Nissan Leaf

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Nissan Leaf
A second generation Nissan Leaf (2017-present)
Overview
ManufacturerNissan
ProductionOctober 2010 – present
Model years2011–present (Europe & North America)
Body and chassis
ClassCompact/Small family car (C)[1]
Body style5-door hatchback
LayoutFront-motor, front-wheel-drive
Chronology
PredecessorNissan Altra

The Nissan Leaf (Japanese: 日産・リーフ, Hepburn: Nissan Rīfu), stylized as "LEAF," is a battery-electric powered compact car manufactured by Nissan, produced since 2010 across two generations. It has been offered exclusively as a 5-door hatchback. The term "LEAF" serves as a backronym to leading environmentally-friendly affordable family car.[2]

The Leaf was unveiled on 1 August 2009[3] as the world's first mass market electric and zero-emission vehicle.[4] Among other awards and recognition, it received the 2010 Green Car Vision Award, the 2011 European Car of the Year, the 2011 World Car of the Year, and the 2011–2012 Car of the Year Japan. A second-generation Leaf was introduced in October 2017. The Leaf's range on a full charge has been steadily increased from 117 km (73 miles) to 364 km (226 miles) (EPA rated) by the use of larger battery packs and several minor improvements.

Global sales across both generations totaled 577,000 by February 2022.[5] As of September 2021, European sales totaled more than 208,000,[6] and as of December 2021, over 165,000 had been sold in the U.S.,[7] and 157,000 in Japan.[8] The Leaf was the world's all-time top selling plug-in electric car until it was surpassed in early 2020 by the Tesla Model 3.[9][10]

First generation (ZE0; 2010)[edit]

2012 Nissan Leaf (Germany)

The first generation Nissan Leaf was in production from 2010 to 2017. It was unveiled on 1 August 2009[11] as the world's first series produced battery electric vehicle.[12] Before it officially commenced production, Nissan developed three prototype battery electric vehicles—dubbed the EV-01, EV-02 and EV-11. The former two were based on the Z11 Nissan Cube while the latter was based on the C11 Nissan Tiida.[13] It began production on 22 October 2010 at the Oppama facility in Yokosuka, Kanagawa.[14][15][16] Until early 2013, models sold in Europe and the US were imported from the Oppama plant adapted stylistically for the respective markets. On 12 December 2012, battery manufacturing began at the Smyrna plant, with official production of the Leaf initiating on 9 January 2013. Manufacturing in the UK began on 28 March 2013.

2012 Nissan Leaf (Germany)

Initially, the Leaf was available exclusively with a large battery pack composed of 192 flat, laminated lithium-ion cells developed in collaboration with NEC, which offers advantages such as simplified design, efficient cooling, and optimal packaging. The battery pack is located under the floor and between the wheels, optimising the vehicle's handling and interior space. The 80 kW (110 hp) AC electric motor can be powered for up to 100 miles (160 km) when the battery is fully charged. Recharging can take 16 hours on 110V or 8 hours on 220V power. Fast charging is also available with a specific charger, which can restore 80% of the battery capacity in approximately 30 minutes.

The first generation Leaf garnered both acclaim and criticism from multiple automotive critics. Car and Driver, an American automotive magazine, expressed unfavourable opinions about the inexpensive materials used in the vehicle, asserting that they seem more fitting for a car priced at half its actual cost. However, they commended the Leaf for its spacious boot/trunk, along with features like standard heated seats and, in higher-end models, a heated steering wheel and leather seats. Opinions on the battery performance and safety aspects vary, with some finding the battery and range underwhelming and others expressing concerns about safety levels.

