The production Chevrolet Bolt will be unveiled in January at CES 2016 in Las Vegas. This means that the clock is ticking for Nissan.
Nissan IDS Concept is probably the preview of the second generation Nissan Leaf, but it looks far to become a production car. Will Carlos Ghosn, CEO of the Renault-Nissan Alliance let GM take the lead? Not likely. Ghosn said that the Nissan’s Bolt competitor would be cheaper and arrive before.
So this is what I think it will happen:
Nissan IDS Concept will be worked day and night to make the Nissan Leaf 2 ready for production before the Bolt. Let’s not forget that the Chevrolet Bolt will begin production in October 2016. The 60 kWh battery and efficiency tweaks (aerodynamics and weight) will make Nissan Leaf 2 a better option than the Fat Bolt. But I don’t think the Leaf 2 will be available before October, so let’s see the Plan B.
Nissan will take the time necessary to make the second generation Leaf almost perfect. I believe that Nissan will introduce a 48 kWh battery in 2016 for the first generation Leaf. This way, Nissan gains time to improve the second generation. This is what I believe that will happen, since Nissan already has 48 kWh batteries prototypes with the same size of current batteries that could replace them. A first generation Leaf with a 48 kWh battery will probably get an EPA range of 168 miles. Not as good as Bolt, but here is where price can make the difference.
The Chevy Bolt will truly compete with Nissan Leaf 2 only when GM sells it worldwide. We will probably see the second generation Leaf available around the globe before the Chevrolet/Opel 200 mile range electric car.