Even with range loss, most low-end electric cars like the Nissan LEAF can still meet most American commuting duties.

Carlos Ghosn Says “Yes” To Double-Range Nissan LEAF in the Near Future

In just over a week’s time, Nissan’s first all-electric car, the five-seat LEAF hatchback, will turn four. Since its launch in late 2010, more than 147,000 LEAFs have been sold worldwide, making it the highest-selling electric car anywhere in the world to date. But while the Nissan LEAF is certainly the world’s best-selling electric car, its limited all-electric range — a real-world 70-90 miles per charge depending on weather, terrain and driver skill — is something that both current and prospective LEAF owners have been calling on Nissan to improve for the second-generation LEAF.

It seems inevitable now that the next-generation Nissan LEAF will double its range over the current model year.

It seems inevitable now that the next-generation Nissan LEAF will double its range over the current model year.

Improving the range of its electric vehicles is something that Nissan has been working hard on for several years, with both Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn and former Nissan Vice-President Andy Palmer admitting that Nissan was debating the merits of offering longer-range battery packs for the next-generation LEAF.

Now it appears that Nissan has made up its mind and is close to bringing a new battery chemistry to market that will increase the range of the humble Nissan LEAF from the official 75 miles listed on the EPA test cycle to double that, presumably replacing the 24 kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery pack in today’s LEAF with a 48 kilowatt-hour model.

As The Daily Kanban (via InsideEvs) reports, the revelation comes courtesy of Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn, confirmed that Nissan’s future battery technology would double the range of the current LEAF in a few years’ time during a late-night interview on the Tokyo Business News channel. But while Ghosn admitted Nissan’s future battery technology would give future LEAFs a major improvement in range, he wasn’t exactly forthcoming about specifics.

When asked if Nissan's next-generation battery could mean a 400 km per charge range, Carlos Ghosn simply said "yes".

When asked if Nissan’s next-generation battery could mean a 400 km per charge range, Carlos Ghosn simply said “yes”.

Instead, the information was painfully pulled out of Ghosn through a series of one-word answers to the host’s probing questions — and the exchange on battery technology wasn’t exactly lengthy.

“Is Nissan working on new batteries?” asked the host.

“Yes,” confirmed Ghosn.

“Can you tell us more?” the host continues.

“No,” said Ghosn.

“Will the range double?” the host presses.

“Yes,” said Ghosn.

“That means more than 400 kilometres?” the host enquires.

“Yes,” came the answer.

As the transcript of the segment shows, Ghosn’s monosyllabic answers didn’t exactly reveal anything we weren’t already expecting, especially since Nissan pretty much let the cat out of the metaphorical bag earlier this year when it asked existing LEAF owners if they’d like a 150-mile range for the next-generation LEAF model.

The next-generation Nissan LEAF will probably need to do far less of this.

The next-generation Nissan LEAF will probably need to do far less of this.

But it’s also worth noting that neither Nissan nor Ghosn were keen to give any more detailed answers on future LEAF range, or timescale, leaving us in the dark in terms of exactly what we should expect for range on the second-generation LEAF.

It’s worth noting too that while some news outlets have picked up on the headline 400 kilometre range Ghosn answered “Yes” to in the television interview — a range which would directly translate to 248 miles on paper — we’re being far more cautious in our range expectations.

That’s because the 400 kilometre figure was taken by simply doubling the current Japanese and NEDC test cycle mileage ratings for the current-generation 2015 Nissan LEAF. Sadly however, both JC08 and NEDC test cycles are known for being overly optimistic and bear little resemblance to real-world mileage figures.

If we had to guess, we’d pick a figure nearer to 150 miles per charge, double the wholly-achievable EPA rating of 75 miles per charge for the 2015 model year LEAF.

Naturally, real-world range depends greatly on how the car is driven and the circumstances in which it is being driven, but with this latest single-world confirmation by Ghosn, we’re think a 150-mile 2016 Nissan LEAF is now a foregone conclusion.


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  • Rachit

    I get a maximum of 60 miles/charge on my 2011 leaf that has 30,000 miles on it. I really hope the 150 miles/charge estimate is true and Nissan brings it out for the 2016 model. That will make it a very practical car for living in LA

  • Jun

    Hey not to nitpick, but for your publication’s credibility sake – last paragraph reads “weu2019re think a “. you can kill my post when you fix it. Cheers!

  • lad76

    What’s to debate? If Nissan wants to continue selling EVs, they must improve the range of their EVs. I’ll bet Tesla spent about a millisecond debating this subject.

    • JH

      and about 1 minute or so laughing at it…

  • The man from Nissan, He say YES!!!!nnFor those of you who don’t remember or are too youngnnhttp://youtu.be/Pd7JEah3Lqs?t=21snnBTW the 2015 LEAF has a 84 EPA mile rating, not 75 as stated in your article.

