Nissan LEAF was introduced in December 2010, as the world's first affordable, zero emission car for the mass market. With that formula, consumer adoption has taken off, making LEAF the world's best-selling, 100-percent electric vehicle.
For 2015, Nissan LEAF continues to make it "easy to be green," offering the space and range to meet everyday needs, while also providing an exceptional value proposition due to zero spending on gas, lower operating and maintenance costs and a starting price after tax incentives competitive with a comparable gas-powered car.
Along with saving money, Nissan LEAF buyers are discovering its value as a primary everyday vehicle – with High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) access (check local regulations), range that is more than twice the average driver's daily need* and LEAF's fun-to-drive instant, smooth acceleration and handling character.
The estimated driving range for the 2015 LEAF on a fully charged battery is rated by the EPA at 84 miles and MPGe ratings are 126 City, 101 Highway and 114 Combined.
In addition to zero tailpipe emissions and convenience of charging at home, LEAF drivers enjoy a smooth, quiet ride with its running noise of just 21 decibels measuring less than a typical ceiling fan (26 dB).
The 2015 Nissan LEAF is available in three trim levels: LEAF S, SV and SL, along with option packages offering advanced systems such as Around View® Monitor and Energy Efficient Series Bose® premium audio system. Enhancements for 2015 include a new MorningSky Blue exterior color (late availability), the addition of Hands-Free Text Messaging Assistant and Voice Destination Entry for SV and SL grades, and new standard 17-inch aluminum-alloy wheels for the SV grade (late availability). Also, the base LEAF S grade receives standard "B-Mode," which engages regenerative braking more aggressively while decelerating. All 2015 LEAF models include three drive modes: Normal, Eco-Mode and B-Mode.
A Dedicated Electric Vehicle (EV) Platform, Innovative Battery Design
The front-wheel drive LEAF uses a dedicated EV platform with batteries housed in the floor for optimum vehicle packaging and weight distribution. The body design includes a rigid-mounted battery frame, which helps provide greater body rigidity compared to a conventional compact car.
LEAF rides on a 106.3-inch wheelbase, with a 175.0-inch overall length, 69.7-inch width and 61.0-inch height. Nissan LEAF provides room for five adults and 24 cubic feet of cargo space. Placing the batteries in the floor of the vehicle provides optimum weight distribution to help enhance handling and allows for five-passenger seating by not intruding into the cabin space.
LEAF's 24 kWh lithium-ion battery pack contains 48 compact modules of four cells each (192 cells total), which allows a high degree of packaging flexibility. The batteries are designed to maximize driving range and minimize charging time. Unlike conventional cylindrical batteries, the thin, compact laminated cells offer more flexibility in design applications. The battery powers a high-response 80kW AC synchronous motor, rated at 107 horsepower and 187 lb-ft of torque, which drives the front wheels through a single-speed reducer.
Nissan LEAF offers a number of charging options. A charge port is located in the front body for the 240V charger and portable trickle-charge cable (110V). A charge port light and lock are standard. The available Quick Charge Port (standard on SL, optional on S, SV) allows charging to 80 percent capacity in 30 minutes at public charging stations using a CHAdeMO fast charger. There is also a standard photovoltaic solar panel spoiler on SL models, which supports charging of the 12-volt battery for vehicle accessories.
LEAF SV and SL grades feature a 6.6 kW onboard charger that require less than five hours at 240V for a full charge. The system is an option on LEAF S, which in standard form utilizes a 3.6 kW onboard charger. All LEAF models come with a standard portable trickle charge cable.
Unlike a conventional internal combustion engine, LEAF has 100 percent of its torque available from start, delivering smooth, consistent acceleration and driving feel similar to a conventional V6 engine. Smooth ride and handling are provided through use of an independent strut suspension with stabilizer bar in front and a torsion beam rear suspension with integrated stabilizer bar. Nissan LEAF utilizes a vehicle-speed-sensitive electric power steering system, while responsive braking is provided by power-assisted front vented disc/solid rear disc brakes with Anti-lock Braking System (ABS), Electronic Brake Force Distribution (EBD) and Brake Assist.
The standard regenerative braking system in LEAF helps increase range. By applying the brakes or reducing speed by letting off the accelerator, the electric motor acts as an electric generator, converting energy that would otherwise be wasted into battery energy. The "B-mode" (standard on all grades) allows the driver to engage an even more aggressive level of regenerative braking while decelerating, such as when going down hills. B-mode is offered in addition to the normal and Eco drive modes. Eco mode increases regenerative braking, assists in limiting motor output and reduces HVAC power output.
