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New Nissan Leaf e+ 2020 electric car with bigger battery coming to take on Tesla Model 3

The Nissan Leaf e+ will travel up to 385km on a single charge thanks to its larger battery.

Nissan Australia is preparing to launch a longer-legged Leaf electric car called e+ that will boost its driving range by around 40 per cent, though exact timing is still to be confirmed.

Speaking exclusively to CarsGuide, Nissan boss Stephen Lester said: “We don’t have a date (for Leaf e+), but we look forward to giving (the Leaf) more visibility soon.

“e+ we’re pretty excited about, and it offers some variability within the model range with the 62kWh battery and, obviously at the end of the day, with 40 per cent more range that will also be even more appealing to a broader range of consumers,” he said.

The 22kWh-larger battery enables to Leaf e+ to travel up to 385km on a single charge – a 115km jump over the standard all-electric hatchback’s 270km range.

In addition to the bigger capacity battery, the Leaf e+ also scores a more powerful 160kW/340Nm electric motor, up from 110kW/320Nm, that feeds the front wheels.

As a result, the zero-to-100km/h is cut by 0.6 seconds to 7.3s, while top speed increases by 13km/h to 157km/h.

Faster 100kW DC charging also features on the Leaf e+, though recharge times remain similar due to the bigger battery.

Though timing for the Australian introduction of the Leaf e+ remains unclear, Nissan recently rolled out an updated Leaf in Japan that sports revised advanced driver safety systems and a newer 9.0-inch multimedia touchscreen.

Nissan Australia could line-up the arrival of the updated Leaf model and e+ version, possibly sometime later this year.

The new Leaf's central touchscreen now measures 9.0 inches in diameter. The new Leaf's central touchscreen now measures 9.0 inches in diameter.

The upgraded Leaf e+ should also be a much better match for Australia’s cheapest all-electric vehicle, the Hyundai Ioniq Electric, which boasts a driving range of 373km thanks to a 38.3kWh battery, as well as the cheapest Tesla Model 3’s 460km range.

When asked if he was happy with the second-generation Nissan Leaf’s performance in the Australian market so far, especially in a segment that is increasingly becoming more populated, Mr Lester said the more EVs introduced the better.

“The competition is great, it is really what helped propel the conversation and, in general, the impetus for change and for people’s belief in the fact that EVs are not only going to stick around, but that they really are going to be part of the future and that they’re a smart purchase today,” he said.

“So, we’re actually really quite bolstered by the fact that there’s more competition out there.

“It’s not to say that it was boring with only ourselves, but the reality is that I think that’s good for everybody in it, and its good for consumers as well. And it helps keeps us on our toes.”

Pricing for the Leaf e+ will also be revealed closer to launch, but for reference the standard Leaf wears a $49,990 before on-road costs pricetag.

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