With the company having already outlined its plans for ‘Intelligent Mobility’ - which foresees a connected network of zero-emissions vehicles that power and communicate with our offices and homes - it seems the Japanese car maker is taking the first steps to realising its vision.
Speaking to Autocar, Gareth Dunsmore, director of Nissan’s zero-emission business unit, said: “We’re leaders in crossovers and a leader with Leaf and we will combine those two in the future”.
Above: Nissan Qashqai
Dunsmore added that the next step for the brand is “a platform fit for EVs from day one”, referring to the development of new model architectures that would be engineered to accommodate both combustion engines and other drivetrain technologies - such as electric or possibly the recently-revealed e-Bio Fuel-Cell.
“I hope EV stands up within that [platform] and people see it as environmentally friendly, fun and cost-efficient,” he said.
Currently, Nissan’s electric models such as the Leaf are built on dedicated EV platforms.
Next-generation Nissan Leaf to gain 60kWh battery
Meanwhile Kazuo Yajima, Nissan’s global director of electric vehicles (EV) and hybrid electric vehicles (HEV), has gone on record saying that the next-generation Leaf will offer a zero-emissions range of over 200 miles (322km) from a new, much larger 60kWh battery pack.
Speaking to Autoblog at EVS29, an electric vehicle symposium in Montreal, Canada, Yajima said: “It’s coming,” - referring to the 60kWh Leaf - however, Nissan’s electric director couldn’t confirm a time frame for when the new EV would make its debut.
”I’m sorry I cannot say when,” he said.
Above: Nissan IDS concept
Showing off the company’s new 60kWh battery pack at the Montreal EV convention, Yajima said that he thinks Nissan will be able to end range anxiety with electric vehicles.
“In the near future, believe, we can produce an electric vehicle that doesn’t have any driving range problem,” he said.
This comes after last year’s reports that the next Leaf could feature more than one bodystyle, which hinted at a family of models based on the company’s electric hatchback.
In its current form, the Leaf now offers a 30kWh battery pack in overseas markets, while Australian models are still powered by the 24kWh pack that the electric hatch first debuted with.