Variety is the spice of lifeThere's been some official info as well as a lot speculation about what the next-generation Nissan LEAF will be like. Maybe it'll get wireless charging? It'll almost certainly have a longer driving range (I speculated on 185 miles in the past), and a "more mainstream look". We can now add one more "maybe" to the list; Nissan executive vice-president Trevor Mann told Autocar that “There could be more than one Leaf. We’ve always said it needn’t be one car."
“We’ve got the NV200 electric, too, now, but obviously we’re still studying other opportunities. What we’ve got to do is to make sure the market is right. We want to make sure that when we do the next one or we expand the line-up, we’re really taking the market intelligence that we’re gathering and using it. With our customer base, we have an enormous amount of feedback that we can recycle into what we do in the future.”
This sounds a lot like what Toyota was saying when they turned the Prius into a family of vehicles rather than just a single model. Maybe we could see something similar with the LEAF, with a 'Mama' model that could take the shape of a small crossover utility (maybe similar to the Juke or Rogue?), and who knows, maybe eventually a 'Papa' model that is sedan-sized (maybe using the popular Altima platform?).
One suggestion I had for Nissan was that maybe the next LEAF could take a few design cues from the 'Invitation' concept car (shown above in burnt orange), which was unveiled a few years ago. It probably shouldn't go as far as the concept version, but making it a bit more angular and balanced would certainly help sell more EVs.
For more, see our original coverage: Nissan Gives Sneak Peak of 'Invitation' Concept Car
Something interesting to note for those of you considering an electric car: 5 years after going on sale, LEAF battery packs are WAY more reliable than gasoline and diesel engines.
For your viewing pleasure (don't try this at home!), here's a LEAF battery cells vs. a screwdriver: