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

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
  • 2013 Nissan Leaf
  • 2013 Nissan Leaf

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

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

2013 Nissan Leaf headlight
  • 2013 Nissan Leaf headlight
  • 2013 Nissan Leaf headlight

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

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

2013 Nissan Leaf shifter
  • 2013 Nissan Leaf shifter
  • 2013 Nissan Leaf shifter

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

2013 Nissan Leaf cupholders
  • 2013 Nissan Leaf cupholders
  • 2013 Nissan Leaf cupholders

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

2013 Nissan Leaf interior
  • 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 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 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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