Is Nissan considering a smaller EV and/or an electric crossover?

Nissan Gripz Concept: Un radical crossover deportivo

Nissan doesn’t seem to be ready to spill any details about the next-generation LEAF, but a company exec recently told Auto Express that the company is at least thinking about a couple of new electric models.

“We’ve invested $5.4 billion in electric cars such as the LEAF, so we need to ensure we’re satisfying as many types of customer as possible,” said Gareth Dunsmore, the head of Nissan’s European EV programs. “In Europe, that could mean looking towards B-segment hatches and SUVs or crossovers.”

A new, smaller EV is likely to be based on the Renault ZOE, which recently got a substantial battery upgrade. An electric crossover could be based on the LEAF itself. Nissan’s EV platform is believed to be based on the B0 architecture that is also used for the Nissan Juke crossover.

Nissan’s Executive VP for Product, Roel de Vries, also recently hinted at new EV models. “Nissan is committed to EVs making up a large part of its range, and we are looking at where we can add more electric cars,” he told Auto Express. “The next step would be in another volume sector, which probably isn’t sports cars.”

 

Source: Auto Express, AutoblogGreen

  • brian_gilbert

    There is no solution in sight to protect driverless vehicles from driven ones. That means first adoption is likely to be of completely driverless zones/countries. The vehicles would all be hired like taxis, per trip.The hirers would be licencees including such companies as DHL, UBER, LYFT, and GREYHOUND who would compete. Less than 10% of the current number of vehicles would be needed. NISSAN should bear that in mind when planning.

    • Benjamin Nead

      So much is said by so many these days to promote driverless vehicle technology. which is all well and good. But if these upcoming autonomous vehicles are propelled by the same polluting gasoline engines that are in most of today’s cars, their potential good is cancelled out by what’s already wrong.

      Electrification of our transportation fleet is the major accomplishment we’re going
      to see first and, frankly, the most important one to address at the moment . . . despite the fact that the mainstream media loves to talk more about cars that drive themselves and are still rather poor in reporting on the differences in power sources that moves all cars along.

      We’re already seeing new cars increasingly becoming more autonomous and that trend will continue to increase in stages. The real benefits of autonomous vehicles (less urban congestion, increased safety and access for those who can’t drive conventionally) won’t fully arrive, though, until all vehicles on the road are so equipped with complete – not just partial – autonomy . . . and that will take decades. Meanwhile, our air gets incrementally cleaner and the climate becomes less volatile with each electric vehicle that replaces a gasoline one.

      Back to the Nissan EV news in this article: I’m really happy to hear about the subcompact EV proposal. My Mitsubishi i-MiEV is the ideal urban vehicle for me.
      But it’s destined to be phased out of production sooner than later and, until now, nobody has been seriously talking about a vehicle of similar size coming along to replace it in the US market.

      Nissan now has controlling interest in both Renault and Mitsubishi. The actual nameplate on the subcompact EV being develop is relatively unimportant to me.
      They can call it the i-MiEV II, the Zoe II or the mini Leaf . . . whatever. Just as long
      as something is in the pipeline to fill the upcoming void.

      • brian_gilbert

        I also, regard it as essential that the driverless vehicles be electric. Apart from reducing pollution they have only 10% of the moving parts and The Nissan President says they only require 60% of the maintenance. They also have very high reliability as proven by use in for example the Heathrow Personal Rapid Transit system where breakdowns are extremely rare.

        I know of nothing to stop commencing now with developmemt of one or more small completely driverless areas to get the bugs out and optimise the details, then progressively expanding them.
        You want to reduce pollution. Most of it arises in the manufacture of a vehicle not during its use. A completely driverless system will need less than 10% the current number of vehicles as they can be hired all day, instead of lying idle and wasting space for most of it.

