Nissan CEO On Next-Gen LEAF, 300-Mile Ranges By 2020. New EVs Within 2 Years

2 weeks ago by Mark Kane 80

The 2018 Nissan LEAF was recently spotted out testing!

After traveling the “virtual desert of news” on Nissan’s future electric vehicle program the last couple years, we have appeared to have made it to the other side, as Nissan’s new CEO Hiroto Saikawa (the first in 16 years, replacing Carlos Ghosn) hinted and forecast his company’s plans concerning EVs.

2018 Nissan LEAF

First, Saikawa confirmed what we already knew, that the next generation LEAF will debut later this year.   LEAF 2.0 is set to debut in September, with deliveries beginning shortly thereafter.

Nissan’s Chief Planning Officer, Phillippe Klein, conceded to the Automotive News that the wait on the next gen LEAF was probably too long…or at least the decision to not show-off what the company had in store.

“Five or six years ago, we were looked at as a kind of adventurous company, moving into an area where nobody was expecting us to move.  And now you have a lot of players making big announcements, and we are looked at like laggards.”

Longer Ranges, More EV Offerings Ahead

Expanding the broader picture, the new Nissan boss says the company will both be expanding its lineup of electric vehicles, and added that the new EV flagship with have a range of around 300 mile (480 km) by 2020.  

And Saikawa was not using a weird Japanese metric, or giving an overly optimistic 300 mile estimate, but a real-world one:

“Good enough,” Saikawa said of a 300-mile range by 2020, “It’s a usable range, 300 miles. I believe that the technology will lead us to go there.”

As for more plug-in models; there we will be a couple new offerings within two years, but he declined to state which models we might see.

Saikawa specifically noted that these vehicles would take range “out of the equation” for the US, and would be comparable with traditional offerings on the US market.

The Nissan Qashqai (shown here in petrol form) seems like a given to have a plug added

2018 Nissan LEAF (click to enlarge)

The new Nissan CEO said also that the EV competition now shifts from the technology (that become similar between manufacturers) to “how aggressively you can deploy the portfolio across the models“.

The number of plug-in models is expected to grow especially quickly between 2020-2025, a time when Nissan expects long-range all-electric vehicles will have the functionality and price to replace its top selling petrol models.

“The real evolution will come when we have a serious plan for the substitution of existing powertrains, say in our major models: the Rogue, Qashqai, X-Trail. A major part of it will be EV.

This is the time I’m talking about. Maybe 2025.”

Separately Nissan says it intends to boost Mitsubishi’s imagine in the U.S., increasing car sales by 50% or 100%.

A gain that sounds significant, until one realizes that Mitsu only just 100,000 vehicles last year in the US, just making the oft-delayed Outlander PHV available (now tentatively scheduled for release somewhere between Summer 2017 and March 2018) could almost get Nissan to a 50% gain.

Given what we have heard from officials on the merger, we expect that new plug-ins from Mitsubishi using Nissan platforms, or even re-badged Renaults, could appear on the market in the near future, as mini-cars and EVs have specifically been mentioned as common ground between the alliance.

Nissan IDS Concept foreshadows look of next generation LEAF – which debuts in September

source: Automotive News

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83 responses to "Nissan CEO On Next-Gen LEAF, 300-Mile Ranges By 2020. New EVs Within 2 Years"

  1. Chris O says:

    Back in 2009 Nissan promised 186 miles of range by 2015. Nissan is 2 years late (and yes, that does make it look like a laggard) but it looks like it will deliver more than that 186 miles.

    http://gas2.org/2009/12/01/with-new-battery-nissan-plans-to-double-ev-range-by-2015/

    1. Jay Cole says:

      Hrm, might be a fun article to visit all the projections, concepts and forecasts on plug-in tech from 2006-2010 (before the start of the first mass produced EV deliveries in ~December 2010).

      It was an exciting time to think about the future back then, but so do not want to go back and re-live all that. The “future” is finally arriving – albeit it a touch late. Still, we made it…and that certainly wasn’t a given a decade ago.

