Plugin Cars reports that, after his keynote address at the 2011 New York Auto Show, Nissan's chairman of the Americas, Carlos Tavares, confirmed that the cold weather package is coming soon and, though Tavares didn't announce a price for the package, he did say that it will be standard on all Leafs headed to colder states and offered as an option across the rest of the U.S.
Plugin Cars points out that, presumably, the cold weather package will "reduce the output of the power-robbing electric heater and compensate by heating the seats, wheel and mirror." This should, according to Plugin Cars, present a solution to the "vexing problem of reduced range when the heater is running."
For the record, back in September of 2010, the folks over at Nissan-Leaf questioned Nissan regarding the cold weather package. The automaker's response read like this:
So, it's not like this is the first time that Nissan has promised that the cold weather package would be available soon. Guess we will need to ask Nissan what, exactly, soon means.We found efficiency better and passenger comfort better...primarily [through] heated seats, front and rear, plus heated steering wheel rather than simply using "heated cabin air" to warm you up! The Cold weather package will be released for ordering soon... and will be an orderable option nationwide.
[Source: Plugin Cars | Image: Lancashire County Council – C.C. License 2.0]