2013 Nissan LEAF Overview And Specifications

JAN 9 2013 BY JAY COLE 31

Today Nissan announced that production of the 2013 LEAF had begun in Smyrna, TN.  And in so doing released many of the details and specifications on the new EV.

2013 Nissan LEAF Dash

A full (and insanely detailed) listing of all the changes are below, but Nissan does highlight some of the finer points of the car for us.

  • Improved energy efficiency* due to improved aerodynamics, wider range of regenerative braking for increased energy recapture and improved energy management
  • Expected range improvement (pending 2013 EPA testing)
  • Addition of a new, lower priced base LEAF S grade
  • An array of feature enhancements for the LEAF SL grade, including leather-appointed seating and 17-inch aluminum-alloy wheels
  • Three new option packages, with available Around View® Monitor and Bose® energy efficient audio system
  • New available 6.6 kW onboard charger that reduces 220V charging time nearly in half to approximately four hours for a full charge
  • Re-Configured (more room) Rear Hatch Area Of 2013 Nissan LEAF

    New available hybrid heater system that provides superior cold weather performance while consuming less energy

  • New available “B” drive mode that increases regenerative braking during deceleration
  • New charge port door light and lock, with new intelligent key charge port door release button
  • Enhanced interior features, including leather-wrapped heated steering wheel, new black interior color and sun visor extensions
  • Smarter packaging, with onboard charger relocated to the front of the vehicle to create more rear cargo space
  • EV-IT improvements, with “Eco route” feature added to navigation system – plus Google® local search, Pandora® link for iPhone® and iPod® cover art
  • State of charge percentage added to the trip computer for more accurate energy monitoring
  • Two new exterior colors (7 total): Metallic Slate and Glacier White

    You Asked For It - Exact Battery State Of Charge Heads-Up Display

Nissan says that pricing and new EPA range data will be released “be announced closer the vehicle’s on-sale date”, but more than likely what they really mean, is that they are saving that for the big North American debut at the NAIAS next week.

17" Optional Wheels

“The refinements and enhancements for 2013 hit at the core of customer requests during LEAF’s first two years – available features providing quicker charging, improved range expectations and the ability to fine-tune the equipment levels to exact owner needs, whether they desire fewer standard features for an even more affordable car or more luxury amenities like leather-appointed seating and premium audio.” – Nissan Division Vice President and General Manager Al Castignetti

All the specs you ever want to know (except of course for the two main things-price and range):

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31 Comments on "2013 Nissan LEAF Overview And Specifications"

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The only two things I want to know are the price and the EPA range ratings.. I guess nobody knows either one yet?

Like the improvements, especially the 6.6kW charger. The 3.3kW charger is what made me cancel my original LEAF reservation. I am curious to see the official range figures also. Remember, when the LEAF first came out, the EPA hadn’t formally adopted the 5-cycle test that is currently being used on all plug-ins now. They performed the old, less intense test (3-cycle?) and then reduced the findings by 30% to simulate the real world conditions, so the 73 mile range the LEAF has was not a result of the same testing as today’s plug-ins.

I’d love to see the new EPA range rating to be 80+

One last thought, I really hope other manufacturers follow Tesla’s model and offer larger packs as an option. I think a good deal of people would pay an additional $5,000 for a LEAF with a 30kW pack. That would push the EPA rating over 100 and open up the car to a much larger market. A lot of people are just not comfortable with these 70-80 mile cars. Once you get close to 100 MPC I think many more people may be willing to go for their first plug in.

I feel EXACTLY the same way regarding the Battery Upgrade option.
I had the choice between a 6kwh Zero motorcycle and 9kwh for ~2k€ more – I chose the 9kwh Zero S for sure. Same here …

But being realistic – Nissan can’t offer other battery sizes in their current model, there is no space at the moment. If higher capacity cells come up in the next years, then it would be an option for them.

I also would rather see an option for more range. I would take more range over all the add on extras.

Having multiple range options is definitely a good idea and I agree with Tom – 100 MPC EPA range is a tipping point for getting people over range-anxiety for the vast majority of normal driving. Right now with 60-80 MPC real world range you start to worry about range the last 20 miles or so which means 40-60 miles before you start to worry and a lot of trips end up in that range. The extra range would also provide additional buffer against capacity loss in the future.

There is room now behind the rear seats where the OBC (on-board-charger) used to sit. There is also a lot of dead space under the trunk (used to carry the spare tire in Australia).

Using that space I imagine one could easily fit another 5-8 kWh of battery of the same capacity. Of course, if they can improve the energy density by 20% that would also work.

Leaf doesn’t have the space for more batteries (unles some trunc space is used up).

A third party vendor sells a battery pack that fits in the trunk space for extra range.


I don’t think they are in business.

They aren’t. Sadly

Ok, stupid computer submitted that too soon.

Sadly, I heard about this company only shortly after they disappeared. The larger point is that many people (myself included) would likely give up the depth of the trunk in favor of more battery/range. Look at the Ford C-Max – the Energi has a larger battery, but at the expense of trunk space. Many people are willing to make that tradeoff when given the choice. Same principle.

“One can imagine a car that’s designed for, say, a 100 mile driving range but set up to allow adding an extra battery pack for longer trips. The battery pack could be rented much like we rent trailers for a few days at a time.”

