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Nissan Offering More Powerful, Longer-Range Leaf

Nissan debuted a more powerful, longer-range version of its popular Leaf electric hatchback at the 2019 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.

The car in question will be known as the Leaf e+ in certain global markets, but U.S. and Canadian drivers will know it as the Leaf Plus. In North America, the extended-range variant will be offered in three different trim levels: S Plus, SV Plus and SL Plus.

From a technical standpoint, this updated model is a big step up from the standard Leaf, which offers a rather curt estimated driving range of 150 miles (241 kilometers). The Plus variant’s lithium-ion battery pack has been increased to 62 kWh, which offers an EPA-estimated reach of 226 miles (364 kilometers), roughly a 40 percent increase. Should the unexpected happen, that electron reservoir is warrantied for eight years or 100,000 miles (160,000 kilometers), whichever comes first.

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To go with the updated battery, there’s an equally new electric motor, a 160 kW unit that delivers 214 horsepower, a 45 percent increase, along with 250 pound-feet of tire-shredding twist. For reference, the standard 2019 Leaf is endowed with 147 horses in its stable and 236 torques. Accordingly, acceleration has been increased, by around 13 percent in certain driving situations. The Leaf Plus’ top speed has also risen by around 10 percent.

Helping the Leaf Plus juice up faster is an available new 70 kW fast charger, one that peaks at 100 kW. This allows the Plus model to take on electrons at a rate similar to the standard model when hooked to a slower 50 kW charger, despite having a battery that’s 55 percent larger.

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The changes Nissan has made here should allow the Leaf to remain the world’s best-selling electric car. To date, nearly 400,000 examples have been delivered since 2010. Of that number, some 128,000 have been sold in the U.S.

This enhanced version of the Nissan Leaf is set to go on sale in Japan this month. You can look for it at American dealerships come spring and European ones around the middle of the year. Pricing has not been released yet.

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