vehicle? I'm a big supporter of EVs and have even owned one, but the value isn't there for me yet. I'm still driving a 15-year-old Civic and Passat (TDI) that both get 35-45mpg, with no monthly payments. Very good cost per mile for me esp. since I do my own wrenching. I'm not ruling out an EV in the future, and am waiting to see if the new Leaf will have a battery temperature management system (my hunch is 'no') - this would extend the life of the battery pack for sure, but OTOH it would make it more expensive also.

  • Galaxygreymx5 Galaxygreymx5 on Jun 01, 2015

    A 25% improvement in battery capacity at the same MSRP and presumably a similar (or same) weight during a mid-cycle refresh is pretty impressive to me. The Volt's pack has gone from 16.4 kWh to 18.1 kWh while losing weight and consuming the same space over the same period of time. By all indications Nissan is ready for another 25% jump in capacity for the 2018 model year Leaf redesign. If these are the kinds of leaps that EVs will be taking over the coming years it won't be long until they are entirely competitive with gasoline and diesel models without government subsidies. People who drive these cars already love them (I have a Soul EV), consumers just want more range and a greater buffer against capacity loss over time. Looks like these solutions are right around the corner.

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    • Redav Redav on Jun 02, 2015

      I don't expect the larger battery to hit the same price point. It will only come in the higher trims, so it will be more expensive. But with dropping battery prices, the MSRP of EVs will continue to drop for a given battery pack size. I'm more interested in where they put the new capacity. Power density--both kWh/lb and kWh/in^3 are limitations, and if they can fit 25% more battery into the same car, that implies the volume efficiency of the battery has been significantly improved. Weight efficiency plays a big role in the range (more weight takes more energy to move, decreasing range--thus there is a diminishing relationship between adding batteries and increasing range), so perhaps that has been improved as well.

  • SCE to AUX SCE to AUX on Jun 02, 2015

    Nissan is trying desperately to retain its current lessees. A large number of Leafs will be coming off lease over the next two years. At the moment, I'm being offered $5000 off my lease residual, OR 2 free payments to extend the lease by 1 year. Now this bigger battery enters the mix. If I thought my commute would remain the same for the next couple of years, I might bite on the bigger battery. But I'm not sure it will. And there's no way I'm keeping my current Leaf at their prices.

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    • Shaker Shaker on Jun 02, 2015

      @galaxygreymx5 Many thanks - I hope that many others read this as well. Let's just say that I have yet to see a used Leaf at any Nissan dealer!