BUYING A NISSAN ELECTRIC CAR?
Buying a Nissan EV? wattEV2buy explore Nissan EV models, sales, and the latest news and unpack the Nissan electric car strategy.
As part of the Renault-Nissan Alliance, the company had set an electric path as far back as 2006 when it announced its offensive in the sector the company doubled down betting big on EV after the success of the Leaf. EV’s and autonomous driving is central to its aspirations. The Japanese company up to 2015 cumulatively had the highest electric vehicle sales of all automakers. Sales of the Leaf has been declining since 2015 due to its competitors finally catching up with pure electric models of their own.
In 2014 the Renault-Nissan Alliance re-evaluated its strategy to produce its batteries through its joint venture with NEC Corp of Japan. The company decided to source lithium batteries from third party suppliers. LG-Chem of Korea is currently the largest supplier of lithium-ion batteries to the Alliance.
The Company’s strategy includes fast charging capabilities, through a joint venture with eVgo. At the end of 2015, the Company and BMW partnered to deploy fast-charging stations for the Leaf and BMWi3 in America, named Greenlots, providing 50kW CHAdeMO and SAE Combo connectors.
Nissan aims to share a common EV platform with its alliance partners, Mitsubishi and Renault to drive cost and prices down by about 20% for a target price of $17,000. The result of the strategy is that the three automakers will share the new Leaf platform from 2018 onwards.
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NISSAN ELECTRIC CARS IN THE NEWS
2018 Week 19 - CATL to supply batteries for the Nissan Sylphy
In related news, the Nissan Renault alliance partners signed a supply agreement with the Chinese battery maker, CATL, to supply them with electric car batteries for the new Nissan Sylphy, which is exclusively for the Chinese market, and the Renault Kangoo Z.E. MPV van. CATL is one of the worlds biggest battery makers and will command nearly 7.5% of all battery production by 2020 with the completion of its 24GWh plant.
2018 Week 10 - Nissan at Geneva Auto Show 2018
Nissan unveiled the IMx KURO electric crossover concept vehicle at GIMS 2018. The Nissan IMx KURO provides a glimpse into the future of Nissan Intelligent Mobility, the company’s vision for changing how cars are powered, driven and integrated into society. The innovative concept vehicle is designed to strengthen the link between car and driver as a close, reliable partner that delivers a safer, more convenient and more exciting drive. Upgrades to the Nissan IMx KURO also include the integration of Nissan’s pioneering Brain-to-Vehicle (B2V) technology. B2V interprets signals from the driver’s brain to assist with driving and to help the vehicle’s autonomous and manual systems learn from the driver.
2018 Week 8 - Nissan to test self-driving in Tokyo
Nissan to test self-drive system with DeNa in Tokyo on a 4.5km route between the Japanese company’s headquarters and the Yokohama World Porters shopping center. The two companies will also test the mobility mobile app Easy Ride’s service functions where passengers can instruct the car via text, voice or from a menu of recommended restaurants, or places of interest.
2018 Week 3 - Nissan and Saudi's start EV pilot
To diversify its economy and develop its automotive sector the Saudi Government entered into its first EV pilot project according to Reuters. The State-controlled Saudi Electricity Co (SEC) partnered with Japanese Tokyo Electric Power Co (TEPCO), Nissan Motor Co and Takaoka Toko supply fast chargers and three Nissan EVs. Although the EV pilot is an acknowledgment that EVs is a reality the country still sees that it will take decades before it has a significant impact on their main export. Suppliers of electric vehicles are spreading their wings to new untapped markets and we are seeing more and more of these initiatives to partner with governments to secure a front row seat to benefit from subsidies to promote the adoption of EVs.
2018 Week 2 - Nissan exploring production of low cost EV in India
According to the Times of India Nissan is engaging with the Indian Government to support the company in bringing a mass-produced and affordable EV to market which could also be exported to other countries in the region. Nissan’s Global Director for EVs, Nicholas Thomas, told the Times that the car should be in the region of Rs 7 lakh ($10,000), making it cheaper than the Indian produced Mahindra e20, previously also sold in the UK. Mr. Thomas gave no timeline on such a project and commented that it would depend on the development of the Indian EV market and the affordability of batteries in the country. Although the Indian Government aspires to be 100% in electric by 2030, it is yet to present a clear plan on how this will be achieved. Nissan’s EV strategy is to develop 12 EV models by 2022 for the international market.
