While we're waiting for a complete redesign of the LEAF, and possibly a whole family of LEAF-based electric vehicles, Nissan is throwing us a bone to make the wait easier. The 2016 LEAF has just been unveiled, and while there's nothing mind-blowing about it, it is a significant upgrade over the previous model.
A bunch of small things have been upgraded or refreshed, but the centerpiece of next year's model is a new battery pack that holds 25% more energy - going from 24kWh to 30kWh - and provides 27% more driving, going from 84miles to 107 miles.
2016 EPA Fuel Economy Estimate Nissan LEAF 2016 S Trim 126 city, 101 highway. Based on EPA formula of 33.7 kW/hour equal to one gallon of gasoline energy, EPA rated the LEAF® equivalent to 126 MPGe measured as gasoline fuel efficiency in city driving, and 101 MPGe in highway driving.
What's interesting about the new battery is that it fits in the same space as the old one. The cell structure has been improved to maximize space efficiency and power-density. The older 24kWh battery had four cells per module, for a total of 192 cells, while the new 30kWh battery packs 8 cells per module. The 30 kWh battery pack weighs just 46 pounds more than the 24 kWh battery pack and has the same battery pack size and footprint.
All LEAF models feature an 80kW AC synchronous motor that generates 107 horsepower and 187 lb-ft of torque.
PricingThe 2016 Nissan LEAF has a starting price of $26,700 after the federal tax credit of $7,500 for the SV model and $29,290 for LEAF SL after the federal tax credit (these two models have the new bigger battery). There's also the LEAF S model that continues to be equipped with the older 24 kWh battery with an EPA-estimated range of 84 miles. Starting price for 2016 Nissan LEAF S grade remains $21,510 after the federal tax incentive.