Nissan has released details of its updated-for-2013 all-electric Leaf hatch, just five months after the current model’s local debut - but two years on from its Japanese launch.
For 2013, the groundbreaking EV picks up a new electric drivetrain and a host of other refinements designed to improve efficiency and driveability.
The new drivetrain integrates the electric motor, inverter and DC/DC converter into a single unit, reducing the overall size of the system by 30 percent and reducing weight by 10 percent.
Production of the new design also reduces use of the rare-earth element dysprosium in its construction by 40 percent.
Efficiency is improved through a revised regenerative brake control system, battery module and heat pump cabin heating.
The 2013 Japanese model also gains a new entry ‘S’ trim level, dropping the entry price by 10 percent beneath the current Japanese ‘X’ model.
A new BOSE Energy Efficient Series sound system is also available, along with Hill Start Assist, revised trim and alloy wheel options.
Other detail changes include a smaller on-board charge unit, which has been relocated to the front of the car, increasing rear cargo capacity by 10 percent.
Overall, the Japanese model weighs in at 80kg less than the existing Leaf, with a maximum driving range rating of 228km (up 28km) according to the Japanese JC08 test.
Speaking with TMR today, Nissan Australia’s Chris Jordan could not confirm when Australian models will see the updates.
However, given the new model is set to go on sale in the US in March next year, we would expect similar timing for the local version.
Be sure to keep an eye on TMR for any further Leaf news.