The next-generation Nissan Leaf will have its underpinnings shared with both Nissan’s alliance partners, Renault and Mitsubishi.
Last week, Arnaud Deboeuf, senior vice president of Renault-Nissan BV, confirmed to Automotive News that the next-generation versions of the Renault Zoe and Nissan Leaf will ride on a common platform and share key components, including electric motors.
Above: Renault Zoe. Top: Nissan Leaf.
By spreading development costs over three brands, and achieving better economies of scale with components, Nissan reportedly hopes to slash the entry price of the next-generation Leaf to around 2 million yen ($25,000), a drop of almost 30 per cent.
This would mean that the new Leaf will be slightly more expensive than a comparable petrol-engined car. In Japan, the Nissan Sylphy (sold in Australia as the Pulsar) starts at 1.99 million yen.
According to the business publication, the three companies will begin sharing the next-generation Leaf platform from 2018. A report last week in the French press indicated that the next-generation Renault Zoe wouldn’t appear on the market until 2020.
Above: Mitsubishi i-MiEV.
Any future electric Mitsubishi would likely act as a replacement for the i-MiEV, which was withdrawn from the Australian market in 2012. The company’s current green flagship on the local market is the Outlander Plug-in Hybrid.
Nissan purchased a controlling 34 per cent stake in Mitsubishi Motors in October.
The three diamond brand was plunged into crisis when it was revealed in April that it had been doctoring fuel economy numbers for its domestic market models.
With Mitsubishi now part of the Renault-Nissan Alliance, Mitsubishi vehicles are expected to move onto common platforms when they are renewed or redesigned.