While the 2018 Nissan Leaf is a great step forward, in reality it’s a nice facelift. Just look between the A and C pillars and you’ll see that it remains the same car with the same wheelbase, only the front and back changed.
Furthermore, internally Nissan calls it a facelift, yet for marketing purposes “new generation” sells and sounds better… I’m cool with both designations, since the 2018 Nissan Leaf is definitely a good improvement.
However, the real new generation will arrive in 2020 and will share the same platform with the next generation Renault Zoe and a new electric car from Mitsubishi. According to the French magazine Challenges this shared platform for EVs will be unveiled next month.
Let’s see what we already know about it.
The Alliance Global Director of EV and HEV Engineering Division of Nissan, Kazuo Yajima already told us what to expect from the facelift and the next generation, regarding range. We can see it in the chart below.
In 2020, this new platform will enable different electric cars from the Alliance to share multiple components. This much awaited synergy will help to reduce costs and make real affordable electric cars – that can compete with ICE (Internal Engine Combustion) cars in terms of price.
As you can see from the slide below, the next generation Zoe will also get a range boost in 2020.
Notice that in the charts above we have ranges in their unrealistic JC08 and NEDC test cycles, realistically this means that we can expect more affordable electric cars with roughly 250 miles (402 km) EPA range in 2020.
How will the Nissan Leaf look like in 2020?
It’s still very far away to know for sure, but we can speculate on it…
A reader of this blog, Dominic, has spotted that in some Nissan websites there are images of the Nissan IDS Concept with a different aspect ratio. With a different aspect ratio, the Nissan IDS Concept looks like a completely different car and a shrunk-down version of the original. The same way the Tesla Model 3 looks like a shrunk-down version of the Model S…
Original Nissan IDS Concept
The IDS concept in its original form is sleeker (lower, longer and thus more aerodynamic). I hope that Nissan will sell it under its luxury brand Infiniti to compete with the Tesla Model 3. I think it would be a stunning and very efficient electric car.
Nissan IDS Concept (shrunk-down version)
A shrunk-down version of the original concept, by being smaller would mean less raw material used in production, which would help to further reduce costs and speed up production – essential to compete with ICE cars. This version would be about the size of the Volkswagen I.D. Concept that we can see below.
While both the shrunk-down Nissan IDS Concept and the Volkswagen I.D. Concept with their supermini shape would be much more suitable for the European and Asian tastes, the bigger and original Nissan IDS Concept should be sold under the Infiniti brand, especially for the USA market where Tesla Model 3 will reign.
To sum up, 2020 is definitely the year when legacy automakers will start to get serious about electric cars. Not only because European and Chinese laws mandate it, but also because the Tesla Model 3 is already getting too much attention by its own and proving that the TINA (There is No Alternative) narrative is a lie…
Anyways, before you light your torches and sharpen your pitchforks, calm down. Having a completely new Nissan Leaf in 2020 doesn’t necessarily mean that the 2018 Nissan Leaf won’t have a higher range version, it just means that a higher range version will probably be more expensive and have roughly the same range as the cheaper entry-level version Leaf in 2020 – that will finally make electric cars mainstream.
Thanks Dominic for the heads up!
What do you think? Will Nissan be able to achieve its goal of electric cars representing 20 % of its sales in Europe by 2020? Furthermore, which one do you like the most, the Volkswagen I.D. concept or the shrunk-down version of the Nissan IDS Concept?
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