Nissan Leaf to launch in India this year, likely as a CKD

Nissan India has been investigating the Leaf for the local market since the first generation, displaying at the Auto Expo 2012 to get the Indian public’s response to a proper (four-door) electric car. The second-generation Leaf was imported for road tests in 2018 and shown at select dealerships for customers to experience. The model was then spotted at the Nissan Digital Hub in Thiruvananthapuram and powering a projector screen for an ICC Cricket World Cup match at a mall in Chennai last year.

After several few delays, EVW now understands that Nissan will introduce the Leaf later this year in the market. Seeing the encouraging response to the Hyundai Kona and the MG ZS electric, Nissan is considering assembling the vehicle at its Oragadam plant to get the price closer to INR 30 lakh. The Leaf would carry the mandate of establishing a strong connect between electric cars and brand Nissan and aid the company in understanding the performance of electric cars in the Indian market. The learnings from introducing the Leaf would trickle into its Indian-made mass-market electric vehicle that is expected later in the decade. The Leaf is likely to go out into the market without a strict sales target.

Nissan Leaf was one of the first mass fully electric cars in the world when it was launched in 2010 and Nissan has sold over 400,000 units since. It is available in two battery packs. While the normal Leaf comes with a 40 kWh battery pack that offers a range of 270 km, the Leaf ePlus gets a 62 kWh battery pack with an extended range of 384 km (WLTP range).

Nissan Leaf gets a 110 kW motor (equivalent to 150 hp) with 320 Nm of torque and can accelerate from 0 to 100 km/h in just 7.9 seconds. The battery can be charged to 80% in 40 to 60 minutes with a 50 kW quick charger, it takes around 7.5 hours from alert to 100% with a 7 kW charger. The high-spec Leaf ePlus (official video above) gets a 160 kW motor with a torque of 340 Nm and charging times are similar to that of a normal Leaf when charged using a 100 kW charger.

Nissan Leaf EV interior view
With a recent update, Nissan has made several features as standard in the Leaf in select world markets. The 8-inch touchscreen infotainment that was available only in ePlus variant is now standard across all variants. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are also now standard.

The Nissan Leaf gets 6 airbags, ISOFIX hook, Anti-lock Braking System (ABS), Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD), Brake Assist (BA), and Hill Start Assist (HSA). The vehicle also gets the Vehicle Dynamic Control system that monitors steering and braking and compensates oversteer or understeer. The Leaf received a 5-star safety rating from Euro NCAP with 93 per cent rating for adult safety and 86 per cent for child protection. While the Nissan Leaf also gets ProPILOT driver assistance with ProPILOT Park, for fully autonomous parking at the touch of a button, some of these features would have be deleted for the car to be homologated.

For India, Nissan would likely bring down the regular Leaf as the Leaf Plus will push its already high price tag higher.

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