No matter where you happen to drive, considering an electric vehicle [EV] may not be very appealing, once you consider charging time and limited range. After all, if you “run out of juice,” you can’t just stop at any gas station and “fill up.” Nissan Senior Vice President Masaaki Nishizawa says the Leaf does away with the hassles of going to gas stations and allows drivers a cleaner conscience, “but they are worried about cruise range.”
To help alleviate some of the anxiety, Nissan has done a number of things, including giving the Nissan Leaf an battery pack upgrade. A range indicator was added to the instrument cluster to give drivers a better feel for how they’re using their energy.
Finally, Nissan is ramping up its network of charging stations. In addition to home charging stations, there are about 200 Nissan dealers with public charging stations. This number ought to increase to over 1,200, with the addition of more Nissan dealer charging stations, as well as installations at convenience stores, giving drivers more chances to charge while away form home.
The new version of the Japanese Nissan Leaf, with the addition of the new battery pack upgrade and range indicator, has, contrary to expectation, been reduced in cost. The previous version went for about $37,000, but the new version will be available starting around $31,000. There’s no word on whether the new Nissan Leaf will make it to the US, but increased range and decreased cost would certainly make it a good sell.