A LEAF With Double Range?

Recently, at ECOSeries in Spain, Nissan brought three LEAFs to race. Two of them were standard, off-the-lot LEAF models. The third, interestingly enough, was a LEAF with twice the battery capacity — 48kWh instead of 24kWh. While there were no photographs of the interior of the range-doubled LEAF, one must speculate a few things:

  1. Did Nissan just take two full-sized battery packs and stuff them into every nook, cranny, and crevice of the LEAF?
  2. Is Nissan testing a new, higher-capacity battery that is the same volume as the existing pack?
  3. When can I buy it?  😉

A Nissan LEAF with a 48kWh battery makes for some interesting possibilities. Currently, the regular 24kWh LEAF has an EPA estimated range of 75 miles (blended between 80% charging and 100% charging). Doubling that brings us 150 miles. Now, if we consider only 80% charging (for longevity of the battery), the EPA range is 66 miles, putting the doubled pack at 132 miles.

Would this make a difference for most people? Possibly. “100” is a magic number, and if we can get an EV with greater than 100 miles of range, I believe much of people’s range anxiety would be greatly reduced, even if the average trip in a LEAF is still far less than 25 miles.

With the non-range-doubled LEAF, I could make it to and from the airport if I was careful. With the range-doubled LEAF, I could make it with range to spare.

The final question is: When can we buy it?

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