Nissan Premieres Next-Generation LEAF EV in Japan and Online

On the day when most North Americans ceremoniously bid farewell to their summer, Nissan turns over a brand-new Leaf

The Leaf, of course is their all-new 2nd generation Leaf EV and at a livestreamed presentation this evening from Japan (where it was Wednesday morning) Nissan debuted for the first time it’s newest iteration Leaf, which is the best selling full Battery Electric Vehicle of all time, having sold 300,000 units in 49 markets to date.

Despite it’s success, the Leaf had its flaws.  Limited range and a quirky, polarizing exterior design left its true market potential unfulfilled.

With the World Premiere of the 2nd generation Leaf, it seems those limitation are no longer.

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Nissan Canada announced that it expects the new Leaf to have a range of 241 KMs.  This places it below the Chevrolet BOLT EV and slightly above the Volkswagen e-Golf and Hyundai Ioniq EV.  A higher powered, longer range version will be available as a model 2019 vehicle but no further details were announced at the launch.

The new Leaf will be equipped with a 40 kw/h battery and will be powered by an improved 110 KW motor, which should provide for increased performance.  The new e-powertrain offers 147 hp and 236 lb/ft of torque.  Using a 6 kw charger, the Leaf will charge up full in about 8 hours.

However, Nissan made it clear more than once during the launch event that it sees the new Leaf as far more than just an EV.  With the addition of autonomous driving technologies as well as a high level of car connectivity, the Leaf is adding increased levels of technology that Nissan believes better matches with the preferences and trends of the customers it seeks with this vehicle.

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It’s new Pro Pilot technology will offer single lane autonomous driving on highways.  Essentially it is dynamic cruise control but taken to the next level, where steering, speed control, braking and distance control are all handled autonomously.

The Pro Pilot Park feature can now offer complete autonomous control of parking into garages or into parallel parking spots.  Where initial versions of this technology still required drivers to control acceleration and braking, this new technology takes over all aspects required to safely park the vehicle.

One Pedal driving is also now possible with the new Leaf.  The ability to drive and brake using regenerative braking systems, but without the need to apply pressure to the brake pedal is a growing trend in EVs and the new Leaf adds a new twist where it is even possible to use the e-Pedal driving to stop on a hill without the use of a brake.

The only disappointing news from the launch event is that the initial roll out of the Leaf will take place in Japan only, beginning October 2nd.  With about 28000 EV charges – 7200 of them being Level 3 fast-charging, Japan is far more advanced in its EV charging infrastructure than other countries so a Japan launch makes sense.

In a separate release Nissan Canada announced that Canadian pricing would begin at $35,998.  The Leaf would qualify for rebates in Ontario, British Columbia and Quebec.  For example the rebate in Ontario would be as high as $14,000.

A new Leaf has been turned at Nissan and it is being blown by the winds of technology, consumer preferences and even necessity, and it seems that the desire to remain the top selling battery electric vehicle in the world is well entrenched.

Eric Novak

About Eric Novak

Eric Novak is a father of 4 who also thinks that environmental stewardship is a requisite of parenting. He's not a professional Dad nor is he an environmental scientist, but he's someone who gives a damn and is trying to make the right decisions as he lives his life as a father, environmentalist and business owner. Eric and his wife Karen have 4 children and reside in Ajax, Ontario.