Second generation (ZE1; 2017)[edit]

Second generation
2018 Nissan Leaf N-Connecta (UK)
Overview
Model codeZE1
ProductionOctober 2017 – present
Model years2018–present
Assembly
DesignerKazuhiko Watanabe[17]
Powertrain
Electric motor
Transmission1-speed fixed gear ratio 8.193:1
Battery
  • 40 kWh lithium-ion battery[19]
  • 62 kWh lithium-ion battery
Range
  • 40 kWh:
  • 243 km (151 miles) EPA[19]
  • 274 km (170 miles) WLTP
  • 62 kWh: Leaf Plus or e+
  • 364 km (226 miles) EPA[20]
Plug-in charging6.6 kW (6.0 kW output) 240 V AC on SAE J1772-2009 inlet; 50 or up to 100 kW via CHAdeMO DC fast charge
Dimensions
Wheelbase2,700 mm (106.3 in)
Length4,490 mm (176.8 in)
Width1,788 mm (70.4 in)
Height1,530 mm (60.2 in)
Curb weight1,580–1,640 kg (3,483–3,616 lb)

In October 2017, for the 2018 model year, Nissan launched the new generation Leaf in Japan, and deliveries in North America and Europe began in February 2018.[21] In 2018, global sales reached a record level of 87,149 units, third behind the Tesla Model 3 and the BAIC EC-Series.[22]

Mechanically, the second generation Leaf is similar to the first, while adding more range, and more power. Stylistically, it is a major departure from the previous model.[23] The interior adds Android Auto & Apple CarPlay.

It has a 40 kWh battery pack (39 kWh usable) with an EPA-rated range of 243 km (151 miles).[19] The electric motor produces 110 kW (147 hp) and 320 N⋅m (236 lb⋅ft) of torque.[18] It charges through either a 6.6 kW regular plug (SAE J1772 in US/Japan, or a Type 2 connector in EU countries) or a 50 kW CHAdeMO, and has the ability to send power back to the grid.[24]

Propilot Assist, a lane centering system, is available on the two highest trim levels for an additional cost, and has automatic parking in some markets.[25] The car offers one-pedal braking where easing off the accelerator pedal causes significant regenerative braking, to the point where the vehicle can be brought to a complete stop without the driver touching the brake pedal, at which point hydraulic brakes are automatically applied, to hold the vehicle in position.[26]

From 2019, a Leaf e+ (Leaf Plus in North America) variant has been offered. It has a larger 62 kWh battery (59 kWh usable) providing an EPA range of 364 km (226 miles),[27] and a new 160 kW motor. It can use CHAdeMO chargers up to 100 kW.[28]

In September 2020, Nissan showed off a novel UK prototype emergency services version of the Leaf for natural disaster response, dubbed the RE-LEAF,[29] based on the 62 kWh LEAF e+ (sold in the U.S. as the Plus).[30] The working concept vehicle is ruggedized with an elevated ride height of 70 mm (2.8 in), underbody protection and all-terrain tires on motorsport wheels. It is intended to serve as a reliable mobile power source for a small command center, offering weatherproof external power outlets for site lighting, tools or emergency medical equipment. Other modifications include a cargo area in place of the rear seats, separated from the passenger area by a cage, a rear hatch area that opens to a workstation area with pull-out computer desk and 810 mm (32 in) LCD monitor, and roof-mounted emergency lights.[31] While there was no word of an actual production version, the concept was well received in the automotive, EV and tech media.[32][33][34]

In June 2022, the Leaf received a facelift for the 2023 model year. In the US, the EPA range was slightly reduced to 240 km (149 miles) for the 40 kWh version and 341 km (212 miles) for the 62 kWh version.[35]

Trim lines[edit]

Europe[edit]

European Leafs are offered in the following trim lines: Visia, Acenta, N-Connecta, and Tekna.

The N-Connecta adds from Acenta an intelligent around view monitor with moving object detection and front and rear parking sensors, part synthetic leather and cloth trim, heat pack with heated seats and heated steering wheel, 43 centimetre (17 inch) alloy wheels, and privacy glass.

Tekna adds from N-Connecta ProPILOT Advanced Driver Assistance System, Bose speakers, part leather seats with Ultrasuede trim, LED fog lamps with cornering function, and electronic parking brake.