2017 Week 43 - Nissan unveils Intelligent Mobility concepts at Tokoyo Auto Show
Nissan expanded its e-Power family with the unveiling of the new Serena e-Power minivan/delivery vehicle, available for sale in Japan from early 2018. The Serena e-Power follows the Nissan Note e-Power unveiled in November 2016. E-Power powertrain is not a pure-electric car although it is 100% electric motor driven utilizing the motor and inverter from the Leaf it recharges through the engine, not a plug-in system.
Nissan also unveiled two concept vehicles with electrified powertrains at the Tokyo Auto Show 2017. The autonomous IMx zero-emission concept crossover with a complete autonomous range of 600km (375 miles) and a customized e-NV200 called the e-NV200 Fridge Concept. The IMx Concept was introduced with its signature sound, called “Canto” which Nissan says is the sound of the future and will be heard from all Nissan cars in the future.
According to Nissan, the IMxt utilizes it’s all new and dedicated electric vehicle platform married to twin motor power units that deliver 320kW power and 700nm of torque from a redesigned and re-engineered high-capacity battery offering increased energy density. The IMx give customers a glimpse to the company’s latest and future innovations aligned to its Nissan Intelligent Mobility vision. The core of the IMx’s technological features is centered around a future version of ProPILOT, offering fully autonomous operation. When ProPILOT drive mode is selected, the system stows the steering wheel inside the dashboard and reclines all seats
The Japanese automaker lifted the lid on its solution to urban delivery challenges with the unveiling of a modified, all-electric Nissan e-NV200 Fridge Concept. The Fridge Concept’s compact size is ideal for operating in cities where large delivery trucks are often prevented from going. The 24kWh battery of the standard Nissan e-NV200 will drive the motor, and an additional 12kWh in the cargo hold will provide energy to the refrigeration unit to store chilled foods.
In his speech during the launch introducing Nissan Intelligent Mobility at the Tokyo Auto Show, Danielle Schillaci, EVP mentioned that the 2018 Nissan Leaf’s sales in its first month equaled 50% of total sales in the prior year.
Nissan also announced that it will join the Formula E franchise from Season 5 starting late 2018. Although not explicitly announced Nissan would replace its Alliance partner Renault which is bowing out of the E-series to focus all its efforts on Formula One.The Renault e.dams Formula E team has won the first three seasons of the electric racing franchise.
2017 Week 43 - Nissan demonstrates autonomous prototype
Nissan this week demonstrated a prototype of its most advanced autonomous driving technology which it is currently testing on public roads in an around Tokyo. The next-generation ProPilot kitted on an Infiniti Q50 is planned for release by the Japanese automaker in 2020. The NextGen ProPilot AI system uses inputs from 12 sonars, 12 cameras, nine millimeter-wave radars, six laser scanners and a high-definition map to analyze complex scenarios in real time and navigate through challenging city traffic.
2017 Week 42 - Nissan at Tokoyo Auto Show
The Tokyo Auto Show will be hosted from the 27th of October to the 5th of November, and we can expect a bunch of combustion and electric concept vehicles from regional producers with the least amount of production electric vehicles. Hopefully, we will see an auto show in Japan in the near future brimming with production-ready electric vehicles, in the meantime here are some of the concept electric and autonomous vehicles which would be displayed at the 2017 event.
2017 Week 42 - Nissan phasing out battery lease business model
Rumors are going around that Renault will phase out its battery lease business model by the end of 2017. The practice has frequently received criticism from customers. If true, it would make the comparison of EVs also easier. Added to the rumor is that current lease owners will get out of their existing rent contracts for free, gaining the battery as a gesture of goodwill for being EV pioneers. Alliance member Nissan has already started with the process of phasing out leases in Europe. The rumor emanated from the Paris Auto Show.
2017 Week 40 - Europe - Key battleground for EVs
The European Union is fast becoming the second key battleground for electric vehicles. A regulatory push to reach its climate goals is forcing the adoption of electric vehicle strategies for carmakers operating in the EU. This week Nissan and the PSA Group announced renewed efforts specifically targeting Europe as a key market for their electric vehicle strategies.
