Nissan’s all-electric Leaf hatch has received a significant boost to its driving range as part of a mid-life update for the 2016 model year.
As reported in July, the battery pack is now available as a 30kWh unit which boosts range over the standard 24kWh pack by around 27 percent.
The 24kWh battery pack has a maximum range of around 170km, and will still be offered as a base model, while the new 30kWh unit can go as far as 250km on a single charge.
The only downside, apart from the price premium over the regular model (in overseas markets at least), is a 21kg weight-gain for the 30kWh unit and a possible extension to charging times.
Nissan is displaying its confidence in the new battery pack by offering an eight-year, 160,000km warranty is some markets, although it remains to be seen if the same warranty will be offered to Australian customers.
Power still reaches the road via the same 80kW/254Nm electric motor matched with a single-speed automatic transmission, and styling is much the same for 2016 but for a few minor tweaks.
Three new paint finishes are available for 2016, called Forged Bronze, Coulis Red and Deep Blue Pearl.
The other major change to the Leaf for 2016 comes via a connectivity upgrade, which sees the introduction of a new NissanConnect system with Mobile Apps.
Entry-level models get a five-inch colour touchscreen to access the new system, while higher-spec variants get a seven-inch screen with satellite navigation and voice control.
Overseas buyers can also upgrade the NissanConnect system to alloy remote monitoring of the Leaf’s charging status via a smartphone app, along with remote settings for of the climate control system.
"Since Nissan LEAF launched in December 2010, we've become the global leaders in electric vehicle sales with an all-electric car specifically designed for the mass market," Nissan’s Andrew Speaker said.
"We know that to maintain that leadership, we must continue developing battery technology that strikes that ideal balance between capacity, packaging, durability and affordability."
Pricing and specifications for the Australian market are yet to be finalised, but the updated Nissan Leaf should arrive in local showrooms sometime next year.
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