Infographic Compares New 2018 Nissan LEAF To 2011 Version

DEC 11 2017 BY MARK KANE 48

2018 Nissan LEAF

One week ago, production of the 2018 Nissan LEAF kicked off in the U.S., but it was way back on 2010 when the first LEAF changed the EV landscape. How much has the LEAF involved in those past 7 years?

2011 Nissan LEAF

Nissan Parts Plus released an interesting comparison of the new 2018 Nissan LEAF and the old one from 2011. This makes it easy to see what’s actually changed during the past seven years.

The initial 2011 LEAF SL started at $34,540, which after adjusting for inflation is $37,550 today (+8.7%) according to the infographic. The next generation LEAF SL starts at $36,200 so it’s effectively slightly cheaper.

The 2011 LEAF was very well equipped, which means it needs to be compared to the higher trim LEAF today.

It’s good to see that at a similar price, Nissan now offers a car that looks more stylish, has around double the range (150 miles vs 73 miles EPA) and features a significantly larger 40 kWh battery (instead 24 kWh).

There is more power – 110 kW (instead 80 kW), so acceleration is improved too. And finally, the 2018 LEAF has 25% more claimed cargo capacity, as well as slightly better drag coefficient.

We should note too that the new LEAF adds a 6.6 kW on-board charger in place of 3.3 kW.

2018 vs 2011 Nissan Leaf SL Comparison (source: Nissan Parts Plus)

Source: Nissan Parts Plus

Categories: Nissan

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48 Comments on "Infographic Compares New 2018 Nissan LEAF To 2011 Version"

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After 7 years I dont find that especially impressive. The 60kWh battery version might help it look like more progress – in another years time.

I agree. This feels more like a mid cycle refresh. Basically some new sheet metal, software tweaks for more horsepower and an upgraded battery. This could have been done two years ago.

Granted this is how they can keep a lower price. This was design on a dime.

Yup. Slow-and-steady progress. Meanwhile Tesla and Chevy have leap-frogged them. The only real advantage of the Leaf is price. If 150 miles is enough (would be for a second car, but I’m done with that and want an EV to be my only car), then it is the best deal out there!

Depends, over half lease and there are some pretty good “cheap leases” for the Bolt and 500e if you live in a place that sells them…

How do you software tweak hp from an electric motor?

You actually can. They are using software to limit the current to the motor. By setting the motor controller to allow more current you can increase torque. You can also advance the timing (when you switch to the next phase.) Both of these increase the amount of heat produced in the battery, controller, and motor. They could decide they needed less margin, or they could allow a higher power for a short amount of time so the components will not get too hot.

They probably didn’t leave a lot of extra margin, so they probably had to actually make changes for the gen 2 leaf.

Well, that presumes that you’d want to shorten the life of the motor also. Seeing as Nissan doesn’t have a particularly robust or conservatively rated battery system, it is not likely that the motor is ‘LOAFING’. One slight tweak of the info-graphic is, I always consider L1 and L2 chargers by what is drawn from the power line MAINS, not what is actually going into the battery. That is the way Tesla has always rated their L1 and L2 charging ‘options’ anyway. By that metric, the base Leaf has always been 3.6 kw at least, and it will provide that down to at least 200 volts so its useful for public stations. The somewhat newer ‘6.6 kw’ chargers on later, or optioned-up Leafs hit the full 30 amps of the ChargePoints in the field before it can be deduced how much amperage they COULD draw, so it would be interesting to me if those leaf owners with 32 or 40 ampere wallboxes (and lowered household juice) could comment. Most homeowners will have more than 220 volts at the car, so the issue will never come up for them. Whether the 2018 Leaf ‘6.6’ kw charger can remain at full power… Read more »

I heard that it is the same motor, they just let more juice in.
Basically, it seems that Nissan was cautious about the battery drain and limit the power mainly because of the weaker battery.
Bigger battery can deliver more amps at the same C rate.
I would not be surprise to see the next 60 kWh version using the same motor but with higher output.

The other concern in all cases with a synchronous motor is you have to limit the peak torque (basically the stator current) otherwise you’ll demagnitize the permanent magnet rotor – so you’ll need to take it apart to fix it.

I doubt Nissan will screw around with something that works already.

Twice the range, 40% more hp and more equipment for about the same price, or less.

Where is my 400 mile Model S for 70k? Sure 60kWh would be better, but this seems like pretty good improvement.

