They look just the same as last year’s 2015 Nissan LEAF, but under the floor of the 2016 Nissan LEAF SV and 2016 Nissan LEAF SL electric car is a larger battery pack capable of an EPA-approved range of 107 miles per charge.
That’s a major improvement on the 84-miles of EPA-approved range of the previous model-year car, made possible by an increase in battery pack capacity from 24 kilowatt-hours to 30 kilowatt-hours. In turn, that increase is made possiible without any exterior modifications to the car thanks to a next-generation lithium-ion cell which Nissan says is far more energy dense than its predecessor, squeezing more energy storage capacity into the same physical space as last year’s battery pack.
Alongside the increased battery pack capacity in the Nissan LEAF SV (Acenta) and SL (Tekna) models, the 2016 Nissan LEAF gets Nissan Connect EV — a brand-new on-board telematics system complete with new smartphone connectivity and applications which Nissan says will give the 2016 LEAF “additional functionality” over previous model year cars.
Probably of most interest to prospective buyers is a new range screen displaying owners how far they can comfortably drive before their car will need a recharge, as well as a new charging information screen which more accurately represents real-time charging information and availability.
To date, Nissan has only demonstrated its new 2016 LEAF SV and SL models with short test-drives at events like the recent National Drive Electric week celebrations in Los Angeles, California. But tomorrow and Friday, our very own Kate Walton-Elliott will be getting the keys to one of the first longer-range Nissan LEAFs off the production line and putting it through its paces with an extensive test-drive in and around the countryside surrounding Nice, France.
Naturally, we’ll be doing our usual full-spec test drive to see if the 2016 Nissan LEAF is capable of the claimed 107 miles per charge, as well as how much improved the new Nissan Connect EV is over the older Carwings system.
Since we know the 2016 Nissan LEAF is based on the same 2011 Nissan LEAF which debuted at the end of 2010, we know that the interior and driving dynamics of this longer-range car should be fairly similar to previous model year LEAFs, but we also know that you’ll have lots of questions for us to ask Nissan’s engineering team about the inner workings of its latest plug-in.
So, this is our usual call to readers and subscribers to ask what you’d like us to ask Nissan on the official Nissan LEAF press launch. The event kicks off in just over 24-hours, so you’ve got until then to leave us your questions and thoughts in the Comments below. We can’t guarantee to answer them all, but we’ll do our best.
In the meantime, you can follow our official Twitter account for real-time tweets from the media presentation and test drive, or follow Kate’s personal twitter stream to keep track of what else she’s up to on the event.
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