Nissan updates Leaf electric vehicle

Nissan has updated the Leaf, its electric model. The new car will be built at the Nissan Sunderland from Spring 2013. Key tweaks include improved maximum range, up to 124 miles from the outgoing model’s 109. Luggage space has been improved, too, thanks to a repositioned charging socket.

Additionally it’s possible to charge the car twice as quickly – in four hours – by use of a more powerful 6.6Kw charger. With the cars production now based in Sunderland, the chassis has been re-engineered to better suit the rougher, more twisting roads of Europe.Some more minor but still useful tweaks have been made, too – like the addition of an LED near the charging port, making it easier to see where to plug connectors in at night. The heater has been improved too, to reduce drain on the battery in cold weather.

Unlike previously, the new Leaf will be offered in three trim levels, familiar from other Nissan models – Visia, Acenta and Tekna. These will allow buyers to customise their car more than before, depending on what level of technology they want.

The updated Nissan Leaf goes in sale in mid-2013 and, thanks to the new trim levels, should have a lower entry price of somewhere around £20,000 including the £5000 government grant.