  • JH

    SO in a couple of years time they will have a battery which nearly as good as the tesla battery is today? Way to go… And they still havent solved the charging issue… It really clear now that there is only one player in town when it comes to serious ev:s.

    • Lance Pickup

      Define “good”. I think you are probably talking about final vehicle range, not the battery per se. In terms of battery cost, for example, I would expect the average $/kWh of all Li-ion batteries, whether it be in a Tesla, Chevy or Nissan to be in the same ballpark, and basically on an downward trend. It’s just that Tesla chose to equip their vehicles with 60kWh and 85kWh packs rather than 24kWh like the LEAF. But that ends up putting the cost of the vehicle out of range for most buyers (and most buyers don’t actually need that huge pack anyway). So I don’t think it’s really a fair comparison unless you consider the cost as well.nHaving said that, I’m not knocking Tesla. They are definitely the ones really pushing the envelope. But I don’t think you can accuse Nissan of not being serious about EVs. With the number one selling EV in the world, it’s clear that they are.nBTW, what charging issue are you talking about?

      • JH

        There is till only one player in town. Maybe nissan will get their act together and produce something which is not only a commuter car. Hopefully they will. In regards of charging they need to step up and improve their charging capacity. 50kw is not good enough for long range needs. Ideally they simply make a converter to fit the tesla network. Payments could be Done in analog with the tesla model.n

        • Lance Pickup

          I wouldn’t be so quick to discount “only a commuter car”. For me, and I suspect a lot of people, this covers about 95% of my driving needs, which is certainly significant. In terms of sheer volume or cars, CO2 emissions reduced, electric miles driven, or any number of other metrics, Nissan is far ahead of Tesla. I could turn your argument around and say that Teslas are “only” for way upper middle and upper class people (i.e. have an extremely limited target market). Again, not knocking Tesla. I think their strategy is brilliant, and ultimately they will have a car that is affordable for the masses, but like Nissan with range, they are not there yet. They will probably meet in the middle in the 2017 timeframe.nnnI agree that 50kW is not enough for long distance. But it fits the needs to the LEAF just fine, which is not a car that was ever intended for long range travel. I am hoping that once Nissan starts rolling out large capacity packs that they will indeed interface to the Supercharger standard. But for now, it’s a lot more than just creating an “adapter”. I think the battery architecture would likely have to change (to provide more parallel paths to get power into the pack). Again, I am hoping that this is part of the design going into the larger packs in the future.

          • JH

            I’ve never bought the 95% argument, and from my vantage point it is a showstopper. I’d go for a PHEV or similar instead. And sales figure show that I am not alone in this decision.nnnDont get me wrong, if I where in a position to have multiple cars, the leaf would be a good commuter option, and as you said cover most of my needs. But having dual cars is expensive in terms of money and time, so I would choose a good diesel option instead.nnnI disagree slightly with your take on the interface issue. Such an interface could well reduce the charge capacity from 130 to whatwever is need on teh leaf, after all the leaf tells the charger what it needs today (likewise with the tesla). IF all it can take is 50kw the charger will oblige, so its really not a problem. If the leaf gets a bigger capacity battery pack, it needs som reconfiguration at any rate and it stands to reason that they will be addressing the C factor as well.

