Nissan will unveil its new redesigned LEAF “soon,” the Vice President of Product Planning at Nissan North America, Michael Bunce, has confirmed. This new version of the LEAF will reportedly feature a completely redesigned look and upgraded battery pack options, according to the exec.
It’s not exactly clear what “soon” means, as the Los Angeles Auto Show has already come and gone. Perhaps at CES 2017, where Renault and Nissan CEO and Chairman Carlos Ghosn will be on the keynote stage? Perhaps sooner than that? Perhaps not till next summer?
The move seems to be a necessary one, with the Tesla Model 3 launch slated for the end of 2017 and the Chevy Bolt launch nearly here.
Pedro Lima of Push EVs provides more, speaking about the “delay” in revealing the new LEAF:
“Considering that the new batteries are already in production at Nissan’s Sunderland plant, this delay may be related to Nissan making the latest tweaks to the redesigned Leaf to get more range from the batteries. I’m thinking of mostly aerodynamic tweaks like a completely flat underbody or different wheels. Nissan was first surprised with the Chevrolet Bolt EV’s range and more recently with the Hyundai IONIQ electric’s efficiency. The redesigned Nissan Leaf to succeed, should be placed between these two electric cars — regarding range and efficiency. With a 160 miles (257 km) EPA range if it’s considerably cheaper and more efficient than the Chevrolet Bolt EV it does have its place in the electric car market.”
A good point: if Hyundai is able to beat the Toyota Prius Prime for the title of most energy efficient car, without resorting to strange-looking vehicle designs, then why isn’t Nissan? Here’s to hoping that the new Leaf will look like a “regular” car, and thus sell like one as well, but still be energy efficient — rather than selling like a niche offering.
Notably, an unnamed source has apparently confirmed to Push EVs that the new battery packs to be used in the new LEAF (in production at Sunderland) will also be utilized for the Nissan e-NV200 electric van. Good news for those of us who would be very interested in a version of the e-NV200 electric van with a 200-mile range. I’d pay a fair premium for that.
In addition to the details noted above, Pedro recently ran across the renderings above of a potential Nissan LEAF facelift. It’s unclear at this point who the source of the renderings was and whether they are realistic or not.