Need a little more range from your electric car? Nissan seems to have an interesting idea: offer larger battery packs as an option.
Currently, the Leaf sports a lithium-ion battery pack that enables the EV hatchback to travel up to 100 miles on a single charge. Batteries with extra capacity are not only still in development, but are also quite costly to produce.
The Detroit Bureau reports that such batteries will be offered in the Leaf in the future, but they won't necessarily replace the current battery design. Instead, you may see battery options akin to buyers opting for larger engines -- you can get the extra power, but it'll cost you. Conversely, the cost involved in manufacturing the lower-power batteries will drop, making them suitable for entry-level vehicles.
Although buyers could ultimately opt for a 200-mile range in their Leaf, there's also a good chance that the existing battery pack could provide additional mileage in the near future. Since lithium-ion batteries are still an emerging technology, automakers are playing things safe and curtailing the energy used. In the case of the Leaf, Nissan has designed the battery to use only two-thirds of the energy it could theoretically offer.
Should the batteries pan out and the technology develop, it wouldn't be surprising to see this same battery offer an extra 30 miles of range.
Source: The Detroit Bureau