Nissan Teases What’s Surely An All-Electric SUV/CUV For Tokyo Debut


Nissan is teasing what we’re almost 100% certain is the long-awaited electric SUV/CUV.

Looks a lot like an embiggened 2018 Nissan LEAF, doesn’t it?

It will make its grand debut at the Tokyo Motor Show on October 25, 2017.

Nissan Teaser

Video description:

Join Nissan at the 2017 Tokyo Motor Show for the reveal of a new concept model that embodies the future of Nissan Intelligent Mobility.

There’s no real info in the video. Nor are there any additional angles of the teased image, but as we wrote earlier this morning:

“It is however what is not yet officially announced for the show that excites us, as we will ‘eat our hat’ if Nissan doesn’t finally dust off its all-electric SUV that we know they have been sitting on for ages, and will arrive in 2019. The EV segment has been screaming for a long range, affordable, all-electric SUV for ages…hopefully Nissan will be able to fulfill that demand with this offering.”

It’s as if we knew it was coming…

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68 Comments on "Nissan Teases What’s Surely An All-Electric SUV/CUV For Tokyo Debut"

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“Looks a lot like an embiggened 2018 Nissan LEAF, doesn’t it?”

A raised AWD Nissan Leaf could be nice. Even if that’s all it is, I’m thrilled to see an all electric SUV/CUV come to market.

I don’t really get it… Why are these SUVs being released overseas first, when America is about the most SUV-hungry place in the world?

Nissan likes to debut all its major products in Japan, although a future EV will of course also launch in Japan (and a Europe), a production all-electric utility vehicle and sedan are in the cards, both long range, both build specifically with the US in mind…not concepts, on the road in under 24 months.

As with the ‘new’ longer range 2018 LEAF (and the ~60 kWh/225 mile 2019 LEAF – which they will do nothing more still than acknowledge is coming next year), Nissan likes to hold its cards close right up until the very last moments…which means no 2 year tour of a concept headed to production, before waiting another year to seeing them in volume at dealers.

Is this ‘that’ SUV? We will have to wait a couple weeks to find out…last time we had to do the “IDS” future-tech foreshadow dance first.

Thanks for the insight Jay. Its not just Nissan, the Mitsubishi Outlander comes to mind too. But back to Nissan, I also wonder if they’ll ever release their electric van in the US. Seems like it could sell like hot cakes here for fleets etc. is it just a battery capacity and cost problem?

The Outlander is *not* an EV!

You’re conflating the term EV with the subset categories of BEV, PHEV, FCEV, etc.

Please update your vernacular.

CUV / SUV types are more profitable for the status quo manufacturers. Sedans aren’t that popular and has not typically been Detroit’s bread & butter.

Are you actually wondering why a Japanese car will debut in Japan?

They are popular EVERYWHERE.

Absolutely not! A visit to Europe will clear that up for you.

And yet Europe has had the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV for years while the US has not.

And they’ve had Nissan’s enV2000 or whatever it is, the electric van, for years too. 2 examples of vehicles that would sell quite well in the US but remain unavailable.

Well, I live in ‘Europe’ (the UK), and Japanese cars (as well as Korean) cars *are* ‘everywhere.’

Things are changing unfortunately. SUVs are becoming quite the thing in Europe.

Because they are making so much money of ICE SUV/CUV’s, so why bother?

Simple reason: US import tariffs.

Regular cars get a 2.5% import tariff applied, but light trucks get a 25% tariff slapped on. As far as I know SUVs are classified as a light truck. Not sure about CUVs.

Wow! I’m glad you brought this to my attention, I was not aware of such a huge tariff. Were you aware of this Eric or Jay? I guess Nissan will have to manufacture such a vehicle in America If they want to make it work. This certainly could explain most of Mitsubishi’s reluctance to bring over the Outlander PHEV.

It’s the Chicken Tax, and it only applies to light trucks (in the traditional sense)

There was a crafty work around at one point in the 70s, where truck beds were attached in the US, but then the classification was extended to “2 door SUVs” where some of the confusion here might come from, so the 2.5% rate still applies to true SUV/CUVs.

(there is also some other work arounds with partial US assembly, but you don’t see it nowadays, as everyone who wants to sell a light truck…makes them in the US, er Mexico)

I’m *very* interested, even if it’s just FWD, or maybe especially if it’s FWD.

The Model 3 suddenly seems a little less appealing.

Spot on, finally, there is a vast majority of buyers awaiting an EV that is front wheel drive, Nissan has obviously executed its research perfectly. What else do buyers crave , average buyers, CD radio and one little feature that makes life so much easier , wireless charging. That would a completely rounded offering.

