Hello and welcome to your daily Charge Smart blog! You join us today for part 2 of 'Where did their EVs go?'. We'll take a look at what happened to Nissan's EV project in today's blog.
Above: The revamped Nissan Leaf EV
When Nissan introduced the Leaf in 2010, the world was excited to have a reasonably affordable electric car from a reputed manufacturer. A manufacturer who was so much in the news at the time as Carlos Ghosn oversaw the creation of Nissan’s lightning quick GT-R, he was also the man who spearheaded their EV project along with Renault’s wave of electric cars. A project that meant Nissan was on the tip of everyone’s tongues when it came to the electric cars but then Ghosn was arrested in 2018 and it all fell apart. Speaking of him, he recently escaped from Japan in a move that shocked even his lawyers and then resurfaced in Lebanon somehow!
Now it’s Nissan who are looking to resurface themselves in the EV market. Their ex chief said that Carlos Ghosn’s adventures outside of Nissan have dented the value of the Leaf and so the brand plans to move away from the car and the whole budget econobox idea that the Leaf represents. Which is good news because the Leaf is a rather terrible looking car and it also has poor range, both of which have been improved by the way with the latest generation of the car.
Above: Nissan's EV hopes are pinned on the success of the Nissan Ariya
Nissan are currently working on launching an all new electric SUV called the Ariya, they’ve worked on the platform with Renault. Nissan wants to turn their EV division into a range of premium cars from the Japanese manufacturer and experts predict that they will try and price the Ariya around $80,000 NZD! One could say that the future of Nissan is almost hinging on the imminent success of the Ariya. Their range of cars is too old and that has led to falling profits for the Japanese automaker who was at the forefront of the EV charge 10 years ago. While Nissan have had incredible success with the Leaf, it has failed to maintain a brand value like that of Tesla. Nissan have struggled with trying to create a suitable platform for their electric cars and it seems that their struggles will continue as they have said that the much anticipated Ariya could be three years away! They’ve already pledged $300 million worth of investment into a current plant in Japan to make their production methods more suitable for EVs, this is where the Ariya will be made.
In a time when automotive partnerships are the ‘in’ thing with Ford & VW, Toyota & BMW and General Motors and Honda all creating their own agreements to share EV tech, Nissan is trying to distance themselves from Renault. Ghosn was the one who tried to merge the two companies, and some say that is what led to his sacking, but Nissan and Renault need to work together now more than ever.
Nissan also made an announcement last month, stating that they have now sold over 400,000 Leafs. I’m not sure what would be the plural of a Nissan Leaf, one leaf many leaves perhaps?! Anyway, there was no manipulation from Nissan. They have managed to sell that many Leafs, making it the best-selling EV of all time.
Above: The Nissan Formula E car
We also hope that Nissan can play catch-up as they too had an electrifying start to their EV campaign only to lose out because of internal politics and so on. Both BMW and Nissan have been let down by internal issues within the company but both have continued quite successfully with their participation in Formula E. Something which should help them on the road just like Jaguar whose 2020 models of the I-Pace will have increased range and better performance. Both of which have been learnt through their participation in Formula E and in the Jaguar I-Pace etrophy.