The highly popular Nissan Leaf is going to get a 25% bigger range as part a number of updates ready for 2016. This new improved range is part of a general battery upgrade and will be welcomed across the board.
One of the biggest issues people have with electric vehicles is only one that happens to owners, it is not actually a problem about the cars themselves but more the creation of a state off worry due to the prospect of running out of power. Range Anxiety is simply stress seen in drivers when they feel they may not have enough charge to make it to either their destination or a suitable charge point. Most of the time this worry is unfounded but for some people it can be a real problem. The same can happen in petrol cars, having forgotten to fill up people suddenly find themselves on the motorway with the fuel light on and 15 miles to go before the next service station.
The answer to all this worry is twofold; the cars need to have longer ranges and there needs to be a far better charging infrastructure in the UK. Both of these solutions are being put into play even as you read this, car makers are pushing technology constantly and with enough pressure the government and private companies are starting to invest in the charging system properly.
The Leaf’s Longer Legs
It is a major update for any EV to extend it’s range, but to do so by 25% is really impressive. The new 30 kwh battery pack now means the range has gone from 110 miles to a whopping 155 miles. For many drivers that is certainly “there and back again” and in fact this kind of increase is really starting to push the EV into the territory of much longer journeys like holiday runs. There is a small 21 kg weight increase but that is to be expected when adding a larger and stronger battery. Nissan is also rather proud of this new battery for its strength and quality as well as it’s increased capacity. To prove this they are offering a full 8 year or 100,000 mile guarantee. Charging is the same as it was before but so far there is no indication of any extended charge times, this is likely but may not be as long as people might think.
Naturally there are other updates to the new longer range Leaf. Nissan though it was a good time to put in a brand new infotainment system which links to a smart phone app specifically for the Leaf. The app not only lets you do handy things like heat up and cool down the car before you get to it but also check your battery range and search for charging points close by. There is DAB radio, new sat nav zoom functions and you can even get the Leaf in a range of new colours too.
The standard 24 KWh battery pack is still an option for those who know they only want to do small journeys but for others the new bigger battery will be on sale next year and prices start from £24,490.