The Leaf is already the world’s best-selling all-electric car, with more than 283,000 units produced for the previous model. But Nissan has heavily reworked the new car to take on increasing competition in the fast-growing electric vehicle sector. The new Leaf is powered by a 147bhp motor – 40bhp more than the previous car – that produces 199lb ft. It can achieve 0-62mph in around eight seconds – just over three seconds faster than the current car.
In the new Leaf is a floor-mounted 40kWh lithium-ion battery – compared with a choice of 24kWh and 30kWh batteries in the old car – and Nissan says it has a New European Driving Cycle (NEDC) range of 235 miles on a single charge. That’s 80 miles more than the outgoing range-topping 30kWh battery and 111 miles more than the entry-level Leaf.
Due to feedback that the old Leaf’s distinctive style wasn’t popular with some buyers, Nissan has given the latest model a substantial makeover that echoes the new Micra. The exterior design has been refined in a wind tunnel to reduce wind resistance and increase efficiency.
The new Leaf is the first model sold in the UK with Nissan’s ProPilot semi-autonomous driver assistance system, which can steer, accelerate and brake on highways and in single-lane low-speed traffic. In addition, the car features an autonomous parking system.
There is also a new e-Pedal that automatically combines the resistance of the front-axle regeneration system and brakes to slow the car when the driver lifts off the pedal. The interior features a new 7.0in infotainment system that is compatible with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
The Zero launch edition comes with 17in alloy wheels, privacy glass, LED daytime running lights and a leather steering wheel.
Nissan upgrades e-NV200 electric van
Nissan's EV line-up has been further bolstered with a new version of the e-NV200 electric van, powered by a 107bhp motor.
Designed for use in urban environments, the e-NV200 features the same 40kWh lithium-ion battery as the new Leaf, with an NEDC range of 174 miles compared with 106 miles for the old model. Because the revamped battery is the same size, the van retains the 4200-litre cargo capacity as the outgoing e-NV200.
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