To address the weather concerns associated with electric vehicles, a new “cold weather package” will come standard with the 2012 Leaf. This kit includes: battery heater, heated outside mirrors, heated steering wheel, heated front seats (front and rear) and a standard quick-charge port.
But an even bigger change is lined up for 2013 as well. Katherine Zachary, Nissan’s senior manager of corporate communications, confirmed that the Leaf’s on-board charger will double its current 3.3-kilowatt rating to 6.6 kW, allowing it to charge twice as fast as the current model. That could bringing charging time down from 8 hours on a 240 volt outlet, to just four hours or less.
As my father always says, “never buy the first-generation model of a new technology.” That’s because infant tech typically has the dubious distinction of being both overpriced and underwhelming. The Leaf was no exception to this rule, as this significant hiccup demonstrates.
Ah, but what a few years can do for fledgling young technology. It remains to be seen whether the price comes down for 2012–those figures will be out soon–but the car seems to be filling out nicely. Nissan’s EV should be hitting that sweet spot of technological maturity and affordability within a few years.
Source: Green Car Reports