Improvements include an extended driving range, greater recyclability, more interior space, better charging performance, more equipment and, with three versions now available, greater choice. Subtle styling changes to the nose of the car have improved its already impressive aerodynamic efficiency.
Many of the changes have come as a direct result of feedback from pioneering LEAF owners. With some of the most active Internet forums of any car-owning group, LEAF drivers have become enthusiastic advocates of zero-emission mobility and of the car itself - LEAF enjoys the highest customer satisfaction rating of any Nissan model with a score of 93 per cent.
As well as discussions about various aspects of life with a LEAF, the forums are used by owners to offer tips and hints to fellow users, as well as to suggest a number of improvements that could be made to the game-changing car. By monitoring this feedback and by holding regular owner events to gain further input, Nissan has incorporated many of the suggestions into New LEAF.
In addition to this human feedback, Nissan has been able to get feedback from aggregated data from the unique Carwings telematics system, which is at the heart of LEAF. This powerful feature gives customers the ability to control the heating and charging of their car remotely and also logs information on charging, usage patterns and distance driven. With LEAF having been on sale for more than two years, engineers at Nissan have been able to use some of the data collected to optimise the car in line with actual customer usage.
Changes range from a new powertrain assembly that greatly enhances the car's practicality to simple modifications, such as the addition of an LED inspection light within the charging port making overnight charging that much easier.
At the time of the 2012 Geneva Motor Show, for example, there were 150 Nissan LEAF dealers across Europe and 195 Quick Chargers, capable of charging a battery to 80 per cent capacity in less than 30 minutes. Today, just 12 months later, there are 1,400 dealers and more than 600 Quick Chargers, while the number of conventional public chargers has increased from 12,000 to more than 20,000.
The dramatic expansion in Quick Chargers has been facilitated in part by Nissan, which has provided a number of the units to local authorities to accelerate the development of Quick Charging ‘Highways' between cities across Europe. To date, Nissan is behind the installations of 200 Quick Chargers, both at dealers and strategic locations, and plans to triple this figure over the next 12 months.