After seven years, it’s actually a pathetic level of improvement. No other EV models to speak of and relatively minor cosmetic improvements. It’s been a sad showing from Nissan.

And you don’t get 400-mile Model S for $70k. You get a 310-mile Model 3 for $44k. Oh, and that was only five years. You’ve still got time.

and still no TMS for the battery. Put in 100A at 38kW and watch the temp almost hit red in summer. Sad.

Point taken on Tesla offering a cheaper model 3 instead of a longer range model S at the same price point. However the timing is about the same. The 3 really isn’t available for most folks until 2018-19. That is 6-7 years between the first model S and the 3. About the same as the Leaf, which wasn’t really available to most until 2011, and now 7 years later with the next gen.

Do if Nissan would introduce a cheaper, but smaller and worse equipped Leaf that would be ok?

The Leaf has way more improvement than the S. And the S only has another year. So if the Leaf is pathetic, then what is the Model S?

Chademo was extra cost in 2011

It still is. The base Leaf still won’t have it. This chart doesn’t show the base 2018 Leaf.

If I only needed a vehicle for in-town driving, 150 miles would be fine. However, I live in rural AL where Walmart is 2.1 miles from the house, the post office is 1.9 miles, all the fast food and dine-in restaurants are within 2.1 miles. Sam’s club is about 22 miles away in a slightly larger town. When I go there, I usually do all of the tasks I saved up for that trip and put a bit over 120 miles on the odometer. That leaves very little room for error. If I lived in a city the size of Birmingham, putting 200 miles per day on a car is not that difficult. When I lived there during college it was 36 miles from my apartment to campus. Apartment to work was 8 miles. My other job could be anywhere from 2 miles to 60 miles away. My third job was about 12 miles away. There is no way a car with only a 150 mile range would work. Mainly because you have to factor in the time the juice is draining while you are stuck in rush hour traffic jams. Besides, I want a fully loaded electric Rogue SL… Read more »

Then, when the 500 mile vehicle arrives, magically you will need 750 miles range. Then 1000 miles. Then 2000 miles. All for the same price as a gas vehicle.

Just stop. 150 miles range works for most people. It would work for you, too, if there was charging available. Even trickle charging at 120V could make the difference for you.

By the way, traffic jams are where EVs excel. No significant power is being used while stopped, and slow driving is very efficient. In city driving, I get 100-120 miles of range from my LEAF (24kWh).

Understand the average car in the US gets 37 miles per day.

Your made-up school + 3 jobs 60 miles apart is well within a 1% usage scenario. I had three jobs before but never more than two on the same day, it just doesn’t work like that. I had an 86 mile triangular commute, and that was 2 hours of driving per day on top of working 60 hours. 150 miles was more than I ever needed, and my needs were double the average person.

That kind of usage simply isn’t representative of most people.

Actually, 150 miles isn’t enough for many, many Americans. Maybe on a day-to-day level it okay, but it’s surprising just how many concessions a small-battery EV forces one to make.

Yes, fast charging extends the usefulness, but small-battery EVs put a huge amount of stress on the public charging infrastructure. The Nissan Leaf and other small-battery EVs are the reason I don’t even attempt to charge in large cities.

As a real-world example, I recently drove my mom to get groceries on a pleasant, fall day. Just over 24 kWh used. During winter, even the new Leaf would struggle.

Boo boo, dont cry, you wont get the tx breaks anyway cause your state about to elect an pedophile

Your real world example falls short of falling short. 24 is considerably less than 40. Even adding a hypothetical harsh Alabama winter to your real world example falls short of falling short. You may have to add towing a trailer across nation to hear last dying words of your dear relative.

Nissan is doing something different with the note epower.
Consider its price and a possible plugin version with a battery size similar to the volt, that would really be an ev for everyone

Yes the e-power is a great way do a chap hybrid that drives like an EV. But for some reaon they are not selling it in the USA or in Europe. Ii seems they don’t really want to push too strong…

You’re right but nissan has a leaf factory in uk.
If the interest in that tech increases it could replace the entire ice world.
Nissan shares some parts with Renault afaik, that might be a way.

“Besides, I want a fully loaded electric Rogue SL Platinum with a 500 mile range.”

Then go get a gasoline Rogue.

I don’t think you could handle an EV. Just let us know once your mythical 500 mile Rogue EV is available. 😉

Sign me up for the Rouge 500 mi. EV!
Which Myth Busters episode do I have to watch, so I can figure out how the online reservation preorder configurator works?

