The Nissan Leaf is the best-selling electric car to date.
With more than 380,000 sold globally in its nine-year lifespan, it still holds that title over the likes of the Tesla Model 3, at least for now. There’s a lot to like about the Leaf: it’s practical, functional, and a sensible option for those looking to make the jump to an electric car. However, one persistent gripe about the new Leaf has been its range. With a 40 kWh battery back, its 150-mile range just doesn’t hold up against growing competition.
Now, a longer range 2019 Nissan Leaf Plus has debuted at the 2019 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, Nevada. Technically, Nissan markets this leaf as the “e+” in global markets, referring to the larger battery pack and longer range against the standard Leaf. This model has a 62 kWh battery pack, as well as a larger 160 kW electric motor. Not only does it have a 226-mile range — a 50 percent improvement — it’s more powerful as well. Nissan claims a 45 percent power bump, which puts the Leaf Plus around 213 horsepower. Torque is also up to 250 lb-ft from 236 lb-ft in the standard Leaf. As a result, Nissan says the Leaf Plus is 13 percent quicker in the 50-75 mph sprint. That should make passing maneuvers a little bit easier. Top speed has gone up around 10 percent as well, to just over 100 mph.
The Nissan Leaf Plus also charges faster, thanks to a 70 kW quick charging system. The company claims owners should experience similar charging times on a 100 kW charger that standard Leaf owners manage with its 50 kW system. Despite the increase in capacity, the new battery pack in the Nissan Leaf Plus is nearly the same size as the old 40 kWh unit. Nissan’s 8-year/100,000-mile warranty still applies to its battery packs across the whole Leaf range.
On sale this spring
Nissan will market the Leaf Plus “series” alongside the standard Leaf. It will go on sale in Japan this month, while U.S. sales will start later this spring. The Nissan Leaf Plus will still have the same trim levels (S, SV and SL), just with “PLUS” at the end. Pricing is not available yet — Nissan will announce that closer to the on-sale date.
The Nissan Leaf Plus will still get all the features of the standard car. That means ProPilot Assist, e-Pedal and other comfort and convenience features like the 8.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system are still available. According to Denis Le Vot, Nissan North America’s senior vice president and chairman, “Customers now have a selection of powertrains and models to best suit their needs.”