When the Nissan LEAF emerged on the scene back in 2010, it was huge news. An all-electric plug-in car that was affordable and pretty slick looking was something that got everyone's attention. But then there were mileage woes, with folks not getting the promised 100 miles by Nissan. Then it was discovered that the range could vary by as much as 80 percent, depending on driving habits, load, weather conditions, etc. But the LEAF soldiered on and went on to sell over 250,000 units through 2016. This makes it the highest volume selling EV of all time.
Now that it's been about seven years since the LEAF's introduction, with the only significant change having taken place in 2016: a mileage boost from 84 to 107. It's high time Nissan replaced the vehicle since others are surging way ahead like the Chevy Bolt, the BMW i3 and the Volkswagen e-Golf with its recently improved range (124 miles). It looks like Nissan will actually unveil the successor to the current LEAF this September, and it's aimed for showrooms before the end of 2017.
Though there's been wide speculation about the next LEAF, there aren't any real details about the car from Nissan as yet. Interesting speculation from Green Car Reports shows the following:
- Nissan will likely create a LEAF design that's more appealing to the masses, but that doesn't equate to a more conservative design. The current car is a bit on the polarizing side, so it behooves Nissan to bring something to market that's less odd and universally attractive. The Nissan Sway concept from 2015 that you see in these photos points to a possible design direction.
- Nissan design chief and senior vice president Shiro Nakamura stated in 2014 that the car would have to be "nice looking" and that the overall design would be more adventurous and that it would likely eschew individual styling cues that made it look like an EV. He added that buyers who wanted the car to stand out as an EV could select details in the trim, gauges, and lights that would show its green nature.
- The biggest and most important detail would be the range. It was rumored that the new LEAF would offer different battery size choices, with the base model getting between 120 and 150 miles.
- Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn stated at the 2017 CES that that at least one model would nail 200 miles on a single charge, perhaps showing that it could almost compete with the 238-mile Chevy Bolt.
- The LEAF will likely also come with Nissan's ProPilot technology, which is essentially an autonomous feature that will operate in certain conditions during highway travel.