Nissan may be showing the next-generation Leaf electric car at next month’s CES in Las Vegas. At least that’s the vibe folks are getting from Renault-Nissasn CEO Carlos Ghosn’s recent comments at the company’s headquarters.
When speaking with reporters, Ghosn was asked about CES and his response, while cryptic, made it clear that Nissan had some big news.
“I am not giving you advance notice of what we’ll be showing at CES in Las Vegas. I want people to go to the show,” said Ghosn.
This news is colliding with other recent rumors that Nissan will show the next-generation Leaf sooner than originally anticipated. The advanced reveal could be in an effort to snag some of the limelight from Tesla and General Motors when it comes to headline electric vehicles.
Although Nissan has not officially announced a timeline for the next Leaf, it is largely believed to begin production in late 2017 as a 2018 model. There is also speculation that the Leaf will offer two sizes of battery packs, with the shorter-range version being the first one to launch. A longer-range model could launch later.
What has been confirmed about the new Leaf is that it will offer a variant that exceeds 200 miles of range. That tid-bit of information came straight from Nissan’s head of electric cars earlier this year, when it was also confirmed the Leaf will offer a 60-kWh battery pack, matching that of the Chevrolet Bolt EV.
We also know Renault-Nissan has a 41-kWh battery pack that’s already in use for the Renault Zoe in Europe. With the European emission cycle, the Zoe is rated at 248 miles of range, which Renault says 186 miles is a more realistic “real-world” range figure.
Perhaps the next Nissan Leaf will utilize both a 41-kWh pack and 60-kWh pack? The two seem too similar to matter, unless Nissan is planning on significantly lowering the Leaf’s base price with the smaller pack and leaving the larger one to combat the likes of the Bolt EV and Tesla Model 3. Even at 41-kWh, the Leaf’s battery would double in capacity from today’s 24-kWh pack.
From a design perspective, the new Leaf is slated to look similar to the IDS Concept that Nissan showed at the 2015 Tokyo Motor Show. Reports have stated that Leaf owner focus group have given Nissan feedback that the Leaf needs a bolder design theme, which seems a bit like stating the obvious.
Whether the new Leaf bows at CES next month or not, it’s clear that Nissan will be making news in Las Vegas.