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07.09.2017 | Electric Vehicles | News | Onlineartikel

New Nissan Leaf Becomes More Powerful and Semi-automated

Patrick Schäfer
2:30 Min. Lesedauer

Nissan has unveiled the second generation of its electric car, the Leaf. The new model is designed to combine electrification, connectivity and driver assistance systems intelligently. 

The second-generation Nissan Leaf has grown to 4,490 millimetres in length and 1,790 millimetres in width; the height is now 1,540 millimetres. The drag coefficient of the 1,535-kilogram Nissan Leaf remains unchanged at 0.28. The performance of the electric motor has increased from 80 to 110 kilowatts (150 hp), however, while the torque is now 320 Nm. The top speed of the electric vehicle remains unchanged at 144 km/h. 

The lithium-ion battery, which is placed flat in the underbody, now delivers 40 kilowatt-hours and provides a driving range of 378 kilometres according to the New European Driving Cycle, yet the battery has not increased in size: the energy density has been increased by 70 percent by using enhanced electrode materials and an optimised cell structure. The vehicle must be charged for 16 hours at a conventional three-kilowatt power socket until the battery is full again. This time is reduced by half using a 22-kilowatt AC charging station with six kilowatts and falls to 40 minutes when charging the vehicle to 80 per cent at a fast charging station.

Nissan Leaf becomes a "one-pedal car"

The interior is given a high-quality feel with such features as a leather steering wheel and blue stitching. The instrument cluster is made up of an analogue speedometer and a seven-inch multi-information display; a central touch screen on the centre console deals with the infotainment, handling Apple CarPlay and Android Auto depending on the equipment. The driving experience has also improved: The power steering has been adjusted to be stiffer, while the rear axle adjustment has been adjusted to be softer.

The driving experience is set to be more comfortable with "one-pedal technology". The driver only has to release the accelerator, and the vehicle will decelerate by up to 0.2 g. "Our testing has showed that drivers quickly find the e-Pedal intuitive and even enjoyable. It promotes anticipation on the road", says Hiroki Isobe, chief vehicle engineer. The regenerative braking power should be strong enough to bring the car to a standstill even on slopes. The pedal for the braking system is naturally still present and must also be used for sharper braking manoeuvres. With the respective Propilot and Propilot Park driving assistance systems, the Leaf can drive partly autonomously in single-lane motorway traffic or park automatically.

The car is meant to be more than just a means of transport

Nissan has ensured that the Leaf links the driver, vehicles and infrastructure. The Nissan can be used to store energy with vehicle-to-grid systems. With the right connection, the energy stored in the battery of the Nissan Leaf from a photovoltaic system can be used to power a television in the evening, for instance. The NissanConnect smartphone app allows users to monitor the vehicle’s state of charge, schedule charging, find the nearest charging station, as well as regulate the onboard temperature before driving off. According to Nissan, the new Leaf embodies the car maker’s "Intelligent Mobility Vision", making the car of the future more useful than just a means of transport. 

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