It has been rumored for awhile now that the 2013 Nissan Leaf would bring some much-needed changes to the little Japanese EV. Now Nissan has confirmed that there will indeed be a lower-cost model, thanks to domestic production, and a new onboard fast charging system that will cut charging times in half.
Joining the Nissan Leaf SV and SL models will be the Nissan Leaf S model, which will do away with some luxuries in the pursuit of a lower price. What this lower price will be, Nissan isn’t saying quite yet, but Nissan is crediting its Smyrna, Tennessee factory with helping to bring down costs of the Leaf, which initially was imported from Japan. But there are other important details that are a marked improvement in the 2013 Nissan Leaf.
A new 6.6 kW onboard charging will be standard on all models except the S, which gets a 3.6 kW charger standard. The 6.6 kW system will cut Level 2 charging times down from eight hours to just four. A new “B” mode utilizes the regenerative braking system more, which has also been improvement to provide more power feedback. These changes are expected to increase range, though how much, Nissan isn’t saying quite yet.
Other features, like a “hybrid heater system” and leather-appointed seats are among the other changes, though to be honest, there is nothing truly spectacular about any of these changes. Maybe once Nissan releases the new pricing, hopefully at next week’s North American International Auto Show, we’ll change our tune. But we doubt these changes are enough to sell more Nissan Leafs.