Nissan Leaf updated

5 Mar, 2013 2:21pm Luke Madden

The all-electric Nissan Leaf has been given a new look and a longer range to make it more appealing

Nissan has revealed an updated version of its electric Leaf, with a range boost from 109 miles to 124 miles. And production of the five-door and its batteries will start at the Sunderland plant in June, alongside the company’s existing Japanese factory.

The extended range is down to a number of factors, with a new aerodynamic grille playing its part. But there’s also reduced friction for the internals and a more efficient battery and energy management system, a more efficient heating system and a ‘B’ setting on the transmission, which increases the amount of regenerative braking.

Nissan has updated the chassis in a bid to make the Leaf more fun to drive. It’s tweaked the dampers, for a more planted feel, and the steering has been given more weight. And the brakes have been made more progressive as well.

A new optional Quick Charger also reduces full charging time from eight hours to four hours if using a 32-amp supply, rather than the traditional 13-amp.

The Leaf now comes in Visia, Acenta and Tekna specs, where before there was just the one model. The Visia will be cheaper than the £23,490 outgoing car, with Acenta similar in price and Tekna more expensive.

Visia models have 16-inch steel wheels, black mirror caps and halogen headlights. Acenta cars add 16-inch alloys, tinted rear windows and body-coloured mirror caps. The top-spec Tekna gets LED headlights, a Bose stereo, 17-inch alloys and a new Around View Monitor.

Nissan has also moved the Leaf’s charging unit from the boot to under the bonnet, to give 40 litres more load space, at 370 litres. An LED light inside the charging port also makes it easier to plug in, while the sat-nav is clearer, too.

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They really don't get it do they? Until an electric car can travel in excess of 200 miles on a single charge it is not practical for most people regardless of what their 'surveys' say the average miles travelled is.

Remember to halve the range if you want to get back home! 62 miles is the theoretical maximum I assume, so you wouldn't want to travel more than 50 miles away from home!

I have driven he Leaf and I was incredibly impressed, the power delivery is just fantastic and no normal engine can ever possibly offer the same experience. My brother who's a die hard Audi Fan and owns a new A6 absolutely loved it.

Would I buy one ? absolutely without doubt, but at the moment I can't afford a new car, but when the time comes it will most undoubtedly be the Leaf.

The Leaf has a real life range of 75 miles at 100-110 kph and the new one should improve that in winter with it's much more efficient heater.

Currently it costs me 3000 euro's a year to do about 22,000 miles a year and the leaf would drop that to around 920 Euro's in the Leaf.

I would need a fast charger to replenish 7 kw/h taking 5-10 mins max. Or a work charger.

I would hardly consider 22,000 miles a year small mileage and I would rather put my money into a new car than fuel rather than buy older and older cars because of the cost of fuel.

Forget this 200 mile range theory that people have. I'd rather a faster charging battery that lasted a lot longer than a bigger more expensive battery that I would use to it's full potential maybe 5 times a year.

It's all about the fast charging, remember if I can do 22,000 a year, what's wrong with that ?

The Updated Leaf will also cost far less than a Diesel DSG Golf and cost a tiny fraction to run.

No, I'd say you don't get it!
I've had a LEAF for nearly 2 years now. Does 90% of my trips and probably 75% of annual miles...2 car household but the LEAF is the primary vehicle and the oil burner sits there looking miserable.
If you need more than 80 miles a day or more than 29000 per annum, maybe rethink your lifestyle!

The EV industry has forfeted all trust due to an endemic tendency to make exaggerated claims for range. Who believes the new 125 mile range will be any more achievable than the previous claimed range. Perhaps 100 miles might be viable with care.

The amount of electricity these things use is phenomenal. Using a standard domestic socket, it takes 8 hours for a recharge. Since such a socket can deliver 3kW, it would appear that charging uses 24 kWh (or electrical units) to recharge the batteries. Fuel consumption is thus 4mpu. The output of a 32 amp outlett is just over 7.3 kW. So a 4 hour charge will use over 29 units of electricity (or 20% more). Fuel consumption is thus now only 3,4 mpu. Incidentally, 29kWh would keep an average household supplied with electricity for over 3 days.

