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.