Nissan’s first range-extender EV is coming next year, and won’t be based on the Leaf

NissanLogoNissan may have been one of the first to offer a mass-production electric vehicle but not yet  a range-extender version. However, in 2016, is expected to launch an all-new model to rival the Chevrolet Volt.

The Leaf has been performing reasonably well for Nissan creating positive brand recognition, a sign of commitment to alternative energy platforms for those who couldn’t afford a Tesla Model S back in 2010.

The 2016 Leaf hass a battery upgrade, pushing its range to about 130 miles. While that keeps the compact EV relevant, it doesn’t make the car much more appealing to those who worry about using the car for longer trips, or who are anxious over insufficient charging infrastructure.

However, Chevrolet’s Volt has become increasingly popular allowing consumers who were on the fence about going purely electric to “transition” to a range-extender model and benefit from close-range pure electric drives (the 2016 Volt can now travel up to 53 miles on electricity alone). Differing from hybrids or plug-in hybrids, the range-extender engine has no connection to the driving wheels and is utilized strictly as a generator.

Nissan’s deputy general manager, Yoshi Shimoida, clarified to Motoring that there will be “no engine” for the Leaf, “But in the future Nissan will add to the line up of EV systems an engine that is only for generating energy” .



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Nissan compared its planned range-extender engine to the one in BMW’s i3 and said the model would be revealed in 2016.

NOTE: Nissan Leaf update

glassesofbubbly100TRANSNissan is celebrating the fifth birthday of the Leaf – the world’s best selling pure-electric vehicle. Since its launch in 2010, almost 200,000 have been sold around the world, with around 10,000 of those in the UK.

A new, longer range Leaf 30kWh is set to be launched at the beginning of 2016.

Leaf customers have covered more than two billion km (1.2 billion miles) – the equivilent of 2,600 round trips to the moon. Nissan has calculated that more than 328,000 tonnes of CO2 have been saved.

Since the first Leaf rolled off the assembly line in 2010, the EV has gathered in more than 90 awards, including the prestigious titles of Car of the Year in Japan and Europe, and the World Car of the Year prize too.

With the launch of the new 30kWh Leaf in the next couple of months, it extends the car’s range by around 20 per cent. Japanese customers receive their first Leaf 30kWh cars this month, while Europe has to wait until after Christmas with first deliveries in January 2016.