The Nissan Leaf used to be at the forefront of the electric vehicle segment, but since its launch in 2010, the all-electric car has been eclipsed by vehicles like the Chevrolet Bolt and Tesla Model 3, both of which offer more range. Thankfully, the next-generation Leaf will break cover later this year with significant improvements.
In an interview with Nikkei Automotive, the global director of electric car and hybrid development at Renault-Nissan Alliance, Kazuo Yajima, revealed just how much more range the 2018 Leaf will be getting.
The executive said that the new and improved Nissan Leaf will be able to deliver between 217 to 248 miles of all-electric driving range, which is much better than the 107-mile range offered by the current-generation Leaf.
To compare, the current Chevrolet Bolt has a 238-mile range while the upcoming Tesla Model 3 is expected to provide 215 miles of range on a single charge. These two vehicles are touted to be the Nissan Leaf's direct competitors due to the three of them having a similar price range of about $35,000 to $40,000.
However, it should be noted that the range that Yajima revealed is based on Japan's own test cycle, and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) numbers will not likely be as high. Regardless, the final number is expected to be more than 107 miles.
Furthermore, Yajima revealed that the automaker is in the process of developing a second electric vehicle that is slated to launch sometime in 2020.
"We have developed a prototype vehicle that can run 550 km (341 miles) while keeping the cargo capacity with the same external dimension as the current leaf," he said.
The yet-to-be-named electric vehicle from the Japanese automaker is also said to use a new battery cell with increased density, which accounts for the higher electric driving range.
Meanwhile, the 2018 Nissan Leaf is expected to debut sometime in September with first deliveries to commence at the end of the year.