      1. Bone says:

        It would be great if you could add some kind of archive on this site, so everyone could browse articles from any chosen time without clicking “next entries” button countless times.

      2. Chris O says:

        I bookmarked many links regarding projections of things to come back in those days, especially regarding battery breakthroughs. Somehow none of those ever panned out….

        Nissan should have stuck to its 2015 timeline though, it would have been the leader rather than the laggard. Sadly for Nissan its in house battery supplier couldn’t deliver the goods.

      3. Brian says:

        Jay, that would be a fascinating trip down memory lane. But it might be painful for too many of us to lived through it together. And the comment section would take down your server!

    2. RAV4 EV says:

      I think the Mitsubishi leadership must now be in charge of the Nissan LEAF program.

    3. Joe says:

      It has been delivered by its partner Renault.m in late 2016. Zoe range is 187 miles (300km real range )

  2. Stx says:

    It seems they are not in a hurry.
    Also saying “300 miles range” and nothing more, especially nothing about price, is like saying nothing.

    1. Stx says:

      …still they are much better than most other car makers in terms of EV development and sales.

      1. R.S says:

        Better than most? Better than all!

        Nissan-Renault sold the most pure EVs of any make last year, with the Leaf being the best selling plug-in.

        1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

          “Nissan-Renault sold the most pure EVs of any make last year…”

          That claim is merely the result of lumping sales of Nissan and Renault and Mitsubishi automobiles all together as if they were all just divisions of a single auto maker, which they certainly are not.

          I submit that claim does not represent Truth.

  3. (⌐■_■) Trollnonymous says:

    “oft-delayed Outlander PHV available (now tentatively scheduled for release somewhere between Summer 2017 and March 2018) ”

    lol, Waiting for Godot.

    1. ffbj says:

      An apt reference.

  4. Ron M says:

    Good news that more EV’s are coming with longer range. Hopefully charging stations are using wind and solar for there electricity. Renewable is moving the needle I don’t think Trump can stop it.

  5. Kim Jorgensen says:

    Yet another 2020 plan, the excitement of it all…No wonder Tesla shares are going through the roof.

  6. John says:

    Yawn. Another “kick the can for 3 more years” claim by a leading vehicle manufacturer. It’s like dragging a Labrador the bath with these guys, committing to an actual viable EV. I’ve got a garbage Leaf that’s bordering on useless at this point and Nissan won’t even allow me to upgrade the battery to a current range pack, even though it’s the EXACT same body as the current model. Gee, that’s progressive. Not to mention anti-supportive of the same folks who helped Nissan become so successful with their EV program:

    “Five or six years ago, we were looked at as a kind of adventurous company, moving into an area where nobody was expecting us to move. And now you have a lot of players making big announcements, and we are looked at like laggards.”

    The same folks like me were the actual adventurous ones, taking a huge leap of faith on what turned out to be a garbage product. Never mind that, though.

    Nissan and others have a chance to grab a massively untapped market, yet they’re paralyzed by greed and lack of creativity. As are all the other companies that always claim “2-3 years from now we’ll have a super product..” Bet me that 2-3 years from now we will hear “2-3 years from now…” again from Nissan.

    1. Michael says:

      They have been slow for sure in the past but what 3 years are you talking about now? Seems like wait is over

      New LEAF is 5 months away, two new electric models inside 2 years and ranges up to 300 miles by 2020 (2.5 years)

    2. Jack says:

      There are about 260,000 first gen Leafs on the roads and they all will need replacement batteries within the next couple of years. You would think by now Nissan would have an updated up-range replacement battery for them…that’s a fairly large market for replacement batteries.

      1. Leo says:

        Nonsense. Our Leaf is 2013 and battery health is reported at 95%. Assuming you want to replace the battery at 70% it might very well go another 10-15 years before needing a new battery.

        1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

          “Our Leaf is 2013 and battery health is reported at 95%.”

          Good for you. What percentage of Leaf owners can report the same or better?

          It would be interesting to see a bell curve graph of years vs. battery capacity loss in Leafs.

