The magic number: Nissan's next-generation Leaf will achieve a 200-mile range

That will put it right up against two very hotly anticipated forthcoming EVs: the Chevrolet Bolt and Tesla Model 3.

If the next Leaf looks anything like the IDS concept here, shut up and take my money!

Chris Paukert/Roadshow

When it came out, the Nissan Leaf's battery pack was deemed ample, its 24-kWh battery providing some 70 to 80 miles of range. But now, in a segment soon to be lousy with 200-mile EVs from Chevrolet and Tesla, those numbers just aren't enough to be competitive. Thankfully, there's a new Leaf on the way, and it's going to address that problem.

Nissan EV chief Kazuo Yajima, speaking to AutoblogGreen, confirmed that the next-generation Leaf will sport a 60-kWh battery pack, which should grant it a range of about 200 miles. That's on par with both the Tesla Model 3 and the Chevrolet Bolt, as well as the base version of the Tesla Model S, which is in an entirely different segment.

While that part might be nailed down with certainty, there's still a whole lot we don't know for certain about this new Leaf. We're not quite sure when it's debuting, or what it will look like, although I've been told more than once to look to parts of Nissan's IDS concept for a rough idea of its styling. Given the recent changes to its sedan lineup, as well as the 2017 GT-R, I wouldn't be surprised to find angular headlights and a "V-Motion" grille in there, at the least. While Nissan sort-of confirmed that the 60-kWh battery pack would be involved in the next-gen Leaf, it also reiterated that the company does not officially comment on future products.

If Nissan can pull off its timing, it could even take a bite out of Tesla's Model 3 presales. Over 300,000 individuals have placed refundable deposits for the automaker's "affordable" model, but potentially pricey options and a murky production timetable could send a few buyers in Nissan's direction, provided the car is on sale ahead of the Tesla.

In the interim, Nissan's doing what it can to prop up sales of the current Leaf. The 2016 model now offers a larger, 30 kWh battery pack, bumping its range north of 100 miles. The car's styling is still on the old side, however, and its "unique" touches -- like the shifter that looks plucked from a MechWarrior arcade game -- age faster than more traditional-looking competitors, such as the Kia Soul EV.

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