There are going to be plenty of vehicle overhauls come 2018, and the EV market is not exempt. One notable name that has been in need of a rework is the Nissan Leaf, both in terms of looks and range capabilities. Perhaps performance should figure in as well.
By that time, the Chevrolet Bolt would have hit full swing and the Tesla Model 3 would have started rolling off the production line. Other contenders such as the Hyundai Ioniq Electric, BMW i3, and the Volkswagen e-Golf would also have lots to boast about.
And they would likely near 200 miles of range while the Chevy Bolt– which has already gone that far – would continue to push further, possibly close to 300 miles. The Model 3, on the other hand, would win the range game from the get-go when equipped with Tesla’s 100kWh battery option.
With all that in mind, when the second-gen Nissan Leaf sets off with an ‘all-new’ 60kWh battery for 2018, it would already be too late. The 200-mile benchmark for EVs is being set right now – by 2018 the bar would be raised even higher.
If there’s a time for the second-gen Leaf to arrive, it’s now. This would help the nameplate retain its status as a pioneering EV, not a me-too competitor playing catch-up with the rest. Simply sticking with a 30kWh battery that returns slightly over 100 miles of wouldn’t suffice.
Out of all the aforementioned EVs, the Leaf has enjoyed the most success over the years, which is why it’s going to be the worst of the lot when its next-gen model underwhelms. The enormous disparity between expectation and reality for the electric hatch would make it a bigger letdown than all of its peers.