Nissan LEAF e + (60kWh battery) – was it worth the wait?



Posted on January 9, 2019 |
Maarten Vinkhuyzen

January 9, 2019 jo Maarten Vinkhuyzen

After a number of delays and waiting times to tighten Tesla's faces, a 60-kilowatt Nissan LEAF ("LEAF 2" or "LEAF 3. ZERO" in the United Kingdom is created). Planning this month for Japan, somewhere in the spring for North America, and in the summer for those who are waiting on the old continent and in the United Kingdom and Ireland.

This is refreshing the current 40kWh LEAF 2. This is probably the reason that the British call it LEAF 3. First, let's look at the improvements that come to this new version of the LEAF 2019.

Outside everything is the same. The biggest visible change in the interior is the new 8-inch touch screen. It has integration with the Nissan smartphone application for charging control, route planning and door-to-door navigation when parking is away from the destination. For many, the most important innovation of the infotainment system is its ability to update in the air, which EV drivers long wanted.

There is no visible improvement in driving functions. ProPilot has become a bit mature, which can be expected from a system that is on its way to becoming an autonomous driving system. Do not expect a fully autonomous hardware like Tesla, which only needs new software to become autonomous at level 5. The vehicle is just hardware needed for the current functionality. It offers traffic-aware control and lane maintenance functions as well as automatic parking. Most modern security features controlled by sensors are available such as blind corners, cross traffic, emergency braking and a monitor around the view.

The second ride, which improved in 2018, and the remainder of the new version, is an e-pedal ride, the Nissan single-handed pedal. It can brakes faster, gives a better feedback, reacts smootherly, changes speeds, and you have more control when driving reversing.

Also invisible until it's used, the filling speed is improved. It is now between 70kW and 100kW when connected to a new generation of CHAdeMO charger. When and when these new chargers will be available, it is not yet known.

These are improvements to the generic model. The current 40kWh, 110kW drive with 151 km EPA rating reaches a big brother in 62kWh e + (or "e-PLUS" in Canada). This larger cumulative voltage also has a stronger motor of 160kW.

This is the improvement we've all been waiting for. We hoped to see it at the time of Chevy Bolt – a battery was shown a few years ago. Many of us could not figure out Nissan will not present it at launch of the LEAF 2 on 2 October 2017. Only Nissan knows why it did not bring it to the market before. The company could sell another 100,000 cars with this version in 2018.

It's here now. What we get. The battery has a TMS that uses air, no coolant to keep the battery at operating temperature. Since there was no problem with the temperature of the battery, or #rapidgate appeared from Nissan's point of view, there is no information on this key aspect. We have to wait for some testers who try to drive a lot in Arizona in the summer and around the North Cape in winter – perhaps with a cannon competition with the Kona EV and e-Niro competition for a good action.

By then, the new LEAF e + is capable of BEV, which we all are waiting for from Nissan, at least in temperate areas of Europe, North America and Japan. Sometimes longer journeys with a single charge will probably not be a problem. If your purpose is a long holiday journey across the mainland, maybe wait for the verdicts of the testers.

The question for the US is whether merchants are ready to sell. Or Nissan starts a special ordering campaign, such as Audi, in the role of dealer as a car delivery station that you have configured on Nissan's online sales portal.

In Europe, the demand will probably be up to 80,000 LEAF. Late market launch could create Osborne's effect, as sales of 40kWh would reach almost zero until the market reached 60kWh. The biggest problem is the capacity of the factory in Sunderland. It is also the only European factory for best-selling Qhasqai. The best-selling margin champions will take precedence over everyone else.

Although I am critical of this car, I also think it is near perfect and timely to compete with Kona EV and e-Niro. It has a better autonomous system, probably only as an option at the highest level of equipment.

It also has a big plus as a house, a building, a network battery system. If you have a sun roof, your gadget is a smart grid, or you can live where network outages are normal, that is, an electric car for you. Nissan is ahead of everyone else in integrating LEAF into your home. The downside is that you need to feed and entertain many neighbors when the entire neighborhood is dark, except for your house.

Marks: 2019 Nissan LEAF, Nissan, Nissan Leaf

About the author

Maarten Vinkhuyzen Grumpy old man. The best thing I did with my life was the education of two children. Just finish primary education, but when you do not go to school, you have a lot of time to read. I moved from accounting to software development and finished my career as a system integrator and architect. My 2007 boss got two Lotus Elise electric cars to show policy makers the future direction of energy and transport. Since then, I wanted to replace diesel cars with electric vehicles.


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