Nissan Leaf Gets An Upgrade
By Kyle Lindsay
Wednesday, September 6, 2017 - 12:30
Nissan today revealed its new Nissan LEAF – the world’s most advanced mass-market electric vehicle (EV) and icon of the company’s Intelligent Mobility vision.
All electric, and packed with ingenious technology, the new Nissan LEAF is the company’s first car in Europe that will embrace the early steps of advanced driver assistance, and is packed with cutting-edge innovations such as e-Pedal, allowing you to drive and brake in a totally new and seamless way.
It can also go further, with a range of 378 km/235miles* on a single charge, and has been redesigned for a new generation, with a sleeker look inside and out.
The new Nissan LEAF will be on sale in Europe from January 2018.
“The new Nissan LEAF drives Nissan Intelligent Mobility, which is the core brand strategy for Nissan’s future,” said Hiroto Saikawa, president and chief executive officer of Nissan. “The new Nissan LEAF, with its improved autonomy range, combined with the evolution of autonomous drive technology, such as ProPILOT Park and the simple operation of the e-Pedal, strengthens Nissan’s EV leadership, as well as the expansion of EVs globally. It also has the core strengths that will be embodied by future Nissan models.”
Nissan Intelligent Mobility is the company’s blueprint to redefine the future of driving and looks to progress the role of the car to be more than simply a mode of transport. Nissan Intelligent Mobility is defined by how the car is driven, how it is powered and how it integrates into society.
The new Nissan LEAF is the company’s on-road embodiment of Nissan Intelligent Mobility, with its early-stage of ProPILOT technologies, advanced all-electric powertrain and unique ability to connect to and power the buildings it plugs in to.
Nissan Intelligent Power: the e-powertrain
The focal point of Nissan Intelligent Power in the new Nissan LEAF is its e-powertrain, which offers improved energy efficiency and increased torque and power output for an enhanced dynamic performance. Complementing this new drivetrain is the high-tech lithium-ion battery pack, which delivers increased power and energy storage capacity.
Along with enhanced energy efficiency, the new e-powertrain delivers an exhilarating, linear driving performance with a power output of 110 kW. Torque has been increased to 320 Nm, resulting in improved acceleration.
The new Nissan LEAF’s driving range has been increased to 378km/235miles (New European Driving Cycle) on a single charge. For those who want to drive their new LEAF further, Nissan will introduce a high-power version with increased motor power and battery capacity at a higher price at the end of 2018. This version will provide an even longer range, giving customers a range choice depending on their driving needs.
Nissan Intelligent Driving: technology designed to improve driving enjoyment, enhance safety and reduce stress
The new Nissan LEAF features three main new intelligent driving technologies. The first is ProPILOT advanced driver assistance system. Used during single-lane driving on the highway, it makes the drive easier, less stressful and more relaxing.
The second, ProPILOT Park, will change the way people think about parking. When activated, this technology will take control of all steering, acceleration, braking and gear selection to automatically guide the car into a parking spot. It makes parking stress free and more precise for all drivers.
The third, e-Pedal, is a revolutionary technology that transforms the way we drive. It allows drivers to start, accelerate, decelerate and stop simply by adjusting their input upon the accelerator pedal. When the accelerator is fully released, regenerative and friction brakes are applied automatically, gradually bringing the car to a complete stop. The car holds its position, even on steep uphill slopes, until the accelerator is pressed again. The reactiveness of e-Pedal enables drivers to maximize their driving pleasure when the road opens up.
The conventional brake pedal must still be used in aggressive braking situations.
Nissan Intelligent Integration: linking battery power to social infrastructure
Nissan’s pioneering vision of the potential of electric vehicles doesn’t stop at powering the new Nissan LEAF. The car’s batteries can also be used as mobile energy devices.
