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2016 Nissan Leaf gets increased 155-mile range with new battery

The electric hatchback will have a 155-mile range when it goes on sale in December with a new 30kW battery option

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The Nissan Leaf has been fitted with a new 30kWh battery to extend its driving range to 155 miles, a 25% improvement over the 24kW unit. The car will go on sale in December 2015 with minor exterior changes and a new colour option.

What is it?

The Leaf 30kWh is a range-topper following the introduction of a new battery, improving driving range to 155 miles between charges.

The new battery can be charged from a standard three-pin plug and through public chargers of rapid chargers (three-phase, 400V). Charging points can now be located through the navigation system, which will take you to the nearest one of the near 500 Leaf-friendly rapid charging points across the UK. More than 95% of the UK’s motorway network is now covered.

Nissan claims that the driving range can be improved by using smartphone technology as it can pre-heat or pre-cool the cabin without using the car's main battery energy.

What engines can I choose from?

The new 30kWh version joins the 124-mile 24kWh battery in the range. Both versions benefit from a zero car tax rating.

How much equipment does it come with?

The 24kWh car is available in Visia, Acenta and Tekna trims, with 30 kWh cars available in Acenta and Tekna.

A new infotainment system makes its way into the car with Nissan Connect EV. The Nissan Connect EV replaces the current Car Wings system and features an improved 7.0in touchscreen navigation system with a new design, making it easier to use.

Visia trim comes with steel wheels, cloth seats and Bluetooth. Acenta adds alloy wheels, Nissan Connect EV, climate control, automatic headlights, reversing camera and privacy glass.

Tekna trim gets heated leather seats front and rear, a 360deg parking camera and a Bose sound system.

How much will it cost?

The 30kWh battery option adds a premium of Β£1600 over the 24kWh cars.

Prices start from Β£20,790 including the Β£5000 UK government Plug-in Car Grant for a 24kWh Visia and rise to Β£27,940 (including UK government grant) for a 30kWh Tekna with a 6kW charger and solar cell.

How good are its rivals?

Nissan’s key electric rivals are the Volkswagen e-Golf, Audi A3 e-tron and BMW i3, which are all impressive four-star cars. The Leaf also faces competition from hybrid cars such as the Toyota Prius.

By Matthew Griffiths