So, the overwhelming response was in support of simply a longer-range Nissan LEAF. Though an electric version of the Nissan Sway and an electric crossover or SUV also got quite a lot of support. I personally went with the Sway, since I think it looks hot and would pull in a lot of new buyers. However, I actually really like the look of the LEAF, as well, and see some benefit to sticking with a model that is selling well. Of course, with the broad appeal of SUVs/CUVs, I can see the arguments there, too. As far as creating an electric, high-end sedan… well, then you’re competing the Tesla Model S (hard to do…).
I’ll admit that I messed up a bit by not indicating in two of the answer choices (the Sway & SUV/CUV options) that anyone answering should use the same assumption regarding battery cost & range as with the “updated Nissan LEAF” option. That was implied, but I later realized it wasn’t communicated clearly at all. I can only hope that people answering the poll assumed that.
I do think we can count on Nissan coming out with a much longer-range, but still affordable, electric car. Renault-Nissan Chairman & CEO Carlos Ghosn essentially indicated as much at the end of 2014, when stating that the company would “very soon take the issue of range off of the table.” In a Japanese TV interview, he replied as follows:
Host: Is Nissan working on new batteries?
Host: Can you tell us more?
Host: Will the range double?
Host: That means more than 400 kilometers?
200 kilometers (124 miles) is the range of the Nissan LEAF according to the New European Driving Cycle, which is known to not be realistic. So, the comments above, as general as they are, seem to be in reference to that testing standard. Anyhow, doubling the range of the LEAF would equal ~170 miles of range according to the US EPA standard.
Daily Kanban reportedly spoke with a battery engineer about the matter and had this to say:
“Commercial applications could be no more than one model cycle away,” said an engineer who is not supposed to talk to me. According to the source, the new battery delivers twice the capacity while weighing – and costing – less than the current shorter range model. In a prototype, Nissan’s Barcelona Technical Centre last year tested a 48 kWh battery, double the capacity of the Leaf’s 24kWh battery.
The 400km (250 miles) range is for a Leaf-sized vehicle, possibly even the next generation Leaf.
A LEAF-sized vehicle could obviously be a new iteration of the LEAF, or it could be an electric Sway. 😀 We’ll see. All just rumors at this point anyway.
Thanks to everyone who chimed in!
Have a tip for CleanTechnica? Want to advertise? Want to suggest a guest for our CleanTech Talk podcast? Contact us here.
CleanTechnica Holiday Wish Book
Our Latest EVObsession Video
CleanTechnica uses affiliate links. See our policy here.