Before next-gen arrives, Nissan Leaf may get 120-mile battery

Electric Vehicle's 'Interim' Version May Have 120-Mile Single-Charge Range

  • Image Credit: Nissan
As Nissan prepares to unveil its next-generation Leaf electric vehicle, the Japanese automaker may come out with an "interim" version of sorts that could spur lagging sales of the model in the US. So says Automotive News, which reports from a person familiar with the process who wasn't identified that Nissan soon may start selling a Leaf with a 30-kilowatt-hour battery, up from the current 24 kWh version. It could arrive as soon as next month.

Indeed, Nissan's temporary solution may be to provide range-hungry drivers with a single-charge range of 100 to 120 miles. Sure, that doesn't quite match up with the distance a gas-powered vehicle can go on a full tank, but it would be an notable upgrade from the current single-charge range of 84 miles for the Leaf.

Word first got out about the Leaf possibly adding a 30-kWh battery in late May. Nissan's contending with falling Leaf sales in the US that may be caused by both the expiration of some plug-in vehicle credits as well as the prospect of a glut of used Leafs back on the market as three-year leases run out. Through the first half of the year, Nissan sold 9,816 Leaf vehicles in the US, a 23-percent drop from a year ago.

Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn said in a June 23 shareholders meeting that the company can improve battery technology enough to put an electric vehicle's single-charge range on par with the distance a conventional car can go on a full tank of gas.

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