Nissan is launching a revamped version of its Leaf electric vehicle, going head-to-head with Tesla’s Model 3 and beating off criticism that a limited driving range will dull its mass-market appeal. As Ciara Lee reports, the new Leaf has a range of about 150 miles (241 kms) on a single charge.
Nissan's turning over a new Leaf - or rather one with a longer battery life. It's revamped the electric vehicle it introduced seven years ago - and hopes to compete with Tesla's Model 3. (SOUNDBITE) (Japanese) NISSAN MOTOR CO. LTD. PRESIDENT AND CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER, HIROTO SAIKAWA, SAYING: "The Leaf's latest model is indeed a car that carries Nissan's core strength. It is the car that will embody Nissan's 'intelligent mobility'" The Leaf has faced criticism in the past with many disliking its mass market appeal. But Nissan was one of the first to embrace the EV trend and it is the world's biggest selling all battery car. (SOUNDBITE) (English) EXECUTIVE VICE PRESIDENT OF GLOBAL MARKETING AND SALES, ZERO EMISSION VEHICLE AND BATTERY BUSINESS UNIT AT NISSAN MOTOR CO. LTD, DANIELE SCHILLACI, SAYING: "When the Nissan Leaf first premiered, our competitors said we were crazy. Yet today, almost every automaker is following our lead." The new Leaf has a sportier design and automated features. It'll be on sale from October in Japan and elsewhere next year for around $29,000. It now has a range of 150 miles - a third better than the current model - but maybe not enough. Industry experts believe a 250 mile range is needed before there's a significant shift to mass market EVs.