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New Nissan Leaf Loses Weight, Gains Range

The Nissan Leaf was originally released in 2010, so one wouldn’t expect it due for any radical changes quite yet, but Nissan isn’t sitting on its haunches waiting to release its latest enhancements.

Takeshi Miyamoto, a Nissan Electric Vehicle engineering director, says Nissan Leaf’s improvements are ready now and will be ready now, which is good for people considering an electric vehicle. The new Leaf has lost 175lbs by redesigning the battery structure and electric powertrain. The 80kW electric motor has been combined with the invertor and power delivery module, reducing size by 30% and weight by 10%. The lithium-ion [Li-ion] rechargeable battery has been lightened and streamlined, reducing weight by 44lbs.

Power output and battery capacity remain the same, but the lighter weight is easier to throw around, increasing vehicle range. Power-saving devices, such as the cabin heater, have been employed to cut consumption by 50%. The power-recovery device [regenerative braking] has also been modified and works as low as 1.9mph, meaning more energy goes back into the battery. With all these improvements, the new Nissan Leaf has about 14% more range, 142.5mi compared to 125mi of the current vehicle.
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