2019 Leaf Plus – 226 Miles, More Power

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Nissan says it will bring its new, longer-range version of the Leaf EV to the U.S. this spring as the 2019 Leaf Plus.

The car is expected to win an EPA rating of an estimated 226 miles of range from its 62 kilowatt-hour battery. The lithium-ion pack is 55 percent larger than the standard 150-mile Leaf’s 40 kWh pack.

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Nissan, which announced the car at the annual CES technology expo in Las Vegas this week , also said the Leaf Plus also will get a more powerful, 160-kilowatt motor.

The 2019 Leaf Plus will be rated at 215 horsepower and 250 pound-feet of torque. That’s up from 147 hp and 236 lb.-ft. for the standard 2019 Leaf with its 110-kilowatt motor.

While off-the-line acceleration should be better, the Leaf Plus weighs in at about 300 pounds more than the standard model. The more powerful motor is likely to make itself felt best in higher-speed acceleration, such as passing.

The Leaf Plus will be known as the Leaf e+ outside of the U.S. and Canada. It will be introduced in Japan this month and in Europe in early summer.

Nissan hasn’t provided U.S. or Canadian pricing, but has said that in Europe it will fetch a premium of more than 5,000 euros ($5,750) over similarly equipped standard Leaf models.

Base price for the standard Leaf in the U.S is $30,885, including Nissan’s $895 destination fee. If the price differential holds, that would bring starting price for the Plus into the $36,000 – $37,000 range before incentives.

The 2019 Leaf Plus will be available in S, SV and SL trim levels, same as the standard version. It will get a slightly revised front fascia and different badging but otherwise will continue with the same hatchback design introduced with the standard 2019 Leaf.

Leaf Plus

Inside, Plus trims get a larger, 8-inch color infotainment display screen and an updated navigation system. The touchscreen display will operate much like a smartphone. That means “swiping, scrolling and tapping,” as well as over-the-air updates for applications, navigation system maps and firmware, Nissan said.

While the 2019 Leaf Plus has a much larger battery, interior and exterior dimensions – including cargo space – are unchanged, the company said. The 62 kWh battery pack is more energy dense than the 40 kWh pack, and the pack design has changed to fit more modules into the same space.

The Plus has the same-size wheels and tires as the standard Leaf but sits 0.2 inches higher thanks to recalibrated springs to handle the extra weight.

The 2019 Leaf Plus battery has been teamed with a new 70 kW capacity (100 kW peak) quick charge system – versus 50 kW on the standard 2019 Leaf.

That means it can get an 80 percent “refill” at a 100 kw Level 3 quick charge station in about the same time – 45 minutes or so – as the standard Leaf. (The Leaf Plus will be able to accept power at 100 kW for only a brief amount of time before settling back to a default charging rate of 70 kW.)

Charging at home on a 240-volt Level 2 system will take up to 11.5 hours, versus 7.5 hours for the standard Leaf.

Read all about PEV charging: amps, volts and watts.

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