A week or two Andy Palmer - chief public face from Nissan on their electric car plans - was quoted in a news article talking about the Gen2 Nissan Leaf. It's due for the 2017 model year, following a "normal" 4 year product cycle after the 2013 "global launch". The Leaf did launch in 2010/2011 in the US, but it was the 2013 model year where production was localized to each continent - a factory in Tennessee for North American sales, and one in England for European sales.
For the 2017 model year there's two primary things Palmer talked about
- Restyling the Leaf to look more normal - I take it some people thing the Leaf is ugly, but I don't grok that
- Longer driving range, due to majorly improved battery technology
He said that sometime this year ("soon") the "hot" battery will become available. That is, the Nissan Leaf battery that's reformulated to handle hot weather without an extra-fast capacity loss. There's plenty of Leaf owners who are complaining about losing capacity bars, and the hot pack is meant to address that concern.
It's not the major battery pack upgrade that's due in 2017 model year.
For that Palmer said something non-specific, and talked about how by 2017 an electric car must have a 180+ mile range to be competitive against the hydrogen fuel cell cars. He didn't mention Tesla Motors, but Tesla's plan is to start selling (in 2017) a $35,000 MSRP electric car w/ 200+ mile range, at a 100-200,000/year production volume. Palmer has to be considering that competitive threat as well.
In any case, he didn't explicitly say what the Leaf range will be in 2017, but acknowledged it has to be a lot more than it is now.
I wonder if they'll still be sticking to CHAdeMO as the fast charging solution, or whether they'll adopt the Combo Charging System.
Over on Green Car Reports, they read the same article from autonews.com and came to similar conclusions and wrote up this possible time-line
- Summer/Fall 2014: New "hot-weather" battery chemistry introduced for Nissan Leaf, probably for 2015 model-year cars
- Sometime in 2015: Production version of Infiniti battery-electric sedan unveiled at auto show
- Sometime in 2016: Infiniti electric car goes on sale, production version of 2017 Nissan Leaf unveiled