It has been almost three full years since the Nissan Leaf debuted, and besides a (much) lower price and the standardization of a few options, there haven’t been any major updates to the Leaf. At a recent fuel economy “racing” event called the ECOseries, a Nissan Leaf with a battery twice the size of the production model debuted. Is this an indicator of things to come?
The Spain-based ECOseries tracks things like fuel economy and efficiency rather than speed to determine a winner, and competitors from across the European continent have competed. This includes a factory-backed Nissan team, which debuted a Nissan Leaf with a 48 kwh battery pack. This is literally twice the size of the production model, which comes with a 24 kwh battery. Back-of-the-hand calculations indicate such a battery would provide between 130 and 150 miles of driving range.
Unfortunately, this appears to be a one-off vehicle, rather than a planned production model, even though Nissan claims performance was actually improved, rather than hampered, by the bigger battery. The battery pack was upgraded to compete with the 36 kwh Mercedes A-class EV, though Nissan still fell short of victory.
If nothing else, it shows the Nissan Leaf is certainly capable of holding a bigger battery pack. But is Nissan willing to sell such a vehicle?