Nissan is reportedly planning a mid-cycle update for its all-electric Leaf hatch, aimed at boosting the EV’s range and sales appeal.
Industry paper Automotive News quotes an unnamed source from within Nissan as saying the Leaf’s battery pack is about to get a significant boost to available power.
The battery will jump from 24 to 30kWh while maintaining its current size in the interim, but a second ‘newer’ battery pack is said to be close to production-ready.
Renault-Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn told shareholders at a recent meeting that the carmaker was close to finalising a lighter, cheaper and thinner battery pack, which could further boost the Leaf’s range.
Nissan is therefore believed to be considering two updates to the Leaf in quick succession to ensure it’s as good as it can be.
The somewhat urgent push to upgrade the Leaf comes off the back of declining sales in the US, down a sizable 25 percent for the first five months of 2015.
Sales in Australia are also down over the same period, sliding 10.3 percent over modest figures from the year before.
US customers are said to be wary of committing to the purchase of a new Leaf, with the knowledge that a flock of the EVs are about to come off a four-year lease plan.
A sudden flood of post-lease Leafs on the second hand market could drive down resale values, and it appears customers are happy to observe for now.
The upgraded battery pack could arrive as early as August for overseas markets, boosting the Leaf’s range from 160km to around 200km.
The all-new battery pack set to follow could more than double that range to around 500km - putting the Nissan hatch squarely in Tesla territory for maximum range.
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