Brand new Leaf to be constructed in United States
Nissan Motors did not get its electric Leaf into showroom in all Fifty states until recently. Even so, 9,700 units sold to United States drivers in 2011. The 2013 design, boasting many brand new upgrades, will start production on U.S. soil, perhaps as soon as Dec.. The Japanese car maker promises to assemble the automobiles in its Smyrna, Tenn. plant.
Answering customer needs
The brand new Leaf is going to have a better heater system, leather upholstery and a darker trip on the inside. These changes are being made based on product feedback, Mark Perry told Detroit News as Nissan's director of product and advance planning.
Leather for the less 'green'
The Leaf vehicles have been known for how environmentally friendly they are, but that has not stopped consumers from requesting to have the choice of leather seats. In 2013, Nissan will give customers that choice. The rival Chevrolet Volt already has the option.
Currently, the Leaf only comes with clean-looking, light-hued plastic interior fixtures. Some consumers have expressed a desire for a darker finish inside. Nissan is providing that as an option, as well.
Getting the heating unit fixed
Heaters have been problematic in electric automobiles because they draw so much power and drastically reduce the range of the automobile. The 2013 Leaf, claims the car maker, will feature a brand new, more efficient heating system that could deliver more miles in cold weather.
The Leaf can go 75 miles when the conditions are ideal, the Environmental Protection Agency explained.
Keeping consumers warm
Nissan Motors added heated seats and a heated steering wheel to the 2012 model to be able to keep consumers warm. A rear climate-vent was also added.
Hoping to bring assembly to US
Nissan Motors is hoping to be able to get more customers in the United States by moving production to the States. It is going to have the Decherd, Tenn., plant making the electric motors for the Leaf by early next year, and it is working to retool the Smyrna, Tenn., plant to get it ready for production. The lithium-ion battery packs will be made nearby also. Right now, all of this is currently done in Oppama, Japan.
Start date unknown
Brian Brockman is the Nissan spokesman that could not tell any person when manufacturing is going to begin in the Smyrna plant, according to Motor Trend. The Detroit News estimates that production will start in early December though.