Nissan doesn't want chairman's arrest to overshadow the Leaf's debut.
When it introduced the second generation of the Leaf electric car in 2017, Nissan promised that a "higher power, longer range version at a higher price" would arrive in 2019. However, with Nissan chairman Carlos Ghosn embroiled in a scandal, it seems we'll have to wait a little longer for that long-range Leaf.
Reuters quoted an unnamed Nissan spokesperson as saying the introduction of the long-range Leaf has been delayed because of Ghosn's legal troubles. The automaker reportedly wants to time the car's introduction, "to ensure that this important product unveiling could receive the coverage it merits." The car was reportedly scheduled to debut this week at events in Japan and Amsterdam. Nissan apparently has not yet set a date for the reveal of the new model, and it's unclear whether or by how much this delay will set back the retail launch of the bigger-battery Leaf in 2019.
A Nissan spokesman told Roadshow by email that the company had no further comment on the Reuters report.
The 2018 Nissan Leaf has a 40-kilowatt-hour battery pack, which gives it a driving range of 151 miles per charge in EPA testing. The new, longer-range version is expected to offer a 60-kWh battery pack, which would allow it to compete with rivals like the Chevy Bolt EV's 60-kWh battery and the Hyundai Kona Electric's 64-kWh unit. It's rumored to be called the "e-Plus" or "e+" when it does debut.