Making a conscious effort to improve the Nissan Leaf electric car, the Japanese automaker is planning to upgrade the interior and heating system among several other changes when production moves to Nissan’s new Smyrna, Tenn. assembly line in anticipation for meeting demand in all 50 states.
The 2013 Nissan Leaf will have an available darker interior rather than the white color it’s currently saddled with, as well as the availability of leather. Initially, Nissan forwent the cow-hide option because it wanted to use “clean, recycled materials” exclusively, according to Mark Perry, director of product planning for Nissan. But he said customers are asking for it, as well as the darker interior. Interestingly enough, three-fourths of Chevrolet Volts are optioned with leather interiors.
Additionally, Nissan is upgrading the Leaf’s heater to better compensate with colder climates. The Environmental Protection Agency has rated the Nissan Leaf with a range of 73 miles per charge, although Nissan says it can go as many as 100 miles. When used in cold, however, it was shown to greatly diminish driving range.
As a result, Nissan is planning to change its heater for the 2013 model year so that range in cold-weather climates increases “20 to 25 miles,” according the Perry.
The Nissan Leaf recently went on sale in all 50 states, yet it is currently backlogged with orders. Nissan says to expect the upgraded 2013 Nissan Leaf in showrooms by December, helping commence the start of Nissan’s all-out assault on its goal of reaching 150,000 annual electric car sales in the U.S.—up significantly from its last year’s figure of 9,674 in only about half of U.S. states.
Source: Detroit News