I love the Nissan LEAF, and there are a lot of people with me on that, but there’s no doubt about it: the coming 200-mile Chevy Bolt and 215-mile Tesla Model 3 are eating into LEAF sales quite a bit. It seems everyone is itching to find out how Nissan will respond … and how fast.
Last October, I was told that the 2017 Nissan LEAF would have 130 miles of range and the 2018 Nissan LEAF would have 150 miles of range — interestingly, “to keep up with BMW.”
Now, rumor is that the 2017 Nissan LEAF will have a 40 kWh battery and 140 miles of range (EPA rating). It’s nice to get a bit of a bump from 130, assuming the rumor is true, but that is still a huge drop below the Chevy Bolt, and the Model 3. Can it keep Nissan in the game? Hard to know. With such a gap, I wouldn’t choose a LEAF over a Bolt or Model 3, but there are a lot of uninformed shoppers out there.
Pedro Lima, who found out about the 2017 Nissan LEAF plans, added that the 40 kWh battery pack “means that the energy density improved from 317 Wh/L to 528 Wh/L since the first 24 kWh battery. Not yet in Tesla Motors territory but not far… The second generation NMC cells are making this possible.”
Pedro also claims the Renault Zoe is getting a boost from the same 40 kWh battery product. “If Nissan and Renault will start sharing components as Carlos Ghosn suggested, the 40 kWh battery makes sense, since the Renault Zoe will also have one with the same capacity. Both Zoe and Leaf will probably have the same 192 cells but in a different package.”
The sources on all of this are slim at this point, but their statements match up, my source seemed to know what she/he was talking about, and the moves make sense … even if not enough sense (i.e., not enough of a range boost).
Check out our long-term Nissan LEAF review (with no home charging) for more info and thoughts on the LEAF.
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