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?