Nissan Leaf’s new battery may disappoint you

Carlos Ghosn Renault-Nissan Alliance CEO

Bertel Schmitt is a well informed contributor at Forbes and has been talking with Nissan employees about the new generation Nissan Leaf. In his recent article he wrote that from his talks he believes the new Nissan Leaf’s battery may disappoint at first. But a bigger battery capacity option will come later.


If this surprised you, you haven’t been reading this blog… shame on you!

It’s known for a while that the facelifted Nissan Leaf’s battery won’t have as much capacity as the one we find in the Chevrolet Bolt EV. The information we have since last July is that the redesigned Nissan Leaf will get two battery options, 30 and 40 kWh. With the 60 kWh battery option coming only in 2018.


While at first there was the possibility that the upcoming battery could be shared with the Renault Zoe, the information I got later was that Nissan will keep using AESC battery cells made in its own facilities. In fact these new battery cells are already in production at Nissan battery plant in Sunderland. The new battery cells will also be used in the Alliance electric-vans Renault Kangoo ZE and Nissan e-NV200.

The Renault Kangoo ZE has been using the same 24 kWh battery we could previously find in the Nissan Leaf – before it got discontinued and replaced by a new 30 kWh battery. Recently Renault said that the Kangoo ZE will get 59 % more NEDC range from a new battery and electric motor, it will be presented to the public next month at the 2017 European Motor Show in Brussels, Belgium.

If the facelifted Nissan Leaf also gets 59 % more range, the EPA range would increase from 84 to 134 miles (215 km). But wait, the 59 % NEDC range increase in the Renault Kangoo ZE was achieved without aerodynamic improvements.

The redesigned Nissan Leaf will be more aerodynamic and the powertrain will also be more efficient, this combined can boost the efficiency/range an additional 10-20 %. This means that the EPA range should vary between 145 miles (236 km) and 160 miles (258 km). Not as good as the Chevrolet Bolt EV, but it’ll be a much more affordable electric car…


Later in 2018, we’ll see that much awaited 60 kWh battery be introduced as an option in the Nissan Leaf and the Renault Zoe might get it as well, since they will start sharing components in the coming years.


To sum up, don’t expect the redesigned Nissan Leaf to get as much range as the Chevrolet Bolt EV, but if it gets at least 160 miles EPA range and is considerably cheaper it will be very welcomed. I also expect it to be much better equipped than its sister, Renault Zoe and the Nissan ProPILOT technology will definitely make it much safer to drive.


How much EPA range do you expect to be finally revealed next month at CES in Las Vegas? What features do you want that the current Nissan Leaf doesn’t have?



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This Post Has 25 Comments

  1. First of all, I really hope it *does* get presented in January. If so, anything over 215 km EPA would be comfortable for me.

    And as for other features, I’m really longing for more trunk space. An electric station wagon as the primary and only car is what I really want, but that isn’t on sale yet. At least in Sweden, I think that’s what is really missing to make BEVs really popular (presuming the range is OK).

    1. I’m with you! As long it gets presented in January, can be brought in February and with a real range of 200km or more, i’m on it!

      As for equipment, to me, LED headlights in all versions, heated seats, heat pump and 16″ inch wheels is all i ask!

  2. Here in America, for my family the leaf has been a nearly perfect commuter car. To make it perfect – an extra ~25 miles of range for those really cold spells and days when we need to run extra errands; radiant heat for the footwells; roof rack rails or tow hitch; usb power port for rear passengers.

    The Bolts’ 238 mile range is nice, but really unnecessary for majority of population, if you want to take it on long road trips you still need quick charging infrastructure, so if that’s on your wishlist you’re looking at a Tesla. The new Ioniq and eGolf with ~125 miles hit the sweetspot and I would hope the new Leaf will as well, along with the features I mentioned above 🙂

  3. I hope good aerodynamism. I think it’s important for the new user of an electric car to have a similar or almost autonomy at every case. Like the Ioniq in fact.

  4. Aerodynamics is more important than battery size, it enables you to travel further between rapid charges for the same “refueling” time. If it can do a genuine 140 miles and is announced in January and at a good discount to the Bolt then it will do well. A small frunk would be nice to store the charge leads.

