With the debut of its electric hatchback Leaf in 2010, Nissan was among the first manufacturers in the market who could be credited for the introduction of vehicle battery electric technology. The company, however, states that consumers deviated their attention towards other ‘flashy’ vehicles, Automotive News reported.
“We consider ourselves the leader, but I think we’re the wallflower leader of EV,” said Chris Reed, vice president of platform and technology engineering at Nissan North America at the CAR Management Briefing Seminar on Tuesday.
This could be accounted to its rivals such as Tesla, General Motors and Toyota who managed to capture the headlines with models such as Model 3, Bolt and Prius. Reading on the recent boom of EVs across the world, almost every company is making efforts to incorporate EVs bit by bit into its lineup.
The Leaf Nismo is an enhanced EV that went on sale from July 31 and was developed along with the in-house tuning wing of Nissan
In such a situation Nissan is not likely to cross and is expected to act accordingly.
On July 18, Nissan announced the onset of sales of the Leaf Nismo from July 31. The car which is jointly made by NISMO, the company’s in-house tuning wing, is claimed to have better responsive acceleration, custom tires and suspension for improved handling and riding comfort. Cosmetically, the EV gets an aggressive stance with new exterior and interior design.
The second generation of Leaf which was launched in 2017 saw significant cosmetic changes such as a sleeker design combined with enhanced mechanics which included a new battery which boosted the range of the car on full charge by 40 percent to 150 miles.
A new model of Leaf is hinted to be launched by 2019
The 2017 version of the compact EV also possessed an updated edition of Nissan’s ProPilot Assist autonomous driving features, as well as a new e-pedal technology that turns one pedal into an accelerator as well as a brake.
However, despite all the enhancements the Japanese manufacturer lowered the starting price of the car to $ 30,000, before tax credits.
“We tried to find the right balance of range and price and package everything together,” Reed said. “How to make EVs that are accessible to all is a key for our company.”
The current trajectory of the company plans the launch of eight new EVs by 2023. This would include a new model of Leaf by 2019 which would have a range of more than 200 miles.
The article was adapted from an article at Nikkei Asian Review, which you can find here.