Nissan Motor Co. has announced that it will expand its global electric vehicle lineup to five models. Prior to its announcement, the Japanese has said it will only produce three electric models -- the Nissan Leaf, a luxury Infiniti sedan version of the Leaf, and an electric version of the NV200 compact cargo van. Nissan's latest disclosure could mean that the carmaker is taking a long-term view of the market for EVs, dismissing media speculations that its ambitions for electric vehicles might have cooled down.
Carla Bailo, senior vice president for r&d at Nissan Americas, told reporters that the carmaker's new products "will come in due time." She remarked that future Nissan-brand EVs will use inductive charging, an innovative way of recharging the batteries of electric cars wirelessly.
This new charging technology uses inductive chargers that only require one to park his EV owner on top of a charging mat to recharge a battery without hooking up a connector.
Bailo said that once this technology is ready, Nissan will use it across its brands. Nissan had remarked inductive charging was critical to differentiate the luxury EV planned for the Infiniti brand. Nissan will start building its cargo van this fall in Europe, initially for the European market.
Infiniti President Johan de Nysschen, however, announced in spring that the Infiniti EV will be delayed as the luxury carmaker intends to wait for improvements in inductive charging technology. This means that out of the three EVs that Nissan envision, the Leaf is still the only one that has been realized.
Nissan invested $1.8 billion to shift output of the Leaf to Smyrna, Tennessee, and to build a lithium ion battery module plant in the location. The site provides Nissan the capacity to produce up to 150,000 Leafs a year and 200,000 batteries.Nissan Motor Co. has announced that it will expand its global electric vehicle lineup to five models.
Prior to its announcement, the Japanese has said it will only produce three electric models -- the Nissan Leaf, a luxury Infiniti sedan version of the Leaf, and an electric version of the NV200 compact cargo van. Nissan's latest disclosure could mean that the carmaker is taking a long-term view of the market for EVs, dismissing media speculations that its ambitions for electric vehicles might have cooled down.
According to Nissan, the new LEAF was developed by building on the bespoke EV architecture which had a wheelbase measuring 2,700 mm. In terms of actual dimensions, the new LEAF has an overall length of 4,445 mm, having total width at 1,770 mm, and a height of 1,550 mm. By making some small changes to the grille, it resulted in a shape that is truly aerodynamic. In fact, this change is the only difference the new LEAF has over the original one. However, by having in a 17-inch wheel design, the new LEAF has a lower Cd figure at 0.28. In designing the body, Nissan said that it made use of the “smart fluidity” philosophy. What this means is that the vehicle’s kicked-up roofline manages to blend well with the large spoiler. Though it already has that wind cheating shape, this is enhanced by having the smooth and flat underfloor. Framing the front section, like the original version, are the slim headlights positioned in an almost vertical manner.
Under the top models, these headlights will have LED. The lights also have another function which is to direct the flow of the air away from the door mirrors allowing the wind noise to be lower while at the same time improving the aerodynamics. Meanwhile on the rear section, the main feature remains to be the thin vertical taillights that are gently curved.
This being the LEAF, this section of the vehicle reveals that there is no exhaust pipe. Nissan made some changes as well to the interior which included fitting in new seats. The front seats for example have been redesigned to allow it to offer better support. In addition, it now has height adjustment integrated to it. Further, the brand also made modifications on the shape, resulting in the passengers sitting in the rear seat to experience an additional leg room of 53 mm.
To make this possible, Nissan reprofiled not just the driver seat by the front passenger seat as well. As such, those sitting in the rear can now put their feet under the front seats. Going back to the exterior, the brand disclosed that it has expanded the color choices with the new LEAF. Initially there was blue pearl metallic, metallic silver and white pearl. Additional choices are black metallic, grey, red pearl metallic and solid white, resulting in a total of seven colors available for the exterior.