Nissan has teased an image of its upcoming Leaf update, and it might just be the affordable electric car we’ve been waiting for.

WE’VE BEEN COMPLAINING Down Under that there are no affordable all-electric cars with a decent range, but Nissan might be addressing that when it launches its updated Leaf later this year.

The first teaser image of the Leaf has been released in a bid to build anticipation around what might steal some Tesla Model 3 orders. It’s a reasonable possibility considering the Model 3 hasn’t gone into production yet and there’s no confirmation of when deliveries will begin.

Nissan, on the other hand, has a proven track record of delivering all-electric vehicles. The Leaf is currently the best-selling all-electric vehicle to date, shifting more than 260,000 units worldwide.

It is also expected to be sold in Australia where we previously we received the 2012 model, priced from $46,990 (+ORC) which came equipped with a 24kWh battery capable of a 135km range. The price was good but the range wasn’t, plus the styling wasn’t too hot either…

So far, only an image of its headlight has been teased and it shows a departure from the soft bulbous lines of the current model. Spy photos have also shown the new Leaf will be similar in shape to the updated 2017 Nissan Micra, and it will feature Nissan’s signature V-motion grille upfront, a bit like the Nissan IDS concept.

2017 Nissan Micra

The Leaf will alleviate range anxiety concerns by doubling  its battery capacity from 30kWh to 60kWh. Previously the leaf could only achieve a claimed range of 150km, but with a larger battery and more efficient technology the 2018 model will reach around 320km.

The increased range compares well with competitors such as the Tesla Model 3 (345km), Chevrolet Bolt (380km) and BMW i3 94Ah (245km without range extender, 370km with).

When it does land, Nissan plans to price the new Leaf at under $40,000. In the US market that price point will compete against the Model 3 and Bolt. But neither of those cars are available in Australia, yet, despite the concept Bolt car being designed and built in Port Melbourne.

Other details are thin but the Nissan Leaf will come equipped with Nissan’s driver assist system, which is similar to  Tesla’s Autopilot system.

No confirmation of availability or price has been confirmed by Nissan Australia for our market, and currently the most affordable all-electric vehicle here is the BMW 94Ah, priced from $63,900 (+ORC).


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Alex Rae

Alex Rae brings almost two decades’ experience, previously working at publications including Wheels, WhichCar, Drive/Fairfax,, AMC, Just Cars, and more.

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