With Teslas and Toyotas stealing the alternative energy press, Nissan’s Leaf soldiers on.
Since the Nissan Leaf was introduced to the general public back in 2010, it’s sold relatively well electric car newcomer. According to our motoring friends in the UK on their report earlier yesterday (July 27, 2015) the next generation Nissan Leaf may spawn a crossover SUV that sits much higher than a regular Leaf but will retain all its electrical capabilities. According to executive vice-president Trevor Mann, “There could be more than one Leaf. We’ve always said it needn’t be one car.”
Currently, the little Nissan Leaf sits on what Nissan calls it’s B-Platform. Instead of a fuel tank, you’ll find a stack of lithium ion batteries and in place of an internal combustion engine under the hood, there’s an electric motor. A quick scan of vehicles that utilize Nissan’s B-platform reveals such high riding cars as the Nissan Juke, Nissan NV 200 (which comes in an all-electric concept) and the Dacia Duster (which is basically a stretched out Nissan B-Platform.) That’s global module chassis engineering for you.
"“We’ve got the NV200 electric, too, now, but obviously we’re still studying other opportunities. What we’ve got to do is to make sure the market is right. We want to make sure that when we do the next one or we expand the line-up, we’re really taking the market intelligence that we’re gathering and using it. With our customer base, we have an enormous amount of feedback that we can recycle into what we do in the future.”"
The Nissan Leaf and it’s fans have been hankering for a successor for quite some time now. Right now Nissan Leaf range hovers around 75 miles but can reach up to 84 miles if you really stretch the batteries out. Lithium ion battery technology is improving by the day and we could see a the next Leaf with a 120-150 mile range soon. No word yet on a reveal date, but look for early 2016 for Nissan to make an announcement.
Pretty much our reaction to this rumor is that Nissan may have a Grand Slam of a crossover on their hands. If they price it well and it looks decent, they’ll sell like hotcakes (you heard it here first.) You’re combining two segments that are seeing massive growth (small crossover SUVs and alternative fuel vehicles.) A bit of utility and at the same time being very pro-electric powertrains is all the rage. Imagine taking your family up to Yosemite and enjoying a bit of camping without leaving a single carbon footprint except for your camp stove and propane heater. It’s like this was the purpose of the Nissan Leaf the entire time, to test the market and gain valuable information to herald the coming of its crossover self. Talk about creating niche market and striking when the iron is hot. Well done Nissan. Let’s see this one through.