Nissan Leaf Plus. Source: Nissan
Nissan Leaf Plus. Source: Nissan

Pricing for the Nissan’s longer range electric car, the Leaf Plus with 62kWh battery and 226 miles (363km) real world range, has been announced by the Japanese carmaker in the US.

The Nissan Leaf Plus will be available in 3 trims – the S, the SV and the SL – all with the same 62kWh battery, increased range and more kick from the improved 160 kW power output from its motor.

It’s been a long wait for Nissan’s answer to calls for a larger battery and better driving range, and it cannot be ignored that news of pricing in the US has been released immediately after rival carmaker Tesla’s unveiling of the $US35,000 ($A49,400 at today’s conversion rates) base Model 3 on Friday (Australian time).

The base trim version of the Nissan Leaf Plus will be $US36,550 ($A51,600 converted), with the SL coming in at $US38,510 ($A54,370 converted) and the SV at $US42,550 ($A60,080 converted).

“With the addition of LEAF PLUS, the Nissan LEAF is now available with two battery options and a choice of six trim levels – each featuring the many advanced technologies offered under the banner of Nissan Intelligent Mobility,” Brian Marango, director of EV Sales and Marketing, Nissan North America, said in a statement.

Nissan have taken pains to ensure that the Leaf Plus, as with the Leaf, is clearly an electric vehicle, from the revised front nose design with its blue highlights and e+ logo under the charger lid, to the rear badges designating the S Plus, SL Plus or SV Plus trims.

All variants will include Nissan’s driving technologies including driver assistance tech ProPILOT Assist and its ePedal regenerative braking system – not unexpected but good to know.

They will also receive the standard 8 year/100,000 mile (160,000km) battery warranty including battery loss protection, which provides a limited warranty in the case that the battery capacity drops below 9 out of 10 bars.

Other inclusions for the Nissan Leaf Plus are:

  • Standard Portable Trickle Charge Cable (120V/240V EVSE)
  • High Output Quick Charge Port
  • Standard Automatic Emergency Braking (AEB), available Automatic Emergency Braking with Pedestrian Detection
  • 8.0-inch infotainment screen
  • Standard Apple CarPlay™ and Android Auto™
  • Available NissanConnect® with Nissan door to door Navigation
  • Available advanced NissanConnect EV (telematics), allowing for remote connection to the vehicle (from compatible smartphone, wearable, Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant)

What the new US pricing will mean for Australian pricing is yet to be seen.

It may be worth comparing to the Hyundai Kona Electric which is set to have a starting price of $US36,450 in the USA – The Driven has in the past been told the Kona EV will have a price range of somewhere from $A53,000-55,000, although more recent reports suggest it could be as high as $A60,000.

But the Nissan Leaf Plus, although offering a much improved range to its predecessor the 2019 40kWh Leaf, falls short of the range of the Kona Electric which will have 480km of real world range, according to Hyundai.

It does compare however to the range of the base Tesla Model 3, which has 220 miles (354km) and is slated for a mid-2019 arrival in Australia – although pricing for this is even more highly speculative than the Kona.

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