Nissan announced a plan for an “EV Ecosystem” in Europe at the ‘Nissan Futures 3.0 – The Car and Beyond’ event in Oslo. The plan is centered around four key pillars which are the launch of new electric vehicles, additional infrastructure investment, battery charging and home storage advances, and a revolutionary new vision to give Nissan customers free power for their EV using its unique bi-directional charging technology.
Nissan launched a Europe specific LEAF version, the ’2.ZERO’ during the event and announced the new Nissan e-NV200 offering a 60% improvement in the range allowing for 100% electric last mile delivery.
The Japanese automaker will expand its CHAdeMO charging network from 4,600 chargers to 5,600 over the next 18 months. Improvements were also announced in charging technology which includes:
- The Nissan double speed 7kW home charger allows Nissan electric vehicle owners to achieve 100% charge in just 5.5 hours – a 70% reduction in charging time from the previous charging technology.
- The Nissan 22kW charger goes, capable of charging in 2 hours.
- Nissan also showcased its follow up on the xStorage home energy storage system it developed with Eaton Energy. The home charger comes with its own built-in energy storage system, giving customers the ability to better manage their energy costs and even generate their own electricity from solar panels, delivering 100% renewable and zero emission power for their car. The company expects to sell 100,000 of the xStorage units in Europe by 2020.
Group Renault unveiled its Drive the Future plan for the period 2017 – 2022 in which it targets EV leadership. It is significant that the Group plans to bring 21 new vehicles to the market in the period of which eight are pure electric models and twelve electrified. The plan follows its “Drive the Change” plan and is built around the Group’s vision of sustainable mobility for all, today and tomorrow. Key aspects of the plan relative to EVs include:
- Expanded Russia presence through Renault and investments in AVTOVAZ (Lada), opening up the opportunity for more EVs in Russia;
- Accelerating opportunities in China through new strategic joint ventures in EV and LCV;
- Growing market opportunities in Brazil, India, Iran;
- 100% connected vehicles in key markets and 15 AD Renault vehicles.
In related news, PSA Group’s recently acquired, Opel’s head of development Giles Le Borgne in an interview with Automobilwoche stated – “We will gradually start using PSA platforms and engines for the Opel model lineup.” Appart from the obvious job losses it is safe to assume that we will see more EVs from the brand now that its free from GM‘s limited pursuit of the technology to now.
Some Chinese carmakers have also identified Europe as a key market and are grabbing the opportunity formulating strategies to take advantage of the lead they have due to their own countries aggressive EV regulations. Recently we reported that Chery would create an EV brand for Europe and this week SAIC announced the launch of its Magnus brand in Europe by 2019. SAIC made its intent clear with the launch of the Magnus EV80 electric LDV for Europe.
In support of its regulatory push, the European Union will host a meeting of industry heads from the auto and battery sectors in the coming week to discuss developing battery manufacturing hub to compete Asian and the U.S. markets.
2017 Week 36- Nissan announces production of Nissan Leaf
2017 Week 35- Renault Nissan and Dongfeng enter into EV JV
The Renault Nissan Alliance and Dongfeng Motor Group forged a partnership to co-develop electric vehicles in China according to a press release by Nissan. The new JV company is called eGT New Energy Automotive Co and will focus on the core competencies of each to produce EVs for the Chinese market. The first vehicle by eGT will be an A-segment SUV based on the Renault Nissan platform. The vehicle will be an intelligent and interconnected EV, which is the new rage in China. Alibaba and SAIC released the first successful mass-market interconnected car last year, the Roewe eRX5 SUV.
“This project is the result of a joint effort to develop electric vehicles for the Chinese market, by the ‘Golden Triangle’ formed by Dongfeng, Renault, and Nissan, with an innovative business model,” said Zhu Yanfeng, Chairman of Dongfeng. “We expect to meet the transformation trend of the market in China; where cars are becoming light, electric, intelligent, interconnected and shared. This is also testimony of a deepened and strengthened strategic cooperation between the three parties.”
The new venture is owned 25% each by Renault and Nissan while Dongfeng will hold the remaining 50% and headquartered in the City of Shiyan, Hubei Province. Assembly of the EV will be done at the 120,000 capacity Dongfeng plant in Shiyan and will commence in 2019.
