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The Nissan Leaf is one of the most popular electric vehicles on the new and used car market, surpassing other big-name EVs, like Tesla. One thing about the automaker’s electric car that many people don’t think about is the Leaf name. What do the letters LEAF mean? Let’s look at what the name means and how far the model has come over the years. 

A brief history of the Nissan Leaf

The Nissan Leaf came onto the scene in 2010 in Japan, Europe, and America. It wasn’t the first electric vehicle to find its way into the market, but it was the first fully electric car to get mass-produced. 

Nissan built it to be environmentally friendly with a zero carbon dioxide powertrain, but it didn’t become as much of a hit back then as it is today. The first generation model ran on a 24-kWh battery that had a driving range of 100 miles. 

According to Autoevolution, the Leaf was redesigned in 2017, bringing a bigger battery, a 30-kWh unit. This increased the driving range for the electric hatchback model to 151 miles. 

By its fifth anniversary, the Leaf had seen over 200,000 sales. The brand also added the e-pedal, which enabled one-pedal driving, something other automakers have used in their own electric vehicle designs. 

What does the LEAF name stand for?

Rear model badging for the 2023 Nissan Leaf all-electric hatchback model
Badging for the 2023 Nissan Leaf | Nissan Motor Corporation

Nissan named its EV the Leaf, not just because it’s a cool name, but because there’s some meaning behind it. First, when you think about it, an electric vehicle is considered green technology for offering an environmentally-friendly car to drive around in. 

The Leaf name signifies a tree that enables us to breathe oxygen while its leaves absorb carbon dioxide. Plus, the leaves are typically green when the tree is blooming. It sounds great, but the letters in the name have more significance.

According to Between the Axles, the letter L stands for “Leading,” while the E signifies “Environmentally-friendly.” The A stands for “Affordable,” and the F represents “Family car.” So, putting the phrase together, you get “Leading Environmentally-friendly Affordable Family car.” 

That’s precisely what the vehicle is. The EV offers a green driving experience and is relatively inexpensive for a family vehicle. 

Where is the Nissan Leaf EV today?

The 2023 model is still in the second generation of the Nissan Leaf, but this year it gets a bit of a refresh to keep the appeal. First, Nissan created a new grille for the front, a new bumper and headlights, and black cloth upholstery.

The electric motor setup produces 147 horsepower and 236 lb-ft of torque, which is pretty powerful for such a small vehicle. It now also has a 60-kWh battery option on the SV Plus trim, which provides up to a 212-mile driving range on a single charge. 

Being on the market for over a decade, the Leaf has sold over a half million units worldwide. To keep up with the times, the Leaf offers Apple CarPlay and Android Auto with its infotainment system and other helpful driver assistance features, like Intelligent Forward Collision Warning and Active Ride Control. 

The 2023 Nissan Leaf hasn’t received any significant upgrades, but there have been a few touches to give it a refresh, like its bigger battery. One thing the brand hasn’t changed is its name because of the green image it provokes. 

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