Next Nissan Leaf To Get More Range, “Mainstream” Styling



In a bid to broaden the appeal of the Nissan Leaf, the next-generation model will boast a longer ranger and a more mainstream look. Though it may have been first out of the gate with a mass market EV, Nissan has taken its lumps and lessons and applied them to the next model. Will these changes help make the Leaf a breakout hit?

If you’ll recall, Nissan executives aren’t exactly thrilled with the underwhelming response to the Leaf, even though it remains far-and-away the best-selling EV in the world. One of the problems is the Leaf’s relatively short range, with Nissan will likely remedy by offering different battery pack sizes, like the Tesla Model S. A recent survey all but confirms Nissan’s intent to offer more multiple battery sizes, perhaps all the way up to 150 miles of driving per charge. Following the new Leaf will be the long-delayed Infiniti EV, sometime around 2017 with a more premium feel.

That’s definitely the right move. But as for adopting a more mainstream look? I’m not sure. As it stands, the Leaf strikes the right balance between looking different and blending in, and you can tell pretty far out that it’s an electric vehicle. I like that, and I think a lot of owners do too. Buyers have the option of “mainstream” electric vehicles like the Ford Focus Electric, but they aren’t biting. There’s a reason for that, and it isn’t just Ford’s lack of marketing. People want to be seen in an electric car, same way they want to be seen in a Prius or any other hybrid.

The Nissan Leaf’s looks aren’t out there by any stretch of the imagination, but it’s still different enough to be noticed. I hope Nissan keeps it that way.

Source: Automotive News

About the Author

A writer and gearhead who loves all things automotive, from hybrids to HEMIs, can be found wrenching or writing- or else, he’s running, because he’s one of those crazy people who gets enjoyment from running insane distances.

  • Lee Thomas

    I think a distinct look helps them broadcast the acceptance of EVs to others on the road but, maybe it’s time to pull in the reigns a little on the aero for a bit more style. I think the proportions lend themselves to something like a miniature London Cab. Perhaps there is a compromise that could be modern and efficient with a cool retro vibe.

  • Chris

    Does anyone think the Model S would have done as well as it has if it LOOKED like and EV? I doubt it…

    • The Model S looks like an EV – because it is. The Leaf is awkward looking, but that is not because it is an EV.

  • Jason

    I actually think one of the main reasons the Leaf isn’t a big seller, other than the EV range, is the fact that it is a terrible looking vehicle. It doesn’t necessarily need to have a traditional look, but it definitely needs to look better.

  • Nissan needs to improve the Leaf, and they need to have the base model be a true 100+ mile range. They can lower the Cd and gain the range, and they can use a direct heating defroster, in addition to the heat pump and heated seats to keep most of that range in the winter. Styling needs to be appealing and like aero design, it doesn’t add to the cost to build.

    Nissan should team up with Tesla to get video mirrors to be allowed. This would lower the drag in two ways: a frontal area reduction of about 1 sq ft, and it would lower the Cd significantly. AND the Leaf could get rid of the bulging headlights; which are there to quiet air turbulence around the optical mirrors.

  • nooper

    I agree about wanting to look different when driving an EV, but I would also argue that MOST drivers don’t want to look like they’re driving probably the ugliest car on the road when they drive the Leaf.

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