Vehicle-to-Grid (V2G) technology combines two-way charging allowing electric vehicles to be fully integrated into the electricity grid. It helps improve the capability to handle non-programmable renewable energy flows, making renewable sources even more widely integrated and affordable. The system works by allowing Nissan EV owners to connect to the grid to play an active role in grid services, while providing the opportunity for an alternate source of income. Once scaled up, the V2G technology will be a game-changer for owners of Nissan electric vehicles as they become active participants in the energy market.
Working towards a more sustainable society means making better choices every day. xStorage, energy storage system, draws on the collective experience of the industry’s best to make home energy consumption more efficient and more sustainable. xStorage Home stores energy at the most economical times of the day while controlling how and when that energy is put to use, saving customers money and improving the entire energy system. It seamlessly integrates all the hardware and software needed to manage and store all of the energy the home needs in a single unit. Used to provide Grid services, xStorage Home could charge from the grid or discharge to the grid in order to generate the flexibility needed to further increase the usage of renewable energy.
Customers will also benefit from a newly designed interface on the new Nissan LEAF smartphone app which allows them to monitor their vehicle’s state of charge, finding the nearest charging station and pre-heating or cooling the car to the ideal temperature before driving.
Exterior design: sleek silhouette with a cool ‘tech’ attitude
The new Nissan LEAF’s design expresses the company’s forward-thinking attitude. The design was inspired by the IDS Concept car, which was first shown at the 2015 Tokyo Motor Show.
The front features Nissan’s signature V-motion grille, echoing the DNA it shares with Nissan’s other global top-sellers, such as the Nissan X-Trail and European favorite, the Nissan Qashqai. However, the grille’s blue color, a new signature feature for Nissan’s electric vehicles, sets it apart. The floating roof adds style and a sense of movement. The sleek LED headlamps feature Nissan’s characteristic boomerang design.
Interior design: a more premium feel with clean, quiet emotion
The new Nissan LEAF’s completely redesigned interior has a tasteful, understated look and feel. This has been achieved thanks to higher quality materials and overall fit and finish, elevating the “life on board” to be consistent with the refined nature of the drive.
Drivers and passengers will immediately appreciate the signature vibrant blue stitching in the seats, dashboard and steering wheel and the new look of the 7-inch, full-color (TFT) display. The display’s layout has been redesigned for easier access to key features such as the Safety Shield technology, state-of-charge, power gauge, and audio and navigation system information. In some countries, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto have been added to the infotainment system in cars equipped with the navigation system.
The new Nissan LEAF replaces the first-generation model, which has become the world’s best-selling electric vehicle. More than 283,000 customers have chosen the LEAF since the model went on sale in 2010.
Nissan Intelligent Driving
Headlining the new LEAF’s Nissan Intelligent Driving technology are ProPILOT, ProPILOT Park, e-Pedal and the company’s heralded Nissan Safety Shield.
ProPILOT is a single-lane autonomous driving technology. Once activated, it can automatically control the distance to the vehicle in front, using a speed preset by the driver (between about 30 km/h and 100 km/h (19mph-62mph)).
It can also help the driver steer and keep the vehicle centered in its lane. If the car in front stops, the ProPILOT system will automatically apply the brakes to bring the vehicle to a full stop if necessary. After coming to a full stop, the vehicle can remain in place even if the driver’s foot is off the brake.
If traffic restarts, the car will resume driving when the driver touches the switch again or lightly presses the accelerator to activate ProPILOT. All these functions can significantly reduce stress when driving on the highway in both heavy and flowing traffic.
ProPILOT Park is a fully fledged system that helps drivers park by automatically controlling acceleration, brakes, handling, shift changing and parking brakes to guide the car into a parking spot.
By combining advanced image processing technology using four high-resolution cameras and information from 12 ultrasonic sensors around the car, ProPILOT Park guides the car into a space safely and accurately.
All steering, braking and throttle inputs for various parking maneuvers, such as parallel parking, are automated. The system can automatically identify a parking space around the car so that the driver doesn’t need to set a target parking position.