      2. Murrysville EV says:

        That’s 260,000 customers Nissan has lost for the future, including me.

        This Leaf 2.0 looks as dorky as Leaf 1.0. I don’t need to repeat that.

        1. CLIVE says:

          You clearly need an eye exam.

          1. Rick Danger says:

            No, he doesn’t.

            1. Nick says:

              This is another fine example of the level of discourse available on internet forums. 😀

              1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

                Yes, we always appreciate arguments based solidly on facts and objective evaluations, rather than subjective opinion and personal taste. 😉

    3. Djoni says:

      Certainly the major complain I have with Nissan.
      OK the infotainment isn’t great either, but BMW and VW the cheater do make upgraded battery pack available to their older model.

      I don’t ask a free battery, but it’s clear that within the same size and weight of those old packs, they could provide a major increase in range that many would be interest in.
      It would also boost the sale value or the attractiveness of those used Leaf.
      I would pay a lot of money to exchange my 24 kWh pack for a fresh 50 kWh with thermal management.

      1. I’d be pretty happy to buy a longer range pack too, and I think they could offer a substantially larger pack in the same form factor, but I don’t think they could offer one with an active TMS, that would be a heck of a retrofit to add more piping, radiator, etc.

        1. Djoni says:

          I pretty sure it is feasible:

          http://www.kreiselelectric.com/en/technology/battery-system/battery-pack/

          When you put your brain and effort where it counts, it works.

          1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

            No doubt it’s possible in the engineering sense to add radiators and whatnot to an existing Leaf for a TMS (Thermal Management System) with active battery pack cooling.

            That doesn’t mean it’s feasible in the economic sense. If it costs more to retrofit the car than it does to buy a new, better car with factory installed TMS, then it’s not feasible.

  7. hpver says:

    For a company that’s behind and knows it, they sure don’t seem in a hurry to catch up.

  8. TM says:

    The pipeline is getting packed. In 3 yrs, a lot of cars will be coming out. The yawn is not a yawn. It would be bad if there were no announcements of future cars.

    1. Exactly says:

      All future EV production news is good news…
      2 or 3 years in autos is a short time which the people around here have no concept of or the amout of time and engineering that goes into all cars…
      Besides without future EV news this site would just be an advertisement for current products…

      1. Jason says:

        I don’t think we have no concept of it, I think we wonder why the development didn’t start in 2015.

        GM got the Bolt through in about 2yrs from concept to manufacture, that shows what can be done. If Tesla hit the target then they also got Model 3 in about 2yrs. Nissan should already have all the smarts, upgrading the vehicle should be a matter of course for them, not a super major undertaking. If the battery cannot be retrofitted into, essentially, the same space, that indicates they didn’t design the electrics to allow that to happen. You can see that with the fact no improvements from future vehicles can retro fit into older vehicles, alarm heat pump, 7.6kW charger, battery. You would think the 7.6kW charger would be a very simple retro fit, the heat pump probably not too hard, and the battery should be a done deal.

        I think that is what people find disappointing, not the fact it takes 3+yrs to design and produce the next car, but the fact it sounds like they are just admitting to starting that 3+yrs process.

        Personally, I think the fact they only sold 250k in 5+yrs means they have not wanted to reinvest too quickly, it just hasn’t been profitable, even though it has been necessary.

        1. Asak says:

          I don’t think they want you to be able to upgrade. They want to sell you a new car instead. I think we’re going to have to rely on the aftermarket for retrofits.

        2. Djoni says:

          BMW made their new 33 kWh retrofiable to the existing i3 with 22 kWh.
          VW, did the same with e-Golf.

          Kreisel did fit a 55 kWh pack in place of the 22 kWh pack into a VW e-Golf.
          Adding thermal managment and not a single pound more.

          Yes, it’s possible big time.