        • Benjamin Nead

          What you propose is something that moves beyond driverless cars that are owned by individuals, to one where all vehicles are perpetually borrowed (rented) for each stage of the journey and nobody actually owns one. No thanks. This would work for someone visiting a city or for occasional use, but not for an everyday existence. It’s one of those idea, like robotic battery swapping (i.e.: like the ill-fated Better Place,) that optimistic futurists like to propose but don’t bother to envision how it would work on a practical level.

          I keep an assortment of personal belongings in my car. I’m not about to empty my vehicle every time I exit it, so it can drive off to move someone else across town. I like to keep my vehicle clean and I don’t really look forward to sharing it with complete strangers who would litter it with chewing gum wrappers, cigarette butts and far worse. Because a rather large segment of the vehicle-owning population would never put up with it, the idea of these perpetually non-owned and always-on-the-move cars will never happen beyond something that replaces today’s taxi cabs. Hence, the full potential of self-driving cars is never going to happen. Elements of it will exist and there can be some good (increased safety and access to the road for those who otherwise can’t drive themselves,) but the most extreme ideas espoused will never happen. Quite simply, reality will get in the way.

          • brian_gilbert

            You can be accommodated. All vehicles need ro ne maintained in the way I described to achieve the required reliability. 1.2 million road deaths a year worldwide is difficult to justify. However there is nothing to prevent you specifying that a vehicle is reserved for your use only at extra cost which might still be less than it costs now.
            I have no power to decide what system is asopted. With you I will wait and see.
            Regarding cleanliness
            The control system would be able to do a pretty effective inspection of the interior between hires. In the event it missed something, I envision any user rejecting a vehicle with an unsatisfactory interior and being given a freshly valeted one. There are for example two cctv cameras in every pod in the Heathrow system and our UK busses are smothered with them.

          • Benjamin Nead

            “You can be accommodated.” “. . . there is nothing to prevent you specifying that a vehicle is reserved for your use only at extra cost which might still be less than it costs now.”

            Yes. It’s called “owning my own car.” 🙂 Thanks to electricity, I currently pay about 25% per mile in comparison to what my old similarly-sized gasoline-powered vehicle cost to operate. Given that taxis and ride share services are always going to be more expensive, I can’t envision that getting increasingly cheaper over time.

            ——————————————————–

            “The control system would be able to do a pretty effective inspection of the interior between hires. In the event it missed something, I envision any user rejecting a vehicle with an unsatisfactory interior and being given a freshly valeted one.”

            In the real world, I hop into my car whenever I please and it’s how I left it – and where I left it – before I parked. All the familiar and comforting stuff is there: the tin of Altoids down by the shiftier, the stainless steel water flask I filled up earlier that day, my favorite CD in the player and, perhaps, some non-perishable food I bought earlier that day that I’m about to take home.

            When I’m traveling around town on the job, time is money. I do location audio recording and my car is used to carry my equipment (laughable to assume I would allow it would drive off on it’s own with all that expensive gear inside, simply because someone else is going to “need my car.” while I’m not using it.)

            I also don’t have to wait for the autonomous car stuck in traffic to arrive . . . because, let’s face it, not all cars are going to be autonomous anytime soon and traffic jams will still exist in the interim. And, if I’m in a rush, I’m not going to have time to refuse a filthy vehicle and wait for the next available one.

            Here again, rent-per-use autonomous cars will displace taxis and human-operated ride shares. There is some worth to it and I’m not going to disparage every scenario. But it’s never going replace individually-owned cars. The goal should be to make all our cars pollute less (electricity) and safer (continued emphasis on things like airbags and a new focus on user-selectable autonomous safety features.)

          • brian_gilbert

            Yes, I can see that someone with heavy gear in their car would be a special case. One way satisfying it would be to allow it to stay unused in the location you currently use. You would still benefit when you got to a venue with no convenient parking and it could buzz off after being unloaded and return when you finished.

