Nissan's 2016 Leaf SV, SL do 107 miles per battery charge

Nissan Leaf
2016 Nissan Leaf

What's that? You will get 107 miles on a single charge? No doubt the claim is designed to ring in your ears, as the Nissan Leaf makes its introductions to the public about how it has a new 2016 Leaf which is capable of achieving that range. Sean O'Kane in The Verge wrote about Nissan's battery feature.

He reported on a 27 percent boost to its capacity, bumping it from 24 kWh to 30 kWh. An EPA-estimated range is 107 miles on a single charge.

Nissan made the announcement on Thursday. "Nissan today introduced the 2016 all-electric Leaf with an available 30 kWh battery that provides an EPA-estimated best-in-class range of 107 miles – a 27-percent increase over the previous 24 kWH battery. The new battery is standard for Leaf SV and Leaf SL models."

A Nissan spokesperson noted the desire to develop striking an "ideal balance between capacity, packaging, durability and affordability." The new battery comes standard on the SV and SL models of the Leaf; these are Nissan's mid- and high-level trims, said The Verge. (The Leaf is available in three trim levels: S, SV and SL.)

The , meanwhile, is more than just a capacity boost, said Bengt Halvorson on Thursday in The Car Connection. "Nissan says that it's upgraded the structure of the cells and improved the electrode material with a revised chemistry bringing better battery durability, too. And it weighs just 46 pounds more than the smaller-capacity battery."

Nissan had this explanation about its battery approach:

"Often when is simply increased, the battery's durability and compatibility with quick chargers may deteriorate. The new 30 kWh battery design adds capacity without increasing battery package size by improving the cell structure of the laminated lithium-ion battery cells. Improved electrode material with revised chemistry results in higher power density and contributes to enhanced battery durability upon charge and discharge."

Nissan also said that "While the 24 kWh battery is composed of four cells per module (192 cells total), the new 30 kWh battery's modules contain eight newly designed cells per module (192 cells total). Unlike conventional cylindrical batteries, the thin, compact laminated offer more flexibility in packaging and design applications. The 30 kWh weighs just 46 pounds more than the 24 kWh battery pack and has the same battery pack size and footprint."

Another pleasant surprise for owners is the entertainment system on the SV and SL versions of the Leaf.

Nissan in its press announcement called it "an enhanced IT system that is more user-friendly and gives drivers greater vehicle connectivity." Nissan said one can expect to see improvements in the menu screen graphics and customization process; charging screen information is automatically updated each time the ignition is turned on and with every 12 miles of driving.

As for price, Nissan said the Leaf offers the value proposition of zero spending on gas, lower maintenance costs and a starting price after tax incentives competitive with a comparable gas-powered car.

The 2016 model has three new exterior colors: "Forged Bronze, Coulis Red and Deep Blue Pearl."

Leaf and its battery are assembled in the United States at Nissan's Smyrna assembly plant.

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More information: Press release: … Class-107-Mile-Range

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User comments

Sep 11, 2015
This is great news, hopefully more people will buy these amazing cars.
I love mine to bits, even with its lower range!

Sep 22, 2015
I wish they would give more info than KWh. That's tells you almost nothing. I would like to see voltage and amp hour ratings on them.

Oct 28, 2015
"I wish they would give more info than KWh. That's tells you almost nothing. I would like to see voltage and amp hour ratings on them."

What do you need that for?

They already state 8 cells per module, 192 cells total. The voltage of the battery is around 400 Volts to enable quick charging, so that means 24 modules with 4s2p cell configuration for a nominal 355 Volt battery. That means the total capacity is about 85 Amp-hours.

Each module in a series must have the same 85 Ah capacity, so each individual cell in the module in a 4s2p configuration is half that at ~43 Ah.

The previous Leaf used 60 Ah prismatic cells. The voltage of each cell is a lithium-typical 3.7 Volts nominal. (2.5 - 4.2 V)

The question is, so what?

Oct 28, 2015
The previous 24 kWh battery was arranged in 48 modules of 2s2p cells each.

The reason for the module configuration is charge balancing. You can only charge a couple lithium cells in series because the different capacities of the cells mean that one will get full before the others and attempting to force any more current in will destroy the cell. In other words, all the cells in the same string can only be charged up to the capacity of the weakest cell.

By integrating more cells in series per module (4s instead of 2s) they halve the amount of charge balancing electronics and packaging structure, but they need better cells with more uniform properties and better quality management.

That's another part of the puzzle that people don't think about when they see battery prices at so-and-so many dollars per kWh. The cheapest cells available are highly variable in quality, and cannot be used in EVs or other bulk storage systems - they're only suitable for use as single cells.

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