For 2016, the model year just ending, the Nissan Leaf electric car got a larger-capacity battery for all but its lowest trim level.
The Leaf SV and SL models this year have been fitted with a 30-kilowatt-hour battery, up from the previous 24-kwh capacity, that boosts their EPA-rated range from 84 to 107 miles.
The base Leaf S version, the only one with a price below $30,000, continued with the old 24-kwh battery.
DON'T MISS: 2016 Nissan Leaf: First Drive Of 107-Mile Electric Car
Now, however, very quietly, that turns out to have changed.
One of our colleagues spotted a Nissan order guide, dated September 26, saying that midway through the 2016 model year, Nissan had changed the battery in the base Leaf S model to 30 kwh as well.
Along with that change came a new and higher price that crossed the crucial $30,000 barrier.
2016 Nissan Leaf
We reached out to Nissan to inquire about the mid-year change, and indeed the company confirmed that it was real.
Paige Presley of the communications group at Nissan North America wrote:
We have made a running change to the 2016 Leaf S model to equip it with 30-kwh battery packs as standard equipment, offering best-in-class range across all trim levels for Leaf.
ALSO READ: 2016 Nissan Leaf 30-kwh Battery Gives 107-Mile Range; Leaf S Unchanged (Sep 2015)
Additionally, all 2016 Leaf S vehicles equipped with the 30-kwh battery pack will also come with the Quick Charge Package as a standard feature.
The base price of the 2016 Leaf S with the 30 kWh battery and Quick Charge Package is $32,450 before any federal, state or regional incentives are applied.
Should a customer desire a 2016 Leaf S with a 24-kwh battery, they can visit [the Nissan USA website] to locate a vehicle or find a dealership that will assist.
2016 Nissan Leaf
The Nissan Leaf remains the highest-volume electric car in the world, with 233,000 sold globally since December 2011.
A second-generation Leaf is expected to be unveiled and launched over the next year to 18 months, most likely as a 2018 model, to replace the six-year-old current model.
CHECK OUT: 2016 Nissan Leaf: How Does It Compare To 2012 Model On Price, Equipment, Range?
Thus far, no Nissan unit has released any information about the anticipated 2018 Nissan Leaf, although at least one version is expected to offer a range of roughly 200 miles to compete with the 2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV, rated at 238 miles.
Meanwhile, the updated 30-kwh 2016 Nissan Leaf S cars started to reach dealerships late last month.