New 64 Plate Nissan Leaf

Published Date: 4th Sep 2014

These images show a much better look for the new Nissan Leaf, with new battery technology boosting the range to 186 miles.

Nissan is working hard to develop the new-generation Nissan Leaf, focusing on improving the range with brand new battery technology and – the exclusive pictures show – a more rounded conventional look. The new car is to be on sale for late 2016, with prices to start at around £17,000.

The introduction of Tesla’s Model S – and its 312-mile range – has given the electric car market a boost, and in-turn making the current Leaf’s real-world range of 85 miles seem a bit lack-luster.

The powers that be at Nissan are promising a new battery technology is on the way, with better energy storage for a more efficient electric vehicle. A number of around 186 miles seems likely to be the target.

It is expected that Nissan will offer smaller battery packs with less range, like Tesla does with its 60kWh and 85kWh packs. This brand new battery technology and motor will be shared with Nissan’s luxury brand, Infiniti, as well.

Infiniti is already making baby steps towards developing an all-electric saloon – at the New York Motor Show, they revealed the LE concept, which used the current Leaf’s technology. This new model is now thought to be on track for a release date in 2016.

These pictures give you a good idea of how the new model Nissan Leaf is shaping up, with big wigs at Nissan keen that the large chrome ‘V’ in the grille and the blacked out pillars become recognisable design features of the next generation of Nissan cars. The angular lights and creased bodywork are developed from the brand’s latest concept cars, like the Friend ME.

However, a more usable range and fresh styling can only go so far towards boosting the Leaf’s sales appeal; a much improved charging infrastructure will play a key role, too.

To that end, Tesla’s new range of Supercharger stations – promising 30-minute fast charges to all EVs – will help, as the network should have the majority of the UK covered by next year. Tesla boss Elon Musk has said he’ll let other manufacturers use it, so long as they keep charging free for their customers.