Nissan 18 months too late with the LEAF plus

The 2019 Nissan LEAF “plus” has 226 miles of range.

editor's blog logoNissan has recently been making a big deal out of the so-called Nissan LEAF Plus — the LEAF that has a 62 kWh battery pack and a reported range of 226 miles.

Congrats to Nissan. But, honestly, you are just a little — well, to be honest, quite A LOT — late on your “long-range” LEAF.

Indeed, to be exact, the LEAF Plus arrives 18 months too late for me.

I leased a 2014 LEAF for 3+ years, waiting until Fall 2017 to see if Nissan would offer a 200+ mile EV. Nissan elected to short-change consumers and offered a 40 kWh battery pack. So, I leapt to a 2017 Chevy Bolt with a 60 kWh pack and 238 miles of range.

I ditched Nissan in Sept. 2017 — right after Nissan announced the 2018 LEAF would only have a 40 kWh battery pack and 150 miles of range — because the 2014 LEAF was my ONLY car after divorce “stole” my access to a second car (ICE), and my 90-mile LEAF was inadequate as an ONLY car (though I did make do as best I could). Basically, 150 miles was also not enough for me, again because I needed to make the car my ONLY car.

In fact, back in the Fall of 2017, it seemed to me that for some inexplicable reason Nissan made a decision to ditch the one-car ONLY household market, at least the one-car household in the United States, where we tend to drive more, and longer distances than in much of Europe and Asia, when it went with a smaller 40 kWh/150-mile LEAF.

The 238 miles the Bolt was offering was adequate to make it realistic as a one-car only car, hence my leap to the Bolt. In 18 months in my Bolt, I have driven 18,000 miles, including a 2,200 mile round-trip ride with my two teen girls from Denver to Santa Barbara and back, and I have never had to worry about range, something that was a constant stressor in my 2014 LEAF.

In the end, Nissan, you lost me, because you dawdled on a 200+ mile EV, and 200+ miles is high enough to make baseline in American ONE car households like mine while 150 miles doesn’t make grade for most of us one-car households.

It’s as simple as that.