Koichi Sugimoto, analyst at Mitsubishi UFJ Morgan Stanley Securities in Tokyo, says many automakers are selling green models because of tightening emissions regulations, especially in Europe and California, rather than because of what he called "natural sales growth". It is set to arrive at Canada's 97 Nissan dealerships certified for electric vehicles at the beginning of the new year, and will have a starting price of $35,998 - before available government rebates, namely $14,000 in Ontario, $8,000 in Quebec and $5,000 in British Columbia.
There will also be a higher-capacity version that will come to market late in 2018 (though details on range, outputs are yet to be confirmed). Here's a rundown of what's coming.
The Japanese giant says that since introduction in 2010, the Leaf has been the best-selling non-premium EV in the world, and for the new model the focus was on an increased range and driver-assistance technologies.
For customers who want more excitement and performance, Nissan will also offer a higher power, longer range version at a higher price in 2018. The previous model has 30 kWh battery which is provided with 107 miles range. The pricier model is expected to receive a 60-kwh unit.
Nissan's saving grace against the range difference may end up being the price tag.
The new Leaf has 37% more horsepower and 20% torque, which comes from the 33% greater energy density of the battery. It was inherently necessary to make batteries last longer, but reducing drag on the vehicle was also essential for it to go farther with less effort.
Owners can also access their smartphone to check the car's battery status. Various chassis systems were also tuned to ensure better ride and handling than the outgoing model. "What has been completely refreshed is the front fascia, which had been the main point of criticism for the design of the previous version of the auto".
"Toys include a 7" infotainment screen, Apple CarPlay, Sat Nav which tells you where you can recharge, and all the safety stuff you'd expect from a properly 21st century LEAF.
Research has shown that Leaf buyers wanted a auto below the $30,000 starting price, but they also wanted more features, Maragno said. However, unlike some other semi-autonomous cars from rival brands, the Leaf will not resume driving from stationary unless the driver touches the accelerator.
Nissan may have more electric vehicles on the way.
The new Nissan LEAF's palette of colours offers a wide range of options, including white, yellow, red and light blue body colours combined with a black roof.