2013 Nissan Leaf
  • 2013 Nissan Leaf
  • 2013 Nissan Leaf

  • 2013 Nissan Leaf
  • 2013 Nissan Leaf

  • 2013 Nissan Leaf
  • 2013 Nissan Leaf

  • 2013 Nissan Leaf
  • 2013 Nissan Leaf

  • Update caption.
  • 2013 Nissan Leaf
  • 2013 Nissan Leaf

  • 2013 Nissan Leaf
  • 2013 Nissan Leaf

  • 2013 Nissan Leaf
  • 2013 Nissan Leaf

  • 2013 Nissan Leaf solar panel
  • 2013 Nissan Leaf solar panel

  • 2013 Nissan Leaf wheel
  • 2013 Nissan Leaf wheel

  • 2013 Nissan Leaf headlight
  • 2013 Nissan Leaf headlight

  • 2013 Nissan Leaf front interior
  • 2013 Nissan Leaf front interior

  • 2013 Nissan Leaf steering wheel
  • 2013 Nissan Leaf steering wheel

  • 2013 Nissan Leaf dash
  • 2013 Nissan Leaf dash

  • 2013 Nissan Leaf dash
  • 2013 Nissan Leaf dash

  • 2013 Nissan Leaf shifter
  • 2013 Nissan Leaf shifter

  • 2013 Nissan Leaf rear seats
  • 2013 Nissan Leaf rear seats

  • 2013 Nissan Leaf cupholders
  • 2013 Nissan Leaf cupholders

  • 2013 Nissan Leaf infotainment screen
  • 2013 Nissan Leaf infotainment screen

  • 2013 Nissan Leaf interior
  • 2013 Nissan Leaf interior

  • 2013 Nissan Leaf rear interior
  • 2013 Nissan Leaf rear interior

  • 2013 Nissan Leaf rear interior
  • 2013 Nissan Leaf rear interior

  • 2013 Nissan Leaf charging plug
  • 2013 Nissan Leaf charging plug

  • 2013 Nissan Leaf charging plug
  • 2013 Nissan Leaf

During today's announcement about the expansion of DC fast charging stations in the US, Brendan Jones, Nissan North America's director of Leaf marketing and sales strategy, said that one reason the company is working harder on getting more chargers out there is because drivers asked for them. As one Leaf driver told him, "Give us more confidence by putting in more infrastructure and we'll drive further." Turns out that the 2013 Nissan Leaf itself was updated with EV driver input, a new industry style to match the new drivetrain.

"We frequently rely on them for what's working and what's not working. They're not shy."

"I'm an old-school car guy," Jones told AutoblogGreen. "I've been in the industry since the '80s. The amount of evangelism and groups – the Bay Area Leafers, for example, are between 300 and 350 strong – is different [with the Leaf]. We frequently rely on them – there's an Arizona club, a Tennessee club – for what's working and what's not working. They're not shy. It's great because even if sometimes there's critical information, it's good information.

"In San Francisco, we took 30 customers to one of those 'have-it-out-sessions' and they brought up the light [in the charge port]. They started yelling. 'It's absolutely crazy that you guys don't have a light!' When we put out the car, no one thought about that. Little things like that that improve the ownership experience. You can't buy better customers. They're great evangelists and they're very involved and they make us as a manufacturer better. I've launched other vehicles, and it's never been like this."

This light is just one change that was applied to the Leaf after early adopters pointed out how the car didn't meet their expectations. The headrests were made smaller, for example, and the electronic parking brake was removed. Also, the charging port now locks the cord in place, so no one can disconnect the charging process except the driver.

"The customers are going to play a big role in helping us make it better than anyone else."

The interaction between Nissan and Leaf owners heralds a bigger change that the Leaf itself is a part of. "The gasoline engine has been around forever," Jones said, "and when Henry Ford put the Model T out there, everybody started adopting it. This [the Leaf] is brand new, so this technology is at the beginning. It's only going to get better and better and better, and the customers are going to play a big role in helping us make it better than anyone else."


