Nissan has quietly upgraded the base Leaf S model with a new higher capacity battery though unfortunately, all of it has also led to a hike in price as well.
So instead of the 24 kWh batteries, the Leaf S now boasts of a 30 kWh battery pack, the same which has already been provided to the Leaf SV and SL model sometime back. The larger battery has led to the range to be enhanced to an EPA certified 107 miles from the earlier 84 miles for the SV and SL models. Needless to say, the Leaf S model too will be lasting that long before requiring a recharge.
Price has gone up a few notches so that the Leaf S will now cost $32,450, breaching the crucial $30,000 mark for the first time. The base Leaf S used to be the only model that was priced below the psychologically crucial $30k price mark. The above figures mentioned however does not include any federal or state incentives that might be applicable, which means the actual price that the consumer gets to pay will be a bit less than that.
Interestingly, the upgrade was carried out with the least of fuss. When contacted by GreenCarReports, Paige Presley of Nissan North America confirmed the development stating: "We have made a running change to the 2016 Leaf S model to equip it with 30-kwh battery packs as standard equipment, offering best-in-class range across all trim levels for Leaf."
Presley also stated that apart from the bigger battery pack, the new Leaf S models that come with 30 kWh batteries will also include Quick Charge Package as part of the standard feature set.
This can also be considered a minor upgrade and perhaps the last for the Leaf EVs as there already are reports of Nissan working on an all new Leaf version. The company has already tasted success with the current Leaf that has sold 233,000 since its launch in Dec 2011.
Expected to debut within the next year and a half, there is not much of the new Leaf that is in public domain at the moment though what is almost a certainty is that it will surely come with range that should match some of the latest EV offerings. Those include the new Chevy Bolt, Renault Zoe as well as the Tesla Model 3.