Nissan is on track to double sales of the Leaf for 2012 and with this success, the company has announced plans to launch an upgraded version of the electric vehicle at the end of the year. Available starting late 2012, the upgrade will include a “much, much more efficient” heating system for winter months. This will allow drivers to see another “20 to 25 miles of improvements”  in cold weather over the car’s current EPA-rated range of 73 miles per charge. One of the updates will be less environmentally-friendly though as Nissan will also offer the option of a dark leather interior to 2013 purchasers of the Leaf.

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Nissan America’s director of product and advanced planning, Mark Perry, told the Detroit News that the Leaf’s developers had leaned towards “green, recycled materials,” for the interior of the eco-friendly electric car. But apparently “Nissan’s customers told them otherwise, saying that they want leather.” It would appear that while customers can be motivated to buy a zero-emissions electric car, when shelling out the somewhat luxury price of $35,200 (before tax credits), many expect the traditional trappings of a luxury vehicle, leather interior included. Sales of the Chevrolet Volt would seem to further support this, and GM spokesman Rob Peterson told the Detroit News that about three-quarters of Volt models sold or leased have leather.

+ Nissan Leaf

Via The Detroit News

Images by, Tom Raftery, MSVG and kosabe on Flickr