A number of people have long wanted to know when the next generation of the Nissan Leaf would be released. After all, since it was first launched on the market back in 2010, different versions have been released almost annually.
The wait appears to be over as Senior Manager of Leaf and Electric Vehicles Tim Gallagher confirmed that the new Leaf will be unveiled to the public in September with sales expected to begin in the later part of the year. Gallagher however did not reveal any other details, leaving all of us trying to predict what the new model could offer.
For starters, Nissan has said that the new Leaf will be able to drive itself autonomously on a single lane road. This means it may look similar to the IDS concept that was presented by the brand during the 2015 Tokyo Motor Show. Nissan had previously confirmed as well that the range will be at least 200 miles (321 km). That may not be enough but it appears to work for now.
What is interesting though is Nissan’s plans for fans and for those who own the first generation of this model but whose lease is about to end. The brand says it will be selecting Leaf customers who will receive offers to have their leases extended, provided that it is set to expire this year and that no other arrangements have been made. According to Gallagher, these customers will experience payments waived for a period of three months and be given priority to get the new Leaf.
Gallagher said that the brand knows that the Leaf has a number of passionate and loyal customers and Nissan knows it is important to ensure they stay with the brand. In addition, he added, this will also give them the needed options. Given the design, range, technology, and of course value, he continued, the next generation of the Leaf will certainly go beyond what customers expect.
Released in December 2015, the 2016 Leaf was equipped with a battery capable of 30 kWh, allowing this model to go as far as 107 miles (172 km) on a single full charge. A trim version was made available, though the range was shorter at 84 miles (135 km). Ever since it was released and until December of last year, it is estimated that at least 250,000 units of the Leaf have been sold across the globe.
This makes the Leaf, so far, the most successful highway-capable electric car. The largest market is the U.S. with around 103,600 units sold, followed by Japan having 72,500 units, with Europe rounding off the top 3 at 68,000 units. In Europe, the largest market is Norway with 19,400 units and this is followed by U.K. with 15,000 units.