Because Nissan LEAF does not have an internal combustion engine, Nissan has incorporated an "Approaching Vehicle Sound for Pedestrians" system, which is designed to alert pedestrians that a vehicle is approaching. When driving at low speeds, the system emits a sound from a speaker at the front of the vehicle. When the vehicle's speed reaches 19 mph, pedestrians are able to hear the car moving and the "approaching sound" automatically turns off. If the vehicle speed drops below 16 mph, the sound comes on again.
Exterior Designed for "Smart Fluidity"
The uniquely styled Nissan LEAF exterior features a fusion of sophisticated aerodynamic management with the design freedom provided by the EV layout. The smooth, elegant movement of the body starts from the low, compact hood, moves through the iconic shoulder character line and on toward the large rear spoiler.
The distinctive exterior styling is characterized by sharp, upright V-shaped design featuring long, up-slanting headlights. The headlights split and redirect airflow away from the door mirrors, reducing wind noise and drag.
LED low-beam headlights, which consume about half of the electricity of halogen headlights, are standard on LEAF SL and optional on SV. Heated outside mirrors are standard on all grades. In the rear, the slim-type aerodynamic LED taillight design and crisp corners combine with the aerodynamic rear bumper with rear diffuser to manage the aerodynamics of the rear end without compromising rear interior roominess. Nissan LEAF's coefficient of drag is 0.28.
The exterior also utilizes a flat underbody (including a large front flat floor cover, electric motor area undercover, front undercover and rear diffuser with fins) to help manage airflow under the vehicle. An innovative vortex-shedding, roof-mounted antenna is one of many design elements used to help reduce wind noise. Other noise-reduction features include a quiet-operation windshield wiper motor, a sound-insulation windshield design and a dual-isolated, motor-mounting system. The five-door hatchback design also features chrome door handles, aerodynamic outside mirrors and a large greenhouse to provide a bright interior environment.
Two different wheel designs are offered: 16-inch steel wheels with full wheel covers for LEAF S and split five-spoke, 17-inch aluminum-alloy wheels for LEAF SV (late availability) and SL. Bridgestone Ecopia 205/55R16 all-season tires are used with the S grade, while 215/50R17 Michelin Energy Saver all-season tires are standard on SV (late availability) and SL.
Seven exterior colors are available: Gun Metallic, Brilliant Silver, Super Black, Cayenne Red, new-for-2015 MorningSky Blue (late availability), and Glacier White and Pearl White are now available on all trims (late availability)
Distinctive "EV Touch" Interior
The roomy Nissan LEAF interior offers a pleasingly modern design with a bright, welcoming atmosphere. The wide, high tech instrument panel design is dominated by a twin combination meter display in front of the driver and a center "floating" C-stack with a 4.3-inch color LCD display (S grade). A 7.0-inch display is standard on SV and SL grades. The digital "eyebrow" display at the top of the instrument panel provides high visibility for the Eco indicator and speedometer, while the lower liquid crystal meter display houses the percentage style state-of-charge meter, power meter, battery temperature gauge, multi-function display, remaining energy gauge, capacity level gauge and distance-to-empty display.
The flat panel center C-stack cluster includes the color monitor for the standard RearView Monitor and control of the audio and climate systems, as well as the Nissan Navigation system (standard on SV and SL) and Around View® Monitor (available on SV and SL). The display also provides access to the CARWINGS telematics system (standard on SV and SL), which is connected to a Nissan data center, (subscription required, no charge for 36 months).
Nissan LEAF drivers can use web-enabled mobile phones to turn on climate control and set charging functions remotely via the available CARWINGS telematics system (SV and SL models only), even when the vehicle is powered down. An onboard timer can also be programmed to start the charging event (standard on all grades).
Standard on SV and SL grades is the Nissan Navigation System with NavTraffic (SiriusXM subscription required, sold separately). EV-IT highlights include an "Eco route" feature for the available navigation system that includes suggested power-saving alternative routes, plus Google® local search, Pandora® link for iPhone® and iPod® cover art. The system also displays "reachable area," as well as showing a selection of nearby charging stations.
The Google Places search function allows LEAF owners to look for area restaurants, shops and other points of interest and browse user reviews using Google's POI database to get the most up-to-date information at all times.
Added to the EV-IT system for 2015 are Voice Destination Entry (VDE) and Hands-Free Text Messaging Assistant (part of NissanConnectSM), drivers can manage incoming text messages via voice control without taking their hands from the wheel or eyes off the road. Drivers are alerted to an incoming text and, after initiating the system, can hear the text read out loud and respond via voice recognition, or via the steering wheel switches using pre-set answers such as "driving, can't text," "on my way," "running late," "okay" or a custom message.