            You forget that I am speaking of a completely driverless system so congestion does not occur. Trips taking about half the time on roads free of parked cars and not bunching. Most users do not have significant contents and to compensate for the small inconvenience they never have to worry about breakdowns, washing and polishing the car or valeting it, insuring it, licencing it. People with limited use of a car will save a lot by not owning and replacing it regularly.

            A spreadsheet suggests that the savings per year would be over £4.000 per year per family in Great Britain and that may be conservative so there is wide room for change in light of the trials. I never it to start in a major democracy. Rather in such as Singapore. If they were to make it work it would raise their ranking further in the world and we would probaly follow. If China made it work the USA would have no choice if it wanted to match China’s consequent increased military power.

            We live in imteresting times as someone said.

          • Benjamin Nead

            “You forget that I am speaking of a completely driverless system so congestion does not occur.”

            Not really forgetting. You are – once again – bringing up a scenario that can only exist if ALL cars are autonomous. That won’t happen for many many years, if ever.

            ———————————————-

            ” . . . they never have to worry about breakdowns, washing and polishing the car or valeting it, insuring it, licencing it. People with limited use of a car will save a lot by not owning and replacing it regularly.”

            I’m not all that worried about my car regularly breaking down. It’s a 4-year-old EV that I bought lightly used. Most of what could possibly go wrong is warrantied. And it’s new enough at this point that I actually enjoy washing and detailing it on occasion. After establishing a benchmark in this regard (i.e.: thorough cleaning the first couple times around to make up for the previous owner’s lack of concern in this regard,) the once per month upkeep I have to perform is minimal.

            A valet? You probably eat at fancier restaurants than I do! 🙂 Insurance and registration is also relatively cheap. EV owners here in Arizona, especially, get a very good deal on the annual renewal fee. Since this is an electric econobox and I’m an older driver with a good record, insurance is also bargain. Amortizing all these incidentals, ownership of the used i-MiEV is going to be far less expensive over the long run than hiring an Uber every time I have to go anywhere.

            My previous car was a Saturn that I drove for almost two decades. All the larger and more expensive repairs were related to the fact that it had an internal combustion engine and related complex drivetrain.

            Your last paragraph scares me a little. I’m not particularly fond of the rampant gun ownership we witness here in the US. With threats that the government will come to take them away, people hoard them and buy even more. If you sponsor a government program that would attempt to do the same with cars, you’d get a far larger and even more virulent contingent ready to stage a revolt . . . and I would probably be part of it.

            Again . . . make cars cleaner (electricity) and safer (some clever semi-autonomous features) and, to fight congestion and promote upkeep of our roads, impose a tax that targets vehicle weight. But if you attempt to instigate a form of autonomous-only communism that denies car ownership on a grand scale, people are going to kill off that idea very quickly . . . including aspects of the idea that most would otherwise find appealing.

          • brian_gilbert

            There are small trials going on in Singapore etc. You will be pleased ro know that none is for a completely driverless system. IF trials of a completely driverless system are started and your fears prove justified then I will accept that it is a bad idea.
            I use the words valet and valeted as I often encounter them in my reading on the subject. The nearest I have been personally to a valet is one of those things you stand by your bed in a hotel to keep your suit in good shape.

            I agree on the superiority of electric cars for reliability. I would have bought one myself recently but my eyesight is failing so I have had to give up driving.

            You were unlucky to get a secondhand electric car that needed thorough cleaning. In the UK a used Approved Nissan Leaf with less than 10,000 miles on the clock is easily found for £8,000 or so which is about $10,000. This is from a Nissan dealer who will have cleaned and polished it thoroughly.

  • brian_gilbert

    Well if he is looking to add more electric cars to the Nissan range he could pioneer a completely drivelrless one. They have already exhibited at a show a driverlessNissan Leaf with all the seats pointing inwards. They just have to modify the electronics to accept control from a central control system having chosen one from those on offer. They can then offer to equip a Completely Driverless ZOne as a package. If they start small say 100 vehicles and prove it highly profitable they can expect orders for 1000 vehicle zones and above.