    1. A hatchback with steep rear can never be very good at aerodynamics, because it creates a large low pressure zone behind the car. But people, especially in Europe, love the practicality of the large trunk opening and possibility to load bulky items into the trunk.

  5. In my opinion there are two types of cars (it doesn’t apply to the us though where every family has like two cars per person).

    The first car of the household: It needs to seat a full family, have towing capabilities and trouble free long distance driving (like a Tesla model x). If this is archived it can cost as much as 45000 usd, if it’s really good, and still be a best seller. Range needs to be reliable to. Easiest way to make it so it’s to make the motor very efficient at high speeds, aerodynamic and not care too much about weight… Like Tesla :p.

    The second car: it needs to be cheep. Cheep to buy and cheep to run. Maximum 13000 usd. It can have as crappy range as today’s leaf 24kWh and size and quality as a VW Polo. It will be a best seller.

    The upcoming leaf is nothing if the two above. It will probably be a good car for commuters and good in regions with great advantages for electric cars. It will probably just sell slightly better than today’s leaf. In turn bolt will sell slightly better than that and the upcoming model 3 will sweep the floor with all of its competition including dinasour burners!

    1. I agree, but at least in Sweden, one-car households are still common (to me it seems sad if two-car households would be the norm). We have two kids and frequently go on medium distance trips (100 km), but seldomly longer trips and basically never very short trips (there are bicycles after all!).

      And for this type of situation, a station-wagon type of car is ideal. It packs a lot of luggage and comfortably fits four people. A new slightly longer leaf, somewhat similar to the old Corolla Verso for example, would be good enough for me. Towing would be a plus, but not a must for me.

      As for distance, as long as it can do my medium-distance trips in any time of year and in any weather without stopping for a charge, it would be OK. I actually think the 30kWh leaf is good enough range-wise, but I’d like a bit more range just to be safe.

  6. I am more exited than for the Bolt or the Model 3 reveal, because this car will be available in first half in Europe!

  7. I don’t think it will have ProPilot before the all new Leaf 2.

      1. To me a big disappointment will be if no new battery is announced now at CES in January…

        I’m starting to get tired of vaporware and definitely hope that Nissan does not do the same.

      2. That’s not even a possibility.

        The RNM Alliance already has the Renault Zoe ZE 40 as a longer range EV for Europe, but also need the longer range Nissan Leaf for the USA and Japan.

      3. But i need it is here in Europe, Portugal. The Zoe is not an option to me!

  8. Anything on battery thermal management???

    1. I wouldn’t count on it. It would be a pleasant surprise, but Nissan doesn’t want to admit that not having a TMS is a problem in the Leaf.

      1. Thanks! Owning a 2012 Leaf my impression is that Nissan has the highest degradation of all manufacturers. Tesla seems to flatten out on max 5 to 10% degradation. No high degradation stories of other manufacturers float the net. Don’t know about the 2013 batteries but this is a concern to me that makes me reluctant for a Nissan EV.

  9. What about this news AESC cells into the Fluence ze battery replacement?
    Mine is 72% SOH ready to change leased…only 110km range now… could be better to OVERLEASE too.😉

  10. I really hope its as efficient as the Ioniq and at least with a 40kwh battery.

    1. I hope they get the new Leaf down to 0.26Cd. That will be a huge improvement. Ioniq is 0.24 and Im dont think Nissan can acheive that with a car with this skape

  11. We yet know the capacity of the new battery: 38.4kWh nominal ! Source: the 2017 xStorage futur capacity: 9.6kWh from 12 module, and the new Kangoo range, from 170km (actually 24kWh) to 270km.

    1. Only 38.4kWh nominal will give how much useful capacity? 34? 35? That would not be a great improvement. Hope they improve well the efficiency.

  12. Tienes Pedro algún indicio de cuándo lo van a anunciar.

    1. Considering that the Renault Kangoo ZE is going to be officially presented in January 13 at the 2017 European Motor Show in Brussels, Belgium, CES and NAIAIS are the last chances for Nissan to unveil the facelifted Nissan Leaf.

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