Nissan Leaf

The  Nissan Leaf driver knew it was bad math to buy the first-generation model, yet they did so anyway. Its 73 EPA-rated miles of range (84 for current models) is pretty limited, and in reality, it’s much lower. Nissan’s dramatic price cuts in 2013 slashed residual values. Now comes news of a Leaf with a double-size battery pack capable of a Tesla-baiting 200-plus miles, all while being lighter and cheaper to build. Time to sell that first-gen Leaf, maybe?
2015 Nissan Leaf
According Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn dropped this mileage figure in the quietest possible way, on a Japanese TV program of which we can’t locate a single video clip, by telling a reporter the next Leaf would have a 400-kilometer (249-mile) range. The Tokyo-based site Daily Kanban claims to have seen the interview and later spoke to a Nissan engineer about the other details, mainly that it “could be no more than one model cycle away.” Or in other words, still a couple of years.

If Nissan is truly as far along as Ghosn says, then Tesla might finally enjoy some competition when it comes to all-out range versus price. Offering a 48-kWh battery in a small economy car that could approach or even surpass the 60-kWh pack in the large, luxurious Tesla Model S would be the John Coltrane of giant steps. That is, if Tesla and General Motors—both of which are developing semi-affordable EVs that are targeting the magic 200 mark—don’t do it first.


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