2017 Week 34- Fuel Cell conversion gives Nissan e-NV200 extra range
2017 Week 33- Nissan provides scrapping bonus in Germany
2017 Week 32- Nissan celebrates 70 years of EVs
Exactly 70 years after the debut of its first electric vehicle, Nissan’s most advanced EV ever – the Nissan BladeGlider sports car – took center stage at this year’s Goodwood Festival of Speed in the UK.
Electric cars may only be booming now, but Nissan has been at it for the past 70 years and by the looks of it the blade runner could be another masterpiece in the making.
2017 Week 29- New Nissan Leaf here in September
Nissan announced that the new Nissan Leaf would be released on the 6th of September. New EV model releases have become as anticipated and high profile as smart phone releases some years back. With the date nearing Nissan has been releasing teasers about the long awaited new Nissan Leaf. The latest teaser revealed that the Leaf would have an e-Pedal, or for the novice, just one pedal to accelerate and break. Breaking is done by taking your foot off the pedal, activating regenerative breaking. The technology was first used in the Tesla Model S and then in the BMW i3 in 2014. Previous teasers indicated that the Leaf would have some autopilot functionality.
2017 Week 28 - Nissan developing EV to comply with China ZEV program
The Nikkei Asian Review reported this week that Nissan Motor of Japan is developing a low-cost EV for Chinese cities which is expected within fiscal 2018, citing the automakers CEO, Mr. Hiroto Saikawa. The car is expected to be a pure electric A-class able to travel short distances priced at half the cost of a Nissan Leaf or around 1.5 million yuan ($13,200). The new city car will share its platform with other Nissan Alliance members Renault and Mitsubishi and produced at local partner Dongfeng to keep cost in check. Renault is developing its own EV on the same platform for the Chinese market, the Kwid crossover expected in the Chinese market by 2019.
The Chinese Governments aggressive electric car quotas are forcing international automakers to fast track electric vehicle plans for the country, fearing penalties such as losing their production licenses. The Chinese Government is expected to implement requirements from 2018 which will force auto companies to sell electric cars to generate ZEV credits. Automakers are complaining that the targets are impossible to meet and will disrupt their businesses. Reuters this week reported on a letter seen by it where auto companies wrote to the China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology in June 2018 asking for concessions on the planned initiative. The companies requests include asking for a delay of the program by a year, softening of the penalties and an equaling the requirements for local and international players.
2017 Week 23 - Renault Chairman slams Oz's lack of support for EVs
Longtime Nissan-Renault Chairman, Carlos Ghosn, this week commented that he does not see electric vehicle adoption equal to that of other nations soon. The Australian Governments lack of support for the sector has received widespread criticism from the auto sector recently. Mr. Ghosn was quoted by Australian publication, Drive, saying “The subsidies are important to jump-start the technology and help the technology reach a new level. I understand that your government is going to issue a new policy. I will be waiting [to see] what are the components of this policy.” Earlier this year Nissan Australia CEO Richard Emery lashed out at the Australian government over a lack of support for the EV sector, describing his dealings with the industry as ‘amateur hour.’
Other automakers have shared the same sentiment, this week BMW country chief, Mark Werner, according to Car Advice said at the launch of the plug-in hybrid 530e iPerformance that the government has “stuck their collective heads in the sand.” “Our government is so far behind in their view of climate change,” he said. “Australia has shocking emissions levels. Worse than what we would call non-industrialised or third-world countries.”
EV sales in Australia totaled less than a 1,000 vehicles in 2016, while the smaller neighbor, New Zealand sold close to 1,500 in the same period.
2017 Week 10 - New Nissan Leaf, finally
Although light on new commercial electric vehicles the Geneva Motor Show this week offered some great eye candy in the form of new concept vehicles, which included:
- Italdesign and Airbus unveiled the world’s first ground and air passenger vehicle, the Pop.Up, also know as Vahana
- Toyota unveiled the i-Tril electric concept. (If somebody at Toyota can just please look at the meaning of the name in some cultures, I cringe every time I use it.)
- Bentley unveiled its EXP 12 Speed 6e electric concept car.
- Mercedes unveiled its Mercedes-AMG GT Concept vehicle.
