Nissan has patented the name Terra for use on a future electric crossover to be based on the forthcoming second-generation Leaf, marking the start of Nissan's plan to expand its range of EVs.
According to the UK's Autocar magazine, Nissan filed its trademark claim with the Malaysian patent office, which the publication says is a common practice for corporations who want to keep their claims off the radar.
This isn't the first time we've seen the Terra name, however. It was first used on a Nissan crossover concept, shown at the 2012 Paris auto show and powered by the current Leaf's front-wheel drivetrain, plus rear in-wheel motors to give the car AWD traction; power came from a hydrogen fuel cell stack under the hood.
Autocar says the production Terra will use the second-gen Leaf's powertrain, including a battery pack capable of providing a driving range of more than 300 miles, or 480 km. The same battery will be good for up to 340 miles -- almost 550 km -- in the smaller, lighter Leaf.
We expect those promised driving range figures to apply to top-line models, while at least one smaller battery pack will be offered in lower-priced versions. There's no word on when a production version of the Terra will arrive, but when it does, it can count on competition (sort of) from Mitsubishi, which says it will (finally) begin selling its long-touted Outlander PHEV in Canada next year.