Even though it’s one of the oldest EVs on the market, the Nissan Leaf has only been available with just 150 miles of range — far less than its newer rivals. Nissan has finally rectified that at CES 2019 by unveiling the 2019 Leaf e+. It packs a 62 kWh battery pack that can propel it about 226 miles, approaching the range of Chevy’s Bolt and the Tesla 3 base version.
There wasn’t much to improve besides battery life over the 2018 Leaf, which introduced a sleeker design, the excellent ProPilot driver assistance tech and a 40 kWh battery. The Leaf e+ continues that progress on the drivetrain side, not only increasing range by 40 percent, but adding a new 150 kW motor (around 200 HP), which bumps power by 33 percent. That means it’s not only much quicker off the line, Nissan says, but faster on the freeway, too, making passing and other maneuvers safer.
Nissan also updated its “Intelligent Mobility” interface with a larger 8-inch display. It’s controlled by smartphone-like swiping, scrolling and tapping gestures, and apps, maps and firmware are updated over the air. Nissan now offers door-to-door navigation that syncs to your smartphone and has integrated Nissan Energy — its vehicle-to-home system for managing battery-assisted solar power and other home energy installations.
The launch of the Leaf was actually delayed because of the dramatic arrest of former CEO Carlos Ghosn in Japan. It’s coming this month to Japan for 4,162,320 yen ($38,000), will hit Europe later this quarter for 45,000 euros and arrive to US shores sometime this spring. US pricing has yet to be announced.