Nissan reveal long-range Leaf e+ capable of 360km to a charge
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We're just about at the tipping point where pure electric vehicles go from being weird products of fantasy and novelty in the eyes of the mainstream to being a genuine family car consideration.
It's ironic in a way that the car that's done the most work to change this perception in New Zealand is the humble Nissan Leaf. Ironic, because all the ones currently on our roads are imports from Japan — Nissan NZ are yet to actually bring them here as new vehicles, which will change later this year.
Early reports on the new Leaf claim that it's a vehicle that's made great strides in this new iteration. But, plenty have still noted its relatively small range capabilities — tests placing range per charge at around 243km.
To combat this, Nissan confirmed last July that a longer-range model was in the works. And, at the 2019 Consumer Electronics Show (better known as CES) in Las Vegas, they've shown off the model.
As previously reported, it's called the 'e+'. Range is an EPA-estimated 226 miles (or 363 kilometres) per charge, thanks largely to a bigger 62kWh lithium-ion battery pack. Charging times have been aided by the inclusion of a new 70kW quick-charging system capable of a 100kW output, although Nissan didn't confirm exactly how much quicker this made the charging process.
Power figures for the e+ have also been revised in the brand's latest announcement, with peak power and torque now a claimed 160kW and 340Nm — 50kW and 21Nm more than the standard model.
While Nissan haven't released proper performance figures, they have said that the aforementioned power bump has seen acceleration from 80km/h to 120km/h improve by 13 per cent in the beefed up model, while top speed has improved by 10 per cent.
As you can probably tell by the images, there's not a lot of visual change to be found in the e+ over the standard Leaf range. The main way to spot one is via its minor blue highlights and 16-inch wheels.
The blue theme continues inside with new seat stitching, while occupants also get a new (larger) 8.0-inch infotainment screen that features an updated satnav system that offers 'door-to-door navigation' (including walking commands) in its list of abilities.
The e+ is confirmed for Europe and the US, while the Japanese market is set to get it first in late January. There's no word yet on whether it will be coming to New Zealand.