It’s confirmed. The third-generation Nissan Leaf will morph into an SUV, Nissan Europe boss Guillaume Cartier told Autocar. Set to be launched around 2025, the new EV will be based on the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance’s modular CMF-EV platform.
By then, the report also added that Nissan’s core European models will be electrified crossovers, namely the Juke, Qashqai, Ariya, X-Trail, and the new Leaf. Nissan also revealed it won’t invest in the internal combustion engine to meet EU7 emissions, because the cost accounts for half of the profit margin per car. That means 2,000 euros (RM9.7k) gets passed onto the customer. “So we bet on EV, knowing it will decrease in cost,” Cartier said.
Nissan won’t develop any other conventional models such as sedans, hatchbacks or estates, but will turn to the Alliance to source for underpinnings for other segments like the Micra replacement.
The Leaf has saved 2.1 million metric tonnes of CO2 as of March 2020
“We will look to the Alliance for a full line-up of powertrains. One topic that is still open is the entry [level]. Key point is how we offer something from the Alliance with the Nissan brand,” Cartier said, adding that making the small car profitable would be the main issue. The Micra replacement will “absolutely” be fully electric, though. The automaker expects 80% of its sales to be full EVs by 2030.
As for alternative fuels, Nissan CEO Makoto Uchida said it won’t be investing in hydrogen fuel cell technology, choosing to focus on battery EVs instead. “Our competitors have many solutions for technology. For us, we decided EVs. We used to have hydrogen technology at Nissan, and maybe in a different world, we still would. But so far, this [EV] is our asset and what we want to be on.”
Uchida also said the future of Nissan sports cars in Europe remain uncertain due to the needs of electrification. However, its participation in Formula E will remain, because it aligns with the company’s electric ambitions.
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