Update on the Nissan Leaf 40 kWh story

Rendering of possible facelifted 2017 Nissan Leaf

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
Rendering of possible facelifted 2017 Nissan Leaf

Rendering of possible facelifted 2017 Nissan Leaf

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.


Nissan Sway concept car that will inspire the new 2017 Nissan Micra


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.


Nissan IDS concept car

Infiniti could sell this electric master piece for 40.000 € or even 50.000 € and compete with Tesla Motors


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.

Pedro Lima

My interest in electric transportation is mostly political. I’m tired of coups and wars for oil. My expectation is that the adoption of electric transportation will be a factor for peace and democracy all over the world.

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5 years ago

Lo primero darte las gracias por tus artículos, me encanta leerlos.

En cuanto al tema en cuestión, a ver qué dicen en París o antes y sobre todo a ver si meten la batería de 40 kwh en el Visia + lo digo porque como dicen gama media, no sé dónde meterla.

5 years ago

Any word on who will make the battery?
If Nissan still make it will it be an updated chemistry?

5 years ago

most likely battery is made by LG as Renault will feature it too?

5 years ago

The renderings are from an internet artist and not from Nissan. If that is your source, your story is horribly wrong.

5 years ago
Reply to  NoNo

Only example picture. The story is not wrong because Nissan has already the the parts inflow the factories.

5 years ago

I am not sure what to make of this. On the one hand it is a substantial upgrade and probably enough range to allow me to drive completely freely the vast majority of the time. On the other hand, I think the difference up to the Bolt is quite large – unless of course the LEAF will be significantly cheaper. That would however mean that Nissan would have to lower the price while bumping up capacity by 50%.

Still, this is pretty good news. With both the ZOE and LEAF getting 400km NEDC the VWs and BMW i3 upgrades simply look like “not enough”. Putting some pressure on them is great.

I find it interesting that the more conventional looks expected should improve aero. I have long suspected that those nasty headlights (I am a LEAF owner btw – but they are just weird) were inspired more by the familiar story of how the Prius was supposedly bought by Californians not just because it was eco-friendly, but because everyone could see that you drove eco-friendly. In other words, I think Nissans marketers deemed it very important the car should have distinctive appearance, and that this was more important than looking good. So they came up with the headlight gimmick and tried to sell it as a great innovation that reduced drag.

All in all it seems likely it will be both much better looking and go much farther than today’s car. If the price is also lowered I guess all in all it could be a strong contender.

5 years ago

I always wonder if the EV-automakers could indicate the range of these cars when used at highways with a speed of, let’s say, 120 or 130 km/h. How far could I go?

5 years ago
Reply to  Roy

i really would like to know that too. I can only purchase an EV that have at least range of 200km at highway speeds 120-130km/h because i do regular trips to visit family and is a 380km journey on highway. Since August 2016 the fast charging is available on the A2 in Portugal so i think is possible to make 200km , recharge , and contimue the trip and recharge at destination.

5 years ago

Does a power increase is possible?

4 years ago

Am I wrong saying that Nissan finally might not sale a 40 kwh Nissan Leaf anytime soon (by soon I mean going on sale now or early 2017)? LA show is coming and I don’t find any information regarding that.

Mark Perrin
4 years ago

They need to throw in free rapid charging in the UK to get my order

Walter Calluy
4 years ago

only just established that Nissan doesn’t offer the “flex” or battery lease version any more for the 24 an 30 Kwh battery this moment. This might be a sign that a bigger battery is coming soon….