Months ago, we heard that the U.S. version of the 2013 Nissan Leaf would go farther per charge in cold weather thanks to a better heater. This was about the Leaf that will be made in Smyrna, Tennessee starting later this year. A new report on Inside EVs (based on the Japanese language Sankei Biz site) says that the new Leaf, at least the version destined for sale in Japan, will have its range extended to over 250 kilometers (155 miles) in any weather.

Of course, since that is on the lenient Japanese test cycle, it doesn't mean that U.S. drivers will get double their range (the Leaf is rated at 73 miles by the EPA). Instead, the new Leaf should get a range improvement of around 25 percent, which would translate to around 91 miles of EPA range, thanks to more efficient motors and better batteries.

More interesting – since we expect incremental improvements with each generation of vehicles, especially when EVs are concerned – is that Nissan is also considering an entry-level Leaf for release by the end of the year. If Sankei Biz is correct, this model would start at 2.5 million yen ($31,500 USD at today's exchange rates) compared to the current version's starting price of 3.7 million yen ($46,600). Inside EVs notes that, "A similar price reduction in North America would price this new base Nissan LEAF at $26,600." Sankei Biz says the updates are coming a year earlier than planned in order to boost sales. A before-incentive price of $26,600 would certainly do that, wouldn't it?

We've asked Nissan for any sort of confirmation or denial of these reports and will update once we hear something.


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  • 40 Comments
      james
      • 2 Years Ago
      That's a huge drop in price and with gas over 4 bucks/gallon now ordinary people will see huge savings in their pockets for signing up for the LEAF. Especially in California or other states with additional rebates (10 grand or more in some cases plus local perks like free downtown parking, 30% off equipment purchases, metered electric rates, etc). This is a no brainer. Thanks Nissan for moving forward with your original goal. They skipped straight to EVs instead of dabbling in hybrids and this will pay off for them, hopefully. Thanks for making improvements to the design each year.
      • 2 Years Ago
      [blocked]
        graphikzking
        • 2 Years Ago
        Stay with your steam engine then because gasoline is flammable also!!! When gas cars came onto the market there weren't. Gas stations on every block either. New tech takes times. First computers were the size of stadiums so people laughed at them. Now look what our cell phones can do.
        • 2 Years Ago
        [blocked]
      Adam
      • 2 Years Ago
      The Leaf (or any other electric vehicle for that matter) has a long way to go in terms of range and price before I can justify buying one. However, it is nice to see Nissan improving their electric vehicle quickly and not waiting every 4-5 years when a new style is released. As technology advances and the strong push is towards electric vehicles I can't help but wonder what that will do to the value of the used ones. People have bought Leafs with MSRP upward of $30K with what like a 35 mile range. Just two years later the price will go down by $5K or so and the range will improve. That is going to kill the used vehicle value of the used Leafs.
        Alex740
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Adam
        Its just like those who paid thousands for the early generation flat screens that can now buy the same TV for $500, the price you pay for being an early adopter but we all benefit from them paying the big bucks up front. The Leaf owners that I know have more than enough income to cover the loss in value and are more than happy to spend a lot to support a technology that they feel will help move the country into sustainable technologies.
        icon149
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Adam
        if you are an early adopter of technology then this is expected. anyone who is shocked at there Nissan Leaf's resale value shouldn't have bought one to begin with. These people will most likely buy another EV when there current one is 3 years old, lose a tremendous amount on there used car and not mind at all.
      XJ Yamaha
      • 2 Years Ago
      When you can buy a pure electric car that goes 300+ miles per charge for $30k, and there is an infrastructure that allows you to pull into a "recharging" station and fully recharge in 20 minutes or less, I'll be pretty d*mn inclined to bite. That's quite aways down the road I'm afraid, but hopefully it's at least on the horizon.
        Generic
        • 2 Years Ago
        @XJ Yamaha
        The buyers of EVs don't need a 300 mile range. Most people can make it to work and to the store round trip with the range the Leaf has. Would you need to go to the gas station if you could fill your car up at home? For extended trips, families can either just use the gas car they likely already own, or rent for when they go out of town. I rent cars for road trips anyway and I have a gasoline car.
        Bret Frohwein
        • 2 Years Ago
        @XJ Yamaha
        The DC charging ports on the newer ones can give you about 80 miles of charge in 40 minutes. Granted that's still 40 minutes, but it's a lot better than 13 hours!
      xtabay1
      • 2 Years Ago
      19k for a Leaf (after rebate) would certainly be a good deal and a 19K Leaf would be preferable to any other 19K gas powered econo-box out there That being said, Volt is still an all around better car.
        • 2 Years Ago
        @xtabay1
        [blocked]
      Nick
      • 2 Years Ago
      If they can do this, Nissan could dominate the Volt again. That's an incredible value. Finally some moves to make these marvels more mainstream.
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Nick
        [blocked]
      Jeremy Pennini
      • 2 Years Ago
      91 mile range at under 20k (after incentives). That's how they're going get them to be mainstream.
      R3TRO
      • 2 Years Ago
      Why are electric cars so damn ugly?! The only one that is mildly attractive is the Volt. Even if it will take a few miles off the range I want it to at least look kinda cool, not like the class nerd.
        MX
        • 2 Years Ago
        @R3TRO
        Its a Nissan.
        Temple
        • 2 Years Ago
        @R3TRO
        wtf are you talking about. The Tesla Roadster and S are better looking EVs on the market, even the Fisker looks better than the Volt, which looks like another econobox. Aside from that, the others EVs, like the RAV4 EV and Focus EV look almost identical to their gas versions. But seriously, I think the Leaf looks better than most econoboxes like the Versa.
        • 2 Years Ago
        @R3TRO
        [blocked]
        cpmanx
        • 2 Years Ago
        @R3TRO
        The aim is to look distinctive and futuristic. If you want something that just looks like a car, try the upcoming Focus EV. Soon there will be a lot more like it.
          • 2 Years Ago
          @cpmanx
          [blocked]
        • 2 Years Ago
        @R3TRO
        [blocked]
        frahmbomb
        • 2 Years Ago
        @R3TRO
        The Volt is NOT an electric vehicle; it is a plug-in hybrid. The whole point of an electric vehicle is efficiency. This is often accompanied by a substantial reduction in maintenance and more seamless performance. Once you add an internal combustion engine (as with the volt) you increase the complexity, amount of necessary maintenance, and water down the efficiency of driving an 100% electric vehicle. As for looks, if you have the money, there could always be a Tesla in your future..
      Generic
      • 2 Years Ago
      It's cool that a mainstream car company did this. It looked a little shaky taking off, but it looks like they are going to pull it off. If they continue the trend of extended distance and lower price, it will just be a matter of time before this car becomes a home run. I hope the 2nd gen looks better....
      Edward
      • 2 Years Ago
      I still dislike that catfish face.
      James
      • 2 Years Ago
      Farther, not further.
        David
        • 2 Years Ago
        @James
        Indeed. This title should say "2013 Nissan Leaf will go 25% FARTHER, could cost a lot less." "Further" usually refers to the extent of an action (i.e. you should inquire a bit further), whereas "farther" refers to distance (i.e. you should run a bit farther). Easy mistake to make, no harm done. Keep up the good blogging.
        icemilkcoffee
        • 2 Years Ago
        @James
        Farther and further are both acceptable spellings.
      Ducman69
      • 2 Years Ago
      Make it about 25% less ugly, and I'm in!
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