The new Leaf’s battery capacity still falls a long way short of the new wave of premium EVs such as the Jaguar I-Pace, where 70kWh to 100kWh is the ballpark required to play against Tesla’s Model S, X and 3.
Nissan reportedly has a 60kWh option up its sleeve for the Leaf in 2019, and there is also the somewhat important topic of price, given that big batteries cost a lot to make. Prices for the new Leaf start at £21,990 on the road for the most basic Visia trim level, rising to £29,155 for the top-of-the-range Tekna (including government incentives).
For now, 40kWh is still a very useful amount of energy in an electric vehicle. The sparkling new Leaf I sampled showed a range of 160 miles in its instrument cluster at full charge, compared to the 105 miles typically predicted by a fully topped up first-generation Leaf back in 2011. And if a 52% range improvement seems disappointing for a 67% bigger battery, that’s partly because the first Leaf was an eternal optimist whereas the new one is more of a grudging realist.