IT&Software

New Leaf to be built on Wearside after £36m investment

New Leaf to be built on Wearside after £36m investment

The next-generation Nissan Leaf will go into production at the end of 2017 at plants in Japan, the United Kingdom and the U.S., the brand has confirmed.

Nissan yesterday unveiled the new Nissan LEAF, featuring greater range, advanced technologies and a dynamic new design.

He did not elaborate on the timing of other EV models.

Brian Maragno, director of electric vehicle marketing for Nissan in the US, said the 2018 Leaf will start at $29,990 before a $7,500 federal tax credit, an important price point to current Leaf owners, many of whom will come back as repeat buyers.

Charging remains the Achilles Heel of EVs and the Leaf still requires 16 hours to recharge using a 120-Volt outlet and 8 hours, using a 240-volt outlet.

Still, few will turn to the Leaf for sheer driving excitement, and the new e-Pedal will be the first thing many potential Leaf buyers will want to know about.

"While the first-generation Leaf was considered as a pioneer model, the second-generation model can become one of our core models", he said.

Most anyone who has driven a modern electric auto acknowledges that they are fun to drive with solid ride and handling and the kind of pickup from a standing start that can match a good old-fashioned muscle vehicle. You have autonomous drive technology, a new battery, new powertrain.

You can also use the NissanConnect EV app to charge the Leaf on a timer, start the climate control before you need to unplug and hit the road and to check your Leaf range. While offering less range than those models, most buyers can expect to pay several thousands of dollars less for a LEAF than for a Bolt or Tesla Model 3.

At an advance viewing of the new Leaf in Tokyo, Nissan executives said the car's structure had been designed with adaptability in mind.

On the outside, this version of the Leaf is much sleeker than before with Nissan adding blue detailing as a signature feature for its electric vehicles and LED headlights.

José Muñoz, chairman of Nissan North America, said the Leaf redesign was based on customer feedback and more than 2 billion miles driven by Leafs since they were introduced in 2010. Moreover, it can also run on a highway in a single lane without the assistance of the driver.

Additionally the Leaf includes Intelligent Lane Intervention, Lane Departure Warning, Intelligent Emergency Braking, Blind Spot Warning, Rear Cross Traffic Alert and Intelligent Around View Monitor with moving object detection.

The second generation Leaf is due to go on sale in Japan in October but isn't expected to reach Australian showrooms until late in 2018. I think that's what we're doing at the moment with Leaf.


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