North America[edit]

The North American Leafs were initially sold in S, SV and SL trim lines. In 2018, for the 2019 model year, the S Plus, SV Plus, and SL Plus trims were added. The S and SV trim levels can be had with either the Leaf or Leaf Plus battery pack. The SL is only available in the Leaf Plus configuration.[36]

The Mexican model arrived on 24 August 2018 as a 2019 model, and was offered in S, SL, and SL Bitono trim lines.[37]

Production and future plans[edit]

In celebration of World EV Day, 9 September 2020, Nissan marked the production of the 500,000th LEAF.[38]

Nissan has plans to end the production of Leaf in 2026 and replace it with a new EV model.[39]

Awards[edit]

The Leaf was chosen as one of the Top 10 Tech Cars by the US IEEE in 2018.[40]

In 2022, the Leaf was chosen as the 'Best Family Electric Car' at the UK Carbuyer’s Best Used Car Awards.[41]

Global sales[edit]

The production version was unveiled in August 2009.[42] After receiving 20,000 pre-orders in the United States,[43] Nissan stopped taking reservations in the United States until early 2011. Production in Japan started in October 2010,[14] and delivery in the US[44] and Japan began in December, with deliveries in other markets beginning in early 2012. By December 2020 the Leaf was sold in 59 markets around the world.[45]

The Leaf was the world's best selling electric car from 2011 to 2014[46][47][48] and 2016.[49] Sales fell in 2015 with overall sales led by the Tesla Model S.[47][50] As of December 2019, the Leaf listed as the world's all-time best selling plug-in electric car.[51] By early 2020, the Tesla Model 3 surpassed the Leaf to become the new best selling electric car in history.[9]

By February 2022, global Leaf deliveries totaled 577,000 cars.[5] As of September 2021, Europe was listed as the biggest market with more than 208,000 units sold,[6] of which 72,620 units had been registered in Norway, the leading European national market.[52] As of December 2021, U.S. sales totaled 165,710 units through December 2021,[7] and 157,059 units in Japan.[8]

Nissan Leaf sales by top national markets between 2010 and 2022
Country Total 2022 2021 2020 2019 2018 2017 2016 2015 2014 2013 2012 2011 2010
US[53] 177,729 12,026 14,237 9,559 12,365 14,715 11,230 14,006 17,269 30,200 22,610 9,819 9,674 19
Japan[47][54][55][56] 96,999 16,925 14,793 9,057 14,177 13,021 11,115 10,310 19
Norway 54,967 3,222[57] 5,313[58] 5,221[59] 6,127[60] 12,303[61] 3,374[62] 4,162[62] 3,189[63] 4,781[64] 4,604[64] 2,298[65] 373[65]  
UK[66][67][68][69] 22,359 5,463 4,463 5,236 4,051 1,812 699 635  
France[70] 12,113 3,529 3,395 3,739 4,668 2,381 3,887 2,200 1,600 1,438 524 83  
Canada[71] 16,893 1,223 1,535 2,881 5,735 946 1,375 1,233 1,085 470 240 170  
Germany[72][73] 4,918 841 1,121 831 812 855 451 7  
China[74] 4,032[a] 1,961 1,273 582 216      
Netherlands 3,157 513 666 447 510 462 265 294  
Sweden[75][76][77][78] 3,542 981 836 841 438 317 129    
Spain[79][80][81][82][83] 2,159 530 344 344 465 263 154 59  
Italy[84][85][86] 2,103 448 460 389 332 323 146 5  
Denmark[87] 1,202 20 85 224 577 211 73 12  
Ireland[88][89][90][91][92] 1,366 258 352 405 192 43 69 45 2
Belgium[93][94][95][96][97] 1,510 389 466 162 178 141 114 60  
Austria[98] 1,151 384 333 156 121 88 64 3
Australia[99][100][101][102] 997[b] 384 156 109[b] 173 188 77 19  
Switzerland[103] 831 131 158 145 106 178 74 39  
Total top markets 367,821 15,248 20,773 16,315 21,373 32,753 44,814 49,624 43,354 60,259 47,152 26,247 21,785 40
Total global sales[104][46][50][47][105] 303,678 ~47,000 49,245 43,651 61,507 47,716 26,973 22,094 50
  1. ^ Chinese sales correspond to the rebadged Venucia e30.
  2. ^ a b Sales in Australia through September 2015.

In popular culture[edit]

The Nissan Leaf is the subject of Roger McGough's poem "Ode to the Leaf", from his 2012 collection As Far As I Know.[106]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

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