Nissan Discusses Sedan EV With Us In LA


2018 Nissan LEAF

Kicks may be all the rage in Los Angeles, but sedans, EVs, and yes, sports cars, are all in the pipeline.

Perhaps An Electric Nissan Altima

The big news for Nissan at the Los Angeles Auto Show is the 2018 Kicks crossover. The compact SUV takes the place of the Juke in the company’s North American lineup, and arrives next year, priced “well below” $19,000 (it also is…at least performance-wise, worse in every way than the Juke).

But beyond crossovers, Nissan’s North American VP of product planning, Michael Bunce says there’s a ton more in store for Nissan. In fact, now that the company’s SUV lineup is nicely filled out, a huge focus is being put back on sedans. “The sedan is not dead” in the U.S., Bunce says.

Bunce believes Nissan has a good opportunity to “reinvent [its] sedans.” In the same way that Millennials avoid minivans because that’s what their parents drove, he thinks the same will be true about “Centennials” (the group known as Generation Z) and SUVs. They won’t want utility vehicles, he says. Sleek sedans could be just the ticket.

“The sedan is not dead,” Bunce says. In fact, he believes Nissan has a good opportunity to “reinvent [its] sedans.”

In fact, Bunce believes sedans provide a great opportunity for future electrification at Nissan. “It’s easy” to package EV powertrains in a sedan body, he says.

This statement makes a lot of sense ,as both the new CEO and Nissan’s outgoing Design boss have mentioned that an all-electric sedan will be arriving by 2019 – both for Nissan and Infiniti.

Speaking of electrification, that’s a huge part of Nissan’s future strategy. We’re not just talking about full EVs like the Leaf, either. Everything from hybrids, plug-in hybrids, and even performance-oriented electric applications are on the table.

When asked about Nissan’s Nismo performance brand, Bunce says there’ll be “news coming” on that front, and that the company plans to enhance Nismo, and bring some excitement back to that division. He wouldn’t say anything specific, but strongly hinted that Nismo and electrification could be closely linked in the future.

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16 Comments on "Nissan Discusses Sedan EV With Us In LA"

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Sedans ? Americans, get with the program and try hatchbacks.

We already have hatchbacks. Bolt, Leaf, Golf, Focus: all hatchbacks.

Yeah, my point is it’s relatively undeveloped segment in US compared to the rest of the world.

Americans seem to have skipped over hatchbacks and went to crossovers and SUVs. Our roads are much wider than Europe’s, and we tend to have driveways and garages, all of which supports the larger footprint of an SUV. Hatchbacks will never be a big hit here. It’s a shame, because it really is a great form factor!

$5/gal gas may change that. It did in the 70.s.

Yup. Although with the growing popularity of EVs, the demand for oil should level off and fall in the near future. Barring a major catastrophy (which has happened and can happen again), gas is unlike to go anywhere near $5/gallon. It’s less than half that price right now (it’s $2.39 down the street from me)

Actually, if less people use petrol/diesel then it should go up. Same cost base, less consumption, higher price. Typical death spiral should take effect.

That might be true for the distribution network (gas stations will need to increase their revenue per gallon to make up for lower volume), but gas stations only add a few cents per gallon to the gas price.

The raw material (oil price) is the major factor. And here we are dealing with an industry that has very long development cycles with very high upfront CAPEX. Meaning it’s really expensive to ramp up production (drill wells, build rigs, etc…), but once all this is done, producing oil is very cheap for 30-40 years (though the production rate is declining).

Therefore if consumption starts falling faster than production drops without new investments oil price could go down to the marginal cost of producing which is less than $10 per barrel (from 50-60 today). Only once price is below this threshold, companies would stop producing oil. Therefore if EV’s make oil consumption drop significantly, oil price will decline severely and stay there fore many years.

Not really. Sedans and liftbacks (sedan length hachbacks, like the Model S), are inherently more aerodynamic. For highway driving they can get better mileage even with higher weight.
Hatchbacks are popular in Europe independent of mileage (think of the popular hot hatch category), because spaces in Europe are small. A sedan is just more of a pain in Europe.

Hatchbacks became a huge hit when automakers lifted them and called them CUV’s. Bad knees and a 2/3 overweight population creates the “need” for SUV’s.

SUVs are all hatchbacks. Just bigger, taller hatchbacks.

Nevermind the sedan, I want the sports car!

Nissan’s problem is all but two vehicles in their line up is boring and the exact opposite of fun to drive. Of those two cars one is very old at this point 370z. The other is too expensive GT-R. The outgoing leaf is a snooze fest and the new one will probably be as well.

“It’s easy” to package EV powertrains in a sedan body, he says.

DUH, sure when you don’t have a TMS for your EV battery.

Gonna give up all my Leafs when lease is over. Battery range goes down fast, even the new 30kWh model and temp goes up fast. Gets to 1 bar below red just from one L3 session in summer.

The 30 kWh Leaf (2016-17) does get about 20* – 30* above ambient air temp in the 90*- 100* summer outdoor heat, with a single L3 fast charge.

However, the 20015-17 “Lizard” battery does seem to hold up, (retains overall capacity/degradation resistant) at least twice as well as the pre 2015 Leaf (2011-2014) 24 kWh battery.

Bigger battery size, coupled with probably a better anode chemistry/ battery temperature readout/monitoring pack mV software balancing system, is seemingly making a noticeable difference.

Still, it’s nothing to write home about, or to change the recommendation to a Leaf purchase, over the obvious beneficial Leaf Lease advantage.

Sedans? Seriously? If you really want market share, build an SUV.