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Technical improvements boost driving range from 109 miles to 124 milesLuggage space improved by re-positioning charger to under the bonnetNew heat pump reduces electrical consumption in cold weather delivering real-world range improvementsOptional 6.6Kw charger reduces charging time from eight hours to four hours on a 32 amp supplyChassis re-engineered in Europe, for Europe giving better handling and even greater driving pleasureLine-up now consists of three trims - Visia, Acenta and Tekna - for more appeal and equipmentProduction of new LEAF and its batteries will begin at Sunderland in the SpringThe new Nissan LEAF has arrived - and it has a longer range, is more practical, better to drive and has even more equipment. Since
its launch in 2011, more than 50,000 examples have found homes and the
world's best-selling pure electric vehicle has been built solely in
Japan. But production of the new model will soon commence at Nissan's
Sunderland production facility with more than 100 changes made to the
multi-award winning car.Improvements
include an extended driving range, greater recyclability, more interior
space, better charging performance, more equipment and, with three
versions now available, greater choice. Subtle styling changes to the
nose of the car have improved its already impressive aerodynamic
efficiency.Many
of the changes have come as a direct result of feedback from pioneering
LEAF owners. With some of the most active Internet forums of any
car-owning group, LEAF drivers have become enthusiastic advocates of
zero-emission mobility and of the car itself - LEAF enjoys the highest
customer satisfaction rating of any Nissan model with a score of 93 per
cent. As
well as discussions about various aspects of life with a LEAF, the
forums are used by owners to offer tips and hints to fellow users, as
well as to suggest a number of improvements that could be made to the
game-changing car. By monitoring this feedback and by holding regular
owner events to gain further input, Nissan has incorporated many of the
suggestions into New LEAF. In
addition to this human feedback, Nissan has been able to get feedback
from aggregated data from the unique Carwings telematics system, which
is at the heart of LEAF. This powerful feature gives customers the
ability to control the heating and charging of their car remotely and
also logs information on charging, usage patterns and distance driven.
With LEAF having been on sale for more than two years, engineers at
Nissan have been able to use some of the data collected to optimise the
car in line with actual customer usage. Changes
range from a new powertrain assembly that greatly enhances the car's
practicality to simple modifications, such as the addition of an LED
inspection light within the charging port making overnight charging that
much easier."LEAF
owners are passionate about their cars and their comments and
experiences have genuinely influenced many of the changes we have made
to New LEAF," said Paul Willcox, senior vice president, Sales and
Marketing, Nissan Europe.Other
aspects of LEAF ownership have also changed dramatically since the car
first appeared on Europe's roads, with a greatly expanded charging
infrastructure and a significant rise in the number of Nissan dealers
selling and servicing the car in the last 12 months alone. At
the time of the 2012 Geneva Motor Show, for example, there were 150
Nissan LEAF dealers across Europe and 195 Quick Chargers, capable of
charging a battery to 80 per cent capacity in less than 30 minutes.
Today, just 12 months later, there are 1,400 dealers and more than 600
Quick Chargers, while the number of conventional public chargers has
increased from 12,000 to more than 20,000.The
dramatic expansion in Quick Chargers has been facilitated in part by
Nissan, which has provided a number of the units to local authorities to
accelerate the development of Quick Charging 'Highways' between cities
across Europe. To date, Nissan is behind the installations of 200 Quick
Chargers, both at dealers and strategic locations, and plans to triple
this figure over the next 12 months. Customer
peace of mind has also been increased with a new comprehensive warranty
plan for the batteries. As well as covering the batteries against
defects in materials and workmanship for five years/100,000 kms, they
will be covered by a 'State Of Health' clause which covers gradual
capacity loss. Over
time, lithium-ion batteries lose a percentage of their capacity, a
natural phenomenon. But should battery life reduce quicker than
anticipated over the same warranty period it will either be repaired or
replaced. One
significant change to the 2013 Nissan LEAF is the move to producing the
car in three different locations: North America, Europe and Japan. In
Europe, production will start shortly in Sunderland in the UK, where
LEAF will be sharing the line with Qashqai and joining Note and Juke. At
the same time, the high-tech lithium-ion batteries are already being
produced at a new facility nearby on the Sunderland site. "By sourcing Nissan LEAF and
its batteries in Europe, we are underlining our faith not just in the
