The new Nissan LEAF: the next chapter
27th February 2013
The new Nissan LEAF has arrived - and it has a longer range, is more practical, better to drive and has even more equipment. Since its launch in 2011, more than 50,000 examples have found homes and the world's best-selling pure electric vehicle has been built solely in Japan. But production of the new model will soon commence at Nissan's Sunderland production facility with more than 100 changes made to the multi-award winning car.
Improvements include an extended driving range, greater recyclability, more interior space, better charging performance, more equipment and, with three versions now available, greater choice. Subtle styling changes to the nose of the car have improved its already impressive aerodynamic efficiency.
Many of the changes have come as a direct result of feedback from pioneering LEAF owners. With some of the most active Internet forums of any car-owning group, LEAF drivers have become enthusiastic advocates of zero-emission mobility and of the car itself - LEAF enjoys the highest customer satisfaction rating of any Nissan model with a score of 93 per cent.
As well as discussions about various aspects of life with a LEAF, the forums are used by owners to offer tips and hints to fellow users, as well as to suggest a number of improvements that could be made to the game-changing car. By monitoring this feedback and by holding regular owner events to gain further input, Nissan has incorporated many of the suggestions into New LEAF.
In addition to this human feedback, Nissan has been able to get feedback from aggregated data from the unique Carwings telematics system, which is at the heart of LEAF. This powerful feature gives customers the ability to control the heating and charging of their car remotely and also logs information on charging, usage patterns and distance driven. With LEAF having been on sale for more than two years, engineers at Nissan have been able to use some of the data collected to optimise the car in line with actual customer usage.
In Europe, production will start shortly in Sunderland in the UK, where LEAF will be sharing the line with Qashqai and joining Note and Juke. At the same time, the high-tech lithium-ion batteries are already being produced at a new facility nearby on the Sunderland site.