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  • 37 Comments
      Fleta Parker
      • 2 Years Ago
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      Grendal
      • 2 Years Ago
      Nissan could take a page from Tesla and Fisker, making their car look good goes a long way to increase demand. I am a big fan of aerodynamics but you can still make aero look cool. If the looks are popular in Japan, then fine, leave it lokks as it is for Japan. For the USA, make a much cooler design that appeals to buyers even if it's less aerodynamic. It's mostly a city car anyway so having amazing aerodynamics should come second to something that looks good. And market the thing better too. I test drove the Leaf and really liked the way it worked. It's a good car. I've mentioned a couple times of my trip to Chicago and the entire time I was there thought that I wouldn't hesitate to buy the Leaf for driving in that city.
        Ziv
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Grendal
        Couldn't agree more. The Leaf has a good Cd but since the area is so big it takes a big hit on the highway. When I drove the Leaf there was at least 4 or 5 inches between my hair and the headliner. That is wasted space and is why the CdA is only ok. But Nissan is really doing itself a favor by listening to the Leaf fans. That is going to help them get past the hot zone battery problems. Once they get past 100 miles of real world range they will sell more of them. And at the new price, even a limited utility car like the Leaf looks pretty attractive as a second car.
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Ziv
          I had a drive recently in a Volt and i must say i would *never* buy a car with such cramped interior and atrocious visibility. For me, this kind of design is awful... Some years ago, i got a Versa for the much superior "leaving space" (not sure it make sense in english...) to any sub c it had. For me, that's the first design criteria. The second one is clean lines (ex.: Hyundai don't have clean lines altough Kia generally have) and i admit the Leaf fall short in this area. If the upcoming Versa is of any indication, Nissan will also make a good move with the Leaf in the future.
          Spec
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Ziv
          Aerodynamics are more important. If you make a nice looking car but the range sucks because of the aerodynamics then people still won't buy it. They need to keep exploring the design space and find aerodynamic designs that people like.
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Ziv
          "Wasted" headspace is a subjective call. Some people are tall & fill this space!
      Tes
      • 2 Years Ago
      Seriously, Nissan needs to be told how to make decent car that runs on batteries? I got rid of that junk that barely got me 50 miles and got Volt and I am much happier even with the first revision.
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Tes
        50 miles? How on earth do you drive? I'm at top of 600 ft. hill & get 70-ish easily. This is with almost 20,000 miles on it.
        Spec
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Tes
        I'm glad you are happy with your Volt. But there is no reason to pee in other people's corn flakes. Some people want a car that never has to deal with fill-ups, oil changes, smog checks, tune-ups, oil filters, exhaust systems, etc.
          paulwesterberg
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Spec
          @tes: if you have only filled up your volt 3 times over 20k miles then a car with a measly 50 mile range should pretty much completely cover all the driving you do.
          Tes
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Spec
          I guess you didn't know that but Volt is electric too. I've put 20k miles on it and filled up 3 times, no oil changes or smog checks or oil filters needed so far.
          JakeY
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Spec
          @Tes New cars don't need smog checks until two years later (at least in my state). The Leaf will never need a smog check. For the Volt, GM recommends a 2 year oil/filter change schedule or when the car alerts you (whichever comes first).
        Spec
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Tes
        @paulwesterberg You nailed it. He whined about range but then bragged about 20K miles with only 3 fill-ups. Obviously a pure EV would have worked just fine for virtually all his driving. Perhaps a gas car borrowed, rented, car-shared, etc. for the rare long trip.
        Marcopolo
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Tes
        @ Tes, Stop trying to invent a contest between Volt and Leaf. Leaf has it's own market, and for owners who understand the leaf's range limitations, the Nissan Leaf is an excellent vehicle. It's good to see that Nissan are keen to rectify any minor flaws. GM's Volt is a totally different category of vehicle. The Volt has features that Volt owners decided were a priority. Leaf buyers decided that these features were unimportant for their personal circumstances. There are no rights or wrong, just personal choice ! Both vehicles remains excellent choices,and a credit to their manufacturers.
          chanonissan
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Marcopolo
          @tes nissan range under the EPA is 60 mpg, at 80 percent and 73 at 100% combined, not 50, even when the car is rated as 60 mpg 80 % charge combined (city +highway), a consistant speed on highway can get over the 60 mpg, if you are driving in the city you get more. The faster you drive the less range you have, the slower you drive the more range you have. If you were truely a leaf owner you will have known that.And there is more info on the leaf forum, people getting more than EPA estimate. But either you were driving the car full blast and want to blame the car for your excessive driving.
