New Nissan LEAF soon available in UK

New Nissan LEAF soon available in UK

Production of the 2013 upgraded Nissan LEAF electric vehicle will begin at Nissan's Sunderland plant in the spring.

To date, more than 50,000 LEAF models have been sold world-wide, and each one has been manufactured in Nissan's home country, Japan.

The new model has been modified with more than 100 changes, and is promised to be better to drive with more equipment.

Improvements include an extended driving range, greater recyclability, more interior space, faster charging performance and the option of three trim versions. Subtle styling changes to the nose of the car have improved its already impressive aerodynamic efficiency.

New LEAF's real-world driving range has also been improved by the only visual change to the car: a subtly revised front grille helps reduce the aerodynamic drag coefficient. The new LEAF's driving range is certified at 124 miles under the New European Driving Cycle, which is an increase from 109 miles in the prior model.

Reduced charging time is also promised by a new option that will cut the charging length from eight to four hours. A new 6.6kW on board charger will permit the use of 32A charging using the latest generation of charging points.

Many of the changes have come from feedback from pioneering LEAF owners. As well as human feedback, Nissan has been able to get feedback from aggregated data from the LEAF's unique Carwings telematics system. With LEAF having been on sale for over two years, engineers at Nissan have been able to use the data collected to optimise the car in line with actual customer usage.

"LEAF owners are passionate about their cars and their comments and experiences have genuinely influenced many of the changes we have made to New LEAF," said Paul Willcox, senior vice president, Sales and Marketing, Nissan Europe.

Other aspects of LEAF ownership have also changed dramatically since the car first appeared on Europe's roads, with a greatly expanded charging point infrastructure and a significant rise in the number of Nissan dealers selling the car in the last 12 months alone.

At the time of the 2012 Geneva Motor Show, for example, there were 150 Nissan LEAF dealers across Europe and 195 Quick Chargers. Today, just 12 months later, there are 1,400 dealers and more than 600 Quick Chargers, while the number of conventional public charging points has increased from 12,000 to more than 20,000.

Customer peace of mind has also been increased with a new comprehensive warranty plan for the batteries. A new 'State Of Health' clause will completely cover capacity loss, should battery life reduce quicker than anticipated.

The 2013 Nissan LEAF will be produced in three locations – Japan, the US and in Sunderland, UK. At the same time, the high-tech lithium-ion batteries are already being produced at a new facility nearby on the Sunderland site.

The new LEAF will adopt the familiar Nissan three-tier trim line-up of Visia, Acenta and Tekna to broaden the appeal of LEAF still further. The Visia version offers a lower price entry point while Tekna models feature even more standard equipment than the original model.

New LEAF electric vehicle, which goes on sale in Europe in the middle of 2013, will soon be joined by pure electric versions of the award-winning NV200, to be called e-NV200, in both light commercial van and seven-seat combi versions. Development is also underway on a dedicated EV taxi based on the e-NV200.

John Ironmonger

Author:John Ironmonger
Date Updated:27th Feb 2013

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