Nissan Asks: Do You Want a 150-mile Nissan LEAF? How Much Would You Pay?

It’s the world’s best-selling electric car with more than 100,000 examples now being driven around the world, despite having a real-world range somewhere between 70 and 90 miles, depending on how it’s driven.

In the past few months we’ve heard rumours that Nissan was planning to extend that range in the future with improved battery technology and perhaps bigger battery packs, but now it appears the Japanese automaker is getting serious about offering a longer-legged LEAF in a future model year lineup.

Nissan is even asking existing LEAF customers how much they’d pay for a 150-mile LEAF — if it were to make one, that is.

How Much Extra Would You Pay for a Leaf With More Range?

How Much Extra Would You Pay for a Leaf With More Range?

The survey was first reported over on the popular MyNissanLEAF owners forum on Tuesday, where various LEAF owners in the U.S. said the Japanese automaker had contacted them via email to ask them their thoughts about future LEAF models. Part of the survey form focused on a hypothetical 150-mile EPA-rated LEAF, presumably to gauge interest in a longer-range version of the popular electric hatchback.

 “Just got an email from Nissan asking me to take a survey,” said one forum member. “The interesting thing about this survey is they use a theoretical ‘150 mile range Nissan Leaf’ in many of the questions. They also asked lots of questions about charging stations.”

Thanks to another forum member, we’re able to share with you the email inviting owners to take part in the survey, but because each participant was given a unique ID for taking part in the survey, we can’t show you the exact survey questions. 

Dear [name]

Nissan North America is grateful for your active participation in shaping the way we do business. Your feedback is helping revolutionize the growing Electric Vehicle Industry and most importantly shaping how we continue to market the Nissan LEAF and all Nissan communications.

We’re conducting a short 10-15 minute survey on public charging infrastructure.

The information gathered from this survey allows us the opportunity and privilege to serve you, the consumer, with the best experience possible now and in the future. This survey is to learn more about expectations around electric vehicles (“EV”) charging infrastructure as the vehicle technology continues to evolve, and help ensure that Nissan’s efforts to expand charging infrastructure align with those expectations.

The survey should take between 10 – 15 minutes to complete. Thank you in advance for your feedback.

Follow this link to the Survey:
(redacted)
Follow the link to opt out of future emails:
Click here to unsubscribe

Thank you again for your time.

Nissan North America
Market Research

Perhaps the most interesting part of this hypothetical 150-mile car however, is that Nissan asked the owners it invited to take part in the survey to choose how much more they’d be willing to pay for the extra range. The most expensive choice was $5,000 more than the current model, indicating that Nissan may have dramatically reduced its battery manufacturing costs in recent months.

We already know that Nissan employees have built at least one longer-range LEAF by combining an existing stock battery pack with another one to give around 150 miles of useful range. At the time we reported it however, it was portrayed as something of a skunworks project for engineers at Nissan’s  Barcelona Technical Centre, with the vehicle being built for a long-distance eco competition, before being more firmly postulated as a future option by Pierre Loing, Nissan’s Vice President of Product and Advanced Planning and Strategy.

The survey, which was part of an ongoing dialogue between Nissan and its LEAF customers in order to better understand what people want from an electric car, also asked other questions which did not focus on an increased range, but focused on charging time. Again, these questions were posed in a hypothetical context but were engineered to ascertain if owners wanted — and were willing to pay more — for faster charging capabilities both at home and on the road. Speaking as LEAF owners, the Transport Evolved team have to admit that faster charging is on the top of our priorities list for a future plug-in car, even though our current LEAFs can charge from empty to 80 percent full in around half an hour.

Of course, Nissan hasn’t confirmed any future product changes in terms of range or charging capabilities, but the fact that its marketing department is asking the questions tells us that Nissan probably already has the technology in development. It’s just trying to figure out if it’s worth pushing that technology to reach a production-ready phase — and if people will pay extra for it.

How Simple Would the Range Increase Be?

How Simple Would the Range Increase Be?

We hope, as we suspect existing LEAF owners do, that those changes will be manifest in the next-generaion LEAF, which Nissan has tentatively promised as a 2016 model year, perhaps for launch in Summer 2015.

Are you a LEAF owner? Would you like more range, or faster charging capabilities? How much would you pay for it? And what would you like to see in a next-generation LEAF?

Leave your thoughts in the Comments below.

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  • Dean Miller

    Yes, If you ever want my business again. The Leaf is fun to drive but the range Sucks Hard!

    • http://jpwhitehome.wordpress.com JP White

      I agree. I find myself waiting for a longer legged LEAF. The 2013 has some great improvements I’d dearly love, but the basic improvement I’d like as someone with a longer than average commute is more range. I started with an average commute my 2011 handled admirably, but circumstances have changed that and my vehicle needs changed with them.

  • Nigel Jones

    more range. My lease is up April 2015. That’s going to be tough… I’d jump at the 150 mile option, and would definately pay some extra, unsure how much – 3k ?

    • http://www.efest.ca Robert (Electricman) Weekley

      Nigel – at lease end – can you opt for a renewed lease? Maybe 6 Months or a Year – if at that time the reality of this new range potential is not dealer ready and available?? nnnI know it is a nice promise – but as others above have said – we need to see some real world user testing with traffic, temperatures (Hot & Cold), and driver variations considered in the mix, to believe that the new numbers are double the current 74 miles range, don’t you think?nnnObviously – increased battery capacity is part of the solution – but even as Tesla Motors Chief Engineer said – Power Electronics is a critical pathway for all the systems – it needs to have very high efficiency, and if the motor is a weak link – it is also a double hit – both on use, and on regeneration.