      Andrew
      • 2 Years Ago
      People actually wanted a manual foot parking brake over the motorized version in the 2011-2012? Seems like a step backwards to me.
      Randy C
      • 2 Years Ago
      I would love it if 2 of the innovations in the 2013 model could be installed in the 2011 model. First is the 6Kw charger, this would cut the charge time in half. And the second is the charge door latch. I can't tell you how many times I forgot to pull the handle before I got out only after picking up the charge plug realizing I have to go back unlock and open the driver's side door. I can not fathom why it's locked from inside the car. No one is going to be able to siphon the electrons back out.
        Spec
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Randy C
        Very good point. That was probably just a left-over latch from a gas version. And eliminating it would save money!
      • 2 Years Ago
      Don't like locking charge port. At places like LAX parking1 it is common understanding that one may unhook a fully charged car to use the charger. With a limited number of chargers & cars left hooked up at times for a month this is absolutely necessary to keep charging available. Locks will severely limit ability of most drivers to charge.
        Joeviocoe
        • 2 Years Ago
        if the lock is electronically actuated, then it should unlock upon full charge.
      chanonissan
      • 2 Years Ago
      I want to point out some thing for those who donot know the 73 mpge is a comined (city and highway) EPA estimate at 100% charge, the city is 106 mpge and the highway is 92mpge. At 80 percent charge that nissan recommend the combined range drop to 60 mpge, the highway is 74mpge and the city is 85 mpge.
      tina juarez
      • 2 Years Ago
      It is really Big to have a car company LISTEN to the innovators. What a shift from buying innovation and shelving it as American companies do! The NEXT leaf will have a louder horn if the reps response to one S.F. owners after market addition is any indication! Major creds for NIssan!
      carboy55
      • 2 Years Ago
      One thing many of the commentors knocking the appearance fail to consider is what the LEAF was designed to do: Provide a 100% electric vehicle that is practical for everyday use that is reasonably affordable. You have to have a low cD for an EV, otherwise the wind noise negates one of the great parts of the EV driving experience - QUIET. Designs like Fisker and Tesla compromise interior space (practical) and require low volume, difficult stamping, painting and assembly processes (affordable). As a LEAF owner, I can tell you the thing is simply beautiful from the driver's seat and I quietly whoosh past gas stations every day.
        JP
        • 2 Years Ago
        @carboy55
        A low cd does not mean a car has to look ugly. The Tesla Model S has a much lower cd than the LEAF, looks a hell of a lot better, and actually has more interior space. The body shape does not affect painting, stamping, or assembly, that is total nonsense.
        Spec
        • 2 Years Ago
        @carboy55
        The low cD is also vitally important in order to get a good driving range.
      Spec
      • 2 Years Ago
      I'm glad to hear they are listening to their buyers in order to improve the product. The biggest issue is still the relatively high price but they certainly make a big move to remedy that issue. I'd suggest they offer the car with various battery pack sizes the way Tesla does . . . and allow people to upgrade later if they so choose.
      • 2 Years Ago
      @Ryan, VIA motors displayed their Extended Range Electric trucks, suburbans and technology at the past Auto Show. Even though they are only available later this year on long term leases, its still about 35miles of pure electricity and a 4.3L V6 generator to extend the range (similar to a VOLT) @Tes, 3 Fill ups for 20k, thats awesome. But seems like your strictly electric commuting but at times your going a longer distance. If you own only 1 car, then the VOLT might be the good fit, but for most of us having a larger ICE or second/third car...the LEAF is perfect to move away from the maintenance, OIL Changes and Gas Consumption. Car isnt for everyone, But every owner out there right now loves the car and probabbly would only trade it for an upgraded ver of the same car. Glad to see the updates are coming, all LEAFS nationwide are almost sold out = A demand for the MY13 LEAF is possible...
      Spiffster
      • 2 Years Ago
      Ummm... but it still looks the same... :D
        2 wheeled menace
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Spiffster
        No kidding... Just making the headlights look better would have been an improvement :/
          2 wheeled menace
          • 2 Years Ago
          @2 wheeled menace
          I see, they could have at least covered up part of the headlights rather than make them as obscenely large as possible though. There are other ways to get aerodynamic gains. Get Mercedes on the line... ;)
          Louis Choquette
          • 2 Years Ago
          @2 wheeled menace
          The odd looking shape of the lights was actually designed that way to reduce the drag coefficient of the exterior mirrors. This is an example of function over style.
          • 2 Years Ago
          @2 wheeled menace
          If everyone thought the same about looks, the human race would have died out long ago!
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