UPDATED: 2013 Nissan Leaf Gets Upgraded Battery Pack
UPDATED: The battery pack of the new Nissan Leaf will not come from Hitachi, as previously thought. It was a translation mistake from the The Daily Yomiuri.
The story concerns only two models-- the "Altima" and "Pathfinder".
The Nissan Leaf will always have a special part in electric vehicle, EV fan’s hearts. It was, after all the first mass produced and available electric car available to the public. It fared very well all things considered for a first generation car and its 70+mile range finally showed EVs as working alternatives. But as with every first generation, the Leaf had its limitations.
New Battery Pack. According to a new report on the online Japanese newspaper website, the Daily Yomiuri Online reported that the 2013 Nissan Leaf could have new cells supplied by Hitachi, instead of the original ones provided by Automotive Energy Supply Corp. The idea behind this seems simply to reduce cost of the pack. But if you recall, Automotive Energy Supply Corp. was a joint venture started between Nissan and NEC Electronics Corporation a few years back. Hitachi would be a completely new deal and most importantly, the company is completely independent of Nissan.
What about the $1.4 billion funds from the U.S. Department of Energy to build a cell fabrication plant adjacent to the Smyrna plant where the new 2013 Leaf will be built? Nissan is mum on the topic and this news contradicts the original plan to build the battery pack locally. One possibility would be that the US Leaf would have a battery pack built locally near the Smyrna plant, while other global Leaf production would sport the Japanese Hitachi cells.