Electric vehicles are going from strength the strength at the moment, and Nissan seems determined to stay on top of the pile, recently unveiling a new look for their record-setting Leaf range. 

The new design sees the Leaf becoming a more conventional looking car, ditching the smooth, rounded look in favour of something that fits more into the rest of their range. As well as the new design, the Leaf - expected some time in 2016 - features new, higher density battery technology that’s expected to yield a vastly improved range, pushing the Leaf’s limit to a respectable 186 miles on a single charge. The push for greater range has no doubt been influenced by the popularity of Tesla’s Model S, where a larger chassis provides room for a battery that can carry the car for around 300 miles. 

Pure electric vehicles are gaining in popularity across the world, as their charging infrastructure starts to build. Tesla have opened the patents up to their Superchargers, allowing other EV makers to take advantage of the technology for free, the upshot being that all future cars should be able to use the same chargers. Tesla’s Super Chargers can provide up to 80% capacity charge in just 30 minutes, entirely free to all Tesla owners. The aim for electric cars has always to have the range and performance of petrol and diesel powered equivalents, and this new iteration of the Leaf looks to have taken us to that important tipping point, making them a clear alternative for the car buying public. 

The current Leaf has just managed its twentieth consecutive monthly increase in sales in the US, with there being nearly 25,000 on American roads right now, selling over 2,500 units last month. The Leaf’s closest rival, the Chevrolet Volt, is hot on its heels, standing at 1,500 sales, slightly up on this time last year. Even the likes of BMW are signing up, with their all-electric i3 going on sale earlier this year. 

The future is most definitely electric, and it’s exciting to see the advance of the technology and the lowering in price that increasing sales brings. How long will it be until electric vehicles outnumber traditional petrol and diesel engines on your local Colin Appleyard forecourt?