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The Nissan LEAF: evolution of the species

The range and capabilities of Nissan’s all-electric family hatchback have taken a huge leap forward in the last 10 years. We examine how the electric pioneer has continued to set the EV standard...

Nissan LEAFs

When the original Nissan LEAF launched in 2010, the all-electric family hatchback set new benchmarks for electric range, everyday practicality and affordability. As a result, it became one of the best-selling EVs in the world[1].

Nissan has never been one to rest on its laurels, though, and has maintained a laser-like focus on research, design and engineering to continually improve the efficiency of its electric powertrains, while also reducing their size and weight. The result: today’s Nissan LEAF e+ models are better than ever before. This is how the electric pioneer has evolved.

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Nissan LEAF

2010 Nissan LEAF

The original Nissan LEAF was a game-changer, blending family hatchback practicality with a 24kWh battery for an urban-friendly 109-mile range (NEDC). With a purchase price that compared well to rival family cars, and low charging costs and whole-life costs that made the Nissan LEAF cheaper to run in the long-term when compared to petrol and diesel models, it brought electric driving to the mainstream.

Nissan LEAF e+

2020 Nissan LEAF e+

Nissan unveiled a fresh new look for the LEAF in 2018. Using advanced lithium-ion batteries that are 67% more energy dense, its 40kWh battery can now deliver 168 miles (WLTP)[2] of zero tailpipe emissions range for true long-distance practicality.

Development didn’t stop there, though. Today's 62kWh Nissan LEAF e+ models boast even more range – 239 miles (WLTP)[2] – while next-gen electric motors deliver up to 217PS and 340Nm of confidence-inspiring torque. More compact batteries offer 100 litres more load space, while advanced Intelligent Mobility ProPILOT driver assistance aids and a user-friendly e-Pedal help to make every journey safer, easier and more low-stress[3].

Combined with a comprehensive, still-growing UK charging network that offers even more rapid charging options, it’s no wonder that the Nissan LEAF became the first electric car to pass 400,000 sales worldwide. That’s the mark of progress.

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[1] Best-selling claim based on the Nissan LEAF as the first EV to achieve 400,000 units sold worldwide in 2019.

[2] Laminated lithium-ion 40kWh battery with up to 168 miles range and e+ 62kWh battery with up to 239 miles range. WLTP figures shown are for comparability purposes. Actual real-world driving results may vary depending on factors such as the starting charge of the battery, accessories fitted after registration, weather conditions, driving styles and vehicle load.

[3] It is your responsibility to stay alert, drive safely and be in control of the vehicle at all times. Driver assist features have speed and other limitations and should not be relied on. For more information, visit

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