Nissan LeafFans of the all-electric, much-awarded Nissan LEAF can look forward to the next generation of the car arriving on showroom floors soon. Set to float gently to Earth at next month’s Geneva Auto Show, the new Nissan LEAF promises longer range, better ergonomics and driving experience, and a light to see where to plug the bloody thing in at night.

Since its launch in 2011, the LEAF has put 50,000 of the silent transporters into various eco-loving garages around the globe. The new LEAF sports more than 100 modifications because of engineering improvements and owner feedback. Nissan has also acquired aggregated LEAF data from its Carwings Telematics System to track charging, usage and mileage patterns. Nissan engineers then integrate changes into key components and systems.

CTS also allows owners to remotely control heating and charging. The new system also offers greater smartphone integration, improved voice recognition, eco-routing and real-time information for the nearest charging stations.

In addition to a new large color touchscreen, sat-navigation, Bluetooth connectivity and disc player, Google’s new Send-To-Car system allows LEAF owners to fully plan out a trip on their PC or tablet. Instructions are then sent to the car. The system also allows access to Google’s POI search, giving drivers access to weather forecasts and flight information.

Wonder what your LEAF looks like from above? Nissan’s Around View Monitor, found in Infiniti’s FX series, is another innovation new to the LEAF. The system uses a network of cameras to generate a 360-degree overhead image of the car, which is then displayed on the central screen. Technically and visually cool, the system allows drivers a dirigible view of any blind spots when parking or maneuvering about tricky real estate.

Thanks to some external styling tweaks and mechanical engineering refinements, the new LEAF finds driving range figures increase roughly 15 percent, from 109 miles (175 km) to 124 miles (200 km) on a single charge. A very subtle front grille revision helps reduce the car’s aerodynamic drag coefficient from 0.29 to 0.28. Producing effectively no C02 at the point of use, the LEAF’s exhaust particulate emissions and NOx is essentially zero.

To help deal with the very real concern of running out of juice, an expanded charging network has come into play. For example, in 2012 there were 150 LEAF dealers across Europe and 195 Quick Charger stations. As of this year there are 1,400 LEAF dealers, 600+ Quick Chargers and 20,000 public charger stations; an increase of 12,000 public stations from last year…

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Electric carsNissanTechnology

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