The 2011 Nissan Leaf may have been the first all-electric mass-produced electric car from a major automaker to hit the roads, but in the first few months following its launch Nissan came under a lot of criticism for not having a more sophisticated thermally managed battery pack inside the Leaf. 

Now that should stop, with the announcement that Nissan will put battery heating inside every 2012 Nissan Leaf, tacitly admitting that its family hatchback was in dire need of battery heating to cope with extreme winter temperatures.

The decision obviously stems from anecdotal reports last winter that some 2011 Nissan Leafs were struggling to cope with temperatures below freezing point, limiting the useable range of the car by as much as 30 miles. 

2011 Nissan Leaf

2011 Nissan Leaf

In addition to battery heating, every 2012 Leaf will also ship with heated front and rear seats, a heated steering wheel, heated external rearview mirrors and a rear heating and air conditioning duct, increasing the practicality and comfort of winter driving. 

As with the 2011 Leaf, Nissan will offer two levels of trim: the base model 2012 Nissan Leaf SV and higher specification 2012 Nissan Leaf SL. 

Apart from the addition of extra cabin heating options, both trim levels will remain the same internally, although those purchasing the higher specification SL will be pleased to hear that the rapid charging port offered a a $770 option on the 2011 Leaf SL will be included as a standard fit item on the 2012 Leaf SL. 

Nissan has yet to announce the price of the 2012 Leaf. Given it is adding additional features to the car, we’re not expecting the price to drop.