According to The Asahi Shimbun, Nissan Motor Co. on 6th of Sept unveiled its first fully revamped Leaf electric vehicle that doubles the travel distance on a single charge but costs around the same as the original.
Nissan has sold more than 280,000 Leafs worldwide as of July 2017 since the original went on sale in 2010.
However, the biggest complaints about the electric vehicle were its relatively short travel range and the high price reflecting the cost of the batteries.
The original could run for 200 kilometers on a single charge. The new Leaf can travel for 400 km, Nissan said.
The revamped Leaf, shown to the media at the convention centre in Chiba's Mihama Ward on 6th Sept, also offers drivers the partial autonomous driving function that has been introduced in Nissan’s Serena minivan and other vehicles.
The function makes the Leaf automatically follow a preceding car at a safe distance on highways, Nissan said.
An autonomous parking function is also available for the electric vehicle.
In addition, Nissan has installed in the new Leaf the e-Pedal technology, which automatically applies the brakes when drivers lift their foot off the accelerator. This enables the car to come to a complete stop without the driver having to worry about switching between the gas and brake pedals.
The new Leaf is expected to go on sale on Oct. 2 in Japan. It is slated for deliveries in more than 60 countries, including the United States and in Europe, after January.
Buyers will have three price tags to choose from, starting at 3.15 million yen ($US 29,000) to 3.99 million yen. That is about 28,000 yen to 135,000 yen cheaper than the price for the partially upgraded Leaf that was released in 2015.
Although Nissan has taken the lead in the global zero-emission vehicle market, competition is intensifying.
U.S. automaker Tesla Inc. is making its presence felt in the high-end auto market.
And tighter environmental regulations in the world’s two largest auto markets, China and the United States, are expected to further increase competition from Chinese, U.S. and European automakers.
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