          So, yes it’s possible

      2. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

        “2 or 3 years in autos is a short time which the people around here have no concept of or the amout of time and engineering that goes into all cars…”

        Speaking as someone who’s been hoping for 45+ years to see gasmobiles become obsolete, and who has been closely following the EV revolution since 2007 if not before, it’s not so much that I’m dismissive of the amount of time it takes to develop a truly new model of car. Jay Cole says it generally takes about 5 years, and making that significantly shorter is quite difficult.

        No, it’s the fact that auto makers make lots of grand claims which never come to pass. Just look at all those concept cars which auto makers claim will become production cars, even when they have absolutely no intention of developing them beyond the concept car stage! Not to mention the absurd claims about fool cell cars being “the future of automobiles”.

        If the signal-to-noise ratio was higher in what auto makers claim about their future products, then there would be more reason to listen to them when they speak.

  9. Brian says:

    Looks like I’ll be driving my 2012 Leaf a few more years. It still suits my needs very well 5 years later and 80% capacity remaining. Makes me glad I paid the $200 to upgrade the modem so I can still pre-heat/pre-cool remotely!

  10. Assaf says:

    Aaargh. Our already-extended Leaf lease ends July. Haven’t check further extension options… Bolts are available here and we need to test one before deciding what to do… maybe also an Ioniq… yet another Gen 1 Leaf will feel like wearing old unwashed socks again (would be our 3rd Gen 1 Leaf lease in a row).

    Couldn’t you have been 3 months faster, Nissan? Well, actually, a year faster. You’re losing all (well, at least most) of the lease returns from your bumper crop of 2013-2014.

    1. Jay Cole says:

      You might be able to get one…Nissan has a national program in effect now for Summer lease expiries to be extended, if the consumer wants a new/next gen LEAF – also get priority order sequence on the 2018 as part of the deal.

      As you have already extended, it is hard to say if you can “double-up”, but I imagine it is likely.

      1. Assaf says:

        Yeah my planned order of operations

        – Look at a real-life Bolt (size is the main concern to check)
        – Likewise with Ioniq; are they now really available in the US? Nationwide?
        – Decide whether either of those, or old sox 😉 – or extend the lease
        – If latter, contact Nissan.

        Meanwhile… the 3rd year extension included 2 free months, and I opted to put them at the end. So a couple of days ago an email from NMAC landed in my inbox, chirpily telling me that they’ve processed the last payment, and for all practical purposes our lease is over, we’ll need to re-create one if desired.

        I guess they’re throwing wrenches into their own pitches. Won’t be the first time, probably not the last, and that goes for any corporate behemoth out there 🙂

        1. Leo says:

          > – Look at a real-life Bolt (size is the main concern to check)

          As a leaf owner, I was extremely disapointed with the Bolt size. The trunk is uselessly small. Wouldn’t work at all for our family.

          1. Assaf says:

            Thanks Leo! I assume the trunk will be small, given that the Bolt is a foot shorter while similar in the other dimensions. Question will be (to be answered via in-person check), is it too small to be usable for us?

            Also, the seating space. That one, I’ve heard, is pretty close to Leaf’s. But again, we’ll check.

          2. DonC says:

            As a former Leaf owner I was impressed with the Bolt EV. Performance is much closer to the Model S than the Leaf. Very linear acceleration.

            Yes the cargo space is less by 7 cubic feet but the passenger area is much larger. No comparison in the legroom. The Bolt EV is actually comfortable in the back whereas the Leaf is a torture chamber. (Did Nissan go back in time and find seatbelts that gradually strangle you — the ones from 1965?).

            It’s also likely the Leaf can’t compete on build quality. And of course we’ll have to see if Nissan has managed to install a TMS.

  11. David Murray says:

    Nissan got bit by an unreliable battery in the first Leaf… My guess is that they are late to the game due to one of the following reasons:

    1) They wanted to test the battery longer this time to ensure it is reliable.

    2) They discovered their next-gen battery was garbage too.. so had to change design mid-way or late in the game.

  12. Oscar says:

    The spy shots for the new LEAF look more like a mid-cycle refresh than a completely new model. Hopefully the new model will be more aerodynamic than the outgoing one. Should be 0.24 or better. When will cars come close to the 0.19 c.o.d. of the EV1?????

