India’s recently announced plans of going all electric by 2030, and that has been the fuel for many a heated discussion about which electric car will drive India’s future. Of these, while Tesla may struggle to find manufacturing space within the subcontinent, and Chevrolet exiting stage right taking with it all hopes of the Chevrolet Bolt with them. Which leaves us with the recently launched 2018 all-electric Leaf the intensely anticipated successor, to one of the first ever production EVs is here, with some all new tricks up its sleeve. Most of which have been focused on the automated-driver assistance features, including Nissan’s patented ProPILOT semi-autonomous technology and self-parking capabilities. The new leaf also gets an updated body design, with a more aerodynamic so that it maximises the efficiency of its electric motor, and thereby extends the range of its batteries. Nissan has said that the new leaf will have extended range of almost 250kms as per the EPA certifications. More than a 160 km than that on the outgoing Leaf. Although it still slots below Tesla Model 3 and the Bolt, both of which are going to be on the Leaf’s global competitor list.
The Leaf’s battery which takes 16 hours to charge using its 3kW charger, or 8 hours using a high-output 6 kW hour charger. A quick charge option will allow it to gain back 80 percent of its charge in 40 minutes, although it might put some strain on the battery’s life. Nissan has even announced that they will build a higher range, higher power performance version will be available at an additional cost in 2018. Nissan has even, said that they don’t like the EV badging that the Leaf is getting since it is after all just a car. Signalling that the new Leaf is so much more than just EV project for display but something that will lead their global charge. The Leafwill get level-2 autonomous driving abilities which include lane driving and maintaining distances with the Vehicle in front of it. The leaf also benefits from Nissan’s new single-pedal driving set up which allows you to brake and accelerate with the same foot.
What’s more interesting, we could get our first glimpse of the 2018 Leaf at the next year Auto Expo. This could mean one of two things, one, like we have seen other companies in the past, just bringing their halo product as a crowd draw at the Expo. Or it could be the gateway for something bigger. When we had asked the former head of Nissan in India about his thoughts on the leaf for India he said, “We will use Nissan Leaf to understand the market but I don’t think it’s the ultimate solution for India. We need to probably invent something in India for India that doesn’t exist to ensure we can give a proper solution to the Indian market.” Now that sounds awfully vague. Although it seems like it indicates towards the leaf not making it to Indian markets. Now whether this is to do with our government's flip-flop policies or Nissan independent strategy is left to be seen.