Nissan’s revamped Leaf coming to SA

Nissan’s revamped Leaf, launched earlier this month to take on Tesla’s Model 3, is set to make its debut on our shores next year.

The new Leaf shows with its new 40kWh battery, an improvement of 172km on its predecessor, boasting a range of around 241km on a single charge.

Research, according to Wheels24, shows that the average driver travels around 80km per week, meaning that with the increased range of the new Leaf, the battery only needs to be charged once in the time.

But this is the current stumbling block facing the introduction of electric vehicles into many markets, including South Africa, at this time.

The majority of markets do not have the infrastructure in place for battery recharging. Currently in SA, EV owners can only recharge their vehicles at home or at Nissan or BMW dealerships. Whereas in a country like Japan, that is home to 130 million people, there are currently 7 200 quick-charging stations and 28 000 charging stations for electric cars.

However, experts are forecasting that with the rapid development of technology in this sector, the cost of buying a petrol- or diesel-powered vehicle will cost the same as an EV by 2025, giving consumers more of a choice beyond budgetary constraints.

The new Nissan Leaf is set to hit Japan’s markets on October 2 and is expected to start from ¥3.15 million (around R375 000), but is only expected to reach our shores in the last quarter of 2018.


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