For example, the new Leaf has "achieved" 228 kilometers (142 miles) of range on a charge on the JC08 test mode, up from 200 km (124 miles) in the previous version. This increase comes, in part, from better regenerative brakes and lower weight high-voltage unit. A new motor is part of a combined powertrain unit that has "integrated functions, streamlined battery module and case structure, and use of lighter parts." The dashboard now also has the remaining battery capacity displayed as a percentage. There are also three new exterior colors (bringing the total to seven): Dark Metal Gray, Brilliant White Pearl and White. For battery lovers, there is also a new "long-life mode," that will only ever charge the battery to 80 percent full no matter how the car is being charged.
Nissan also said that the new Leaf has a lower-cost "S grade" model that starts at 3,349,500 yen ($40,991 US, at today's exchange rates). Compare this to the top-of-the-line G model, which starts at 4,133,850 yen ($50,590). Subsidies are available.
More details on the Japan-only updates – and a short introductory video – are available below. We should get details on the next US model soon – and we suspect many of these updates will make the trip across the Pacific. So far, Nissan has sold 43,000 Leafs around the world.
- Addition of the affordable "S grade"
- Variety of new enhancements and equipment
- 228km of range achieved at full charge (JC08 mode)
- 700 outlets in Japan to be equipped with quick chargers by end of fiscal year 2012
The Nissan LEAF is the number one selling EV in the world. Since its debut in December 2010, more than 43,000 drivers around the world have chosen the LEAF. By purchasing one, owners are making a personal contribution to help create a sustainable zero-emission society; the LEAF emits zero CO2 or exhaust during operation.
The new LEAF continues to offer excellent performance and driving feel, with smooth, strong acceleration and quiet delivery across a speed range that's comparable to that of luxury models, as well as great handling stability realized by well-balanced weight distribution.
The affordable S grade has been added for the new model year and joins the ongoing G and X grades. There is no performance sacrifice with the new S grade.
Among several new enhancements for the new LEAF are:
- Available genuine leather seats
- BOSE® Energy Efficient Series sound system
- Around View Monitor which assists parking at roadsides
- Driving range of 228km at a full charge (JC08 mode)
- Enhanced regenerative braking performance
- A power-saving heating system.
The major changes in specifications and equipment of the new Nissan LEAF are:
- Sporty and stylish 17-inch aluminum wheels (standard on G)
- 16-inch aluminum wheels used in the current model are available as a factory-installed option (on X)
- 16-inch full-wheel covers (standard on S and X)
- LED headlights with auto-leveling using blue reflection LED lights (standard on G, factory-installed option on S and X)
- Front fog lights (standard on G, dealer-installed option on S and X)
- Seven available body colors, including three new colors: Dark Metal Gray, Brilliant White Pearl and White.
- Chic, elegant black interior
- Genuine leather seats available on G and X as a factory-installed option (Airy Gray color for previous model is available on G and X)
- Pop-up and down adjustable rear center seat headrest
- Increased luggage space from 330L to 370L, realized by moving a downsized onboard charger from the back of the car to the front
- Remaining battery capacity shown by percentage in the Multifunction Display
- Foot-operated parking brake.
Basic EV structure
- High voltage unit, including an electric motor, inverter and DC/DC converter, was integrated, resulting in a 30 percent volume reduction and a 10 percent mass reduction
- More responsive and exhilarating acceleration feel delivered by a newly designed motor
- Weight reduced by about 80kg compared to previous model. Achieved by combined powertrain unit, integrated functions, streamlined battery module and case structure, and use of lighter parts
- B range that generates deceleration without feeling a change in noise and gravity even on a downward slope (standard on G and X)
- Enhanced driving performance achieved by improved steering response in the medium-speed range and optimized suspension characteristics associated with weight reduction.
Improved power consumption
- Reduced power consumption with a heat-pump cabin heater, heated seat for all seats, heated steering wheel and heat shield ceiling
- Changes to the regenerative brake control system enable more efficient power generation when the brakes are operated.
- Long-life mode (where the battery is charged to 80% to extend the battery life), now available in any charging mode
- Improved convenience of the charging port, including a locking mechanism for the normal charging connector, LED light for charging at night and electromagnetic opener for the charging port lid.
- Addition of "Stop-off charging spot guidance" function, "Power-saving route guidance" function and "Battery capacity at a destination forecast" function which can allay potential range anxiety
- New ways to search for and locate charging spots easily and quickly. Adoption of "Charging spot availability information provision" function, "Quick charger location display" function and "Unavailable charging spot display" function.
- Lighter-weight, highly efficient BOSE® seven-speaker system: Energy Efficient System (factory-installed option on G and X)
- Around View Monitor shows an image of the vehicle's surroundings that is not easily visible (factory-installed option on G and X)
- Highly concentrated Plasma Cluster Ion generator which eliminates odors and kills germs (standard on G)
- Hill Start Assist which enables a driver to start the LEAF on a slope without worrying about rolling backward
Pricing, Tax Incentives and Subsidies in Japan
|Drive system||Motor||Grades||Price (JPY)|
All Nissan LEAF grades qualify for the Japanese government's eco-car subsidies and are exempt from the automobile weight tax and automobile acquisition tax. In addition, LEAF customers can receive up to 780,000 yen in incentive grants in accordance with the Japanese government's incentive scheme for fiscal year 2012 to promote the purchase of clean energy vehicles.
Customers can apply for these subsidies at the Next Generation Vehicle Promotion Center. Additional subsidies may be available through local governments. To qualify for these subsidies, owners must retain the vehicle for six years.
Nissan LEAF also qualifies for preferential tax incentives available for environmentally friendly vehicles. As such, the LEAF is fully exempt from the automobile acquisition tax on vehicles registered by March 31, 2015, and the automobile weight tax on vehicles registered by April 30, 2015.
Additionally, the automobile tax on vehicles registered by March 31, 2014 is reduced by 50 percent for one year starting from the next fiscal year following the registrations.
BOSE is a registered trademark of the Bose Corporation.
Plasma Cluster is a registered trademark of the Sharp Corporation.
For information about Nissan's comprehensive approach to zero emissions, please visit: http://www.nissan-zeroemission.com/EN/
Nissan Motor Co., Ltd., Japan's second-largest automotive company, is headquartered in Yokohama, Japan, and is part of the Renault-Nissan Alliance. Operating with more than 248,000 employees globally, Nissan provided customers with more than 4.8 million vehicles in 2011, generating revenue of 9.4 trillion yen ($US118.95 billion). With a strong commitment to developing exciting and innovative products for all, Nissan delivers a comprehensive range of 64 models under the Nissan and Infiniti brands. A pioneer in zero-emission mobility, Nissan made history with the introduction of the Nissan LEAF, the first affordable, mass-market, pure-electric vehicle and winner of numerous international accolades, including the prestigious 2011-2012 Car of the Year Japan and 2011 World Car of the Year awards.