ability of the Sunderland facility to build our most technically
advanced car, but also in the fact that electric vehicles can be
considered a genuine alternative to conventionally powered vehicles,"
said Willcox. "In its two years on sale, the global success of Nissan
LEAF has shown that electric vehicles offer viable everyday transport
for people with a typical daily commute."And
with an ever-expanding network of Quick Chargers linking cities across
Europe and improvements we have made to battery life and LEAF's
drivetrain, the traditional 'range anxiety' issue put forward by some of
the nay-sayers as a reason not to go electric will soon be a
non-starter," he added. As well producing no CO2
at the point of use, the lack of tailpipe emissions extends to zero NOx
and particulate emissions. All are detrimental to health and many
municipalities are working hard to reduce them to avoid EU fines.New
LEAF, which goes on sale in Europe in the middle of 2013, marks an
important milestone in Nissan's global zero-emission leadership. It will
soon be joined by pure electric versions of the award-winning NV200, to
be called e-NV200, in both light commercial van and seven-seat combi
versions. Development is also underway on a dedicated EV taxi based on
the e-NV200. An Infiniti EV is expected in 2015. THE NEW LEAF IN DETAIL Technical:New fully integrated powertrainEnhanced ride and handling with chassis tuned for EuropeExtended real-world driving rangeFaster charging optionEnhanced technology and more driving modes Exterior:Revised grille for improved aerodynamicsNew range of wheelsExtended colour palette Interior:New more supportive seatsNew environmentally friendly seat fabricsLeather trim now availableMore luggage spaceMore equipment, including Around View MonitorThree trim levels At
first glance, the new LEAF appears to have changed very little from the
multi-award winning original. But the breadth and depth of the changes
mean, to all intents and purposes, it is a new car. It is more
comfortable and roomier than before and even better to drive. It will go
further on a charge than before and, depending on the market, it can be
charged in half the time, too. "The
comprehensive improvements we have made to this pioneering car
reinforce its unique character: unexpected, smart, accessible and
progressive," said Paul Willcox. Together the changes underline and
enhance the innovation and excitement delivered by the original.
Excitement is ensured by the biggest technical change - a new, fully
integrated powertrain that brings the charger assembly, inverter and the
motor together for the first time. Now
assembled together as a single stack, the new powertrain is again based
around a high-response 80kW AC synchronous motor powered by
Nissan-designed 48-module compact lithium-ion batteries, mounted
underneath the cabin area to lower the centre of gravity for optimum
handling.By moving the charger from the rear of the LEAF to
under the bonnet, it has been possible to increase the luggage area by
as much as 40 litres... or to put that another way, about the size of a
typical airplane 'carry-on' suitcase. Overall boot capacity has
increased to a massive 370 litres. More
significantly, the removal of the charger from behind the rear seats
turns the LEAF into an even more practical proposition. There is now no
obstacle in the middle of the boot floor when the seats are folded,
while rear legroom has been increased thanks to reshaped seat cushions,
which allow passengers in the rear to put their feet under the seat in
front.Improvements to the heating and ventilation system centre
on a new heat pump system which replaces the original ceramic heater.
This significantly reduces electrical consumption and delivers an
improvement in real-world driving range. This is particularly relevant
to markets where drivers rely heavily on the heating and ventilation
systems. New
LEAF's real-world driving range has also been improved by the only
visual change to the car: a subtly revised front grille helps reduce the
aerodynamic drag coefficient Cd figure from an already impressive 0.29
to 0.28. The new LEAF's driving range is certified at 124miles (199km)
under the New European Driving Cycle (NEDC), which is an increase from
109 miles (175 km) in the prior model. The
new LEAF is more fun to drive, too, thanks to changes to the chassis,
steering and brakes engineered at Nissan Technical Centre Europe (NTCE).
Principal changes have been to damper settings to reduce float and
deliver a more agile and dynamic drive without adversely affecting ride
comfort. The steering system has been given more weight to provide
steering feel more in tune with European tastes while the performance of
the brakes has been improved to make them more progressive in use,
while also increasing the amount of energy recovered. Changes
have also been made to the Eco driving mode. A new 'B' setting on the
transmission increases regenerative braking during deceleration while a
separate 'Eco' button on the steering wheel extends driving range by
altering the throttle mapping to discourage rapid acceleration. The two
systems can be operated independently of one another, unlike in the
original LEAF. Other
