In Brief

The Tesla Model 3 has a rival: Nissan's new Leaf

Second-generation EV has better battery range and autonomous tech

Nissan has unveiled its second-generation Leaf electric car - and it's set to rival Tesla’s budget EV, the Model 3.

Much like the original Leaf, which launched at the end of 2010, the new car is powered exclusively by a lithium-ion battery pack and electric motor, reports Car Buyer

However, the base model’s 235-mile battery range is around 80 miles more than the outgoing model, the website says. The entry-level option of Tesla’s upcoming Model 3 offers 15 miles less than the new Nissan.

A range-topping Leaf E-Plus could join the electric car line-up in 2019, Autocar reports, and could boast a real-world battery range of 310 miles.

The new Leaf offers a host of driverless features, including Nissan’s ProPilot mode, which autonomously controls the car at speeds of up to 62mph while in motorway traffic, says Auto Express.

ProPilot also has the potential for the car to autonomously switch lanes and manoeuvre through city traffic, but the magazine says these won’t appear at the Leaf's launch and may instead feature as software updates later in the vehicle’s life cycle. 

Inside, buyers get a “7in infotainment system with Apple CarPlay”, says Car, and “the usual selection of safety gear”. Boot space has been upped to 435 litres - a 105-litre upgrade on the original model. 

Orders for the second-generation Leaf open “early next year”, says Autocar, and is expected to cost from around £27,000. That puts it in direct competition with the Tesla Model 3, with an identical starting price.

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