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Nissan Leaf: Carmaker drops price, raises range of Japanese model

Nissan is launching a less expensive Leaf electric vehicle in Japan that has a longer driving range than the current model. Analysts expect to see a similar move in the U.S. as the automaker tries to boost tepid sales of the car.

The new version in Japan will cost about 11% less and have a 15% increase in range.

Nissan noted that the new model is designed specifically for the Japanese market but has previously said it plans an upgrade of the U.S. version of the car as it gets ready to start building the Leaf and its battery pack at the Nissan factory complex in Smyrna, Tenn.

The company isn’t expected to release details about the U.S. version of the 2013 model year Leaf until early next year.

Video: What’s interesting at the auto show

“You can’t make any assumptions based on that specific model in Japan,” said Travis Parman, a Nissan spokesman. “Ratings such as range differ based on the governmental testing procedures in individual markets.”


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