By on June 1, 2015

2015 Nissan LEAF

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]

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17 Comments on “2016 Nissan Leaf Expected To Receive Larger Battery, Small Range Boost...”


  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

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

  • avatar
    LeMansteve

    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.

    • 0 avatar
      mcs

      Vs. exhaust systems, oxygen sensors, catalytic converters, ignition coils, transmissions, fuel pumps, fuel filters, air filters, oil filters, oil changes, spark plugs, water pumps, radiators, belts, timing belt, turbochargers,…

      ICE or electric – stuff degrades and you have to replace it. I kind of like having one thing that I know is going to break and planning for it vs. internal combustion failure surprise lottery.

      • 0 avatar
        dal20402

        What mcs said. There are so many components on ICE vehicles that just aren’t there on electrics, including most of the stuff that needs regular maintenance. And brakes are under much less stress because of the regen. If you leave the battery out, electrics will need tires and struts and that’s about it.

        • 0 avatar
          Master Baiter

          “If you leave the ($10,000) battery out, electrics will need tires and struts and that’s about it.”

          • 0 avatar
            redav

            A recent study shows battery prices are down to $300/kWh, which puts a new 24 kWh battery at $7200. With the same incremental improvements we’ve seen over the last decade, that $300 number will likely drop to under $250 in a few years, which puts that 24 kWh battery at $6000.

            That number isn’t that far off from replacing a failed transmission or engine with new ones.

          • 0 avatar
            Master Baiter

            “redav: which puts a new 24 kWh battery at $7200.”

            AESC, Nissan’s cell supplier, is losing money at current prices, and Nissan is currently selling replacement packs at cost. I doubt that situation will continue in the long run. I don’t think the replacement transmissions and engines are sold for OEM cost.

          • 0 avatar
            dal20402

            Even if the cost of repair is no cheaper than ICE over the ultra-long-term, it portends well for reliability and medium-term maintenance cost. You pretty much know that a battery will last for at least a certain number of cycles in any remotely normal usage pattern. It’s also easy to figure out how many cycles you use per week. During that period, which will be a decade or more for a lot of drivers, it’s very unlikely that anything will break. Maintenance expenses will be almost totally predictable and, before battery replacement, quite low.

            Contrast this with the ICE ownership experience after year 5 or so, which is often one of replacing failed minor components often.

          • 0 avatar
            redmondjp

            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.

      • 0 avatar
        RideHeight

        And no incontinence stains on the garage floor.

  • avatar
    galaxygreymx5

    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.

    • 0 avatar
      RideHeight

      I envy your Soul EV but I’m not paying that much. Maybe in 5 years or so when I retire an EV will be my last car. But it’s gotta be tall.

    • 0 avatar
      redav

      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.

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    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.

    • 0 avatar
      shaker

      The thing that worries me are the used Leafs that claim “11 or 12 bars” on the battery – I wonder if some shenanigans are happening (with software upgrades) to make the battery capacity appear higher than it actually is.

      I’m thinking of a used Leaf (among other options) in a year or two as a “runabout” 2nd vehicle.

      • 0 avatar
        galaxygreymx5

        Be VERY careful buying a used Leaf. I’ve read two reports on mynissanleaf of people buying the cars used with all 12 capacity bars remaining only to discover the BMS has been reset and the computer is temporarily fooled into thinking the pack has full capacity.

        The bars then drop very quickly (one every several weeks) until it’s revealed to the poor sucker that they got themselves a Leaf with massive capacity loss. The Leaf’s capacity bars are not linear either; the first bar represents a 15% loss with each subsequent bar representing 6.25%.

        A used Leaf buyer’s best bet is to get the LeafSpy app for a phone or tablet and get a real reading of the car’s pack at full charge before signing on the dotted line. Other than this, by all accounts, the cars are extremely reliable. The 2011-2014 battery chemistry was a mess in warm climates, however.

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