Nissan to launch new Leaf electric vehicle

The new Nissan Leaf replaces the first-generation model, which has become the world's best-selling electric vehicle.

The Nissan Leaf may have neither the range nor cachet of a Tesla, but that hasn't stopped Nissan selling nearly 300,000 Leafs (Leaves?) since the car's introduction in 2010.

For a higher price, consumers will also have the option of purchasing a new high-power version of the EV from the end of next year with even better battery capacity, although Nissan has not revealed what the driving range of this high-end LEAF would be.

The Leaf is the world's best-selling electric vehicle, selling a cumulative almost 300,000 so far.

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Apart from improved design, the new Nissan Leaf gets improved battery life as well.

See for yourself: here are photos straight from Nissan's launch event in Tokyo.

But the Leaf looks to offer something different in the form of a new one-pedal driving system and an automatic parking system. Nissan also says the car's lower drag coefficient and improved aerodynamics over its predecessor make the cabin quieter than before.

The new Nissan Leaf has autonomous driving features plus Nissan's e-Pedal-a single brake+accelerator pedal-all priced under $30,000.

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Gone is the frumpy exterior design of the first-generation Leaf in favor a sleeker hatchback that incorporate some Nissan design traits of recent models with one of the most aerodynamic exterior designs in the industry. Even with the added features, Nissan lowered the price by $690 from the 2017 model, making it attractive to current owners, he said. The software will allow the Leaf to effectively drive itself on single-lane highway driving (when conditions allow), while ProPilot Park takes the hassle of parking the Leaf off of the driver. Nissan is looking to revive its EV sales with the redesigned Leaf.

The Tesla Model 3 can run at least 220 miles on a single charge and starts at $35,000 (€29,350), while General Motor's Chevy Bolt - with a range of 238 miles - starts at about $38,000 (€31,850), according to the companies.

Nonetheless, Nissan CEO Hiroto Saikawa said in a statement the new e-car strengthened the firm's "leadership" in the electric vehicle sector. The vehicle can be operated in one-pedal mode that automatically slows or stops the auto when the driver eases up on the accelerator, but still includes a brake pedal. If the accelerator is released, regenerative and friction brakes are applied automatically, bringing the Leaf to a complete stop.

But if the increased range is the new LEAF's headline act, it's got a very strong supporting bill with lots of new technology. The new version goes on sale in Japan next month and with deliveries in North America and Europe starting in January 2018.

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