Perhaps you can’t afford a Tesla Model S 85kWh, which is why the 60kWh version makes it easier to get into a Tesla. Soon, we might see Nissan pulling the same trick with the Nissan Leaf.
After all, if you’re in the market for an electric vehicle, wouldn’t it be nice to have options? For example, the current Nissan Leaf is equipped with a 24kWh lithium-ion battery pack, which gives the car a range of about 75 miles. That’s not bad for an electric vehicle under $25,000 (after incentives), but what if you don’t need 75mi range? On the other hand, what if you need more range, but can’t afford to get into a Tesla Model S, what starts around $50,000?
Thanks to some recent improvements in lithium-ion battery technology and electric motors, as well as a few software tweaks, the new European version of the Nissan Leaf gets about 124 miles per charge (on the European drive cycle), but Nissan has bigger plans. Hopefully, we’ll get to see those improvements, here in the United States, as well. According to Pierre Loing, Nissan vice president of product and advanced planning, “The packaging easiness makes it easier to put more batteries in the car, and you will see this. Maybe you will see this from Nissan,” he continued, referring to Tesla Motors offering different battery options at different price points.
“Maybe,” indeed, as a 48kWh Nissan Leaf has already been spotted in Europe. With 48kWh, double the capacity translates to roughly double the range, about 150 miles on the United States drive cycle, maybe 220 miles on the European drive cycle. Of course, if Nissan makes a bigger battery available, you’d have to pay for that extra range, but it’s really nice to have options. Hopefully they’ll make this improvement available here in the United States.
Image © FreeDigitalPhotos.net