The last sentence in the thread below from Torquenews is compelling. The idea of any BEV having the capacity to “add” or “lease” an additional battery sounds like a great idea. If the manufactures provided the wiring you could add a pack when you wanted the range. This seems to be a better idea than a complete battery swap option.

I had an opportunity to see the MY2013 yesterday in Phoenix, along with other LEAF owners. Nissan has definitely reacted to owner feedback, and a number of nice improvements has been implemented. The question of several different battery options came up during the town hall meeting. I believe that this particular request has been heard and understood. It’s tough to say what will happen as a result. Personally, I would expect the EPA range to go up a modest amount, based on several efficiency improvements, and a different test procedure. That said, I should mention that coupe of people from Nissan tried to temper expectations in this regard, so it’s difficult to say what type of improvement, if any, we will see.

I don’t have hard confirmation from Nissan at this point, but I figured I would add it waaaay down here in the comments (thanks to that all those spec deteails) that a source told me Nissan had produced about 200 of the 2013 MY LEAFs as of the first of this week.

Nice incremental update. Not worth trading in my 2012, but it is good to see more options. I also like to see little things like the remote charge door release and the light addressed.

Now, how about a CHADEMO charging network announcement!!!! Having a quick charge option (even for $) at each dealer would be a very good safety net and could be a good selling point. I’m not sure I’d push it as a trip car (like Tesla superchargers) but as an in-town backup charge when the volts and pips have taken all those L2 mall EVSEs…

I love that CHAdeMO is an option at ALL trim levels. Same with the 6kW charger.

I find it a little odd that ‘B’ mode is not available on the S trim. Any insight? Does it require some hardware upgrade to increase regen capability? If it’s just a software update, I don’t understand the reasoning here.

Overall, good incremental changes. I’m still hopeful that by the second generation, they will make significant upgrades to the battery and motor.

I bet the top model comes in at $41,990..

Hopefully when the new NMC chemistry comes out they will be able to boost capacity 25% and still fit in the same battery case as an extra cost option.. The standard capacity cells will be thinner thus leaving a bit of extra room inside the battery case for some air circulation, hopefully 25% cheaper also. Pictures of the new modules give hope to my theory, they look expandable.

This is a nice update over my 2011 LEAF. “B” mode is something I had asked for, but suggested it be called “Sport” mode. Guess that didn’t stick.

The 6.6 kW charging is a nice to have, but the CHAdeMO is essential (in Houston). Looks like both are available on all trim levels, which is a smart move.

The Pandora integration, Google search, and Bose sound system are nice features that I was not expecting.

I will wait on the EPA numbers, but I think I will hold out for more kWh, from Nissan or someone else, before I turn in my lease.

If I had to choose between Chademo and 6.6Kw charging, I’d pick the 6,6Kw. I might change my mind if there were more Chademo stations around, though.

18 CHAdeMOs and growing in Houston (all eVgo right now). I feel bad for LEAF owners that don’t have access to them.

Nice to see an EV with options… Be interesting to see how much the double size charger is going to be. If I was going to buy a Leaf, the Sole option I would want would be a Bigger Battery on the most basic trim level. As is currently, I’d order the very basic model with zero options. A double size battery is all I want.

Many exciting additions to the LEAF. It is going to be interesting to see how the purchasing public reacts to the decision by Nissan to not to offer the increased battery range model which is being made in Japan to American customers.

I suspect the single biggest issue with potential EV owners is range and only offering the new extended range car in Japan may be considered a slight to U.S. buyers. Nissan could have had a home run with the intro of the Japanese extended ranger version here in the states.

However, an entry level (depending on actual cost) may be attractive to some. I hope people overlook the lack of increased range issue and buy many, many of them.

Hey Kelly,

A third party vendor sells a battery pack that fits in the trunk space for extra range if needed.



The battery is exactly the same as the Japan LEAFs. It is just the test cycles, US/Japan that are different. Read back at Jay’s article he wrote when they released the Japan range numbers and I think he talks about it.

As far as a bigger pack, my sources (that just means reading articles here 🙂 ) say that it will debut on the Infiniti LE due out this fall. Search on this site for Infinti LE info. Hopefully it will be passed on to the LEAF at some point.

Are they using some kind of heat pump combo? I heard elsewhere the range would be about 10 miles more, 83?


Heat pump only on the MY2013 available for viewing on Tuesday in Phoenix. There was no restive heater in there per Phil of EVSE Upgrade.

So what kind of circuit modifications would a typical house need to charge the Leaf at 6.6 Kwh rate?

Basically, a new run of thick wiring from the breaker box to the garage. That’s assuming the box has the capacity, although most new houses are built with a good amount of excess (for expansion such as this). If you need to, you can always upgrade your connection to the grid, but now you’re talking thousands instead of hundreds of dollars.

I believe most of you current Leaf owners were already set up for 6.6 kw . Requires 40 amp circuit to the garage. Of course those of you who bought either a Legrande or a Leviton 160 are stuck at 16 amps max. To fully utilize 6.6 kw you need 28 amps, if not more, from what some of the other posters here have told me.

I am glad to see the more efficient heat pump, and very glad to have front and rear seat heaters, and heated steering wheel standard in all models!

But no resistive backup heat? If true, how comfortable is the cabin at -40 deg?


… Or 0 degrees F, or even 20 degrees F? My understanding is that some heat pumps lose significant capacity below freezing. I’ll be really interested to hear how well this system functions in sub-freezing temps.

Here’s what a Nissan Leaf REALLY sounds like in the engine compartment during driving: