From what we know today, pretty much everything about the all-electric Nissan Leaf is getting bigger and/or better in 2012. From availability in Europe to 50-state availability and production in the States, it's clear Nissan is planning big things for its EV this year. Now, Nissan's Mark Perry has told the The Detroit News that the 2013 Leaf will get serious improvements when it launches later this year, including a better heater, a darker interior option and leather seats. The new Leaf will be made in Smyrna, TN.
The Leaf's new heater is going to help with range, even if it wasn't designed to beat the government's mileage test, as it were. Perry tells the Detroit newspaper, "You may not see much change on the EPA rating, but in cold-weather conditions you may see 20 to 25 miles of improvements."
This brings us to the big question: will Leaf sales also increase in 2012? Thus far, the trend hasn't been great, dropping to 676 sales in January and then 478 in February. In some months of 2011, Nissan sold over 1,000 Leafs. There are annual variations in sales patterns, and Perry tells The Detroit News that he expects Leaf sales to cross 2,000 a month in the U.S. some time this summer, a prediction that sounds reasonable given that the model will now be available in all 50 states.