Nissan Leaf Will Receive Bigger Battery, Longer Range for 2019: Report
Nissan will reportedly make the Leaf a viable mainstream EV with a 60-kWh battery.
Nissan recently confirmed with its outline of the 2019 model year Leaf electric hatchback that the popular EV will get a larger battery sometime during the model year. Now a German publication has reportedly attained the new, larger battery's specifications.
Current Leafs (leaves?) leave the factory with 40 kWh battery packs, which give the hatchback 150 miles of electric range according to EPA estimates. This range is one of the shortest of any EV sold today, with the smaller Chevrolet Bolt attaining a 238-mile range from a 60-kWh battery. The 2019 Leaf will no longer lose out to the Bolt on battery capacity alone according to Electrive, which reports that Nissan's retail network has informed it that a 60-kWh Leaf E-Plus will come in 2019.
Reveal of the Leaf E-Plus was reportedly planned for late November, though the arrest of Nissan, Renault, and Mitsubishi chairman Carlos Ghosn for financial crimes reportedly forced Nissan to delay the Leaf E-Plus' public debut until January at the 2019 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.
Though the alleged Nissan Leaf E-Plus will be capable of considerably greater range with a 60-kWh battery—napkin math says 220 miles is likely—competitors will still boast greater range, not to mention superior fast-charging capabilities. The Nissan Leaf's current 40-kWh battery does not use liquid cooling, limiting the battery's charge and discharge rate, and the 60-kWh battery is also said to go without liquid cooling.
The Nissan Leaf E-Plus will reportedly launch in Europe come May 2019, and demand a €5,800 EUR ($6,580 USD) premium over the base, 40-kWh Leaf. If this premium follows the model stateside, expect the Leaf E-Plus to cost over $36,500—almost parallel to the $36,620 Chevrolet Bolt, which should still have more range.
The Drive contacted Nissan for confirmation of its plans regarding the Leaf E-Plus, though a spokesperson declined to comment, stating that the automaker's plans for the long-range Leaf "will be announced in due time."