The Nissan Leaf electric vehicle has only been on the market since 2010, but Nissan is giving it some significant upgrades for the 2013 model. Nissan has announced that the 2013 Nissan Leaf will be more efficient, come with more features and charge in half the time compared to earlier models. The Leaf is also now being assembled in the United States at Nissan’s Smyrna, Tenn. assembly plant, with battery production taking place right next door in the country’s largest lithium-ion automotive battery plant.

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Nissan, Nissan Leaf, Nissan electric vehicle, electric vehicle, green transportation, green car, 2013 Detroit Auto Show, DC fast charger, lithium-ion battery

Nissan has improved the Leaf’s energy efficiency thanks to refined aerodynamics, a wider range of regenerative braking and improved energy management. A newly available 6.6 kW onboard charger reduces 220V charging time nearly in half to approximately four hours for full charge. The available Quick Charge Port allows charging to 80 percent capacity in 30 minutes at public charging stations using a DC fast charger. The 2013 Leaf is powered by a 24 kWh lithium-ion battery and a 80kW AC synchronous motor, rated at 107 horsepower and 187 lb-ft of torque. Due to the efficiency improvements, the 2013 Nissan Leaf is expected to have a longer driving range, but the official specs have not been released.

A new lower priced entry-level Leaf S grade joins the previous SV and SL grades, while an array of feature enhancements are added to the Leaf SL grade, including leather-appointed seating and 17-inch aluminum-alloy wheels. Also, three new option packages are available – offering advanced systems such as Around View Monitor and 7-speaker Bose energy efficient audio.

The 2013 Nissan Leaf will officially debut next week at the 2013 Detroit Auto Show.

+ Nissan