Nissan provides free lunch, but remains mum on next-generation Leaf

Derrick Hatami, Nissan's vice president for U.S. sales, answered questions today in Manhattan from members of the International Motor Press Association.


Nissan officials boast their Leaf is the best-selling all-electric car in the United States, but won't say when we'll see a new version with a longer range.

The homely Leaf, introduced to the U.S. in December 2010, seems poised for a makeover, especially in view of its nail-biting range of well under 100 miles on a full charge.

Derrick Hatami, Nissan's vice president for sales, said today the 4-door hatchback is the "No. 1 selling electric vehicle in the United States."

Speaking to the International Motor Press Association in Manhattan, Hatami said the No. 2 car company in Japan is the leader in electric vehicles, selling 3,000 Leafs a month here.

But Hatami wouldn't comment when asked when a second-generation Leaf would debut.

English: 2011 Nissan Leaf electric car at the ...
2011 Nissan Leaf at the Washington Auto Show. (Wikipedia)

Nissan spokesman Steven Oldham emphasized the improvement in how far the Leaf can go on a full charge, with the 2015 model claiming a range of 84 miles.

Nissan's Leaf Web site says the average American drives less than 33 miles a day.

The International Motor Press Association is the country's oldest organization of automotive journalists and public relations professionals.

Nissan paid for today's reception and lunch at the 3 West Club in Manhattan.

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