The new EV missed its first-year sales target by only a couple of weeks, despite the fact that it’s still not available in all 50 states (but is expected to be by March).
Nissan’s execs surely found Champagne (or sake?) waiting as they got off the plane from Detroit. While they were busy at the big auto show, the Leaf quietly passed the milestone of 10,000 units sold in the US, and over 20,000 globally. The new EV missed its first-year sales target by only a couple of weeks, despite the fact that it’s still not available in all 50 states (but is expected to be by March).
The company has three more EVs in the pipeline: the eNV200 commercial van, which was on display at the Detroit Auto Show, an Infiniti EV that will make its debut later this year, and…what? AutoblogGreen asked Nissan spokesman Mark Perry for some hints about the mystery vehicle.
“We're in the mass-market division with the Leaf, a vehicle purpose-built to hit the middle of the mass market. Infiniti is the luxury division and now, a hint toward commercial. So, what's left? Well we want to go back into the mass market and figure out what's the next symbol of our innovation. So we want to maintain our leadership position with zero-emission vehicles, so what do we do next? What we showed in Tokyo were four pretty different concepts. One of those, or a blend, will be the next vehicle. People always say, ‘Do a sports car.’ That's fun, you can do a sports car, but what does that do for the brand? Some… but is it enough? Do you do an urban commuter car? Yeah, you can do that, but other people are doing that, too. So, it's finding the next thing. With in-wheel motors, all of a sudden completely different architectures are possible.”
Well, Nissan’s series of Pivo concept cars, first introduced in 2005, uses in-wheel motors, as well as a rotating passenger cabin that allows the car to drive in any direction. But it seems unlikely that any version of the Pivo will be produced, except perhaps as a prop in a science-fiction movie. We’re betting that Nissan’s next EV will be something with the potential for serious sales, and Perry seems to agree: “We're beyond niche and test markets and playing around. We’ve got billions invested.”