After I wrote the story about the upcoming Nissan Leaf with a 40 kWh battery, I tried to gather more information about this upgrade from different sources.
This is what I got:
- 40 kWh is the usable battery capacity
Nissan will start to advertise only the usable battery capacity, as Renault already does. The total battery capacity should be 45-46 kWh for the Nissan Leaf and the Renault Zoe R400.
- Minor facelift
It will look more like the Nissan Pulsar. Better aesthetics and aerodynamics.
- Production starts in December
With most first deliveries happening in early 2017, some lucky buyers might get it earlier as Christmas present.
Given the usable battery capacity and aerodynamics improvements, the facelifted Leaf might have an EPA range of 160 miles. But more important it can be advertised with 400 km range in the optimistic NEDC in Europe. The same will happen to the Renault Zoe R400 and both cars will surpass the range of the recently improved BMW i3. With the efficiency improvements the entry level trim with the 30 kWh battery should also get a minor range increase.
Now my speculation about this.
With a 160 miles (257 km) EPA range, the Leaf can do well against the Chevrolet Bolt. The Leaf will be a more efficient car and with a lower price, the bigger 60 kWh battery of the Bolt doesn’t make it an absolute winner. Especially if the Leaf gets higher charging rate. A more powerful internal charger and 100 kW DC support would be great selling points.
If I was Carlos Ghosn I would put the Nissan Micra EV as an entry level electric car, it would be a great seller as a city car in Europe and Japan.
The Leaf would remain a mid level EV and I would use the IDS concept car to make a higher level product. In my opinion the IDS is such a masterpiece that it competes with the Tesla Model 3, not the utilitarian Chevy Bolt. The IDS has the cool and sleek look that Nissan could sell it for 40.000 €. It would even make more sense to let its luxury brand, Infiniti sell it for a higher price tag. This company has been promising an electric car since the Stone Age, IDS should be it.
Carlos Ghosn once said he won’t start the electric car’s revolution, but he wanted to be prepared if it happens. It’s happening Carlos, act fast and smart. If you do it right you’ll be remembered for it.
The upcoming weeks should reveal more information. I don’t think we’ll have to wait for the much expected Paris Motor Show.
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