Requiring only three easy steps for activation, this technology liberates drivers from one of the most tedious, and at times the most challenging, tasks of driving.
Another innovation that enhances the Nissan LEAF’s driving experience is the e-Pedal, offered as standard equipment. It allows the driver the simplicity of starting, accelerating, decelerating, stopping and holding the car by using the accelerator pedal alone — a revolutionary innovation that can change the way people drive.
By simply releasing the accelerator, the car will come to a smooth and complete stop and hold without the need to press the brake pedal. With a deceleration rate of up to 0.2 g, the e-Pedal eliminates the need for drivers to constantly move their foot from the accelerator to the brake pedal to slow down or stop. This helps reduce fatigue and increase enjoyment.
Studies by Nissan in Japan, Europe and the U.S. have showed that the Nissan LEAF’s e-Pedal reduces the number of times the driver must apply the brakes while commuting in heavily congested traffic. While the conventional brake pedal must still be used in aggressive braking situations, the e-Pedal lets drivers use a single pedal for more than 90% of their driving needs.
“Drivers of the new Nissan LEAF will quickly come to love the e-Pedal, as it makes the usual experience of urban driving far smoother and more fluid, and less demanding,” said Hiroki Isobe, chief vehicle engineer. “Our testing has showed that drivers quickly find the e-Pedal intuitive and even enjoyable. It promotes anticipation on the road, which in turn has a positive effect on driving pleasure.”
Along with ProPILOT, ProPILOT Park and e-Pedal, the new Nissan LEAF is equipped with a set of advanced safety technologies including Intelligent Lane Intervention, Lane Departure Warning, Intelligent Emergency Braking, Blind Spot Warning, Traffic Sign Recognition, Rear Cross Traffic Alert, Intelligent Around View Monitor with moving object detection and Emergency Assist for Pedal Misapplication.
Nissan Intelligent Power
The focal point of Nissan Intelligent Power in the new LEAF is the e-powertrain, which offers improved energy efficiency and increased torque and power output.
The new e-powertrain delivers an exhilarating, linear driving performance with a power output of 110 kW, 38% more than the previous-generation Nissan LEAF. Torque has been increased 26% to 320 Nm, resulting in improved acceleration.
Existing Nissan LEAF drivers already love the instant response and linearity of performance as they navigate the city. The new Nissan LEAF’s improved acceleration will boost enjoyment even further.
Even with the additional power output, the new Nissan LEAF’s driving range has been increased. The car’s new lithium-ion battery pack delivers an estimated range of 400 km by Japan standards, which should satisfy the daily driving needs of the majority of our customers.
The new battery design adds energy-storage capacity without increasing the size. The battery pack occupies the exact same dimensions as that of the previous-generation Nissan LEAF. It’s the individual cell structure of the laminated lithium-ion battery cells that’s been improved, representing an impressive 67% increase in energy density versus the 2010 model. Another key engineering improvement for the lithium-ion battery pack is enhanced electrode materials with revised chemistry, resulting in higher power density while contributing to greater battery durability upon charge and discharge.
For customers who want more excitement and performance, Nissan will also offer a higher power, longer range version at a higher price in 2018 (timing may vary by market).
Nissan Intelligent Integration
The new Nissan LEAF links drivers, vehicles and communities through the user-friendly NissanConnect feature and systems that share power between electric vehicles and homes, buildings and power grids.
Using vehicle-to-home systems, the battery makes it possible to store surplus solar power during the daytime and then use it to help power the home in the evening. The customer can also recharge the battery in the middle of the night, when prices are lowest in some markets, and then use the electricity during the day to reduce energy costs.
In some countries with vehicle-to-grid systems, Nissan LEAF owners can get incentives from energy companies to improve power grid stability by absorbing demand fluctuation.
A newly designed interface on the Nissan LEAF smartphone app allows users to monitor the vehicle’s state of charge, schedule charging to benefit from optimal energy tariffs, find the nearest charging station, and pre-heat or cool the car before getting in.
