The Leaf could be the first long-range EV that goes on sale in India
Thomas Kuehl, president of Nissan India, has confirmed that the second-gen Leaf, which was revealed in 2017, will be launched in India in the FY 2018-19. Hyundai is also stepping up to launch the Kona EV in India, but the South Korean carmaker is yet to lay a solid plan for its market launch. MG Motor also recently revealed to us that it is planning to launch the ZSe in India, which is the electric version of the ZS compact SUV.
While both the Kona and ZSe are compact SUVs (and have a lower range than Leaf), the Leaf is a hatchback. But it’s a big one, measuring over 4,480mm in length and nearly 1790mm in width. It has a wheelbase of 2700mm. In comparison, the current Mercedes-Benz A-Class hatchback in India has a total length of 4299mm (smaller than the Leaf by 181mm) and is 1780mm wide (Leaf is 10mm wider). However, the A-Class has a near identical wheelbase of 2699mm.
The Leaf is powered by a 150PS electric motor and there’s 320Nm of pulling power available at the first press of the throttle. It gets a 40kWh Li-ion battery that can store enough charge to keep it going for 400km (as per Japanese JC08 test cycle). Compare its performance against the A-Class powered by the 2143cc diesel engine, and the Leaf is more powerful by nearly 14PS and offers 20mm more torque too. Not to mention, the delivery of torque in the Merc’s case will not be linear.
The Leaf is available with ProPILOT autonomous drive technology that allows the car to take control of acceleration, steering and braking on a highway or while parking. It also gets the e-Pedal tech that lets the driver accelerate and decelerate by using the traditional accelerator pedal only. It comes with a 7-inch touchscreen infotainment system that offers Apple CarPlay connectivity and in-built navigation.
Nissan is also expected to reveal a more powerful version of the Leaf in late 2018 that will have a longer range than the current version. However, Nissan may not introduce the newer version here since the carmaker is already getting the existing version homologated. Since the Leaf will be imported into India, we don’t expect it to cost under Rs 30 lakh.
Kuehl has also said that Nissan will cut down its new product introduction cycle from one to two years to six months now, which means we should expect Nissan to have around two to three new products by the end of 2019 (related: Renault Nissan to focus on new products for India). The carmaker is already mulling to launch the Kicks SUV, which will compete in the compact SUV segment against the likes of the Hyundai Creta and Renault Captur, in India soon. Along with that, expect the Micra to get a minor update as well. Will the Terra SUV also come to India? Here’s why we think the Terra and Kicks should come.
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