The Nissan Leaf will be available, at least overseas, with a new battery pack that offers an increased driving range.
The new 30kWh battery pack is now available as a standard fit feature on mid- and top-spec Leaf models in the US and is said to provide the electric hatchback with a range of 172 kilometres on a full charge.
That’s an improvement over the 135km that the standard 24kWh battery offers. These numbers are based on the standard used by the USA’s Environmental Protection Agency.
Each module in the new 30kWh battery pack contains eight cells, up from four cells per module in the 24kWh battery. The new 30kWh battery is the same size as the 24kWh unit, but weighs 21 kilograms more than 24kWh battery pack, which tips the scales at around 250kg.
The rest of the Leaf’s drivetrain remains untouched, with a 80kW/254Nm electric motor driving the front wheels via a single-speed transmission.
In Australia, the current 24kWh Leaf is said to have a maximum range of 170km in Eco mode without air conditioning or about 120km in Drive with the air-con operating. In local terms, that 27 percent improvement would give the 30kWh Leaf a range of 216km in Eco without air-con and 152km in Drive with the air-con on.
However, speaking with CarAdvice today, Nissan Australia communications manager Peter Fadeyev confirmed that there are no confirmed plans to bring the updated Leaf to our shores.
Australian Leaf sales have fallen off in the past year, with year-to-date figures now at 23, compared to 101 for the same period in 2014.
Fadeyev reiterated that the continued absence of significant government incentives for green vehicles – which, in many other countries, amounts to thousands in savings to the buyer – remain an obstacle to the wider adoption of EVs in Australia.
“LEAF sales in Australia are indicative of the need for substantial consumer incentives to buy EVs and wide-scale, publicly available vehicle recharging infrastructure,” he said.
“These two elements have underpinned the success of EVs in North America, Europe and Japan and if they were available in Australia our country’s EV uptake would be vastly greater.”