New 2018 Nissan Leaf EV Has Arrived

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Just a month after Tesla Inc. (NASDAQ: TSLA) shipped its first moderately priced (starting at $35,000) all-electric vehicle — the Model 3 — Japan-based car maker Nissan will reveal its 2018 version of its all-electric (EV) Nissan Leaf. The release event is scheduled for 6:00 p.m. PT Tuesday.

The car maker has been quiet about some of the most important features of the new Leaf, including its expected range and its price. The 2017 Leaf has a driving range of 107 miles and a sticker price of $31,000.

Most analysts are expecting a modest upgrade to the mileage rating with little to no change in the price. Karl Brauer at Kelley Blue Book told MarketWatch that he thinks the battery range will rise to around 150 miles.

The Tesla Model 3 has a base range of at least 220 miles. The Chevy Bolt from General Motors Co. (NYSE: GM) has a range of 238 miles and a starting price of $38,000.

For the month of August, the Chevy Bolt sold 2,107 units (its best sales month ever), compared with 70 for the Model 3. Tesla’s Model S was the second-best seller for the month with an estimated total of 2,100. The Model X crossover sold an estimated 1,700 units in August. The current Nissan Leaf was the fourth most popular seller with 1,154 units sold last month.

For the year to date, the Model S has sold 14,700 units, the Model X has sold 12,200 and the Bolt has sold 11,670 compared with the Leaf’s 9,685 units.

The 2018 version of the Nissan Leaf will be available in dealer showrooms early next year, so sales of the current model are likely to begin tapering off following tonight’s announcement.