In a recent press release, Nissan announced a bold move for itss European business. Starting now, there will be no new combustion-powered vehicle models for the market, and by 2030, the company wants all new Nissans to be “100% electric.” Let’s take a quick look at the announcement and then discuss what it means.
Nissan’s 2030 EV Pledge
With its expertise in design, engineering, and manufacturing, along with a focus on electrification and crossovers, Nissan says moving to all EVs by 2030 will be a significant shift towards carbon neutrality.
“EV is the ultimate mobility solution. More than a million customers have already joined our journey and experienced the fun of a Nissan electric vehicle, and there is no turning back now,” said Makoto Uchida, Nissan President and CEO. “EVs powered by renewables are key to us achieving carbon neutrality, which is central to our Ambition 2030 vision. Nissan will make the switch to full electric by 2030 in Europe — we believe it is the right thing to do for our business, our customers and for the planet.”
Nissan is demonstrating its commitment to its European Design and R&D teams by investing in their cutting-edge work on future vehicles and technology. This includes the unveiling of the ‘Concept 20-23’ EV concept to mark the 20th anniversary of Nissan Design Europe and the ongoing real-world autonomous driving study, evolvAD, at the Nissan Technical Centre Europe. These milestones showcase Nissan’s dedication to innovation and advancement in the automotive industry.
This will culminate in multi-million dollar investments at two major sites. Nissan’s Ambition 2030 aims to globally introduce 27 electrified vehicles, with 19 being EVs, by 2030. Additionally, Nissan plans to implement cobalt-free technology to reduce the cost of EV batteries by 65% by fiscal year 2028.
Nissan plans to launch electric vehicles equipped with all-solid-state batteries (ASSB) by fiscal year 2028. These breakthrough batteries will not only increase EV efficiency and accessibility by reducing charging time, but also bring down the cost of battery packs. Nissan aims to achieve cost parity between EVs and gasoline vehicles in the future. Additionally, Nissan has confirmed the release of two future EVs in Europe as part of its ambitious EV36Zero project, which integrates EV manufacturing, battery production, and renewable energy.
The company also says that its EV effort is already paying off in Europe.
Nissan has achieved significant success in Europe with over one-third of its million-plus EVs sold in the region. The latest additions to its electric vehicle lineup, the Nissan Ariya and Townstar van, have been well-received. Since 2022, Nissan’s entire range in Europe has become 100% electrified, including the integration of e-POWER technology in models like the Qashqai and X-Trail. This transition to electric vehicles is supported by the popular and leading vehicles in their respective segments. Moving forward, every new Nissan in Europe will be 100% electric.
The company also says that the European car market has seen a remarkable surge in electrification. From 2018-2022, electric and electrified vehicle sales skyrocketed from 5% to 44%. All-electric vehicle sales alone increased from 1% to 12%. Nissan currently holds a 16% share of EV sales in Europe and aims to achieve a total electrified sales mix of 50%, with future projections pointing towards a remarkable 98% in the next three years.
“As Europe accelerates towards EV, Nissan will continue to deliver the striking crossover design and driving excitement that our customers love,” said Guillaume Cartier, Nissan Chairperson for the AMIEO region (Africa, Middle-East, India, Europe and Oceania). “With breakthroughs in battery technology, electric vehicles will become even more accessible, and Nissan will continue to champion EV as the best way to provide cleaner, simpler and more affordable mobility.”
Overall, Nissan’s Ambition 2030 vision aims for a sustainable future, focusing on cleaner, safer, and more inclusive practices. Nissan plans to deliver electrified vehicles, technological innovations, and expand globally over the next decade. The ultimate goal is to achieve carbon neutrality across its product life cycle by fiscal year 2050.
Thoughts On This
One very important thing to note here is that Nissan isn’t going all EV today. The company committed to not introducing any new Nissan models that weren’t EVs, but existing hybrid, gas, and diesel models will continue to be built, possibly as late as 2030.
At first, I thought that this announcement was just a formality, with the company only beating the European target for going electric by 5 years. But, as I looked further into it, I found that there’s something a little deeper going on here.
At the last minute, Germany demanded that the EU allow for E-fuels after 2030. This means that synthetic gasoline or diesel generated using atmospheric CO2 and renewable energy would still be allowed.
But, it seems pretty clear that Nissan isn’t going to follow the VW Group in pursuing that option. It’s pretty clear that E-fuels are not going to be cost effective, and will likely still cost far more than regular gasoline did. So, the cost will be even less competitive with EVs, making for a very difficult value proposition. So, only a few enthusiast vehicles are likely to actually mess with e-fuels.
This is a good thing, because the amount of electricity needed to generate e-fuels is a lot like hydrogen. You’d be far better off to just use the electricity to charge a battery than you would be to use far more of it to make liquid fuels. Also, e-fuels are still going to be complex hydrocarbons, so they’ll create other types of pollution that harms human and animal health.
This all-in on EVs announcement shows that the industry at large is not going to waste time with E-fuels.
Another thing to think about is that Nissan is betting on solid state batteries. The company is not doing the Toyota thing and building almost no EVs while waiting for solid-state batteries to be ready to put into assembly lines. Nissan seems to actually be confident in the upcoming technology and isn’t using it to kick the can down the road the way Toyota does.
Altogether, this announcement means good news for not only Nissan, but the health of the EV transition in Europe. Instead of wasting time with dead-end approaches, Nissan shows us that the industry is committing to move forward.
Featured image provided by Nissan.
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