2018 Nissan Leaf to up range past BMW i3

BMW i, Interesting, News | September 7th, 2017 by 14
2018 Nissan Leaf front side 01 830x553

Compared to its cheaper rivals, the BMW i3 has always been a bit hamstrung on range. While using a 60 Ah battery, the BMW i3 …

Compared to its cheaper rivals, the BMW i3 has always been a bit hamstrung on range. While using a 60 Ah battery, the BMW i3 had a range of around 80 miles, which was about the same as a Nissan Leaf. However, the Leaf then bumped range to 107 miles. So BMW upped its i3 to 90 Ah, which gave it 114 miles. Then, the Chevy Bolt came out it its 238 miles of range, squashing both while being cheaper than the i3. Now, Nissan has come out with a new Leaf, which will boast a further range than the i3 again, for significantly less money.

How far of an EV range will the new Nissan Leaf have? About 150 miles. Which, frankly, is still a bit small these days. But it’s more than the i3 and almost as much as the BMW i3 REx. Plus, the new 2018 Nissan Leaf will only cost around $30,000, or about $15,000 less than the i3. To add insult to the i3’s injury, Nissan will be debuting an SL trim level next year that will come with a bigger battery. That larger battery will give the Leaf a supposed range of 225 miles, really rubbing salt in BMW’s wound.

2018 Nissan Leaf dashboard 01 830x551

In terms of design, the new Leaf is far improved over its predecessor but still a bit ungainly. That could just be me, though, as I really don’t like the new design language of all Nissan/Infiniti products. This new Leaf looks better than before but still like a bug, post windshield-splatter. On the inside, it’s again better but drab. It seems to be a see of black plastics. Ergonomics look good and the screens look smart but it’s a bit dark and a bit too staid.

When the new Nissan Leaf finally hits US shores, the BMW i3 will have the least amount of range of any mainstream EV on the market. All the while, it will be one of the more expensive EVs on the market. So, as far electric-range value goes, the BMW i3 will be in pretty poor shape.

2018 Nissan Leaf rear three quarter 01 830x551

Admittedly, BMW has announced that it’s working on twelve new EV models and it’s likely that it will have at least one car to combat such EVs. But we don’t yet know what those cars are, what then entail or how much they will cost. So, for now at least, the BMW i3 has begun to be backed into a corner.

14 responses to “2018 Nissan Leaf to up range past BMW i3”

  1. Terry Cowan says:

    If range is the issue, why buy an EV? i3 designed as city car, if your daily commute is longer than its range you need to rethink your life choices. If you hate your family, get a faraway job & commute in a diesel.

    • Tom Ward says:

      We have a BMW I3 for city use and a Lexus CT200 hybrid in case of longer journeys. The I3 is a delight to drive. It is comfortable, nimble, quick and really quiet. It is very inexpensive to run and service. I paid slightly more than the going rate for a small hatchback when I bought it aged 3 years old and I plug it into a household 13 amp socket at night, usually with most of its 80 mile range intact. Because it is so easy to drive, I magnanimously allow my wife to have its use and I mainly use it for short errands. It makes me smile every time I drive off.

    • Andrewthecarguy says:

      Good point. but I think ultimately, we all want an electric car that has the range of a full tank of gas in the typical ICE vehicle.
      The first company to make an EV that directly replaces a car/truck/SUV in its utility AND has a range of 350 to 400 miles per charge AND can rapid-recharge (15 minutes?) at least half that range will completely decimate the ICE industry as we know it.

      • Terry Cowan says:

        Over 80 million ICE sold last year, 2 million EV – there is insufficient production capacity for EV to decimate anything! Plus most consumers are not willing to pay the EV premium. I’m curious to see how EV range develops for its impact on commercial diesel traffic, still seems to be early days.

    • Hinu says:

      Shut up with the city car crap… It’s marketed as a city car because the range is obviously crippled to being one!

  2. Hinu says:

    BMW is lazy. A Leaf is suprassing it in terms of features… Great… Don’t ruin a brilliant car, BMW! They should’ve gotten on with the 120 Ah cells together with Samsung SDI long ago so that they’d actually be ready for this launch… They’re appearantly more interested in the easy cash… Not serious. Which is seriously disappointing!

  3. Joel Fritchman says:

    One thing to note is that if you want leather seating in the Leaf you have to go up in model which adds $6000, making it closer to the I3. And strangely the lease price is about the same between the two when you compare leather to leather models. I think that has to do with resale value. Cost of ownership is more important than sales price.

    All to note, if you plug in every night I don’t think the average person would need more than 100 miles a day. But I agree more range is better. I will be test driving both.

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