Nissan has launched a longer-range version of its bestselling Leaf electric vehicle, as it fights growing competition in the electric car market. The new Leaf will run about 150 miles (240km) on a single charge, about 40 miles more than its previous model, the firm said.But that still falls short of ranges offered by rivals Tesla and GM. Other updates include advances in autonomous driving technology and a more modern design.The Leaf, the world’s bestselling electric car, is facing increasing competition in the fast-developing green car market, fuelled in part by tightening emissions standards around the world. What’s new? The new Leaf, on sale in Japan from October and elsewhere early next year, has a longer range thanks to a bigger 40 kilowatt hour battery.Chris Lilly, content manager for the Next Green Car news site, said while the new model is not “groundbreaking” it should be more appealing to drivers. “It takes every element of the old Leaf and improves upon it, and adds a whole lot of new features,” he said. Those improvements include autonomous driving technologies like parking assistance and single pedal driving.The model will start at 3,150,360 yen (£22,220), Nissan said.
How it compares Competition in the electric vehicle market is intensifying. In addition to Tesla, Nissan’s rivals include the Chevrolet Bolt, Volkswagen e-Golf and BMW’s i3.”Electric vehicle technology is advancing rapidly – costs are falling quickly and range is improving,” said Professor David Bailey, an automobile expert at Aston Business School.”The new Leaf is another step towards that. The refreshed car has a better range, more conventional looks and like the Tesla Model 3 will help take electric vehicles into the mainstream,” Professor Bailey said. The Tesla Model 3 can run at least 220 miles on a single charge and starts at $35,000 (£26,850), while General Motor’s Chevy Bolt – with a range of 238 miles – starts at about $38,000 (£29,150), according to the companies.