Nissan will be updating its now year-old Leaf late in 2012, upgrading the cabin, adding a more efficient heater and – sometime likely to matter most to buyers of the battery-electric vehicle – adding as much as 25 more miles of range in cold weather.
That’s a particularly significant development. Lithium-ion batteries like the same sort of temperatures humans do and don’t perform much better in cold weather – especially when those humans in the cabin turn on the Leaf’s electric heater.
Even before the updated 2013 Nissan Leaf hits market around December the maker is expecting to double U.S. sales. They averaged around 1,000 a month during the latter months of 2011 – though demand actually plunged during the first two months of 2012, to 676 in January and 478 in February. But the maker is looking to reach 2,000 a month by summer, according to a Detroit News interview with Nissan’s chief U.S. product planner Mark Perry.