Saturday, September 12, 2015

2016 LEAF Announced!

As expected Nissan finally let the "cat out of the yard" announcing the specs for the 2016 LEAF and as expected the 30 kwh battery pack makes its debut on the SV and SL models and will hit showrooms around mid October (or when the 2015 inventory is sufficiently depleted...) but that was about all that happened that we knew about.  There were a LOT of surprises.

**Good Surprise**  Actually a very good one. Notice the 8 year/100,000 capacity warranty on the new cells in the 30 kwh pack?  Signs of great things in the future!  Note the fast charge is no longer an option on the SV/SL.  It was an option on the SV for $1630 on the 2015's. More on this later. Not sure what the "excessive wear" means on the 30 kwh packs but guessing its the same roughly 67-70% degradation level as the the 24 kwh battery has  (verified thru Nissan Press kit release) . Would be great to see that lowered but no word on that and pretty sure Nissan would have mentioned numbers if it had changed.

**Minor Surprise** no more rear seat heaters for S/SV.  I admit mine was rarely used but it was a GREAT conversational thing and very cheap heat!

**Surprise to be determined**  Nissan introduces "NissanConnect" which replaces Carwings and hopefully adds over the air software updates, faster connections and wi-fi ability but then again, maybe a bit too much wishful thinking here

**For S trim fans, the rear view monitor size has been increased to 5" which is a good thing. Mine was hard to see. What would be really nice is a hood to shade the screen. Living in the far North AND on only stretch of the North/South I-5 that travels east/west AND living on the western edge means I drive with the Sun in my face every morning and evening.

Since this is not LEAF II, no real changes here other than the slightly heavier (46 lbs) 30 kwh pack weight.

Prices for the S trim remain the same at $29,010 with the Charge package price a mystery for now. The SV is obviously what Nissan will be pushing soon since its price of $33,700 is $30 less than the 2015 SV with fast charge option added. The SL however is a head scratcher.  Starting at $36,790 is $1670 more than the 2015 SL.  Now the 2015 model's MSRP at $35,120 was just barely over the $35,000 limit to qualify for sales tax exemption in Washington State and I had anticipated Nissan recognizing that but WOW, I guess not!

Either way the pricing does not make sense so I started checking other reports which only increased the confusion. Now the top info came from MNL so checking other sources,  Green Car reports the S Trim dropping to $28,060 which makes sense and does agree with a price of $34,200 on the SV with EVnewsreport  but that still makes the battery pack upgrade on the SL 3X more expensive but then again, who knows right?

In conclusion; hoping Nissan's new "NissanConnect" gives us something more than Satellite Radio (and other garbage I don't want) and am excited to see how well these new batteries hold up in the AZ heat. (FYI; I know someone who gave up on his Prius because it could not stand the AZ heat either, so its not just a Nissan thing) and I have to say that 2015 may have been the year of "2015 S trim with charge package" and 2016 looks to be the year of "100 mile SV" but can't say I am happy with the way prices are moving.  I always had doubts about Tesla's $35,000 claim on the Tesla 3 and nothing has happened to change my mind on that but looks like Nissan is headed out of the "affordable" area with the larger battery packs.  I am now afraid to speculate on how much the 2017 (or 2018) LEAF with is double range pack will cost.  So does mean we might be thinking about a 2017 "LEF?"


  1. Thanks Dave

    I am seriously considering a Leaf and am awaiting 2016 launch (in Canada i'm told it will be January)). One concern I have…. I've been trying to find out if whether Nissan has a policy saying that it will ensure availability of replacement batteries for the Leaf in 10 yrs or more? In other words, will it be possible to swap better batteries as they come on the market?

    I currently drive a Golf TDI that I've had for 20 yrs.. but diesels can be fixed. If batteries are not available for the Leaf in 8-10 yrs, then it's junk. Just like a rechargeable drill with no charger/battery. That is not a green option!


    1. Yes they will and the current policy (that I expect to continue) is to replace a degraded pack with the newest technology available. Several 2011-12 owners have received the new "Lizard" pack which is more robust and provides slightly more range the the OEM pack did. Besides Nissan is in it for the long haul as are others. Batteries will eventually be sourced by aftermarket vendors when enough EVs are on the road. In actuality, they already are but its still a small, exclusive (which means expensive) market but that situation will get better every day

  2. Is there any news if I'll be able to pay Nissan in 2016 to put a new 30 kwh battery in my 2011 Leaf? Which will be at 8 bars, 90,000 miles.

    1. Officially the current answer is "No" but like any consumer driven business, we can change that. Whether its aftermarket vendors or Nissan chooses to do this themselves but I think eventually there will come a time when there are simply no cars selling with a pack as small as a 24 kwh pack. The proof of concept that EVs are viable has essentially been completed if the new chemistry holds up as well as Nissan thinks it will. Remember the new 30 kwh pack's capacity warranty is now 100,000 miles. That speaks huge volumes on how confident Nissan is with this new chemistry. What this does is broadens their options for larger EVs with much larger packs instead of smaller EVs with the same 24 kwh pack. I would be surprised to see Gen II LEAF where all trims did not have the option to get a bigger pack