Yokohama, Japan - Nissan is likely to introduce an electric SUV in the near future as it expects demand for electric vehicles to increase in coming years.

"We might have a crossover EV shortly in the future," Daniele Schillaci, head global sales and marketing who also oversees Nissan's EV business, told reporters.

"It's totally logical for us, given the strong EV experience we've had, to see this technology one day will be carried to a crossover," he added, while declining to elaborate on specific timing or models.

Nissan on Wednesday launched a revamped version of its Leaf EV hatchback model, going head-to-head with Tesla's Model 3 and hoping to blunt criticism of limited driving ranges undermining EVs' mass-market appeal.

Nissan says the new car can run for 241km on a single charge, based US EPA regulations, using a 40 kWh battery. Prices in Japan will start from 3.15 million yen (R370 517). Nissan is planning to release a longer-range, higher priced Leaf next year which will carry a bigger, 60 kWh battery. Schillaci said the car would be able to travel more than 362km.

The Leaf's launch comes after Tesla made its first foray into the Leaf's more affordable price band in July with its $35 000-base-price (R447 000), 352km-range Model 3.

GM's Bolt, released last year, runs for about 455 km and has a price tag of about $37 000 (R473 000).

Schillaci said the carmaker was also looking at ways to expand its "e-Power" petrol-electric hybrid system into other regions following strong sales in Japan of the e-Note, its compact MPV launched last year, which was the first model to use the system.