Nissan Boosts Range and Power With Leaf e+

Nissan has just unveiled an upgraded Leaf. The e+ (or is that Leaf Plus?) gets more: more range and more power, thanks to a battery that's larger and more energy dense.

For 2018, the Nissan Leaf debuted all-new and sleeker design. Plus the brand's ProPilot assist semi-autonomous driving assistance. It brought an extra 69 km of range as well. But as EVs grow more mainstream, and battery packs gain more capacity, a 241 km range isn't quite enough.

Enter the Leaf e+. Or Leaf Plus. Nissan says it will be branded the e+ globally, but as the Leaf Plus in Canada, so there might be some name-game confusion. Increased energy density in the battery pack lets Nissan bump capacity nearly 50 percent from 40 kWh to 62 kWh. That's enough to add significantly to vehicle range. Nissan says it gets an NRCan-rated range up up to 363 km. That puts it more in-line with the 383 km range of Chevrolet's Bolt and the 425 km of the mid-range Telsa Model 3.

More than that, the new high-capacity battery pack comes with a more powerful electric motor. Power output is boosted from 147 hp to 215. Torque is 250 lb-ft. That should make the Leaf Plus appreciably quicker than the base model. Nissan says top speed is up 10 percent, and that the car is now better able to pass and merge with fast-moving traffic.

There is also a new faster charging system installed in the car. It can now handle 100 kW charging, up from 50 kW in the standard Leaf. Nissan says that owners can expect the same charging times for the larger battery on a 100 kW charger as owners of the smaller battery would experience at that car's slower charge rate.

Nissan says that the Leaf Plus is dimensionally unchanged to fit the new pack, with the exception of a 5mm increase in height attributed to 16-inch wheels and tires.

To distinguish the Plus, Nissan will give it a different front fascia with blue highlights. There's also an e+ logo on the charger cap, hidden under a flap. The upgraded Leaf will be available in S Plus, SV Plus, and SL Plus trims, and designated as such on the rear in both Canada and the US. 

The Nissan Leaf e+, or the Nissan Leaf Plus, is expected to arrive this spring, with pricing closer to the on-sale date.

Will be Leaf Plus in Canada 1/9/2019 3:34:38 PM