key improvements to the LEAF's e-Powertrain include reduced internal
friction and a more efficient battery and energy management system. Reduced
charging time is also promised by a new option that will cut the
conventional charging length in half, from eight to four hours. A new
6.6kW on board charger will permit the use of 32 amp charging using the
latest generation of chargers installed in domestic and commercial
properties. A typical domestic socket delivers 10 amps. A
more affordable option than a full Quick Charger, some authorities are
installing public charging posts already capable of delivering 32 amps
output. The adoption of a 6.6kW charger will allow drivers to give their
battery a meaningful boost even during a short stopover. Other technical innovation enhancements include a new Bose® audio system specifically developed for the LEAF. The
Bose Energy Efficient Series sound system delivers a powerful, high
quality audio experience but from a unit that's both more compact than
similar premium systems and which uses about half the electric energy. New
LEAF also introduces a revised and updated version of Nissan's
acclaimed Carwings Navigation system. This innovative feature allows
owners to manage and remotely control features from a computer or
smartphone and is unique to the LEAF. The updated version of Carwings
adds a number of new features, including enhancements to the remote
heating and air-conditioning functions, greater smartphone integration,
improved voice recognition facility, eco-routing and real-time
information on the nearest charge points. As
well as a large colour touchscreen, satellite navigation and Bluetooth
connectivity for mobile phones and music players, the new system
incorporates Google Send-To-Car technology which allows an owner to plan
a journey on a PC or tablet at home or in the office and then send the
instructions to the car. It incorporates other advanced features
including access to Google's POI search, and allows drivers to access up
to date weather forecasts and flight information. The
navigation system now includes a motorway 'exit view' complete with
lane guidance to help when leaving highways and also displays prevailing
speed limits with a driver-set speed warning that provides visual and
audible alerts when the car hits a certain speed above the prevailing
limit. Nissan's
Around View Monitor is another technical innovation now found on New
LEAF. AVM uses a network of cameras to generate a 360-degree overhead
image of the car on the central display, simplifying parking or any
difficult manoeuvre. Important
changes in the cabin include the seats. As well as being redesigned for
better support, the front seats now incorporate height adjustment,
while a new bio-fabric covering has been introduced. Where
the original model featured material made from 39 per cent recycled
plastic bottles, the new bio-fabric is 100 per cent derived from sugar
cane, further improving LEAF's overall recyclability and environmental
credentials. Leather is also now available, as is a darker and more
practical interior finish. Another
area where Nissan has made everyday life even easier is in the charging
port area at the front of the car. Thanks to the introduction of a new
LED inspection light, drivers no longer have to rely on street lighting
to connect their cars to an electric source at night. The charging port
has been reworked to improve usability and security and its release
mechanism now uses an electric switch. Additionally, the charge cable
now features an electro-mechanical locking mechanism that removes the
requirement to lock the cable to the car manually. Other detail enhancements include a new i-Key that also controls the charging port cover and cable lock. These
significant updates are incorporated as part of a major range expansion
that sees LEAF adopt the familiar Nissan three-tier trim line-up of
Visia, Acenta and Tekna to broaden the appeal of LEAF still further. The
Visia version offers a lower price entry point while Tekna models
feature even more standard equipment than the original model. The
new range structure also gives buyers more styling, design and trim
options. Visia models have 16-inch steel wheels with full covers, black
door mirror caps and halogen headlights, for example. Acenta versions
have 16-inch alloy wheels, suede fabric seat trim, body coloured mirror
caps and rear privacy glass. As
well as having leather seats as standard, Tekna models come with
17-inch alloy wheels as standard, LED headlights, the Bose sound system
and AVM. A new colour palette for all versions now extends to seven
different colours with solid, pearl and metallic finishes all available. Just
about the only thing that hasn't changed between the original and New
LEAF is the model's comprehensive level of standard safety equipment. As
well as front, side and curtain airbags, New LEAF has ABS and EBD with
brake assistance as standard along with the Electronic Stability Program
(ESP). "When
it was launched, Nissan LEAF represented a step into the unknown. Two
years later it has established itself as viable solution to the world's
transport and environmental problems. The new LEAF is ready to spread
the word even wider," said Willcox.
 

