A local dealer in Indiana has leaked information about the 2016 Nissan Leaf, claiming that the best selling electric car will receive a major boost in battery range with the new version.
According to his report, the 2016 Leaf will have two battery packs, one for the base model and one for the higher end models.
The battery enhancement is expected for the higher trim levels. The base model, which is the Leaf S, will still use the 24kWh battery, which provides a range of 84 miles. The bigger battery is expected for the higher trim levels. At the moment, however, it is not clear whether Nissan will add new trims to the 2016 Leaf or will add the battery to the existing higher trims such as the SV and the luxury SL.
The capacity of the higher trim levels will be increased by 24 percent, providing a total range of 110 miles.
Customers of higher end trims will still be able to choose between the 84 and 110 miles range batteries, but the likelihood is that all will opt for the bigger range.
One of the reasons why Nissan hasn’t released the pricing and specs yet is the growing competition on the market for small sized electric cars. The Japanese company is still considering pricing and how much should the price be increased for the higher models. 2016 Leaf will compete with the likes of BMW i3, Mercedes-Benz B-Class Electric Drive and Volkswagen e-Golf, all of which offer batteries ranging between 80 and 90 miles.
The Nissan Leaf is still the best selling electric car in the world, but the 2016 Leaf will have to dramatically improve, with pending projects such as the 2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV on the horizon. By the end of the year, we could see electric cars with a battery range of 150 to 200 miles.
In the past 12 months, the Japanese company sold 15,000 units of Nissan Leaf, which is a drop compared to the 22,000 units in the previous period of 12 months.
Note, the rumors should be taken with a grain of salt, since Nissan is remaking the Leaf and will release the 2017 and 2018 models. The 2016 Nissan Leaf sounds like a 1.5 generation, not a second generation of the electric vehicle. We’ve already heard rumors about a 30 kWh battery that can deliver more than 100 miles in the Nissan Leaf, but that is more likely for the true second generation, expected in 2017.