Nissan Leaf EV now can drive up to 212 miles on a full charge

The Nissan Leaf SV Plus compact electric hatchback is shown here with the Pearl White TriCoat exterior paint with a black roof. The two-tone paint scheme is $695.

The Nissan Leaf SV Plus compact electric hatchback is shown here with the Pearl White TriCoat exterior paint with a black roof. The two-tone paint scheme is $695.

Nissan North America

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With more consumers showing interest in electric vehicles, automakers are paying closer attention to the range of driving that each can achieve on a full battery charge.

The groundbreaking Nissan Leaf, the first mass-produced EV of this modern era, has made considerable improvements in range to where the 2024 model can now go up to 212 miles on a charge, Nissan says.

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That’s quite an improvement from its early days when it would barely top 50 miles between recharges.

The compact hatchback Leaf received a significant range upgrade two years ago, and just last year prices were reduced to attract more buyers.

Nissan also reduced the Leaf lineup last year from five models to just two, with the trimmed-down selection reflecting the most customer-requested features and technologies, the automaker said.

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For 2024, Leaf prices begin at $28,140 (plus $1,095 freight) for the base Leaf S model, and range to $36,190 for the Leaf SV Plus.

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The 2024 Plus model that we tested has the 212-mile range, but that’s down slightly from the previous year’s estimated 215-mile range.

Still, it’s a big upgrade over the 149-mile range of the base Leaf has, which does not come with the larger battery that’s used in the SV Plus.

Last year’s Leaf updates included an enhanced front end appearance, with a refreshed front grille, bumper molding, and headlights that feature a new black inner trim.

Also, the Nissan badge is now illuminated and represents the brand’s new design identity. In addition, the tire deflectors at all four corners, rear under-diffuser, and rear spoiler all were redesigned for better aerodynamics.

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For a sportier appearance, the 2024 SV Plus also comes with five-spoke, 17-inch aluminum-alloy wheels.

Changes inside included the new Nissan badge on the steering wheel and a new start-up video on the instrument panel screen.

Black cloth is standard on both models, with gray trim for the Leaf S and gloss-black trim for the SV Plus.

The base Leaf S is equipped with a 40-kWh lithium-ion battery and 110-kW electric motor that delivers 147 horsepower and 236 foot-pounds of torque. That gives it the 149-mile estimated range between charges.

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But the SV Plus comes with a 60-kWh lithium-ion battery and a 160-kW electric motor that produces 214 horsepower and 250 foot-pounds of torque. The bigger battery provides the extra range.

Included on the SV Plus is Nissan’s ProPilot Assist, a hands-on driver assist system that combines Nissan’s Intelligent Cruise Control and steering assist technologies. ProPilot Assist also includes a stop-and-hold function that can bring the vehicle to a full stop, hold it in place and then bring it back up to speed when traffic starts moving again.

Both 2024 Leaf models include a warranty covering defects in materials or workmanship for eight years or 100,000 miles, whichever comes first, for the lithium-ion battery pack.

Nissan also provides a limited warranty against battery loss below nine bars of capacity as shown on the vehicle’s battery level gauge for the first eight years or 100,000 miles for all models.

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For the Leaf SV Plus, a full charge takes about 11 hours with a 240-volt charger, according to EPA estimates shown on the window sticker.

Nissan says the S model with the smaller battery can be charged to 80 percent of full power in 40 minutes, using the “Quick Charge” port, while the SV Plus can get to 80 percent of full charge in an hour.

After a 2018 redesign that increased its range to 149 miles from the original 107, the Leaf was introduced in the new extended-range version known as the Plus for 2020.

For the 2022 model year, there were five Leaf trim levels offered – two standard models with the shorter range, and three Plus versions with the extended range. The standard models came with the 40 kWh battery, while the longer-range models had a 62 kWh battery.

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Changes introduced for 2020 included giving all models the Nissan Safety Shield 360 package as standard equipment. It includes Automatic Emergency Braking with Pedestrian Detection, Rear Automatic Braking, Rear Cross-Traffic Alert, Blind-Spot Warning, Lane-Departure Warning, and High-Beam Assist

 Both versions also come with Intelligent Forward Collision Warning, Intelligent Lane Intervention and Blind-Spot Intervention.

Standard models come with an eight-inch color touch-screen display, and both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are standard across the board.

Also standard on both Leaf versions are driver and front passenger knee air bags, and rear seat-mounted outboard side-impact air bags.

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The Intelligent Around View Monitor is included on the SV, along with rear-door alert and heated front seats. Bear in mind, though, that using the heated seats will drain the battery faster and reduce range.

Our SV Plus tester came with the premium two-tone paint combination of Pearl White TriCoat body with a black roof, which was $695 extra.

The car also features a sound to signify forward movement so it can be heard by blind people at crosswalks. Nissan says the sound is “known as ‘Canto’ (derived from the Latin verb for ‘I sing’).” It plays when the car is moving forward under 18.6 mph.

There is also a “pulsing chime” that sounds when the car is backing up. Both sounds are louder than before, to comply with updated U.S. electric vehicle regulations, Nissan says. An additional speaker was placed inside the engine compartment.

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As for the range, some electric vehicle proponents believe that a minimum of 200 miles is what consumers want so they can avoid having anxiety about whether they will run out of power prematurely. But it probably needs to be higher than that, perhaps no less than 300 miles — especially for people who like to take off on long jaunts without a lot of planning.

Even with its improved capacity, the Plus model’s battery is nearly the same physical size as the regular one, Nissan says. Top speed is up about 10% as well, specs show.

SV Plus models also include a quick-charging system, but you need a high-voltage charging station to use this feature.

This requires using a commercial quick-charging station, rather than at-home “trickle” charging that takes 20 or more hours at 120 volts (Level One) or about 11 hours at 240 volts (Level Two).

