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Nissan unveils the new LEAF with up to 378km / 235 mile range

by Mark Tyson on 6 September 2017, 18:11

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Today in Yokohama, Japan, Nissan took the wraps off its new LEAF electric vehicle. You can immediately see that the new car features a sleeker sculpted design but under the hood are more important changes such as; an improved range per charge, e-Pedal technology, and ProPILOT driver assistance for relaxed single lane driving and auto-parking. Over 280,000 of the original Nissan LEAF model have been sold globally, since 2010, making it the world's most popular EV.

New e-powertrain

Behind the improved range claims is the new e-powertrain. Nissan says this provides improved energy efficiency and increased torque (320Nm) and power output (110kW) - resulting in greater range and perkier performance. Indeed, the new LEAF will offer a significantly greater range than before, increased to 378km/235miles (New European Driving Cycle) on a single charge - that's about 50 per cent further than the original LEAF. Of course the range will vary according to driving style, road consitions, air conditioner usage and other factors.

E-Pedal technology

Nissan considers its new e-Pedal to be a "revolutionary technology that transforms the way we drive". With this singular pedal control a driver starts, accelerates, decelerates and stops by adjusting pressure on the accelerator. It is further explained that "When the accelerator is fully released, regenerative and friction brakes are applied automatically, gradually bringing the car to a complete stop. The car holds its position, even on steep uphill slopes, until the accelerator is pressed again."

I think it will take some getting used to, and might indeed be less tiresome or even "maximize driving pleasure". However Nissan does include a conventional brake pedal which a driver can use for emergency braking.

Nissan ProPILOT

ProPILOT is an intelligent driving assistant with functionality that can aid with two key driving activities. It can engage in single lane driving on highways and is said to make driving in heavy traffic much less of a chore. Another mode is ProPILOT Park which automatically drives you into a selected parking spot. Control of these smart features and many other aspects of the car is undertaken by jabbing the 7-inch, full-colour (TFT) display. Furthermore, the car infotainment system is compatible with features of Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

Availability etc

The new Nissan LEAF will be on sale in Japan from October but elsewhere one will have to wait until early 2018 for stock. The UK press release, as emailed to HEXUS, says it will be available in Europe from January 2018. News from Japan indicates pricing will be similar to the original car model (from 3,150,360 yen, or roughly £22,220). A model with greater power and range will be added next year too.

Where will it be made?

The current Nissan LEAF for European markets is built in Sunderland and Japan. A decision has not been announced but it is expected that the same manufacturing arrangement will continue for the 2018 LEAF. Unfortunately for Nissan workers in the UK, future UK-EU trade arrangements are currently a source of great uncertainty. Japan is said to be unimpressed by PM May's Brexit assurances delivered during her state visit last week.

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HEXUS Forums :: 34 Comments

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Loving the advances in EV's, had my Tesla Model S for just over a week and absolutely loving it! Off on a 2 week trip around Scotland end of next week so will get chance to see what they're like on a long road trip :)
Credit to Nissan, they seem to be the only traditional car manufacturer (so not including Tesla) that are making an effort with electric. This one actually looks alright as well, previous versions don't look great in my opinion. Range is also good enough for me. Shall have to wait and see but it is certainly tempting!
Whilst EVs are environmentally a disaster at the moment, they're probably where the future is (when generation of electicity catches up) and it's good to see genuine improvements in the technology. Even if we go down the hydrogen route, this technology will be useful. This will only cost Nissan money for now but it's forward looking and I expect that even with advanced in internal combusion engines, hybrid tech will become the norm in the near future.

The single pedal thing will probably die a death - I expect it would be more natural for advanced drivers wo are used to using engine braking rather than the brakes but for your average DSA trained driver it's adapting for the sake of the engineers trying to meet marketing targets rather than an improvement in control. The reason I say this is because if you tell the car what you want to do, then it can work out the most efficient way to acheive it, i.e. you say it should slow and the machine can choose to use inertia, friction or brakes or whatever to acheieve the desired amount of braking in the most efficient way. I suspect this will be brilliant in normal, long term use but will put off many at the test drive stage.
Whilst EVs are environmentally a disaster at the moment

In what way? The energy produced on the grid is more efficient and cleaner than produced by any combustion engine, even our coal production which now contributes less than 5% of the UKs overall usage. Even solar is now generating more.

Of course, go to India or China where energy is almost completely produced by coal and you aren't really helping, but the UK is middle of the road and it will be of benefit to the environment. Not to mention shifting the emissions away from where the people live means increased health.
Here's Robert Llewelyn at the launch etc: