Responding to the consistent consumer clamor for more range, Nissan has equipped the 2016 LEAF with an optional 30 kWh battery pack that provides an EPA-estimated range of 107 miles – a 27% increase over the current 24 kWh pack.
The LEAF comes in three trim levels, and the new battery is standard on the two higher ones, the SV and SL. The entry-level LEAF S will soldier on with the existing 24 kWh battery pack, rated at 84 miles of range, and its price remains the same at $28,060.
The new MSRP for the LEAF SV is $35,050 (up from $32,950 last year) and the top-of-the-line LEAF SL starts at $37,640 (up from $35,970).
The new battery pack, which gives the LEAF the longest range of any non-Tesla EV, is the same size as the current pack. It still contains 192 cells, but uses an improved electrode chemistry, and weighs 46 pounds more. The rest of the powertrain remains the same.
“Since Nissan LEAF launched in December 2010, we’ve become the global leaders in EV sales,” said Andrew Speaker, Director of Electric Vehicle Sales & Marketing. “We know that to maintain that leadership, we must continue developing battery technology that strikes that ideal balance between capacity, packaging, durability and affordability.”
The LEAF’s infotainment (or IT) system has also been upgraded, with a few new features and better smartphone connectivity.
“The new battery is just one of several enhancements,” said Speaker. “We’re also bringing audio and connectivity upgrades by adding NissanConnect with Mobile Apps with 5.0-inch color display as standard features for LEAF S models, and for SV and SL grades we are offering NissanConnect with Navigation and Mobile Apps, featuring a 7.0-inch color display with multi-touch control and Nissan Voice Recognition as standard features.”
The 2016 Nissan Leaf is scheduled to appear at US dealerships in October.