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Most Leaf owners presumably would have Level Two charging installed at their homes for regular overnight topping off. The angle of the charging port, at the front of the car, has been designed to allow the user to connect the charging cable without bending down.

Standard features on our vehicle included a 6.6kW onboard charger, the high output Quick Charge Port, regenerative braking system, e-Pedal Mode with Hill Hold Assist, portable trickle charge cable, automatic on/off headlights, the Nissan Intelligent Key with Pushbutton Start, Bluetooth Hands-free Phone System with streaming audio, satellite radio, Hands-free Text Messaging Assistant, Automatic Temperature Control with HVAC timer (pre-heat/pre-cool cabin), charging timer (set desired charge time), eight-inch information display, and a 60/40 split fold-down rear seat.

SV Plus models also get Nissan’s door-to-door navigation system, with 3-D graphics and satellite imagery, NissanConnect, and six speakers.

We also had LED headlights and signature Daytime Running Lights, eight-way power-adjustable driver’s seat with lumbar support, heated outside mirrors with integrated turn signals, auto-dimming inside mirror, the Intelligent Around View Monitor, hybrid heater, rear heater ducts, and Nissan’s ProPilot Assist.

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There is room for up to five passengers, and there is 23.6 cubic feet of cargo space behind the rear seat.

Among other technology in the newest Leaf generation is the e-Pedal, which lets the driver use a single pedal for more than 90 percent of everyday driving, including most braking. But the conventional brake pedal must still be used when fast or aggressive braking is necessary.

With the e-Pedal, when the driver takes his foot off the accelerator pedal, the car will come to a complete stop without the driver having to press the brake pedal. To activate the e-Pedal, the driver must pull back on a switch in the center console upon initial startup. But it does not stay activated once the vehicle is shut down – it defaults back to the “off” position.

Of course, the e-Pedal also does not take over and slow the vehicle if the Leaf’s radar cruise control is active and the driver moves the foot off the accelerator pedal.

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Using the e-Pedal most of the time, I found that in most driving conditions, I really didn’t need to use the brake pedal. The brake lights do come on when the e-Pedal is bringing the car to a stop, Nissan says.

The ProPilot Assist system brings a combination of radar/adaptive cruise control, automatic emergency forward braking with Pedestrian Detection, Steering Assist, Intelligent Lane Intervention, High-Beam Assist, and an electric park brake.

Once it is activated, which happens when a button is pressed on the right side of the steering wheel, ProPilot Assist can keep the Leaf centered in its lane on the highway. But it will disengage if the driver takes his hands off the steering wheel for more than a few seconds.

With this system, if the car in front stops, the system will apply the brakes to bring the vehicle to a full stop if necessary, and, after stopping, the vehicle will remain in place even if the driver’s foot comes off the brake pedal.

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When traffic begins moving again, the car will start moving if the driver touches the cruise switch or lightly presses the accelerator pedal.

The front console has dual cupholders between the front seats, allowing for a storage tray at the base of the console for smartphones and wallets. There is also a 12-volt power outlet and a USB port.

Splash guards ($245) and carpeted floor mats ($285) were the only options on our Leaf besides the premium two-tone paint.

Total sticker price for our 2024 Nissan Leaf SV Plus was $38,510, including freight and options.

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The automotive columns of G. Chambers Williams III have appeared regularly in the Express-News since 2000. Contact him at chambers@auto-writer.com or on X (formerly known as Twitter) @gchambers3. His driving partner Emma Jayne Williams contributed to this report.

2024 Nissan Leaf

The Nissan Leaf SV Plus compact hatchback electric car has seating for up to five and a roomy cargo compartment.

The Nissan Leaf SV Plus compact hatchback electric car has seating for up to five and a roomy cargo compartment.

Nissan North America

The package: Compact, five-door, five-passenger, electric-powered, front-wheel-drive hatchback.

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Highlights: Nissan completely redesigned its Leaf all-electric car for 2018, extending the range on a single full charge to about 150 miles, and in 2020 added a second version that brought a range of more than 200 miles. For 2023, there was a slight exterior redesign, and the lineup was reduced to two models: one with a 149-mile range and the other with a 212-mile range. The car has plenty of power, lots of standard and optional features, and a roomy interior.

Negatives: Long road trips can be a challenge with battery range.

Engines: 147-kilowatt AC synchronous electric motor (Leaf S); 160-kilowatt motor (Leaf SV Plus).

Transmission: Single speed.

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Power/torque: 147 HP./236 foot-pounds (Leaf S); 214 HP./250 foot-pounds (Leaf SV Plus).

Length: 176.4 inches.

Curb weight: 3,509 pounds (Leaf S); 3,900 pounds (SV Plus).

Brakes, front/rear: Disc/disc, antilock.

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Cargo volume: 23.6 cubic feet (behind rear seat); 30 cubic feet (rear seatback folded).

Side air bags: Front seat-mounted; roof-mounted side-curtain for both rows.

Electronic stability control: Standard.

Fuel capacity/type: 40 kWh lithium-ion battery pack; range about 149 miles per charge (Leaf S); 60 kWh lithium-ion battery pack, range about 212 miles (Leaf SV Plus).

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EPA fuel economy (mpg-equivalent): 123 city/99 highway/111 combined (Leaf S); 121 city/98 highway/109 combined (Leaf SV Plus).

Base prices: $28,140 (Leaf S); $36,190 (SV Plus), plus $1,095 freight (before any federal or state tax rebates/credits, if available).

Price as tested: $38,510, including freight and options (2024 Leaf SV Plus).

On the Road rating: 8.2 (of a possible 10).

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Prices shown are manufacturer’s suggested retail; actual selling price may vary.

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