2016 LEAF gets 107 mile EPA range, new battery warranty

by Ernie Hernandez on September 10, 2015

2016 Nissan LEAF

New larger battery increases range, price

Nissan has announced the release of the 2016 LEAF with a 30 kilowatt hour battery as standard equipment in the SV and SL models, providing an EPA rated mileage of 107. The S model continues with the 24 kilowatt hour, 84 mile EPA range battery.

“The new battery offers more advantages than just the 27 percent increase in driving range – it also offers improved battery performance,” said Andrew Speaker, director, Nissan EV Sales & Marketing, Nissan North America, Inc. “Nissan has been a leading developer of lithium-ion battery technology for more than 20 years. The new LEAF battery is a great example of how rather than just increasing battery capacity, we’ve achieved a balance between capacity, packaging, durability and affordability.”

More than just words from a corporate executive, the new larger battery offers improvements other than just the range increase. The larger capacity cells add just 46 pounds, one indication of the improved chemistry and higher power density of the cells. In addition, the new cells fit inside the existing battery case. Another way that Nissan saved weight was to double the number of cells per module. The total number of cells remained the same (192), but in half the number of modules fitted to the case. The 24 kilowatt hour battery housed four cells per module, while each larger module now holds eight cells. Improvements were made to both the cell structure and the electrode material. In a perfect world, this would have been the battery introduced in the LEAF in 2010. Alas, it’s not a perfect world.

As important as the improved range is better battery life. The new 30 kilowatt hour battery comes with an eight year, 100,000 mile capacity warranty as part of the New Electric Vehicle Limited Warranty. The current pack which continues in the S trim level offers a five year, 60,000 mile capacity warranty. In each case, Nissan’s warranty provides that Nissan will protect against battery capacity loss below nine bars of capacity as shown on the vehicle’s battery capacity level gauge for the stated time.

2016 Nissan LEAF

In other improvements, the S trim level now receives a five inch color display, streaming audio via Bluetooth and hands-free text messaging assistance with no increase in price. The Charge Package remains optional on the S, which includes the 6.6 kilowatt charger and quick charge port.

SV and SL continue with standard navigation, but the seven inch touch screen improves to a multi-touch display with better graphics, similar to those found in Nissan’s upscale Maxima and Murano. In addition, SV and SL now update charging screen information every time the car starts and continues with updates every twelve miles. Another convenience improvement is the addition of what Nissan calls one-shot destination entry. With a touch of the voice recognition button on the steering wheel, just say “1234 Main Street, San Diego, California” and the navigation system will plot your new destination and route. The multi-touch display allows pinch and zoom functionality similar to a smart phone display when in map mode. The new screen also offers the ability to swipe left and right among three home screens with personally selected or customized shortcut icons when in menu mode. These customized icons provide the ability to find a coffee shop, or other personalized destination category, with the touch of the icon. The SV and SL have one option package available – the Premium Package which includes the four-camera around view monitor and a seven speaker Bose audio system.

2016 Nissan LEAF

The 2016 LEAF comes in three new exterior colors – Deep Blue Pearl, Coulis Red and Forged Bronze.

Pricing for the S trim level remains the same at $29,010 plus destination charge. The SV goes from $32,100 to $34,200 and the SL goes from $35,120 to $36,790. Nissan has not announced the release date for the new 2016 LEAF, but expect to see it before the end of the year.

2016 Nissan LEAF

 

{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

Ken Cummings September 10, 2015 at 9:48 am

It is basic transportation to me, not a smart phone. I do not need most of the bells and whistles. Willing to trade them for faster charging and more capacity, maybe an option to be able to swap out the rear seats for a temporary battery pack for longer trips. Nice colors though.

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Karl September 10, 2015 at 9:52 am

Thanks for the informative article. One question that is of interest to existing LEAF owners is whether the battery pack will be offered as an upgrade. Since the form factor appears to be the same, this would bring new life to earlier LEAFs.

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Ernie Hernandez September 10, 2015 at 10:00 am

Karl, excellent question. Nissan has not yet addressed this. Mechanically and electrically it seems to be possible. My suspicion is that over time, Nissan will simply stop making the original battery cells therefore the only replacement available will be this new chemistry pack. I also suspect that this will not happen until the next generation LEAF comes out in 2017.

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Kent February 10, 2016 at 12:24 pm

I wonder if there is any information about Nissan’s battery warranty? Does it apply to all of them.

BTW, the traction battery for the Volt has more than doubled these past four months for all models. In making this change GM has broken their promise that a battery replacement is akin to an engine overhaul. It now costs $6.6k plus labor to replace a worn out Volt battery. One can only guess how much it would cost to replace a Bolt battery.

The value of a battery protection programs is now clear so I’m curious if Nissan has one for all of its traction batteries. For example, if I bought a 2016 SL how much would it costs me to replace the battery down the road?

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Ernie Hernandez February 10, 2016 at 7:09 pm

Hi Kent,

To my knowledge, Nissan has not yet announced replacement battery cost for the 30 kWh battery pack. The 24 kWh is $5,500 plus installation, plus a kit for the early models. It is not likely that they will announce a price for this anytime soon as they are all still new and not in need of replacement. They will likely wait to announce a price for it at some point in the future to retain as much pricing flexibility as possible.

Regarding the battery warranty, both the 24- and 30-kWh batteries have a 96 month, 100,000 mile warranty. The warranty booklet states that the 24 kWh battery gets a 60 month, 60,000 mile capacity warranty. The 30 kWh battery capacity warranty matches the battery warranty – 96/100,000.

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Kent February 15, 2016 at 2:29 pm

Yes, I meant to ask specifically about the battery replacement program but I also appreciate the additional information on the warranty.

I sure hope that Nissan keeps its concrete battery capacity meter and corresponding warranty in its next gen of Leaf. Given its expense it’s an important component of ownership.

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Elizabeth August 29, 2016 at 4:06 pm

HI from Ireland!

We have a 2016 24kw leaf – which we looovvvee – (but it has made me a very competitive driver – soooo fast). We also own an Isuzu trooper at the other end of the emission and speed range. Ok, enough of that.

We get 130 km (about 80 miles) from our leaf charged to 100 % – comfortably. Our average is 15kw to the 100kilometre. Very happy with that does the job for our second car run around (with the Isuzu plugging away the very long (infrequent) journeys or very rough tracks and wild weather)

Just to explain that Ireland is a hilly country and leaf goes up and down the hills with great happiness and zip!

Would like the 30kw to go those few extra miles without a recharge but of more interest is actually the warranty at 8 years or 100,000 miles (160,000 km)

Now here’s a quirky thing. We drive to Cork from our home quite regularly 84km. Takes 70% to get there and it’s definitely more downhill. (We live at 467 metres and Cork is 153 metres altitude). BUT it only takes 60% to get back. This happens every time and we’ve no explanation (apart from the ‘it’s always shorter on the way home’). We take the same route.

Is this magic?

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Ernie Hernandez August 29, 2016 at 4:51 pm

Hi Elizabeth – Welcome to Living LEAF. As I’m a big Harry Potter fan, let’s go with magic. I can think of no logical reason why it would take less from the battery on the way back. Just enjoy it and be glad that it does!

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