Production of new Nissan LEAF starts in earnest

Nissan yesterday unveiled the new Nissan LEAF, featuring greater range, advanced technologies and a dynamic new design. The new Nissan LEAF will go on sale on 2nd October in Japan and in the coming months in the U.S., Canada and Europe.  It is expected to be available in the UK in January 2018.

Today Nissan announced plans to start full production of the new Nissan LEAF at its Vehicle Assembly Plant in Smyrna, Tennessee, and at Nissan’s UK site in Sunderland, starting before the end of the calendar year.  These two production sites join Nissan’s Oppama Plant in Japan.

New Nissan LEAF Production
Production of the New Nissan LEAF has started in Japan

Production of the previous generation of the Nissan LEAF began at Oppama in 2010, and at Smyrna and Sunderland in 2013. Nissan LEAF batteries will continue to be produced in Smyrna, Sunderland and Zama, Japan.  More than 283,000 customers have chosen the LEAF since the model went on sale.

Fumiaki Matsumoto, executive vice president of Nissan Motor Co., Ltd., Manufacturing, Supply Chain Management commented:

“We’re proud to continue manufacturing the Nissan LEAF at three plants globally,”  “The Nissan LEAF is the icon of Nissan Intelligent Mobility with its many advanced technologies. Nissan employees in Oppama, Smyrna and Sunderland are excited to continue producing the most popular electric vehicle in the world.”

New Nissan LEAF Production

New LEAF

The new LEAF offers significant improvements over the outgoing model.  Namely driving range, performance and the way the car looks.  Gone is the polarising face of the LEAF with its large headlamps sweeping up the bonnet.  Now we see something resembling the new Nissan Micra. A modern and dynamic design which appears more ‘normal’ than the original LEAF, yet carries certain styling cues suggesting the vehicle is still a little different.

The focal point of new Nissan LEAF is its updated e-powertrain, which offers improved energy efficiency and increased torque and power output. 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 improved 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 offer a range of upto 310 miles.

Technology

When Nissan was teasing us with details of the new LEAF, much focus was placed on the updated on-board technology, something they have certainly delivered.

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 a motorway.  ProPilot promises to make the drive easier, less stressful and more relaxing.  Once activated, it can automatically control the distance to the vehicle in front, using a speed preset by the driver. It can also help the driver steer and keep the vehicle centred in its lane. If the car in front stops, ProPILOT will automatically apply the brakes to bring the vehicle to a full stop if necessary.

The second, ProPILOT Park. 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 manoeuvres, such as parallel parking, are automated.

The third, e-Pedal 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 Founder of driveEV. A driving and new technology fan enjoying learning all about the future of motoring. I drive a BMW i3.

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