Norway LEaf

Is Nissan About To Offer Multiple Battery Pack Options For The LEAF?

Both the Tesla Model S and the Mitsubishi i-Miev offer customers the option of specifying one of a number of battery options, allowing them to choose a battery pack with enough range to meet their needs without paying more fro something they won’t use.

Now Nissan could be poised to do the same, offering different capacity battery pack options on future LEAF models.

A longer-range LEAF battery pack option could mean less time doing this...

A longer-range LEAF battery pack option could mean less time doing this…

That’s according to Pierre Loing,  Nissan’s Vice President of Product and Advanced Planning and Strategy, who told earlier this week that a future LEAF model could come with multiple battery choices for customers tot choose from.

According to Loing, the way in which the LEAF’s battery pack is constructed makes it easy to produce in different capacities, allowing Nissan to offer larger — or smaller — battery packs to suit owner’s needs.

Sadly, Loing didn’t spill the beans on when — or even if — Nissan would offer different battery pack options, but seemed to indicate that differing battery pack options would become just as common as different engine choices for petrol and diesel-powered cars.  While new battery chemistries may offer better energy density and thus more range, they take time to develop and field-test. Simply adding more batteries is a good interim measure.

Extended battery pack LEAF racing at 2013 EcoRaces (Photo ©Rafael Llandres,

Extended battery pack LEAF racing at 2013 EcoRaces (Photo ©Rafael Llandres,

A few months ago when a team of engineers from Nissan’s Barcelona Technical Centre entered a LEAF with a double-capacty battery pack into an endurance race, we were unsure about how the added weight of the extra battery pack would effect handling and performance, as well as how close to production  a longer-range LEAF battery pack really was. But in the face of Loing’s very open comments on the future of different size battery packs, we think larger battery packs might be closer to market than we first thought.

While the thought of Nissan offering different battery pack sizes makes us instantly think of people speccing their Nissan EV with larger packs for longer-distance travel, the different battery options could also have another, side-effect: it could potentially make the LEAF — and other Nissan EVs — more affordable.

You see, while most buyers are likely to want the high-end, longer-range battery pack, some customers, especially those with limited budgets and predictable 30-mile commutes every day, could find that a LEAF with a smaller-capacity battery pack is finally affordable for them.

When will we see different battery packs make it into a car we can buy from Nissan? We’re not sure and Nissan isn’t saying. But this is a smart move we hope won’t take long to become reality: especially if it helps cure range anxiety in would-be buyers needing a little more real — or perceived — range before they buy.



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  • DaveinOlyWA

    the MiEV offers multiple pack size options? i didnt know that. Saw the Outlander plug in at Tokyo Motor show. they had a cut away view the complexity of the system and location of batteries. I was surprised in that the vehicle was larger than I expected it to be (not familiar with the gas version at all) the extra batteries did not take away from the storage or passenger areas at all

  • Steve in California

    MiEV offers two pack sizes in Japan, but I don’t think there are two for the US market. And Tesla offers only 2 battery size options at this point — “number of options” makes it sound like there are more than 2.

    • Hi Steve, Thanks for that clarification – about Mitsubishi offering two battery choices in Japan! Tesla Offered 3 choices – and the market proved what was popular – so they cut it back to 2 but still honored the 3rd choice ( or was that the 1st Choice – at the lowest price), by a software patch for the mid-model, giving the best of both worlds then: Lower Cost to start, but actual super Charging Access if you took that option! There was at least one buyer in Ontario, Canada that got in on that to my knowledge!

  • Jonathan Tracey

    I cant see anyone really wanting a pack smaller than the current one, larger yes 2x range would make the leaf a really great car for a lot of people, smaller it becomes a one trick pony

  • GCO

    Pierre Loing didn’t say “when u2014 or even if u2014 Nissan would offer” this. So… just wishful thinking on Nikki’s part then? Or did I miss something?

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  • aatheus

    I would love the option of having a battery pack that is 50-100% larger. 2x the range would make the Leaf an “obvious answer” for a lot of EV doubters.

  • I Think Nissan could do well with taking a page from Tesla Motors and their Three Options: Tesla had started out their plan with battery sizes of 40 kWh, 60 kWh, and 85 kWh, and the market said only about 5% wanted the smaller battery with ‘Just 160 Miles’ range. nnnNissan currently has a 24 kWh Battery. If they could stuff 48 kWh into the same volume – they would likely be best served by offering pack sizes of the same 24 kWh (Maybe a lighter pack weight, with newer chemistry needed for the 48 kWh max capacity); a 36 kWh Mid Pack (Shooting for and honest EPA 120+ Miles Range), and the max 48 kWh Pack with maybe 150 – 170 miles range. nnnThat way – they attract three levels of buyers – instead of just one, they compete better with the other OEM’s in the Field Like Mitsubishi, Smart, Spark, Fiat 500-e, Fit EV, etc. Also – they now can have three pricing choices for the base cars, plus options, similar to ICE Product Lines. nnnIn so doing – they let the market tell them exactly what the choices demanded are: More Range, Less Cost, More Options (Nav, Apps) etc. They also get the perfect Marketing Structure with 3 choices, since there are always those with less money, and some one will always want the best option available – that can have a bit larger price premium over just a larger battery cost alone would indicate, and the lowest battery choice can be a more Bare equipped model.nnnSince Tesla Only allows the Super Charger in its Two Largest Battery choices (used to be 3 choices, but the lowest did not allow this option for the 40 kWh Battery), Nissan could include the CHAdeMO interface as standard on the 36 and 48 kWh Models and still be in consistency with the Tesla Idea, but since it is viable to install it in the current 24 kWh models – it could be probably better to include it in even the base model! They could likely increase the Power Charging Capacity for Future CHAdeMO Upgrades in their 36 and 48 kWh Pack choices.nnnI also believe that since Nissan offers that very handy front pocket with the J1772 Plug and the CHAdeMO plug, the could enhance it with including a SAE-CCS Socket in their future offerings, where the Current J1772 Plug is, along side the CHAdeMO – giving the LEAF and the NV200e which is developed on the same platform, the option to use two Fast Charging Networks, along with the standard Level 2 Plug choices! This would give them access to their preferred CHAdeMO standard, which is also supported by Mitsubishi Motors iMiEV, as well as the Combo Charger System (CCS) choice that was chosen by GM, BMW, and others – so when they build out the CCS Network – Nissan’s Future offerings can use it too! This as well could be an option – let’s just say – on the 36 and 48 kWh pack models, for example.

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