You get more of everything with this upgraded LEAF.
Nissan has finally unveiled the Leaf e-Plus (e+ for short), a long-range Nissan Leaf that’s better positioned against the Chevrolet Bolt, Hyundai Kona Electric and even the Tesla Model 3.
With a driving range of up to 226 miles (364 km) on a single charge, the LEAF e+ travels 76 miles (122 km) longer than the standard Leaf thanks to a larger 62 kWh lithium-ion battery. It’s also more powerful, featuring a 160 kW (214-hp) electric motor generating 45 percent more power and 250 lb-ft of torque.
Nissan says the LEAF e+ accelerates from 50 mph (80 km/h) to 75 mph (121 km/h) nearly 13 percent quicker than the standard Leaf, with a 10 percent higher top speed speed to boot.
The LEAF e+ can be charged at around 70 kW with a peak of 100 kW. When connected to 100 kW, it charges in a similar time as the base 40 kWh LEAF connected to the 50 kW charger.
Inside, the Leaf e+ brings a new 8-inch display with an updated navigation system that the company says is more responsive, while exterior upgrades are limited to minor accents and a “e+” logo.
The Nissan LEAF remains the world’s best-selling electric car with more than 380,000 units sold since its introduction in 2010. But with Tesla shifting Model 3 production into high gear, only time will tell whether the addition of the long-range LEAF e+ model will keep it at the top of the EV segment for a few more years.
The price will definitely need to be right.
Byton’s 300-Mile Electric SUV Concept Takes Aim At Tesla
If you have never heard of Byton, don’t worry — we write about cars everyday, and neither have we.
Making its North American debut at the 2018 Consumer Electronics Expo, Byton is a Chinese upstart that clearly wants to give Tesla Motors a run for its money. The company showed off its first concept at the show, an all-electric SUV that CEO Carsten Breitfeld claims “will deliver an entirely new connective experience for people on the move.”
The Byton SUV was designed in German and, as far as technology is concerned, probably has more in common with the latest smartphones than it does with the average car, boasting such gen-y features as facial-recognition-enabled locking and profiles for seat position memory, entertainment settings and more.
Its attractive and modern exterior is reminiscent of Faraday Future’s FF 91, while the interior seats seven and is highlighted by a massive 49-inch “shared experience display” screen that spans the entire dash complimented by a 8-inch touchscreen integrated into the steering wheel.
The seats can pivot, providing all passengers access to the display. Multiple, cloud-enabled productivity or entertainment features like Amazon Alexa are abound and are powered by a 5G connection.
When the SUV arrives, buyers will have the option of two versions. The base model will have a rear-wheel drive configuration and a 71 kWh battery pack that should give it a driving range around 250 miles, while the second version is all-wheel drive and packs a larger 95 kWh battery that lets it travel 325 miles.
Rear-drive models will have 400NM of torque (~300lb-ft) to work with, and the dual-motor all-wheel-drive variant will pump out 710NM (just under 525lb-ft). These are very ambitious performance figures for a Jeep Grand Cherokee-sized SUV poised for production.
As is customary of most premium electric car concepts these days, there is an autonomous driving system that, like Tesla’s, can be upgraded via software. Launch models features enhanced Level 3 components, while Level 4 will be offered sometime later as an over-the-air upgrade.
The production Byton electric SUV will be ambitious in its engineering, but perhaps not as ambitious as its claimed starting price of just $45,000 U.S., which greatly undercuts the Tesla Model X. It launches in China in 2019, with European and U.S. sales beginning later on.
Kia Niro EV Concept Previews Kia’s Long-Range Electric CUV
For those that like or are even considering getting the Kia Niro plugin hybrid, but want more electrification, the Kia Niro EV Conept is a preview of what’s to come.
Unveiled at the 2018 Consumer Electronics Expo, the full-electric crossover is just a concept, but Kia has already stated a specific range of 238 miles (383 km), which, as it turns out, is the exact same range that the Chevrolet Bolt EV launched with. A coincidence? The Korean automaker isn’t the type to play games, so likely not.
The elimination of an international combustion engine renders a traditional grille unnecessary, with the Niro EV featuring a smooth interactive display panel instead. It is powered by powered by a next-generation electric vehicle powertrain that pairs a 64 kWh lithium-polymer battery pack with a 150 kW electric motor.
Designers opted for a minimalistic interior boasting new technologies, including an advanced pedestrian warning system that uses multiple front-view cameras, object-recognition technology and front speakers to detect and alert pedestrians or cyclists of the car’s presence. The system also uses the grille-mounted display to provide visual communication.
The production Kia Niro EV will be one of the first long-range crossovers available when it launches, as well as just one of 16 new green vehicles that Kia will introduce by 2025, including a new hydrogen-powered, fuel-cell electric vehicle sometime in 2020.
Honda Reveals ‘3E’ Robots Called Empathy, Experience And Empower
It’s a little known fact that Honda makes more than just cars, with its expertise extending to motorcycles, aircraft, power equipment and robots. The Japanese automaker has now broadened its vision for robots.
At the 2018 Consumer Electronics Expo, Honda unveiled a series of robotic concepts termed 3E — represents ‘Empower,’ ‘Experience’ and ‘Empathy’ — that serve public, workplace and consumer purposes and can operate autonomously.
The Empathy robot is a creepy-looking bugger called 3E-A18, and it’s optimized for supporting people in their daily lives, such as serving as a guide at airports or shopping malls. Honda says the 3E-A18’s soft-touch skin “invites people to touch or hug” it.
Second up is the 3E-C18 — the Experience robot. It can supposedly learn by observing peoples’ action and features a cart-like design optimized for carrying spaces, as well as a canopy combined with a compact-sized vehicle body base with a driving function.
Last but not least are the 3E-B18 and 3E-D18, the Empower robots. The former is a chair-type mobility concept designed to help support people with baggage carts or strollers, while the latter is an autonomous off-road vehicle with AI designed to support people in a broad range of work activities.
The robots utilize Honda’s Mobile Power Pack World concept, a swappable battery system with detachable power modules that can be charged using renewable energy and then placed into a robot or vehicle for power on the go.
Honda R&D chief Yoshiyuki Matsumoto stated:
“We have entered an era when robotics will become increasingly visible and essential in our everyday lives and have the ability to unlock human potential.”
While Honda hasn’t confirmed if any of the concepts will be produced, is there any particular one you want to see?