Nissan announced the unveiling of the new version of its popular Leaf EV expected in September, with commercial sales shortly after that. The Leaf is expected to have a range of 200 miles and some autonomous driving ability through its ProPilot system.
2016 Week 51 - Nissan performs badly in consumer survey
Tesla voted the consumers darling in the Consumer Reports Annual Owner Satisfaction Survey with 91% Tesla owners responded with a “Definitely yes” when asked if they will buy the brand again. Second with only 84% was Porsche. The bottom quartile included brands such as Jeep, Nissan, Fiat, and Volkswagen, which dropped eight places. The survey included over 300,000 vehicles. Can the States who is refusing Tesla’s direct selling model, naysayers, and auto dealers refusing to get behind electric vehicles please respond to this?
2016 Week 45 - Los Angeles Auto Show
Although not as electric vehicle focused as the Paris Auto Show earlier the year, the Los Angeles Auto Show to be held this coming week promises to provide further insight in how automakers gear up for their respective electric vehicle strategies. Vehicle Manufacturers to keep an eye out for is Hyundai, Land Rover, GM, Tesla, BMW, Mercedes, and Nissan. Market commentators will also be looking at how some manufacturers utilise the low fuel cost environment to bring more SUV’s and crossovers to the market. The consumer’s appetite for these vehicles in the low fuel environment has long been the Achilles heal for the addition of EV vehicles, adding to an ever increasing glut of sedan vehicles.
2016 Week 44 - Nissan Chinese Strategy
2016 Week 44 - Nissan Note e-Power a step backwards
Nissan launched its latest electric vehicle the Note. Reaction to the Note was muted from the Electric Vehicle community as the Nissan Note is seen to be a step back from the Leaf. The reason for the muted reaction is based on the e-Power technology driving the Note. The e-Power technology is a fuel based generator powering the vehicle, which is ultimately a hybrid, still contributing to greenhouse gas emissions, very similar to the BMW i3 REx. The significance of the e-Power system is that it is different from hybrid vehicles where a combustion engine powers the wheels, the e-Power is a full-electric drive, providing the torque associated with EV’s.
The Note e-Power is an electric car with a gas generator. Note (excuse the pun) that the Nissan Note does not have a plug port as the battery is charged from the engine. The battery is only 1/20th the size of the Nissan Leaf battery. The Note is only for the Japanese market.
2016 Week 44 - Nissan supports USA Charging Corridors
Reuters reported on an announcement by the White House that it will establish 48 EV Charging corridors, comprising 25,000 miles across 35 States with the support of Utilities and vehicle manufacturers. The initiative will allow for charging stations every 50 miles. The press release goes further by identifying specific State programs to support the adoption of electric vehicles, including California’s commitment to have 5% of all public parking to include charging stations. Car manufacturers supporting the initiative includes BMW, Nissan, and GM.
2016 Week 37 - Sales record
The Renault–Nissan Alliance announced that it reached a new milestone by selling its 350,000th electric vehicle since the launch of the Nissan Leaf back in 2010, thereby maintaining its position as the global leader in the sector. The Alliance also achieved a historic milestone by selling 100,000 electric vehicles in one year. Renault sold its 100,000th electric vehicle since the introduction of the Renault Kangoo delivery van in 2011. The Alliance electric vehicles include the Twizy, Kangoo, Fluence, Leaf, and e-NV200.
2016 Week 35 - Uber
UBER announced on Wednesday that it would start a 3-month programme, observed by The Energy Saving Trust, to test the use of pure electric vehicles as Uber Taxies. Uber will partner both Nissan and BYD who will provide 20 Nissan Leaf’s and around 30 BYD e6s. The company already has many Toyota Prius owners providing the service and has partnered with other manufacturers, such as BMW who supplied 50 BMW i3’s for its South African fleet.
2016 Week 27 -Eaton
2016 Week 26 - USA Sales
3. USA EV sales figures for June 2016 released this week included Nissan and BMW data. Nissan Leaf sales are down 47% for the year to date. BMW announced the i3 had a 10.3% rise in June 2015, yet the model still lags 35% for the year to date. The BMW i8 showed a massive 23% gain compared to June 2015 and is down 15% for the year to date.
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