Chassis and body
When it comes to performance and agility, the new Nissan LEAF excels. To match the improved output of the electric motor and inverter, Nissan engineers enhanced the car’s chassis for better stability. Heavy components including the battery are placed in the center of the body, helping achieve smaller yaw moments of inertia compared with front-engine vehicles and thus improving directional stability, enabling smoother cornering.
The new Nissan LEAF’s electric power steering system has a more linear feel that enhances confidence, especially on highways, with enhanced feedback from the road surface. This is thanks to a software upgrade, new control logic working in conjunction with the steering angle sensor, and a 10% increase in steering torsion bar stiffness.
Additionally, the urethane bump stop for the rear suspension has been replaced by a rubber one to reduce shocks and bumpiness when driving on uneven roads. The new Nissan LEAF also comes with Intelligent Ride Control for more precise electric motor torque control generation when cornering, reducing vibration while simultaneously improving ride quality and steering control.
Exterior design: sleek silhouette and “cool tech attitude”
The new Nissan LEAF’s design expresses Nissan’s forward-thinking attitude and its pioneering approach to replacing the world’s best-selling electric vehicle. It is inspired by the IDS Concept car, first shown at the 2015 Tokyo Motor Show.
The sporty, eye-catching body represents the car’s dynamic EV personality. The philosophy behind the exterior design was to express clean and simple lines and a robust and sleek silhouette, creating the feeling of a high-tech device.
The horizontal character line, the bumper and the striking highlights in the lower part of the body emphasize the lower center of gravity, giving the beholder an instinctive feeling that it’s agile and fun to drive.
The signature V-Motion grille, the “boomerang” light signature and the floating roof emphasize the presence of Nissan brand design, giving the Nissan LEAF an appearance similar to other Nissan models such as the popular X-Trail.
A clear-blue 3D mesh pattern with a “freezing” motif, on a flush surface inside the V-Motion grille, expresses the Nissan LEAF’s uniqueness as an EV.
The new Nissan LEAF’s projector-beam headlights with dual, direct-lens low and high beams are a first for Nissan. More mechanical details and a floating signature configuration express a high-tech feel, while visibility and safety are improved by enhancing forward illumination coverage, optimally balancing design and functionality.
The rear combination lamps feature a unique signature that’s easily recognizable from a distance. A spoiler integrated in the window graphics gives the new Nissan LEAF an impressive, sporty look. The low hood blends flawlessly into the windshield and floating roof, creating a sleek silhouette that makes air flow.
The underfloor and a diffuser-type rear bumper combine to achieve reduced drag and zero lift, resulting in improved vehicle stability.
Thanks to the aerodynamic body styling, including a rear bumper with a clear-cut curve and aero-design wheels, the drag coefficient of the new Nissan LEAF is a low 0.28.
The angle of the charging port at the front has been reconfigured for greater convenience, letting the customer connect the charging cable without bending down. Ergonomic testing by Nissan shows that this new 45-degree angle allows drivers of all heights to easily and comfortably connect the charger.
Interior: premium ambience with a clean, relaxed, high-tech feeling
The new Nissan LEAF’s cabin features roominess and openness with the brand design language “Gliding Wing” used as a framework. The redesigned driver information display has a simple, light configuration without excessive decoration. It focuses on visibility, creating a tasteful, understated look and feel with both excellent spaciousness and functionality.
Customers will immediately notice the signature vibrant blue stitching, a hallmark of Nissan EVs, in the seats, door trim, armrest and steering wheel. The blue, illuminated power switch and shift knob finisher create a cool, high-tech feeling.
Through the thoughtful design of the center console and switchgear, the new Nissan LEAF gives drivers the information they need where they need it. This helps them focus on what really matters the most: an enjoyable drive.
When the car is activated, a start-up movie is displayed, giving the driver a sense of excitement about driving an electric car.
