TOKYO – Nissan unveiled an updated version of its LEAF electric vehicle Nov. 19 in Tokyo, with enhanced features as well as more Japanese sales outlets with quick chargers.

The Nissan LEAF has sold more than 43,000 units worldwide. The new Japan version will be available in three trims, now with a range of 228 km.*

As part of plans to expand Japan’s EV infrastructure, Nissan will increase the number of dealerships with fast chargers to 700 from 400 by the end of March 2013, according to the automaker.

“There are two aspects to today’s update. One is a natural evolution. Second, we are able to offer the kinds of upgrades that our customers want to use, based on customer feedback,” said Chief Vehicle Engineer Hidetoshi Kadota. 

“Everyone needs to make an effort in order to extend the cruising range. We need to do our utmost for the battery, as well. The most salient feature is the car’s weight, which has been reduced by 80 kilograms.”

To refine performance, engineers have shaved 80 kg off the LEAF’s weight, reduced power consumption, and added a more efficient regenerative brake-control system.

Inside the car, the latest model includes Nissan’s Around View Monitor system, a 12-percent increase in luggage space, and optional leather seats.

*Under the Japan’s JC08 test mode.