Nissan unveiled the newest iteration of its Leaf electric car today, saying that it will have improved efficiency and faster charger times.
This year the Leaf’s range improves thanks in part to tweaked aerodynamics. A wider range of regenerative braking has been added, and new energy management systems have been put in place. To help save time while charging, the Leaf has been fitted with an on-board 6.6 kW charger that puts 220V charging time at around four hours. Nissan says the overall range of the car will be improved, though the EPA has yet to release the official numbers.
Also on tap for the 2013 Leaf is a new base “S” trim, which should bring down the starting price of the car. The Leaf is also offered in SV and SL trims, the latter of which gets new standard equipment for 2013 like a leather wrapped interior and 17-inch aluminum alloy wheels. Rear cargo space has now been expanded to 24 cubic feet, thanks to the relocation of the on-board charger.
Other enhancements coming to Nissan’s EV are the addition of a hybrid heater system that will help the car retain power in the cold, a new drive mode that increases regenerative braking during deceleration, and a new charge port release button added to the key fob along with a new charge port lock and light. A new Eco-route function has been added to the Leaf’s navigation system to help the car pick the most fuel-efficient route.
Nissan also announced that the 2013 Leaf has just started production at its Smyrna, Tenn. plant.
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