Nissan Motor Co has revealed plans to roll out eight new pure electric vehicle models over the next four years, as part of the Japanese auto giant’s plans to ramp up its EV production and and evolve its autonomous driving systems.
The company, which last September unveiled its next generation LEAF EV, said it was targeting sales of one million electrified vehicles – either pure EVs or hybrid models – annually by fiscal year 2022.
But rather than putting all its hope on the LEAF – which has in the past ranked as one of the world’s top selling pure EVs – the company said on Monday it would significantly broaden its EV range, with an eye to getting a bigger piece of various key global markets.
In Japan and Europe, for example, the automaker expects EV’s to make up 40 per cent of the company’s sales there by 2022, and 50 per cent by 2025.
In the US, the expectation is about 20-30 per cent by 2025; while in China – where Nissan plans to mount “an electric car offensive” – it’s 35-40 per cent.
In China, the “EV offensive” will be led by the launch a new C-segment electric car this year, derived from Nissan LEAF technology; as well as an affordable EV.
In Japan, the company will continue to expand its e-POWER technology, already offered on the Nissan Note and Nissan Serena in that country.
Australia doesn’t rate a specific mention in the newly unveiled plans, but the new LEAF is expected to arrive on our shores sometime before the end of March 2019, according to an email from Nissan Australia. Firm dates are still to be confirmed.*
Nissan’s revved-up EV plan follows a number of similar pledges by major European and US car manufacturers, including Volkswagen, Volvo, Daimler and GM.
For example, Volkswagen – which owns 12 auto brands including Porsche, Audi, Bentley, Lamborghini, Seat, Skoda and Bugatti – said just under a fortnight ago that it would be launching a new electric car “virtually every month” starting in 2019.
Mercedes Benz parent company, Daimler, plans to offer electric versions of all of its for Mercedes-Benz and smart car models by 2022.
And in the US, General Motors has revealed plans to offer 20 all-electric models by 2023.
On the smart driving front, Nissan wants to equip 20 models in 20 markets with autonomous driving technology, and to reach 100 per cent connectivity for all new Nissan, Infiniti and Datsun cars by 2022.
“Our product and technology strategy is dedicated to positioning Nissan to lead the automotive, technology and business evolution,” said Nissan chief planning officer, Philippe Klein.
“Our efforts are focused on delivering Nissan Intelligent Mobility, encompassing the three core elements of electrification, autonomous drive, connectivity and new mobility services.”
This will be followed by enhancing ProPILOT to automate multilane driving on highways and managing vehicle destinations. The enhanced capability will be introduced in Japan as a pilot project within one year.
Nissan tested its first robo-vehicle ride-hailing service called “Easy Ride” with partner DeNA earlier this month. By the early 2020s, it aims to provide commercial services directly to customers.
*This article has been updated to show the correct estimated date of arrival of the new Nissan LEAF in Australia. It was originally reported to be second half 2018.