    1. Brian says:

      http://insideevs.com/renault-nissan-next-generation-leaf-zoe-will-share-a-common-platform/

      “Without providing much detail, Deboeuf suggested that the all-new EVs won’t arrive until sometime after the LEAF gets its already-planned facelift in 2018 (and after a range bump next year). French media seems to believe that the ZOE will be first up to be all-new in 2020 or 2021. The LEAF will follow shortly after, it’s assumed.”

      So yes. Maybe the 2018 is really just a facelifted 2017 with a larger battery. Maybe the 2018 gets 200 miles of range, and the truly next-gen (i.e. the shared platform with the ZOE) will have room enough for a 300-mile battery.

      1. Assaf says:

        @Oscar,

        0.19 *and* seating 5 people rather than only 2, *and* keeping the vehicle within normal length expectations, might be a tad too challenging 🙂

        1. Jay Cole says:

          Brian,

          The official quote from Nissan (or tweet at least) was:

          “@NissanUSA‘s all-new #NissanLEAF will be globally revealed in Sept. & go on sale before the end of the year.

          Better yet, many #LEAF owners can extend their lease, get 3 months of courtesy payments & get on the list for the next #NissanLEAF.”

          …for whatever that is worth

          1. Brian says:

            Thanks Jay. I said that I was done predicting what Nissan is going to do and when, yet I just did that. Will I ever learn my lesson?

    2. HVACman says:

      The Bolt, with a “terrible” Cd of 0.31, still gets great range and miles/kWh with a moderate-sized battery. As battery per-kWh costs continue to drop, versatility, mass-appeal, utility and comfort are becoming bigger factors than peak aero performance.

      1. Asak says:

        The bad aerodynamics comes with some advantages in terms of comfort. A kammback will always be more efficient, but the steep slope in back makes the rear seat unusable for tall people. And not just uncomfortable, literally unsafe to use as head is shoved against the ceiling in a way that would be dangerous in an accident.

    3. Someone out there says:

      They wouldn’t call it LEAF if it was a completely new model.

  13. Kevin Cowgill says:

    So will the Leaf coming in September have a 150-200 mile EPA rated range? Over or under?

    1. William says:

      If Nissan can’t Stuff the IDS Leaf 60 kWh battery in the 2018 Leaf 2.0 for over 200 mi. of range, then Nissan is pretty much “game over” until 2020-21. A lot of EV customers are going to go elsewhere.

  14. leafowner says:

    I wonder if they will get 400k reservation on their new longer range model like a not-to-be named company recently did?

    1. Brian says:

      Lol! Ouch…

      Oh wait, that’s right:

      Lol!

    2. William says:

      No need to wonder, with double the 2016-17 Leaf 30kWh range, the Chevy Bolts have inventory piling up on dealer lots today. Nissan has its work cut out for the 2018 Leaf 2.0! Not many Chevy takers, as there are waiters, for the Tesla Model 3!

      1. Bob says:

        I suspect that have more to do with sales-training than the product.

        1. Brian says:

          Sales training, or steep discounts. You can get a 30kWh Leaf for less than half of a 60kWh Bolt.

          1. CLIVE says:

            Correct

      2. Asak says:

        I would actually be worried if I were Tesla. The Bolt is saying EV demand still isn’t there. It doesn’t take a whole lot to put down a refundable deposit. I am 50/50 about buying mine, and just put it down as an option.

  15. Scott Franco says:

    Nissan is still not there. Instead of “me too” cars that lag behind everyone else, they need to fix EVERYTHING.

    1. Nissan is virtually the only maker to stick with CHADEMO. Dropping CHADEMO and issuing CHADEMO to CCS adapters would be a good move, and this change is going to be forced on them in any case.

    2. Lead the charge for faster charging. 48kW is trailing edge technology. Nissan could become a tech leader again by offering 150kW or better charging.

    However, based on the above I don’t expect Nissan to lead on any of these subjects. Nissan went from being a leader to now (apparently) permanently bringing up the rear.

