Now in its third model year, the highly innovative, industry leading Nissan LEAF pure electric vehicle features an extensive list of important enhancements for 2013. Importantly, LEAF is now assembled in the United States at Nissan's Smyrna, Tenn. assembly plant, with battery production taking place right next door in the country's largest lithium-ion automotive battery plant.
Changes to the 2013 Nissan LEAF start with improved energy efficiency* due to refined aerodynamics, a wider range of regenerative braking, improved energy management and a newly available 6.6 kW onboard charger that reduces 220V charging time nearly in half to approximately four hours for full charge*. In addition, a new lower priced entry-level LEAF S grade joins the previous SV and SL grades, while an array of feature enhancements are added to the LEAF SL grade, including leather-appointed seating and 17-inch aluminum-alloy wheels. Also, three new option packages are available – offering advanced systems such as Around View® Monitor and 7-speaker Bose® energy efficient audio.
Due to efficiency improvements, the 2013 Nissan LEAF is expected to offer improved range, with testing on the EPA test cycle to be announced closer the vehicle's on-sale date.
Said Nissan Division Vice President and General Manager Al Castignetti: "The refinements and enhancements for 2013 hit at the core of customer requests during LEAF's first two years – available features providing quicker charging, improved range expectations and the ability to fine-tune the equipment levels to exact owner needs, whether they desire fewer standard features for an even more affordable car or more luxury amenities like leather-appointed seating and premium audio."
Other 2013 model year additions include an available hybrid heater system that provides superior cold weather performance while consuming less energy; a new available "B" drive mode that increases regenerative braking during deceleration; and a new charge port light and lock, with a charge port door release button added to the intelligent key fob.
Enhanced interior features range from a standard leather-wrapped steering wheel to a new black interior color and sun visor extensions. Rear cargo space has been increased to 24 cubic feet with the 2nd row seat upright by relocating the onboard charger to the front of the vehicle. There is 30 cubic feet of cargo space with the standard 60/40-split rear seat folded down.
EV-IT improvements for 2013 include a new "Eco route" feature added to the available navigation system that includes suggested power-saving alternative routes – plus Google® local search, Pandora® link for iPhone® and iPod® cover art. The new Google Places search function allows LEAF owners to look for area restaurants, shops and other points of interest and browse user reviews using Google's POI database to get the most up-to-date information at all times.
"When we launched the Nissan LEAF two years ago our desire was to offer surprising acceleration performance and a quiet, refined interior with room for five adults and their cargo – all in a vehicle that is fully electric, produces zero carbon emissions and with a range that would satisfy the daily needs of most drivers," said Castignetti. "Having met and exceeded those original goals, we've now enhanced nearly every aspect of LEAF for 2013 – extending its appeal to an even wider audience just as we've started local assembly and local production if our batteries and electric motors."