2018 Nissan LEAF Launch: First Impressions of Next-Gen Electric Car

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After months of drip-fed information, rumors, and spy shots, Nissan officially unveiled the next-generation 2018 LEAF electric car at a special event in Tokyo.

With a 40 kilowatt-hour battery pack (and a longer-range, higher-performance version due next year) Nissan has chosen to undercut both the Chevrolet Bolt EV and Tesla Model 3 in terms of price, retailing from $29,990 in the U.S. before incentives for the entry-level 2018 Nissan LEAF S.

At the same time however, the LEAF’s real-world range is expected to be just 150 miles on the EPA test cycle (241 kilometers). But with DC quick charging, optional Pro-Pilot driver assistance package, more conventional, mainstream styling, and plenty of room in the trunk (more than the original LEAF) will Nissan’s gable pay off?

Watch the video above to find out, subscribe to our YouTube channel, and support Transport Evolved at Patreon.

Disclaimer: Nissan provided airfare, lodging and meals to enable us to bring you this first-person report direct from Tokyo. 


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  • tigardspaz

    It looks pretty vanilla. I know a lot of people are frustrated that auto makers have made their EVs into “Weird-mobiles” but this vehicle looks boring.
    I have to give Nissan credit for being a market leader and making a real commitment to EVs, but where do they get off slamming Tesla? This vehicle barely moves the needle on technological advances. Nissan has been in business for 83 years and this is the best they could do?

    • Jeff Songster

      I don’t think they are slamming Tesla… everyone I speak to and hear from at Nissan has great admiration for what Tesla has achieved… but this product addresses different customers. Tesla has a huge challenge ahead of them… adjusting to mass market levels of output. Nissan has no problem in that area. The new LEAF looks great in person. Saw it last night… looking forward to trying it.soon. Also saw the Autonomous LEAF and can’t wait to see more of what it can do. See YouTube for videos of it on Llewellen’s show.

      • tigardspaz

        I love Fully Charged. I shouldn’t have been surprised that Robert has a video on Tesla”s website.

  • FrankieInguanez

    Do you know if while using epedal and releasing the pedal (equivalent of braking), do the brake lights turn on? So the question is, whether drivers behind a Nissan Leaf, would get an indication that the vehicle is slowing down? Given that 90% of driving can be done without braking.

    • Jeff Songster

      Yes the brake lights engage when the e pedal slows the car. Not sure how hard it must be stopping when they go on… but they do work with e-pedal. Can’t wait to try it… signed up for test drive last night at Silicon Valley Research Center event.

      • FrankieInguanez

        Thanks Jeff. Great reporting Nikki.

  • Sven Ziege

    Ein grosses Lob….a big applause….the best report from tokyo….it was the best invest from nissan to invite you to tokyo…

    It makes a diffrence in which direction you travel by plane to tokyo…you were fully aware/awake…the english men from fullycharged (fullyunplugged) had more than a jetlag.

    Did nissan say anything about the 60 kwh battery…when..specs (thermal managment)…price…where will they present it….tokyo again?

    I turned my back to nissan, because they don’t care much about the first generation leaf owners….where is the retrofit battery for japanleafs?

  • Swedenclunk

    I’m looking to buy an EV. It came down to Leaf or Zoe. I didn’t like the plastics in the Leaf. Waiting now for Zoe to get CCS. How have the Leaf interiors held up?

    Thought gear select in Leaf was odd. Forward to reverse, back to engage drive. Most autos have that sequence but start all the way forward and Leaf starts in the middle.

    Great report!