For the 2019 model year Nissan is bringing us a new long-range version of its Leaf EV in the shape of the E-Plus model. Although Nissan’s head of EV marketing, Brian Maragano, has confirmed to AutoGuide that the new model will have a larger battery than current Leaf models, a specific capacity wasn’t given.
However, a slip-up by Nissan in 2016 and a further slip-of-the-tongue by a Swiss charging station manufacturer have all but confirmed it will be a 60 kWh unit, which is a big leap forward from the current 40 kWh battery pack.
A 60 kWh battery would also allow a significant increase in the size of the electric motor to 200 horsepower, which would be 40kW more than the standard 2018 Nissan Leaf has to offer.
Of course, more power is always welcome, but with EVs there’s nothing more important than the range they offer before the battery needs to be recharged. Once again, Maragano declined to commit to a range for the Leaf E-Plus, but there’s plenty of evidence already in the public domain to make reasoned estimates of what to expect. Some people posting on the My Nissan Leaf forum have been predicting a range of 360km from a 60 kWh battery, which would be a decent jump of 119km over the current best of 243km.
If that 243km number is close to the mark it would put the Leaf E-Plus in the same bracket as entry-level versions of the Tesla Model S and the Chevrolet Bolt. In its base form, the Model S has a 50 kWh battery and offers 147kW and a range of 254km. Standard versions of the Chevy Bolt already have a 60 kWh battery, and that makes it good for 149kW and range of 383km on a single charge.
Charging times should also come down too. And that’s known because a leaked Nissan presentation has shown an 11- to 22-kW onboard charger, and the prototype of the car has been caught at the charging station fast-charging at 102 kW, which is twice as fast as the current Leaf. – AFP Relaxnews