Details about the next-generation Nissan Leaf have been trickling out, and today Nissan released another bit of information: The new Leaf will have a feature that turns the accelerator pedal into an e-Pedal, allowing the driver to accelerate, decelerate and stop using just one pedal.
To use it, you press the e-Pedal button, ease off the accelerator to reduce speed, release the pedal to stop and press the pedal for full acceleration. Nissan calls the e-Pedal a world-first, though other cars with regenerative brakes — like the BMW i3 — have similar functionality. Nissan's approach could be even more aggressive, as the automaker says the e-Pedal will cover 90 percent of driver's needs and can bring the car to a complete stop even on hills, then resume driving instantly. The Leaf will still have a traditional brake pedal for harder stops.
"In heavy traffic and during city commutes, drivers will greatly reduce the need to shift from one pedal to the other, making your drive simpler and more engaging," Nissan said in a statement.
The new feature is one of a couple of driver-focused systems planned for the new 2018 Leaf. The automaker also announced the electric car will feature ProPilot Assist, a driver assistance system that automatically controls acceleration, braking and steering on single-lane highways. It will also get a fully autonomous parking feature.
Other than that, we don't know much else about the Leaf aside from greater predicted range. Nissan previously said it was developing a 200-mile range Leaf, a big leap over the current model's EPA-rated 107-mile range; the added miles would make it competitive with the Chevrolet Bolt EV's EPA-rated 238-mile range.
Stay tuned; the new 2018 Leaf debuts Sept. 6.