As the second decade of modern electric vehicle adoption for the masses arises, Nissan identifies the four key pillars of its approach to the future. Nissan expects its electric ecosystem approach will continue to place it in a leadership position that it has held since the original Nissan LEAF kickstarted electric life for a record number of buyers.
Nissan announced the 4 pillars at the third Nissan Futures event — ‘The Car and Beyond’ — in Oslo, Norway.
- New Electric Vehicles: This includes the new Nissan LEAF, with a special “2.ZERO” version for Europe, as well as a new Nissan e-NV200 van, which also has a better battery that significantly boosts the vehicle’s range.
- Infrastructure Commitment: Nissan is expanding “Europe’s largest fast charger infrastructure network” at the same time, by 20%, with 1,000 more quick charger installations just announced. That’s a move from 4,600 quick chargers today to 5,600 over next 18 months.
- Expanded Power of Home and Office Chargers: Nissan also announced commercial launch of a new 7 kW double-speed charger for the home, a new 22kW charger for businesses, and a 100% renewable energy storage & charging unit.
- “Free Power For EVs” … or at least some cash back: A “ground-breaking commercial approach to give customers free power for their EV using unique Nissan bi-directional charging technology”
They may not offer 11 kW or 22 kW home charging like a Tesla can, but new home and office charging units from Nissan in 2018 “offer a 70% reduction in charging time from the previous charging technology.” With the “double speed” 7 kW Nissan home charging station can charge an electric Nissan in 5.5 hours. A 22 kW “business” option, however, cuts that down to 2 hours.
Importantly, although designed for fleet and business owners, the faster charger can also be purchased by normal consumers. There will definitely be consumers who want this quicker charging option.
“Nissan also showcased its new home energy storage system, which follows on from the success of xStorage. Created especially for EV owners, customers can plug their electric vehicle directly into the wall box to charge. It 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 new range of home and office charging units will be available from early 2018.
Nissan also updated us by indicating that its original xStorage solution, developed together with Eaton, has seen more than 1,000 sales across Europe in only 3 months. Going forward, “5,000 units are expected to be sold by the end of March 2018. Nissan expects to sell 100,000 home energy units by the end of FY2020 in Europe.”
“Headlining the Nissan Futures 3.0 event was the European premiere of the new Nissan LEAF, with a special ’2.ZERO’ version for Europe.”
“Another new product announced at Nissan Futures was the new longer range 100% electric van – the e-NV200. With a 280km/174miles range* [on the excessively optimistic and unrealistic NEDC system], Europe’s best-selling electric van can now travel 100km further than ever before on a single charge – a 60% range improvement. And, with no increase in size or weight of the battery itself, customers do not have to compromise in either load space or payload. Crucially, it can help make 100% electric last mile delivery a reality for businesses and professional drivers everywhere.”
On to the smart charging and vehicle-to-grid (V2G) offer: “Over the past year in Denmark, Nissan has been testing this revolutionary new way of driving and today, this has become an offer open to all fleet customers throughout the country. Using Nissan bi-directional charging, customers can draw energy from the grid to power their car or van and then ‘sell’ back to the grid for others to use. This means, once a nominal charge has been paid by the business for the installation of a V2G charger there are no fuel or energy costs; just free power for your EV.
“And Denmark is just the start. Nissan also announced a UK collaboration with OVO allowing customers to purchase an xStorage home energy unit at a discounted price enabling them to ‘sell’ back energy to the grid. This helps contribute to grid stability in a world where demand for energy is increasing due to a growing, urbanizing population. It can result in an additional expected income for users averaging £350 / €400 per year.” Tesla CTO JB Straubel contends this isn’t worth the hassle and costs. We’ll see what consumers say.
Paul Willcox said: “Step by step we are removing any barriers to electric vehicle adoption – from infrastructure investment, to how people access the power itself.” He added:
“Over the coming decades through our Nissan Intelligent Mobility vision, the electric ecosystem will transform modern life as we know it. But while the starting point for it is 100% electric vehicles like the new LEAF and e-NV200, the impact goes much further. With fewer emissions, our cities and air will be cleaner. With more intelligent safety features, car accidents would be reduced dramatically. With better connections between vehicles and their surroundings, the school run or daily commute will no longer be clogged with traffic. And by letting people charge their vehicle and their home from each other, we can use our time and energy supplies more efficiently than ever.”
Nissan Leaf sales keep going strong in the US despite the increasing competition — including from the next-gen LEAF. I can’t wait to see the charts in a year, once this year’s new Nissan LEAF is in mass production.