Nissan Planning to Take On the Chevy Bolt with a 200-mile Leaf

The Detroit Auto Show 2015 is now in full-swing. With just over a week left, the bar has once again been raised for innovation in the auto-world. This is no more true than in the EV sector, which the Chevy Bolt concept has successfully caught the attention of many. With promises of great range and a great price, the all-electric car makers are finally coming around to meet the average American’s green needs.

The Nissan Leaf, the best-selling all-electric vehicle of all time, with 110,000+ units on the roads, is set to see further improvements in order to prolong its reign at the helm of the EV sales, and to ward off the ever-growing competition.

The current Leaf can churn out up to 84 miles per charge and it seems this will be the point of focus of the new Leaf, with the new range set to take a rather large step, up to 200-250 miles. This will be achieved by a new lithium-ion battery that will aim to reduce weight while increasing power density, which in all fairness is much like what just about everyone is looking to do with their battery packs.

The Chevy Bolt will undoubtedly be the Leaf’s hardest competitor and with both looking to bring production in within the next two years it might not just be a case of who can provide the most miles and value for money, but also who can hit the market with full production first. Both will offer a minimum range of 200 miles, which will surely set the industry standard, if actually achieved.

At the show, Nissan’s CEO Carlos Ghosn, who is very much an advocate for the EV movement over other green forms of transport, said, “We want to be competitive,” to TheDetroitBureau.com. Ghosn is certainly playing down their ambitions in order to save a little hype and expectation for when Nissan does have a little more to talk about regarding the Leaf than at present.

As with all things EV at the moment, time will tell. Concepts are great and set industry standards but there will be many who doubt the validity of the claims we’re seeing. Both the Leaf and the Bolt are certainly the two to keep an eye on for at present with Tesla lurking mysteriously in the background. The age of affordable and practical EVs is looking down upon us but has yet to break through the clouds. You need look no further than companies such as Detroit Electric for those whose claims have been unsuccessfully backed up in the all-electric vehicle world.

Nothing else has been released by Nissan yet, and so we cannot comment any further on the technical assets of the next gen Leaf. But one thing’s for sure: the Nissan team will be fully aware of the importance in not just matching and bettering the Bolt technologically, but that their efforts to get the Leaf past ideas and claims and into production must be quick.

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6 COMMENTS

  1. The EV Leaf Owners we’ve talked to have all loved the LEAF and are looking forward to any new “upgrades”. Those owners are super happy with no ‘range anxiety’ as they call it. You can bet the next set of battery upgrades will help EVs across the board. GO EV!

    • The LEAF is the best car I’ve ever had, but I won’t sugarcoat it- it has horrible range in the winter (about half what I expect in the summer). While I don’t have “range anxiety” (and never have- the car hasn’t stranded me yet after 35,000 miles), I’m finding myself experiencing more and more range *inconvenience*. And with every summer, I experience more and more battery degradation (17% so far, and I live in Michigan). The 20-40 mile radius drawn around my LEAF (its range, as guestimated and drawn when you press the button on the steering wheel) feels like a wall that’s closing in on me, with every additional month of degradation. I feel almost claustrophobic. It’s not “range anxiety”, it’s lack of freedom- and it gets worse from the moment you take possession of the car.

      I love my LEAF for what it does 99% of the time (get me to and from work, running about, visiting family and friends). It really is an excellent car. But I find myself desiring more freedom- being able to spontaneously drive to another county, or state, or country- if I feel like it, with little or no planning or detours. I find myself looking for a car that is electric when I want it (commuting, running about), but gas when I need it. Forgive me for spewing the GM marketing material, but the more I own the LEAF, the more I am wanting something like the Volt.

      So when I hear word that 200-mile EVs are just around the corner, it’s really exciting. I don’t have to give in to oil again. The question now is, what do I get to bridge the gap? My lease is up in a few months. The 2015 LEAF made a number of improvements over my 2012 LEAF- but nothing in comparison to cars like the Kia Soul EV, but that aren’t yet available in my region.

      I feel just as claustrophobic with the choices on the market as I am with the cars winter range.

      • Thanks for your very insightful & informative reply. It’s early days yet for EVs, the LEAF has been really far ahead of the game, but the bottleneck is always just the batteries- if they’ve really come up with battery improvements (which I believe they have), it won’t be long. You’re an early adopter and you are ahead – you know whats up! The gap will close, it is only a matter of time. Right now we just get a taste of what the future will be: 100% ELECTRIC

        • i am sure you are correct the electric car is virtually maintenance free the better batteries are coming they are in the lab already

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