          • Lance Pickup

            You’ve never bought the 95% argument based on actual experience (or perhaps a detailed log of your actual driving patterns)? Or you just haven’t bought it? I acknowledge that there is a perception problem in that people THINK they need X miles of range or that far more than 5% of their trips exceed the range of a BEV100 class vehicle, but numerous surveys and studies have actually borne out this as fact. This is just one example: http://www.greencarreports.com/news/1071688_95-of-all-trips-could-be-made-in-electric-cars-says-studynFurthermore, from my own actual experience driving an EV (and bear in mind, I went into it not expecting that my EV would be able to handle as much driving as we ultimately did with it), I found that in fact, this was pretty close to my results, at least on a per day basis. On an annual basis, I drove about 17,100 miles, about 15,000 miles in the EV. The 2,100 gas miles consisted of one week-long 1200 mile trip, 2 300 mile weekend trips, and 2 150 mile day trips. So on a per mile basis, that’s about 88% electric. But on a per day basis, we basically have 15 days of gas usage, and let’s call it 340 days EV (I suspect there were a few days we didn’t drive at all, but probably not many). That’s 96% days electric. The lower per mile figure is to be expected since naturally there will be more miles driven on gas because those trips are longer.nnAre there people that don’t fit this model? I’m sure of it. But I have to agree with the studies that show that in reality, a LOT of people will line up along these lines.nnBut all that is kind of a digression from the original topic, which was, if I may paraphrase, can Nissan be considered a serious player in the EV game (as compared to Tesla) given that with this latest enhancement they are only just “catching up” with Tesla. Well, by that argument and your own situation whereby owning two cars would not be practical (I would agree assuming you are single or live in a city where owning and parking two cars would be an unnecessary expense), if a Tesla is in your opinion a serious player in the mass market, that one possible vehicle for you to own would be a Tesla. Let’s even say the 60kWh version. That would run about $64K after US federal incentives. A totally equipped LEAF on the other hand (I do understand that it’s not possible to meet the luxury standards of the Model S with a LEAF) is going to be around $30K after federal incentives. That leaves about $34K difference to spend on rental cars for those trips. Even without discounts, you can rent a really nice car for $300/week. If you rented a car each and every week of the entire year it would still only run you about half that difference.nnnnMy point is simply this: you can’t simply say that Tesla is the only serious game in town without acknowledging that the price of the vehicle currently puts it out of the range of the typical driver, just as the range of the LEAF puts it out of consideration for the subset of drivers that would exceed typical driving patterns. The two companies will probably meet somewhere in 2017 when the Tesla Model 3 hits the market and the Nissan in this article is on the market.nnnAs for the C factor, obviously the LEAF can handle whatever C 80kW of power ends up being. How much more, I don’t know. The reason I say that the battery architecture would have to change is because Elon Musk has made it very clear that while he is willing to open up the Supercharger network to other vehicles, he would only do so if they could charge at the full rate (to avoid having slower charging cars like the LEAF taking up a 130kW parking spot for a long time). So it’s not necessarily a technical problem, but rather a policy one. But one that could be easily solved by a pack architecture that for example uses double the number of cells, but in parallel (which would effectively double the C rate). The Tesla, for example, must have around 70 parallel stacks of around 100 cells each, whereas the current LEAF only has 1. It’s possible the single stack could support a C factor capable of accepting 130kW (or more), but even a second parallel stack would get you up to at least 160kW.

          • JH

            I am not buying the 95% argument on the ground that it would be faulty from statistics point of view, most evidence indicates that it is true. So I can agree with you on that point.nnnnBut the mere fact that it does not cover 100% of my needs _IS_ a _huge_ show stopper, no matter how you try to argue around it. I am not interested in going through the hazel of renting or having two cars to cover the last 5 percent. I could be persuaded if the leaf would be significantly cheaper to buy, but it isnt, The smaller battery is also a major problem when unexpected things occurs in your daily life as it suddenly turns out to be something which you have to consider in your daily routine. When the phone rings at 2 a clock in the morning, the state of charge is not the thing I should worry about. With a big battery, my options is greater and my need to worry less.nnnnThe only one in town addressing these issues is tesla, I am not alone in this judgement as the sales figures indicates. Closing your eyes on this issue will not help EV:s to take off either. nnnnIn regards of the leaf – or other commuter cars, being able to charge at teslas charge points I have understood Elon as this being more about time rather than capacity. A leaf that has a very small battery, comparatively, will still occupy the slot as long as a tesla (i.e. 20-30 minutes) to charge to proportionally the same level of SOC (80%), The leaf will just take up to 50kw doing it. It would become a problem if the leaf would take significantly longer to charge though, so I guess from 80% to 100% you should choose an other option, but this really goes for the tesla as well.nnnnThis could potentially be a problem with the leaf as it begins with a to small battery capacity for any serious long range duty and often need 100% to actually go anywhere. In this particular case the time to get to 100% would be to long (yet another advantage of a big battery, they are generally able to be configured for faster charging).nnnI am not dissing the leaf, I am merely observing that this is a specialised commuter car, it is not a general car with the aim of actually displacing a traditional ICE. And it is not e the car I am looking for when I am looking for an EV. The tesla is, currently, to expensive to be motivated fro me, but in the wait for a more affordable general purpose EV I will go for a Diesel.Once the first wave of used teslas comes around they will be high on my list…

          • Lance Pickup

            I won’t argue that it’s not a showstopper for you. Sounds like it is, and if you wouldn’t be comfortable with buying a LEAF, then I would not recommend you do. There are plenty of people that can see around what you perceive as huge limitations, and again, I think the sales figures back MY side of the argument up, not yours: http://insideevs.com/monthly-plug-in-sales-scorecard/ As you can see, LEAF sales far outpace Tesla, so maybe you can help me understand the your logic that the sales figures back up your opinion.nnnAnd again, as this article itself points out, Nissan IS working on this problem by doubling the range (allegedly anyway–I suspect it won’t quite be double, but we’ll see), just as Tesla is working on the cost side of the equation.nnnYou are 100% correct about the issue with other vehicles using the Supercharger network being time. And while you’re also correct that a 24kWh LEAF would take the same amount of time to charge at 50kW as an 85kWh Model S would at 130kW, since the small pack LEAF can’t use the Supercharger today, that point is kind of moot. Elon just made it simple and said that the vehicles must support the full charge rate. Except for the smallest of pack sizes, this effectively would translate to time anyway.