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Nissan are working on a Leaf that will recharge its own batteries.So no need to plug it in.I was listening to a boffin from Newcastle uni on BBC radio Newcastle that is working on fuel cell vehicles.
 

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Deks wrote:The new LEAF's driving range is certified at 124miles (199km)
under the New European Driving Cycle (NEDC), which is an increase from
109 miles (175 km) in the prior model.
Perhaps I am just suspicious by nature, but I wonder if that range figure is any more realistic than the fuel consumption figures for our Jukes? What range do people get in practise?
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
SJF, I am with you on that, I have heard that the original range quote was higher than achievedI ve also heard that with all battery powered cars the range drops off as the batteries get older pretty much like all battery powered things Wil be interested to see the re charge itself version and would be even happier to see this dropped in a JukeI would be more tha happy to test that for Nissan if they wanted someone to
 

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When they drop an electric drive train in, and also a tiny petrol motor that recharges the batteries whilst on the move, I'll join the line :)

Much like top gear did a few years ago, but done properly ;-)
 

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Just had a ride in one back from the dealers, 66 down the A2 seemed more like 50, nice comfortable seats and ride quality, detoured out to Meopham to drop another customer off and noticed the acceleration on them was good, quiet and smooth, from 30mph it pushed me back into the seat. Now all we need is the Fairgrounds to run the roads with that suspended grid system that they use for dodgems. Seriously though if you had a garage for charging and only did shorter journeys then it was nice for the ride.
 

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T c wrote:Now all we need is the Fairgrounds to run the roads with that suspended grid system that they use for dodgems.
 

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The only problem with the whole concept of electric cars (with current technology anyway) is that if you only did short journeys, would you really spend that sort of money? The idea that the very low cost per mile only works if you do higher mileages, and the limited range means that probably isn't going to happen. I think cars like the Twizy and Electric Smart make a lot of sense. Doesn't mean that I didn't like the Leaf though - I was very impressed, and once the range becomes reasonable, then it makes a lot of sense. One thing I have never heard mentioned though - there is often a figure quoted on the cost of charging an electric car. However, if you spend £50 putting fuel in a car and don't use it for 6 months, that fuel is still going to be there. If you charge an electric car and leave it for 6 months, won't the battery be dead? Unless you keep it on charge which means you are permanently putting fuel in it even when it isn't in use.
 

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actd wrote:One thing I have never heard mentioned though - there is often a figure quoted on the cost of charging an electric car. However, if you spend £50 putting fuel in a car and don't use it for 6 months, that fuel is still going to be there. If you charge an electric car and leave it for 6 months, won't the battery be dead? Unless you keep it on charge which means you are permanently putting fuel in it even when it isn't in use.
Perhaps you are right, but it doesn't matter. Anyone who has a car they only use every 6 months would be well advised to take a taxi instead. Hey, hire a chauffeur-driven limo and it could still be cheaper.
 

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I agree, but that was an extreme example to make the point that an electric car is permanently losing charge (ie using fuel) at any time when it's not being used.
 
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