The story of the Nissan LEAF began in 2008 when Nissan announced its plan to develop an affordable and practical electric vehicle. It reached the Japanese and American markets in 2010, receiving a very positive response and becoming one of the best-selling electric vehicles worldwide. It can be considered an electric car ahead of its time just over a year ahead of the Tesla Model S.
However, time does not pass in vain and all this baggage has not served him to remain at the top of the sales lists. Although its second generation improved remarkably in all areas, its commercial life is coming to an end and Nissan is paving the way to say goodbye: it has already started working on its spiritual replacement.
The Nissan management has not decided on the continuity of the model name. The first information seems to indicate that its successor will not be presented as a third generation of the electric compact, but that it will be a completely new vehicle, specially designed “for today’s urban buyers”, according to sources close to the company. It is clear that the Nissan Ariya was presented as another electric alternative, but never as a substitute for the LEAF, something that will fall on a new electric crossover with a more stylish appearance.
According to the first rumors, the spiritual substitute for the Nissan LEAF will be based on the conceptual model presented a few years ago, the Nissan Chill-Out Concept EV. Its small coupé crossover appearance will position it against successful electric models in the market in that segment where competition is more abundant and where manufacturers stake their economic results. Of course, unlike the vehicle presented in 2021, the production model would take on less risky and futuristic lines, in favor of a more realistic appearance along with an ” elegant and modern” design.
On the other hand, those responsible for the brand admit that they thought of once again resuming the name “LEAF” to thus give continuity to a family of electric models fully established in the market. However, sources close to the brand stated that “today, the LEAF means little to buyers of electric vehicles.” Therefore, it is assumed that the current second generation of the model will completely close the use of this nomenclature.
From Autocar, they report that the renewed Nissan LEAF will go into production in 2026 at the Sunderland factory, in the United Kingdom, due to its proximity to the Envision AESC plant, where the batteries used by the company are produced. This company will reach a capacity of 11 GWh per year by 2024, which can be increased to 30 GWh, according to data provided by Nissan itself. The Japanese also admit that the new generation of batteries that they will supply from Envision will be capable of increasing energy density by 30%, compared to those used today by the Nissan LEAF.
This new 100% electric model from Nissan will be based on the CMF-EV platform that is already used in the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi alliance. It will also mean a new step for the Japanese company to achieve its goal of making its entire range of models electric by 2028.