          • JH

            The tesla sales are affected by the simple fact that they are operating at full capacity and sell everything they produce. They simply can’t cope with the demand.nnIn regards of the charging question I respectfully disagree with you, I could be very wrong, but I am not interpreting his statements in the manner you propose. But then again that’s something we will see.nnAn interesting option would be if leaf had different sales options on the battery (long range, short range) if teslas experience is anything to go by we should soon see what option wins out….

          • Lance Pickup

            You don’t think that Nissan was in the very same position (being supply constrained) when they were at the same point in total sales as Tesla is now? Even in the past year as some inventories have started to build up at dealers, the LEAF has a lot less supply as compared to traditional vehicles. nnnAnd actually, Nissan is doing exactly what you are calling for: offering multiple battery pack options.

          • JH

            WHat options do they have? I haven’t seen any so far. Granted, I am living Europe so there might be options we don’t have over here. u00b4The number one complaint, basically everywhere is lack of range, so if they would have a long range version I would be surprised as I haven’t heard anything about it.

          • Lance Pickup

            They haven’t announced the actual options yet (it will likely be 2016 model year if this article is correct, but I think it may be a 2017 model year change), but this article is dealing with the probable high-end option (i.e. double the current range). I suspect they will also keep the current 24kW option as well. This is only speculation, but I would suspect they would offer a mid-range option as well.

          • JH

            Ok we are talking future, possible options here. I would wager a bet and say that the low end will be disbanded as the customer base will evaporate. And going out on limb here, I would wager a guess and say that the second hand price will drop like a stone with the introduction of a new and improved range battery, which might explain the persistent rumours here in Europe that they will sell the improved battery as an cheap upgrade to old cars… There is even an informal price tag on teh upgrade in the region of 5000 euros, On an other note, up here in the northern part of europe nissan is basically giving their leafs away in an attempt to keep the sales figures respectable. Teslas are basically eating them for breakfast… The only other commuter car that has had an impact is, oddly enough, the renault zoe… I guess this is due to their sales pitch with rental batteries and extremely low up front cost (even cheaper than the cheapest small car). The battery costs monthly though…

          • Lance Pickup

            Yes, we are talking future here. I do think there will be a market for the low-end, at least among urban dwellers with EV experience, but do agree that most people would opt for the larger pack. And yes, second hand prices are going to drop dramatically, which is to be expected with a rapidly advancing technology. I took that into account when buying my LEAF and so am not shocked by the lack of resale value. But that’s fine because I generally keep cars until they are worth next to nothing anyway. I’ve sold previous vehicles for $1500 and $500, so if by that time my LEAF is only worth half of what it would be otherwise, it’s not like I’m out a lot of money (certainly I’ve saved far more than that in fuel costs over the life of the vehicle).

          • JH

            I usually do that as well. Looking at the market here in northern europe most ev drivers tend to do that (unless they have leasing argeement in which case they simply return the vehicle… 🙂 At any rate, I do hope Nissan get their new battery out, it will enhance the market for ev:s considerably!

          • John Ryan

            hey jh i agree with you they didn’t tell me about different batteries when i got my lease two years in fact they had one car left maybe that was why

          • John Ryan

            i think that is what tesla offers i.e. different batteries for different range and different price makes sense if you can afford it even if the 2016 leaf offers different batteries i am happy with the 80 mile range and that is without charging stations that is 80 miles now after two years the first year or two i was getting 100 miles

          • Rick

            These Tesla trolls are getting quite impressive. Real Pros. Did you work for Apple before?

          • JH

            I neither own a tesla or work for them. I was referencing facts.

          • John Ryan

            the rumor is there are going to be fast charging stations at starbucks

          • John Ryan

            i drive around 40 miles per day about the average if i take a trip i fly the leaf will get me to the airport but that is me if the leaf met 95% of my driving needs rather than having two cars i would rent a car for my 5% driving need i would assume it is cheaper than having two cars i haven’t done it but i think enterprise will come to your home

  • dm33

    So is the current rumor that the longer range LEAF will come out in 2016 or 2017?nI’m having to decide about my current lease, either extend or start a new 2 year lease. I’ve seen folks quote people saying 2016, but then there’s discussion of LEAF v2 coming out in 2017.

    • John Ryan

      I am in the last year of my leaf lease i have been told i can extend it 6 months max i didn’t know you could get a two year lease they are hard to pin down when the 2016 leaf will be on the market if i can extend my current lease until i can get the 2016 i will probably do that that is if the tesla 3 is not out by then if it is that is a whole new ball game

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