The Nissan Leaf may get a big range upgrade, if a recent survey asking how much customers would be willing to pay for a Leaf with a 150-mile range is any indication. The survey also asked how customers feeling about receiving an 80% charge on a 150-mile Nissan Leaf in 30 minutes, nearly rivaling Tesla Motor’s own Supercharger system.
One of the biggest knocks against the Leaf is its lack of driving range, and no survey is going to convince Americans that they only need 73 miles of driving at a time. While a tremendous price cut has helped motivate Leaf sales, there’s a large segment of the population still unwilling to change their driving habits to match the limited range of electric cars. That’s where the bigger battery comes in.
The survey, sent to Nissan Leaf owners, asked how much they’d be willing to pay for a 150-mile battery pack option, the highest number being $5,000. Nissan has previously trotted out a Leaf with a 48 kWh battery pack, effectively doubling the range of the Leaf to, you guessed it, about 150 miles. The Nissan Leaf S starts at $28,980, though the bigger battery might only be available on the mid-level SV model, which starts at $32,000. That would bring the Leaf’s price into the mid-30s, though the $7,500 Federal tax credit could bring the price back under $30,000. Like the Tesla Model S, Nissan seems ready to offer customers multiple battery options.
Seems like a sure thing, and a wise move, for the Nissan Leaf. That said,I don’t expect the bigger battery to debut until the Leaf gets a major refresh, probably in the next year or two at most. Let’s not gloss over the potential Supercharger rival either; Nissan is already working to install more charging stations at local dealers, as well as providing free charging to residents of select areas.
With a bigger battery pack and Tesla-rivaling range (but for half the cost!), the Nissan Leaf could broaden its appeal exponentially.