@m.t.offiler

22 kw/h is a lot of electricity as my daily average is just 6 for the whole house, so I won't mind my electric bill going up 80 euro's every 2 months compared to spending 600 Euro's on petrol or diesel.

People don't see the 200-300 a month going in cash into the fuel tank, but they see it written down on the electric bill and think 30-40 Euro's extra in electric is costing them a fortune.

The updated Leaf will also charge from 0% in 4 hours but since you will never arrive home with a 0% battery it will take less than 4 hours.

James Chapman

I know the Leaf will do my 22,000 miles a year, I don't drive 200 miles in a day, even if I go away for a weekend, and even if I need more than 75 miles range or 84 with the updated Leaf, I can fast charge over lunch for 30 mins, no big deal with me and a lot of the hotels here in Ireland have chargers now so an overnight charge is no problem.

I concur - I've driven an ellecy vehicle that only does 73miles range - and guess what - your car sits at work for 8 hours a day - you can top up there. It sits in your garage for 8 hours overnight - top up there. And it doesn;t take 8 hours to top up - as you seldom use a whole battery's worth.

But if you're desparate to do 80 miles each way per day then you can, but all it takes is a small change in approach and thinking and you've got it cracked.

Mind you If Mr Chapman is happy to keep wasting his money on petrol whilst we all get ludicrously cheap motoring then so be it.

Customer choice.

I know what i'd rather spend my money on and it isn't petrol.

Him There

I agree, and I think that work chargers should be installed as employees need them, I will admit a lot of people will be travelling closer distances and will not need to charge at work. So it should greatly cut down on the costs if they are installed only if people need them.

Nonsense very few people need to have a 200 mile round trip capability.

yep I agreed

This car was an overpriced lame duck at birth.

It is now an updated lame duck.

I'd love to have one but as I only do 3000 miles a year is it worth it? They cost twice as much as my petrol Yaris cost me new 2 years ago. Might take a while to recoup that much! There are times when I wonder if it's worth having a car at all. Although I'd miss it if I didn't have it.

@m.t.offiler

Couldn't agree more. Considering most major auto manufacturers are only now stepping into EVs after decades with oil burners, there's sill lots of the old practices carried over into the new electric industry, such as realities like your figures above remaining buried deep, yet are important for all consumers to know.

A small point about the energy comparison: the fact that oil is so 'good' (*) as transportation fuel , hides the fact that it actually takes a phenomenal amount of energy to power vehicles: 29kWh in your example; raising the interesting question whether actually it might be cheaper using your petreol car raher than the electric mains to supply domestic energy!

(*)cheap and expedient, that even at about only 14-25% overall system eficiency, it's still cheaper for most practical purposes to use gas. This can only change if other alternatives catch up in overall practical and cost terms)

My commute to work alone is 80 miles, and I work with plenty who do more. But when the wages are pretty good why would I change? Maybe you need to spread your wings a little and go further a field and stop kidding yourself that you will ever see value from your EV. Also I hope you have another £10k spare for when you need to change the batteries.

The sooner manufacturers realise that electric power is not the answer the better.

I should also add I work in the Lakes and borders and have to go from Sheffield twice a week. It would take me nearly 10 hours to do that drive in a leaf.

Do not be fooled by claims that a more efficient heater will extend range. Electric heating is unique in that it is always 100% efficient since heat is the end product of all electrical activity. Only by improving insulation will the amount of energy needed to maintain comfort in the car be reduced.

Don't be fooled by saying an electric heater is an electric heater. It is not. The new electric Nissan/Renaults have a heat pump so your 1KWH of battery to heat your cabin creates >3KWH of cabin heat.

The Leaf has an average user consumption of 330 watt hours per mile. Less than 1/5 the cost of my 1.6L petrol car in fuel alone and I'm not talking about charging on economy 7 either.

you are very unusual, and it's no big deal. This car is not for you. But fine for most.

That has often been said! ;) Sorry but I cant agree, our firm has a few thousand employes and less than 5% of those could cope with this car

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