Nissan's 2018 Leaf model upped the ante with a ProPilot Assist system and 150-mile travel range on full battery. That was a solid improvement compared to the original Leaf's 107 miles, and positioned it somewhere between the Hyundai Iconiq EV and Tesla's Model 3. Still, it left many hungry for a vehicle that could offer a longer range. Now, the best-selling EV maker has confirmed its 2019 model will boost mileage and battery power.
Brian Maragno, Nissan's director of Marketing and Sales Strategy told AutoGuide that the Leaf "E-Plus" will up the horsepower from 142BHP to 200BHP and will utilize a higher capacity battery. According to reports, battery power will rise from 40kW to 60kW. The E-Plus is also said to feature a 160kW electric motor and a fast-charging capacity that isn't currently part of the Leaf line-up.
While Maragno did not reveal exact figures on the E-Plus's range, it's been proposed as early as December 2017 that it will reach approximately 225 miles -- which would bring it more in line with the Model 3 and Chevy's Bolt EV.
For Leaf fans wanting a more sporty look, Nissan is also delivering on that front. At the Tokyo Game Show last year, the company first exhibited the Leaf Nismo -- a concept vehicle with a "fondness for song" that's based on the 2018 Leaf design. The 'Canto' (Latin for 'I sing') feature, which was built-in to insure pedestrian safety, changes the pitch of sounds depending on whether the Leaf is accelerating or decelerating. Although the Nismo didn't come with a release timeline, that's since changed. The Japanese company has recently announced it will be on sale in Japan beginning July 31st. There's no confirmation yet on when or if it will arrive on US shores.
At any rate, Nissan's strides toward improving its EV lineup could further cement its grip on the EV market and cause prospective owners less range-anxiety.