Nissan Director of Product Planning talks to Detroit News
Yesterday, Mark Perry, Nissan’s Director of Product Planning spoke with the Detroit News providing some insight into changes that we can expect to see on the 2013 LEAF, along with some other interesting Nissan electric vehicle (EV) tidbits.
First – no news on the battery front. We didn’t expect to hear about any changes yet, and we were not disappointed. Our own guess is that LEAF 2.0 will first be available as a 2016 model year. Our expectation is that we will not see any significant (if any) change in the LEAF battery pack until then. As long as we are this far out on the limb, we will guess that vehicle range will increase by 50- to 100-percent on LEAF 2.0 with a minimal increase in price from the 2015 model year.
Mr. Perry announced three primary changes – a more efficient heater, a darker interior, and the availability of a leather seat option. The more efficient heating system will provide for more range preservation in those areas of the country where heater use is needed. Keep in mind that for 2012, all LEAFs come with seat heaters for front and rear seat passengers. If it’s not too cold those may suffice. The improved heating system is expected to improve range about 20-25 miles in cold weather. Range will not be improved if the heater is not used as there will be no change to the LEAF battery system. Consumers have been vocal about the very light colored LEAF interior so it is nice to see that Nissan actually listened and is providing a darker interior. Based on the wording, it seems that there will be both light and dark interior colors available. Finally, also based on consumer demand, a leather option will be added to 2013 LEAF availability. No information provided as to color choices for the leather or if it will be offered in only one color.
Other news of interest – Minnesota is the highest order rate new launch state for the LEAF. Also, set to debut at the New York Auto Show early next month will be an all electric Infiniti concept. This concept will be based on the LEAF platform, but will differ significantly in design and amenities as compared to the LEAF. Keep an eye out for more details.
EDIT: It has also been reported that the 2013 LEAF will offer a 6.6 kilowatt hour on-board charger, doubling its current unit. While not yet confirmed by Nissan officially, this is widely expected to be the case.