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Major upgrades announced for 2013 Nissan Leaf, as best-selling electric car competes against expanding field

Improvements include overhauled heating system, new interior decor

With electric cars more popular – and plentiful – than ever, the market-leading Nissan Leaf is going heavy on the upgrades to help it compete against a rapidly expanding field of competitors.

The 2013 Leaf, set for launch later this year, will get a serious set of improvements, Nissan’s Mark Perry told the Detroit News this week.

Chief among them will be an overhauled heating system, with the aim of combatting one of the real problems of electric vehicles to date:the drain of power-hungry climate control systems on the battery.

Armed with the new system, Perry told the Detroit News that the Leaf’s range could be boosted by up to 25 miles (40 km) in cold-weather conditions, a jump of 25 percent on the current maximum range.

The interior decor will also receive an overhaul, becoming darker and with leather seating replacing the green materials used in the model to date in a bid to give it a mo>re premium feel.

Nissan’s refresh comes on the back of falling sales figures this year, the Leaf finally giving way to the Volt in February, having outsold it in 2011.
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