Nissan is hard at work developing the next-generation Leaf, focusing on improving the range with new battery tech and – as our exclusive images show – a more conventional look. The new car is expected to be on sale late in 2016, with prices starting around £17,000.
Clearly, the introduction of Tesla’s Model S – and its claimed 312-mile range – has changed the electric car market, making the current Leaf’s real-world range of 85 miles seem a bit old-hat.
Nissan bosses are promising new battery technology is on the way, with better energy density for a more usable pure electric vehicle. A figure of about 186 miles is likely to be the target.
There’s a good chance Nissan will offer smaller battery packs with less range, like Tesla does with its 60kWh and 85kWh packs. The new battery technology and motor will be shared with Nissan’s luxury brand, Infiniti, too.
The premium brand has already made steps towards developing an all-electric saloon – at April’s New York Motor Show, it unveiled the LE concept, which used the current Leaf’s underpinnings. This new model is now thought to be on track for a release in mid-2016.
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