Nissan quietly added the larger-capacity 30 kwh battery to all versions of its Leaf electric car a couple of weeks ago, a move that adds 23 miles of range to the entry-level S trim level.
But it wasn't a free upgrade. Instead, Nissan has boosted the Leaf S base price from $29,860 to $33,300. Both prices include a mandatory $850 destination charge, but don't reflect the hefty federal incentives most buyers qualify for.
The battery capacity bump also includes the previously-optional Quick Charge Package, which enables much faster charging and makes the Leaf compatible with Level 3 chargers. The package added $1,770 to a Leaf S with the previous 24 kwh battery.
2015 Nissan Leaf, Denver, Colorado, Mar 2016 [photo: owner Andrew Ganz]
The change wasn't accompanied with a new model year designation, however, so 2016 Leaf S electric cars will be on dealer lots with both the 24 kwh and the 30 kwh batteries. Only the higher sticker price and, of course, the greater range will set the 24 kwh and 30 kwh cars apart.
Nissan told our sister site Green Car Reports that the 30 kwh Leaf S is just beginning to arrive on dealer lots.
For the 2016 model year, Nissan upgraded the SV and SL trim levels of the Leaf from a 24 kwh battery with an 84-mile range to a 30 kwh battery that the automaker boasted increased the electric car's range to 107 miles on a single charge. But the S, at least initially, carried over the 24 kwh battery. The only notable changes to the S for 2016 were some paint color changes and the deletion of the model's formerly-standard heated, leather-wrapped steering wheel in favor of a plain urethane unit.
There's still no word yet on what the 2017 model year will bring to the Leaf lineup.