The Nissan Leaf has certainly been a success in the electric vehicle market. The car is built in Nissan’s Sunderland factory and more than 10,000 have been sold in the UK. That is a big number for what started as essentially a specialist car. However this number is still somewhat short of the targets Nissan had set itself. To combat this, it seems there may well be some new Leafs coming onto the market in the future.
The main challenge Nissan and any other EV (electric vehicle) manufacturers face is what is known as range anxiety. This is simply the fear people have of always running out of power, it seems this problem can make an otherwise enjoyable journey into a very stressful event. Because a lot of the charging points and general infrastructure in the UK still needs improving people worry they wont be able to charge their cars. To combat this Nissan will be looking at increasing the range of any new versions of the leaf and, for many drivers, this will be a welcomed bit of news. Renault have announced the same with there Zoe model recently.
The Next Step
The next version of the Leaf is likely to be in the same 5 door hatchback format but Nissan are suggesting there could be other cars under the Leaf brand. This will allow the company to grow what is already a strong model name in the electric market. Trevor Mann, Nissan Executive Vice President was quoted as saying they were also keen to push their NV200 model too. The NV200 is the worlds first electric MPV, although it is also available in a DCi version it is certainly cutting new ground and may fit well into a future Leaf range in some format.
Shapes and Sizes
With the huge success of both the Qashqai and the Juke it seems likely they would be body shapes that may appear in the expended Leaf range. The higher driving position is very popular with people using the cars for purely local journeys and this certainly meets the strong points an EV offers too.
Nissan have been doing some intense customer research during the ongoing Leaf development process. Using masses of data about the various points of the car and how it works they are building up a strong picture of how the Leaf should evolve. This kind of planning and research will certainly mean whatever and however the Leaf range grows, it is certainly likely to be very popular.