Sales of the Nissan Leaf have picked up steam after a price cut earlier this year, but executives are still looking to move consumers en masse into electric vehicles. Taking a page from Tesla’s playbook, a Nissan executive hinted that a Leaf with different battery size options could be in the pipeline of future products.
Plug-in Cars spoke with Pierre Loing, Nissan’s vice president of product and advanced planning, who said that “The packaging easiness (of the battery) makes it easier to put more batteries in the car, and you will see this.” He then noted that Tesla offers different battery options at different price points, saying “Maybe you will see this from Nissan.”
That sounds like a not-so-subtle hint, and the move is a practical one to be sure. The Tesla Model has been by far the most successful electric car on the market, and major automakers are looking to the California automaker for their next move in regards to EVs. Nissan has already been caught competing with a Nissan Leaf boasting a 48 kWh battery pack in Spain, twice the size of the production model, which could provide upwards of 150 miles of “real world” driving compared to the 75 or so most Leaf drivers are currently getting.
Seems like a no brainer to me, as Americans love the illusion of choice, and offering a larger battery for buyers wanting more range could draw in early adopters who have a slew of new and exciting EV offerings to choose from. With competitor vehicles like the BMW i3 and and Fiat 500e proving popular despite (or because of?) their newness, Nissan needs to remind buyers that it’s still the original cutting-edge EV.
Source: Plug-In Cars