  • Justin Barkewich

    I would pay the extra fee…as long as the tech and warranty stays similar.

  • Jonathan Tracey

    is that real world 150 miles or an increase from the 120 that some dealers are saying to a predicted 150 miles

  • vdiv

    Absolutely not!nnWe want a 200-mile Leaf and people will be willing to pay $50k for one.

    • Dean Miller

      Just Remember that by 2018 there will be a Tesla Model E which starts at $35k & has a range of 200 miles. Nissan needs to way their future decisions with that in the back of their mind. Also that people have I more positive view of Tesla than Nissan. ;-)

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  • Andyj

    Conversion efficiency is the #1 fix. Getting the weight down will fix the leafs town range.nNissan could save a fortune in production and end user costs with a pure ac motor instead of inferior software forcing the use of rare Earth magnets in the motors.nnFaster charging is great but that means supercharger (not happening) or frankenplug which Nissan signed up for. Chademo is fine. A bigger pack can hold a higher sustained charge.nnLarger battery packs will come with higher density. Note how small the i3 pack appears to be in its volume.nnHow much to pay depends on the final forecourt price and the competition of the day.nnEDITnAs it is, I have a mk1 Leaf and find the ICE engine hangovers with plumbing, drive controls, motor drag, etc.. to be wasteful and appalling. The worst of the worst range killers is the cabin heater closely followed by the lack of temperature maintenance and insulation on the pack.

  • Richard Glover

    I hope Nissan differentiate the model options by battery size but offer all the same comfort and charging specification to every vehicle. Keep things simple

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  • Richard Glover

    Nissan could simply produce 10 Tenka Leaf with 48kwh batteries for the UK and hold a sealed bid auction. Top 10 bids get a car each

  • http://www.efest.ca Robert (Electricman) Weekley

    In General, The LEAF Brand or Sub Brand – could also opt for something more stylish as a sedan style (What some call a 3-box design versus the Current Hatchback or 2-box design) which would naturally give an edge for aerodynamics, reducing drag, working on Power Electronics to improve Efficiency, component placement to optimize efficiency is another edge (Heating a big chuck of cold air might not be as efficient as providing more direct heating and defrosting techniques, but may cost more), Motor Efficiency seems to be an element of complaint, as well as response rate for some.nnnMaybe give a three mode driving option of Sport, Normal and Sedate (Eco), The Regeneration potential could also be an element of consideration if the batteries and power electronics can deliver more power back to the pack during that cycle, so regeneration could also be tweaked with 3 settings, Strong or high Power regen, Normal regen, and a Coasting Mode – allowing you to go further without slowing down so much – depending only on aerodynamic and rolling resistance. nnnThese could also be tied directly into the driving settings – so the Sport Mode gives both more aggressive power delivery for acceleration, and more aggressive power regeneration for braking – single pedal driving aka the Tesla Model S; The Normal Mode gives similar to the current level of acceleration, and similar levels of regeneration; with the Eco mode giving softer or weaker power delivery for reducing current related losses, and a decoupling of the motor and any spinning resistance it offers in a cost-down mode with zero regeneration – to extend the distance driven when letting off the throttle. Standard Regenerative functions coupled to the brake pedal would still allow regen while braking plus full on mechanical brakes for holding the vehicle while waiting at traffic lights, and hills and railway crossings, etc.nnnAll of these elements, along with a larger battery capacity can be implemented to deliver the new double range potential, as I see it. How much of this they actually apply – remains to be seen.

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  • JohnWolf

    Looking forward to a 150 mile range LeafnnnWould order one this afternoon, if available

  • Douglas Robertson

    If Nissan are serious about competing in the EV future market they will need to have a 150 mile (actual MILES driven) vehicle within the next 2-3 years at a similar price to the current ’13 available model.. A winter range in Scotland equates to roughly 70 miles on my ’13 model, and that is JUST TOO LITTLE. Never mind the very scarce and unreliable RAPID charge stations.

  • Guest

    Would love a 150k real mile range leaf. I currently drive a 2013 leaf and in our New England winters, I find myself haveing range anxiety. Would deffinately pay more for that amount of extra range.

  • Avi Finder

    I would love a 150k real mile range. I currently lease a 2013 Nissan Leaf, enjoy driving the car, but during our New England winters I have to admit to having range anxiety. Would definitely pay more inorder to have the extra range. How much more would depend on what else is available at the time. On the other hand, the Model S Tesla is out of my price range.

  • Barry A Clarke

    I would love to see a “sport car” version of the leaf with a little more in extended range………….

  • Jim Takagi

    We need 350 to 400 miles per charge with $45k price. If this can be done. Whole automobile industry will change.

  • grant

    a 150 mile range leaf would handle 90% of most peoples’ driving habits in one day. It would be nice to have a range extender generator of some type. Whether it be propane, gas or hydrogen/fuel cell to go further, like a trip to relatives that are hours away. Maybe make it a plug in option. nAlso a way to get it going when battery is dead and you didn’t quite get it to a charging station, like jumping it from your gas vehicle to give it enough juice to get it home a few miles or into a parking lot or to a charging station.

  • dat tran

    How about matching Tesla Model III specs of 200mi range at $35,000? I own a leaf and at times have been tempted to travel 100 miles in a day but range anxiety held me back.

  • SilentLurker

    I am retired with a 2014 Leaf on lease. It performs very well in daily use around town. I also admit to a small amount of range anxiety about trips of more than thirty-five miles one way. If Nissan produces a vehicle with a round trip range of 150 – 200 miles it would remove any anxiety I might have. Even so I would highly recommend the current Leaf.