Monitors and switches have also been redesigned for smart, stress-free operation. Most notable is the combination of an analog speedometer and a multi-information display. On the left side, the 7-inch, full-color, thin-film transistor (TFT) display shows a power gauge meter as the standard setting.
The driver can easily and smoothly change the information that’s displayed. The center display has a screen with a flush-surface design allowing the driver to easily operate audio and navigation systems and connect to smartphones intuitively with just a fingertip. The display shows the Safety Shield technology, the vehicle’s state-of-charge and a power gauge, as well as audio and navigation system information.
Using NissanConnect, a key part of Nissan Intelligent Integration, the driver can search for continuously updated information such as the location and operating hours of free charging stations and charging station availability. Owners can also access their smartphone to check the car’s battery status.
Apple CarPlay has been added to the infotainment system in cars equipped with the navigation system. The audio functions can be modified with a steering switch, without the driver taking their hands off the steering wheel.
Overall interior quality has also been enhanced. A matte chrome finish with a high-quality feel has been applied to the rim of the steering wheel, wrapped in genuine leather, and the center display, making for consistent brightness and quality of each metal finisher.
Matte and glossy shades of black have been carefully applied in the air conditioner control panel and the vent grille, creating an advanced, precise interface and a comfortable cabin – like a high-quality living room with relaxing softness and warmth combined at their best.
The comfort and quietness of the new Nissan LEAF deliver a peerless ride. Even at highway speeds, the new Nissan LEAF’s cabin stays very quiet. Along with producing less drag, aerodynamic upgrades and exterior refinements have led to a reduction in wind noise.
Other noise-reduction measures include optimization of the redesigned inverter’s structural rigidity, and a noise-isolating cover on top of the PDM. The noise from the electric motor itself has also been reduced, even as it generates more torque and power than ever before.
The front console has been completely redesigned. Dual cup holders, in a tandem configuration, are now between the driver’s seat and front passenger seat. This allows for a new stowage area at the base of the center console – ideal for a smartphone or wallet – as well as an easily accessible power switch, a 12-volt power outlet and a USB port. This new and ergonomic center console design gives easier access to the controls and switchgear in the lower portion.
Energy-efficient air-conditioning and heating systems provide elevated comfort inside the cabin for all occupants. A smartphone app provides convenience features such as remote pre-conditioning of the vehicle’s interior temperature and wireless remote charging.
While the energy capacity of the lithium-ion battery pack has been significantly increased, the dimensions remain essentially unchanged, so that the cabin comfortably accommodates five people.
What’s more, the rear cargo area has been redesigned to provide increased luggage space, offering 435-litres (VDA) of available stowage. The square space, with bumps removed as much as possible, allows greater space utilization, increasing convenience and usability.
The rear cargo space can now accommodate two large suitcases or three medium-sized, airline carry-on suitcases. It also allows for easier charging cable storage.
Color design: a lineup that meets customers’ tastes
The new Nissan LEAF’s palette of colors (may vary market by market) offers customers a wide range of options according to their tastes. It’s available in white, yellow, red and light blue body colors combined with a black roof. In addition to basic colors, a new color, Spring Light Green, is offered.
The new Nissan LEAF is also available in two-tone colors, responding to the tastes of customers in each market. Moving to the interior, the clean design ethos extends to the color options. An all-black interior gives an air of cool sophistication, discreetly enhanced by lighter accents on the seats, as well as the blue stitching on the steering wheel, seats and center armrest.
The alternative option is a pale shade of gray, which is applied to the seats, door trims, central portion of the dashboard and central armrest. These surfaces contrast with the dark gray accents of the central console, binnacle, lower and upper dashboard sections and steering wheel. The overall effect is a light and airy ambience.
The new Nissan LEAF goes on sale Oct. 2 in Japan. The model is slated for deliveries in January in the U.S., Canada and Europe. It will be sold in more than 60 markets worldwide.