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Nissan Leaf pushed back to mid-2019

Production constraints mean new-gen Nissan Leaf EV’s arrival pushed back to June

Nissan logo5 Oct 2018

NISSAN Australia has shifted the introduction of the second-generation Leaf electric vehicle (EV) to the middle of next year, citing higher-than-expected demand and subsequent supply issues.
 
While the Japanese car-maker also confirmed the arrival of a second ‘performance’ variant at “a later date” offering more power and longer range thanks to a 60kWh battery rather than the standard 40kWh pack, Nissan Australia managing director Stephen Lester refused to reveal indicative pricing.
 
“We will probably start seeing deliveries taking place in May or June next year,” he told GoAuto at the Leaf’s Australian unveiling in Sydney this week. “The global supply chain is being challenged by demand around the world.
 
“Unfortunately, no (indicative pricing) at this point… we won’t talk about price, we’re here to celebrate the vehicle and its return to the Australian market.
 
“The 60kWh version will come out a little bit further down the road, but for now the one high-spec version with the 40kWh is what we will start with.”
 
The crumbs of information Nissan Australia did offer up include the new Leaf’s combined real-world range of 270km/h on the global WLTP Combined Cycle (up from up to 170km in the previous version).
 
It will also come standard with a vast array of safety equipment such as autonomous emergency braking, forward collision warning, lane keep assist, blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, traffic sign recognition, pedestrian warning chime at low speed, a surround-view monitor, LED headlights with automatic high beams, rain-sensing wipers and adaptive cruise control.
 
In addition, the new-generation Leaf’s infotainment system will be the brand’s first local production to offer Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility, while the unit will also feature satellite navigation, digital radio and Bluetooth connectivity.
 
A heated leather steering wheel, heated and cooled seats, and 17-inch wheels will also feature on the new Leaf’s equipment list, resulting in an expected circa-$50,000 pricetag.
 
Additionally, independent company JET Charge has been appointed with the fit out, installation and on-going service needs of EV hardware across 89 Nissan dealers across Australia (62 metro and 27 rural outlets, up from 12 dealers nationally in 2013 and 20 at the demise of the previous-gen Leaf last year).
 
In a statement, Nissan Australia said JET Charge is the brand’s “preferred consumer charger installation and support partner,” while another firm, MRI Australia, will undertake all EV battery returns, recycling and e-waste aspects.
 
As previously reported when the latest Leaf was launched in Japan last October, the second-generation model is a top-hat redesign of the 2010 original, bringing in a squarer design and more conventional dashboard layout. 
 
Driving the front wheels via a reduction drive transmission is an EM57 AC synchronous electric motor producing 110kW of power (up 38 per cent) and 110kW of torque (a rise 14 per cent). 
 
Using the three-pin 15-amp 240-volt Mode 2 wall socket, charging time is 24 hours and paying extra for the preferred Mode 3 socket that Nissan says 70 per cent of consumers worldwide go for cuts that to 7.5 hours. 
 
However, the 50kWh CHAdeMO fast charger can replenish an empty battery pack to 80 per cent in one hour. 
 
The Leaf will also offer V2X (Vehicle to ‘X’) bi-directional charging, that provides charge back to a home, office or the grid where allowed.
 
Four driving modes are available, including a Tesla-style heavy-regenerative braking system called ‘e-Pedal’ which allows the driver to accelerate, decelerate and even hold the car on a hill with just the single throttle movement, extending the EV’s range significantly. 
 
The body is heavier but stronger, quieter and more aerodynamic, there have been upgrades to the steering (with fewer turns lock-to-lock) and the suspension brings better noise/bump absorption properties.
 
Sold in Australia for three years from 2013, the original Leaf managed just 635 registrations, out of a total of over 360,000 sales in 51 countries.

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