Nissan Leaf e+ hits 3,000 pre-orders in a month

Two-thirds of the new 62kWh, 239-mile range Nissan Leaf e+ have been snapped up in Europe

The new, longer-range version of the Nissan Leaf has racked up more than 3,000 pre-orders, just over a month after it was revealed at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas.

The Leaf e+ is a limited-edition model, with only 5,000 examples to be sold in Europe, although Nissan says the 62kWh battery will eventually feature in "further production" cars at a later stage.

Nissan Europe's senior vice-president Ken Ramirez called the response to the Leaf e+ "overwhelmingly positive", and while no UK-specific figures have been revealed, it's further evidence of the rapidly rising demand for electric cars.

The 62kWh battery in the Nissan Leaf e+ will boost range to 239 miles, up from the 168 miles provided by the 40kWh unit in the standard car.

A more powerful 215bhp electric motor has also been introduced, pushing the car's top speed up to 97mph.

The Leaf e+ is priced from £36,795 in the UK – including the £3,500 discount provided by the Government’s plug-in car grant – and order books have been open since early January. First deliveries are expected in the summer.

The larger battery has been in the pipeline for the Leaf for some time, with models like the Kia e-Niro and Hyundai Kona Electric moving ahead in the pecking order last year with their far superior range figures.

The 62kWh unit in the e+ puts the Leaf back in the hunt: Nissan says it features 288 cells that are 25% more energy-dense than before, making it only slightly bigger than the 192-cell, 40kWh version. As such, the Leaf e+ is 5mm taller than the standard car.

Charging times aren’t expected to be much different either, with Nissan claiming that a new system capable of handling rapid chargers up to 100kW will see the Leaf e+ topped up to 80% in around 40 minutes.

Nissan has also announced a new range-topping version of the standard Leaf. Priced from £31,095, the flagship ‘3.ZERO’ trim adds a new eight-inch touchscreen and “additional connectivity services such as door-to-door navigation.” A new version of the Nissan ConnectEV app has also been promised.

New body colours and two-tone colour combinations are available to customers, and Nissan’s e-Pedal and ProPILOT systems are included.

The Leaf e+ also welcomes the above upgrades, and gets the same eight-year/100,000-mile warranty as offered on all versions of the car.