    Sad.

    1. David Murray says:

      Good point on the Chademo.. I’m curious if the next gen Leaf will switch to CCS?

      1. CLIVE says:

        Might be at some point a Nissan dealer told me they were adding CCS because it is a public charger. Makes sense to add them, but that is still a unknown.

    2. MaartenV-nl says:

      The problem with CHAdeMO vs CCS is that prospective customers don’t ask what the standard will be five years from now, but where can I charge my car?

      And at this moment, there are far more CHAdeMO chargers than CCS.

      If you are smart and can’t afford a Tesla, buy a CHAdeMO car.

      1. CLIVE says:

        Posted wrong above.

        Correct you are !

    3. CLIVE says:

      Are your crazy.

      CCS IS YEARS BEHIND.

      MANY MANY YEARS.

      1. Asak says:

        In CA it’s almost already caught up.

  16. Murrysville EV says:

    “Saikawa specifically noted that these vehicles would take range “out of the equation” for the US”

    How will they do this – use the Supercharger network?

    Because even with a 200-mile Bolt, I could only drive 100 miles from my home.

  17. Toni says:

    Nissan, don’t turn into a second VW! Stop the “2020” crap, please!

    1. floydboy says:

      Sorry, it’s ALL happening in 2020 baby!

    2. ItsNotAboutTheMoney says:

      Be fair. That comment was clearly in the context of talking about Nissan’s overall electrification plans, and he’s from a company that’s tight-lipped on the upcoming new product.

  18. floydboy says:

    It looks to be a rather utilitarian hatchback design with good space behind the seats. If it’s over 200 miles, with fast charging, Nissan may have a winner on its hands again.

    1. (⌐■_■) Trollnonymous says:

      Current Chad fast chargers are 50KW, I think same for CCS if you find one.

      I sure hope it can do at least 80KW DCFC or more.

      1. ItsNotAboutTheMoney says:

        Well, the CHAdeMO standard has been increased.
        We’ll see.

  19. Reichard says:

    2013 Leaf with fast charger no cruise control or other options. Bought it used cheap 9k with just 12K miles on it. Love it. Except for when I have to make a 180 mile trip to the office once a week. I have no problem stopping to charge for 30 minutes. Hell I do that with a ICE car on long trips anyway. But I’m 30 miles short of range to a Chademo. So instead I have to do an hour charge at a level 2 and then 30 minutes at a Chademo. And cross my fingers it works. Not normally an issue with EVgo but Nissan dealerships could care less because they make no money on the charging. So I started recently looking at other cars since I gave my ICE to a niece. The Bolt is butt ugly, seems to have a seat comfort issue, 3 months away in my state, and kinda pricey. The Hyundai Ioniq may as well be Vaporware, same with Tesla 3. BMW? What’s up with those tires and the crazy pricing. Plugin Outlander and Chrysler Pacifica also Vaporware. Prius prime has only 20 miles range and is a hack. So for now that leaves me with either a Chevy Volt base model or cross my fingers and hope my State gets at least a 130+ range Leaf before November. Doubtful.

    1. Asak says:

      Kind of ironic seeing a Leaf owner criticizing the Bolt’s styling. I own a Leaf too, but come on!

  20. Paul K says:

    Lot’s of good comments already. NISSAN ARE YOU LISTENING? I bought my 30kwh 2016 Leaf knowing it would become the “Commodore 64” of electric cars as the technology advanced. If you won’t make battery upgrades available to existing owners you will kiss many potential sales good bye. Cars without an available battery upgrade will depreciate much faster and savy buyers will be aware of this and look elsewhere. The business is yours to lose.

  21. ItsNotAboutTheMoney says:

    Although I think the plan to double Mitsubishi’s sales is probably “release the new Outlander, including PHEV”, maybe they could try to rebadge some Renaults.

  22. Ron says:

    … the wait on the next gen LEAF was probably too long…or at least the decision to not show-off what the company had in store…

    Does this mean we will be hearing more about 2.0 earlier than September?

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