Nissan takes the fight to Tesla with the revamped Leaf

Japanese car manufacturer has taken the fight to Tesla with the launch of its revamped Leaf electric vehicle (EV) on Wednesday.

The new Leaf takes on Tesla Inc’s (TSLA.O) Model 3, which features a range of around 241km (around 150 miles) on a single charge, the United States environmental regulator estimates. This is an improvement on the 172km (107 miles) range on its predecessor, thanks to a bigger, 40kWh battery.

The launch of the new Leaf follows Tesla’s foray into Nissan’s more affordable price market in July, with the release of the $35 000 Model 3, which boasts a range of around 354km (220 miles).

The revamped Leaf has received an intriguing facelift, making it look more sporty and is packed with the latest automated functions, which include single-lane highway driving and self-parking, along with its combined accelerate and brake “e-pedal”.

Lithium-ion batteries from Automotive Energy Supply Corp will continue to keep the EV powered up.

The new Leaf will hit the Japan motor market on October 2, and elsewhere in early 2018.

At a launch event for the new model, Chief Executive Hiroto Saikawa confirmed that a longer-range version of the Leaf is set to be launched next year, with an even bigger 60kWh battery, increasing the range to more than 480km (or more than 300 miles).

Prices in Japan are expected to start from ¥3.15 million (around R375 000).

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