Turning Over a New Leaf: 2018 Nissan Leaf Makes North American Debut [Gallery]

Swathed in the latest driver assistance technology, the 2018 Nissan Leaf makes its North American debut.

Rejoice, EV lovers, for Nissan has just debuted a new version of its Leaf (or LEAF, as Nissan stylizes it). Originally launched in 2010, this latest version is set to go on sale early next year in all 50 states. Starting at $29,990, this model is $690 cheaper than the outgoing Leaf. Nissan has revamped the car’s exterior to bring it into line with the rest of its lineup, including a fashionable “floating roof” design. They also promise increased performance and a range of 150 miles (43 miles better than the 2017 model). As you’d expect, the new Leaf has a tech-laden interior that Nissan promises is more sumptuously appointed and quieter than before. However, the most important features Nissan’s touting with the new Leaf are its ProPilot Assist and e-Pedal.

Nissan is marketing ProPilot Assist and e-Pedal as part of “Nissan Intelligent Mobility”.

Nissan’s ProPilot Assist system’s approach is two-fold. The driver presses a button on the steering wheel to activate the system when lines on the road are consistently detected. Then, they set the Intelligent Cruise Control to a speed. While not fully autonomous, the system uses an array of cameras, sensors and radar to keep the driver in their lane while maintaining a certain speed. ProPilot Assist is part of the brand’s Intelligent Mobility initiative.

In the same vein, e-Pedal comes as a new feature in the Leaf. Toggling a switch will allow drivers to accelerate, decelerate and stop using just the accelerator pedal. With e-Pedal, says Nissan, “drivers can cover 90% of their driving needs…making the process of driving more exciting.” While perhaps not an earth-shattering development, Nissan may help train drivers for one-pedal operation to cope with electric cars of the future.

Nissan stands behind the new Leaf as a game changer. To that end, it’s sponsoring the National Drive Electric Week to emphasize that message. The new EV will make its appearances at events in eight U.S. cities next week. Check out an overview here to learn more about the 2018 Nissan Leaf.