Could the Nissan Leaf’s lower price spell trouble for the Tesla Model 3 and Chevrolet Bolt?
With just over a month to go until Nissan lifts the wraps off the second-generation Leaf, the teaser campaign for the EV has been gathering speed. Officially, we know the new Leaf will be equipped with ProPILOT Assist technology, can be fully operated using just one pedal, and will have zero lift thanks to its aerodynamic design. Recent leaked photos of the car also show that the new Leaf will be much easier on the eye than the current model. Thanks to leaked documents posted by Autobytel, we now know the new Leaf’s price and power specifications.
Unsurprisingly, the documents have since been removed by Autobytel, but if the details are accurate, the new Leaf could pose a serious threat to the Tesla Model 3 and Chevrolet Bolt. According to the leaked specifications, the 2018 Nissan Leaf’s powertrain will have an output of 148 hp and produce 236 lb-ft of torque, which is a significant bump over the 107 hp and 187 lb-ft in the outgoing model. Granted, this still falls short of the Bolt EV's 200 hp and 266 lb-ft of torque, but the Leaf is significantly cheaper which could give it the edge over the competition. The base model will set you back $29,990, undercutting both the Chevrolet Bolt and Tesla Model 3 by around $5,000.
Three trim levels will be available: the entry-level Leaf S will cost $29,990, the Leaf SV will sell for $32,490, and the Leaf SL will cost $36,200. It isn’t clear what each trim level offers, but it seems likely that the ProPilot Assist will either be an optional extra or available exclusively for the top-trim models. It will also have an 40 kWh battery, which is an improvement over the outgoing model’s 30 kWh battery, but still falls below the Bolt EV's 60 kWh and the Model 3's 50 or optional 75 kWh. Crucially however, the Nissan Leaf’s range still hasn’t been revealed, but reports have suggested it should be capable of doubling the current model’s range and achieve 340 miles on a single charge.
In comparison, the Tesla Model 3 has an EPA range of 220 miles and the Chevrolet Bolt can last 238 miles on a single charge, so Nissan could be onto a winner here.