The 2015 Nissan LEAF interior also includes standard heated front bucket seats and a 60/40 split folding heated rear seat and rear HVAC duct. LEAF SV seat fabric is made with partially recycled materials. Recycled materials are also used for the back door trim, roof trim and headliner, carpeting and a number of other interior pieces such as the door panels and center console storage cover. LEAF SL includes standard leather-appointed seats. Rear cargo space measures a full 24 cubic feet with the 2nd row seat upright. There is 30 cubic feet of cargo space with the standard 60/40-split rear seat folded down.
The center console area includes the palm shifter for the "by wire" drive selector. The standard heated, three-spoke, leather-wrapped steering wheel houses controls for cruise control (now standard on all grades), audio system and standard Bluetooth® Hands-free Phone System. SiriusXM Satellite Radio (SiriusXM subscription required, sold separately) is also standard, with HomeLink® Universal Transceiver standard on SL models.
Three audio systems are offered, starting with an AM/FM/CD with MP3/WMA CD playback capability, four speakers and 4.3-inch color LCD display for LEAF S. LEAF SV and SL add two additional speakers, the 7.0-inch display and Pandora® link for iPhone®. The Energy Efficient Series Bose® premium audio system is part of the Premium Package option on SV and SL grade vehicles.
Two interior colors are offered: Black (S, SV, SL) or Light Gray (SV only).
Standard LEAF safety systems include Nissan Advanced Air Bag System (AABS) with dual-stage supplemental front air bags with seat belt sensors and occupant classification sensor, front seat-mounted side impact supplemental air bags, roof-mounted curtain side impact supplemental air bags for front and rear-seat outboard occupant head protection, three-point ALR/ELR seat belts (driver's seat ELR only) with pretensioners and load limiters, child seat upper tether anchor, LATCH (Lower Anchors and Tethers for CHildren) system and child safety rear door locks. Vehicle Dynamic Control (VDC) and Traction Control System (TCS) are also standard on all LEAF models.
Three Well-Equipped Models, Three Option Packages
The 2015 Nissan LEAF is offered in three well-equipped models, the LEAF S, LEAF SV and LEAF SL. Standard features include a six-way manual driver's seat, four-way manual front passenger's seat, trip computer (instant and average energy consumption, driving time, outside temperature and autonomy range), Automatic Temperature Control (ATC), center console storage, RearView Monitor and 3.6 kW onboard charger. Other standard equipment includes Nissan Intelligent Key® with Push Button Start, power windows with driver's window one-touch auto up/down, power door locks with auto locking feature, remote charge door release, two cupholders, four bottle holders, variable intermittent windshield wipers, a 12-volt power outlet and 16-inch steel wheels with full wheel covers.
The Nissan LEAF SV model adds Nissan Navigation system, 7.0-inch color LCD screen, CARWINGS telematics, six-speaker audio system, Pandora® link for iPhone®, 6.6 kW onboard charger, a hybrid heater system that provides superior cold weather performance while consuming less energy, auto-dimming inside mirror, partially recycled cloth seat fabric, passenger side map pocket and 17-inch aluminum-alloy wheels (late availability).
The 2015 LEAF SL model adds a photovoltaic solar panel spoiler, fog lights, auto on/off headlights, cargo cover, HomeLink® Universal Transceiver, Quick Charge Port, leather-appointed seats and LED low beam headlights.
Three option packages are offered, allowing buyers to further select the exact equipment and features for their needs. The Quick Charge Package (S grade only) includes the 6.6 kW onboard charger and Quick Charge Port. The LED Headlights + Quick Charge Port Package (SV grade only) includes LED low beam headlights, auto on/off headlights, fog lights and Quick Charge Port. Finally, the Premium Package (SV and SL grades) offers the advanced Around View® Monitor and Energy Efficient Series Bose® seven-speaker audio.
A Roadside Assistance program is offered for 36 months at no charge, as is service for the CARWINGS telematics system. The advanced lithium-ion battery pack carries an industry-competitive limited warranty of eight years or 100,000 miles, whichever comes first. Under an expanded New Electric Vehicle Limited Warranty, Nissan will protect against battery capacity loss below nine bars of capacity as shown on the vehicle's battery capacity level gauge for the first five years or 60,000 miles, whichever comes first.
The 2015 Nissan LEAF is assembled in the United States at Nissan's Smyrna, Tenn., assembly plant, with battery assembly taking place next door in the country's largest lithium-ion automotive battery plant. Nissan is currently the only automaker that manufactures its own electric vehicle (EV) batteries.
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Charging times and range estimates may vary depending on driving/charging habits, weather, temperature and battery age. The 6.6kW onboard charger is a standard feature on SV and SL trims. It is an optional feature on the S trim.
* Source: Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) 2009 National Household Travel Survey (NHTS).