Nissan has promised a long-range version of the new Leaf ever since it updated its famous electric car back in 2017, and this week at the Consumer Electronics Show the Japanese automaker finally broke its silence. The new version of the Leaf — dubbed “Leaf e+” — will be able to travel 226 miles on a full charge, Nissan says, which is about a 40 percent improvement in range.
The new Leaf e+ will also be more powerful than its predecessors. It will be available this month in Japan for ¥4,162,320 (about $38,300), and will arrive in Europe in “mid-2019,” Nissan says, where it will cost 45,500 euro (about $51,900). The Leaf e+ will come to the US in the spring, but no pricing has been announced. It will also be sold in three trim levels, two of which will undoubtedly increase the starting price.
The current Leaf debuted in 2017, and it’s a pretty dramatic refresh of one of the most popular (and oldest) EVs around. It features a 40kWh battery that is good for about 150 miles of range, and it also offers Nissan’s ProPilot driver assistance technology, which handles highway driving as well as parking. Perhaps more importantly, Nissan made the new Leaf look far more approachable. The bubbly headlights are gone, and the car has a much more modern style (though the interior is quite sparse).
The Leaf e+ builds on this, with Nissan cramming in a 62kWh battery pack that extends the range by some 76 miles. (Nissan said the new pack is nearly the same size as the old one, and that the overall height of the car only changed by 5mm.) Despite the fact that the battery pack is bigger, Nissan says the new Leaf will take roughly the same amount of time to charge as the 40kWh version.
Nissan’s also upgraded to a 150 kW motor, which generates the equivalent of about 200 horsepower. (The regular Leaf offers just shy of 150 horsepower.) That new motor makes the Leaf e+ quicker off the line, but also at high speeds, too, according to Nissan. This should help reduce anxiety when merging onto (or making passes on) highways, which has been a concern with past Leafs.
Nissan has always been ahead of the EV game with the Leaf, and despite its typically modest range, the company has sold nearly 400,000 of them globally since the original model debuted in 2010. About 128,000 have been sold in the US, meaning this new version should be eligible for the full $7,500 federal tax credit for the foreseeable future — something Tesla (and, soon, GM) can no longer offer.