I have a 2015 Leaf and live just outside a rural town in Illinois. I have a grocery store, post office and drug store all about 3 miles away in town. Everything else is the next town over, 8 miles away. The nearest mall is over 20 miles away. I have an 84 mile range and rarely get below 50%. I’m not sure how you would have a problem. After two years I have never called AAA. I have also never charged away from home. I love this car!

We love our 2015 as well and we live in rural Maine. Hardly ever get below 50%. Charged at a brewery for free to get it home from the dealer that was 150 miles away we bought it from. Good food. Better beer. Never charged elsewhere since. Pull her into the heated garage and plug her in. We have 3 other vehicles, one being a heavy duty 4wd truck (it is Maine), but they RARELY get any use. So little use the batteries often die because they sit for so long, which is slightly ironic. Did I mention this thing was REALLY cheap used with 16k miles on her? No regrets.

I know right. Since we’re speaking hypotheticals if I lived in the middle of the Outback can you imagine my commute each day to say Sydney or Perth. No way would a car like this work for me!

The Leafs purpose has always been to get as many people in to an EV as possible for the cheapest price. As the best selling EV to date it seems to have accomplished that task very well.

Is it for everyone? No, but it’s not supposed to be. Heck, virtually nothing is for everyone. So sick of everyone bitching and moaning about how it doesn’t meet “their” hypothetical needs. If you want 300 miles of range than go drop 2-3x that on a Tesla but for many this car does satisfy their needs.

“Mainly because you have to factor in the time the juice is draining while you are stuck in rush hour traffic jams”

Its not ICE. Juice isn’t “draining” apart from a tiny amount for heater /AC and lights.

The 60kwh car is only being delayed by a year to allow production and cost to improve first.

Nope, it is delayed because they can’t find anyone to sell them the bigger btteries.

It seems to me the infographic base MSRP is incorrect for the 2018 model. It says $36,400 is the base MSRP – but that is the high end model. The Nissan price for the base model was supposed to be under $30k. Could someone check that and correct it if it needs correcting. The Nissan Website says it is $29,990 for the base model.

It isn’t incorrect. as the article points out they are comparing the 2011 SL to the 2018 SL.

Probably the most important improvement is the one they won’t tell you about.
It should have gone from a loss leader to a profitable car.

I knew old Leaf was not that good looking, but placed side by side, old Leaf is really ugly. I think Leaf deserves the most improved award, not just looks but also performance. Here’s hoping that they will get rid of free charging.

With EVgo ruling the roost, a LEAF without free CHAdeMO might as well not have fast charge ability.

The cost is crazy.

Judging by the comments here, the New Nissan looks like a winner, and a good value.

However, its still to small and too short a range for many. The BOLT is better on the range front but still way to small for most people.

(Its ok for me – its my ‘pocket rocket’).

But Nissan should do even better if they put an honest 60 kwh battery in the thing, and better still if it has adequate temperature control.

But personally, I and other long for the day when they electrify a decently sized car.

That’s what some of the excitement is regarding Tesla’s ‘semi’ project. That at least, is a decently sized machine, even if it cannot at present ‘tandem’.

Pound-feet? What is this, are we getting a massage?

Ding ding ding! We have a weiner!

Battery cooling system improvements in 7 years?


kwH? Really?

I test drove the new leaf and I enjoyed it. The e pilot cruise control is top notch and the e pedal braking is great! The person I was with told me to let go of the steering wheel while doing 70 on the freeway and the car drove itself before it warned me to hold the steering wheel. So I’m highly inclined to lease the new leaf next year over the bolt with more range. After two and a half years of driving I’ve learned how to make to places outside of the range which I don’t do very often. I southern California there are plenty of DC charging stations across the greater LA area.

“initial 2011 LEAF SL started at $34,540”

I believe the MY-2011 Leaf started at $33,000 and it should be the entry level SV because there was no S at that time.

Yes there is a sea change between MY-2011 and MY-2018.

* Increase in l * w * h.
* 77 mile range increase.
* 6.6 KW charger.
* 1.2 second increase in 0-60 MPH.
* Lower price.

Another good feature is that with only 67% increase in battery size 16 KWh / 24 KWh * 100, they were able to get 105% increase in range 77 miles (extra mileage) / 73 * 100.

Where do you had a 16 kWh battery on the Leaf?

He’s talking about the increase from 24 to 40 kWh.

Nice improvements.

Still no liquid cooling.

But it is a good lease.