CD?! Wow! Who said dinosaurs are extinct?

I’m listening to a music CD on my Yamaha mini component stereo system right now.

So there, you young whippersnapper!

Yes, i must be too young since i haven’t touched a CD in the last 10 years. I’m not even sure if the CD changer in the glove box was working on my past 3 cars. I used to own an old Lexus RX and i was using a fake tape to connect the tape player to my phone for music. I do have nice memories of CD’s, they were great for their time.

My car will be 2 years old next month, I can’t forget to check if the CD player works before the 2 year warranty ends 😉


Looks like it will have terrible sight lines out the rear. Hopefully comes standard with an “all-round view” camera.

Definitely need AWD and a bit of extra ground clearance as our cottage roads are not well maintained.

Might just be our first EV!

Agreed. Any CUV without AWD as an option is a waste of time. Kia Niro comes to mind.

Until somebody comes out with a real CUV w/AWD (for under/around $40K), I guess I’m just going to keep driving my Volt with snow tires. 🙂

What even defines a SUV these days? They used to be tall vehicles with big wheels and high clearance but today it seems the definition is a sedan with a slightly curved roof line.

(⌐■_■) Trollnonymous


I’ve always thought an SUV was essentially a pickup truck that has no bed, and instead has passenger or interior cargo area. However, these days it seems an SUV is just a sedan that sits up taller. The only thing distinguishing it from a minivan is just the shape of the nose.

Hatchback = econobox
Minivan = SUV with sliding doors

SUV is a minivan with regular doors, and is a big hatchback.

“…an SUV is just a sedan that sits up taller. The only thing distinguishing it from a minivan is just the shape of the nose.”

I’m sure you can find exceptions to just about every “rule” for how auto makers label their cars, but in general an SUV isn’t as long front-to-back as a minivan, and minivans typically have sliding rear doors, which very few SUVs have.

In our (formerly owned) Chrysler Town & Country minivan, we could haul uncut 4 x 8 sheets of plywood, laid flat on the floor, and get the rear hatch closed. Can you do that in an SUV? Maybe you can in a few models, but for the vast majority I rather suspect not!

“In our (formerly owned) Chrysler Town & Country minivan, we could haul uncut 4 x 8 sheets of plywood, laid flat on the floor, and get the rear hatch closed. Can you do that in an SUV? Maybe you can in a few models, but for the vast majority I rather suspect not!”

Town % Country was one of the largest “minivan” on the market at the time.

Choosing one of those largest SUV such as Atlas, Pilot, Suburban or Tahoe can certainly do that. Even the new Traverse can.

Mazda5 aka Japanese minivan certainly can’t fit a 4×8 in its cargo bay.

There are large and small minivans as well as large and small SUV/CUVs..

In general, for the same foot print, CUV/SUV “tend” to (there are exceptions) have far more interior passenger volume and cargo volume than sedans and wagons on the same footprint. That is just physics.

Tall hatchback.
Except hatchback = bad.
SUV = good.

“SUV” now means “minivan chassis and drivetrain, but with more slopes and a slightly aggressive sounding name”

Even if it’s just an embiggened LEAF, this will get to the top of my list when my 2017 Leaf lease is up.
It looks like it’ll have great cargo space. I’m guessing as soon as the manufacturers get more options with this form factor, EVs will really start to take over more market share.

As soon as you can carry kids, dogs, flat packs, bikes, strollers, etc. with decent range, an EV becomes a practical option for a lot more people.

Beating the Model Y by a couple years perhaps? Hurry up Elon, the big boys are chasing you.

Sounds great but you have to do something about your TMS.

Yeah, it’s about time they went to a liquid cooled TMS, but you know how these decisions are made, not by the brightest bulbs in the pack.

I’m hoping as Nissan moves to LG Chem’s batteries / battery packs?, the TMS will accompany the new 60kWh packs.

I hope you are right about the LC TMS for the Nissan/LG Chem 60 kWh battery packs. A Rouge with a 75 kWh TMS battery pack, would sell like hot cakes in the US, especially if Tesla is late on significant delivery numbers of the Model Y in 2020/21.

Yes…my 2016 leaf SV lost 4th bar…not good have appointment with Jenkins nissan on Thursday this is BS.

If that is accurate, then there is something specifically defective about your car’s battery cells, not anything to do with the TMS. Not that ‘one’ is a sample size, but I have a 2015 LEAF with 78,900 clicks on it, ~95% capacity remaining. There just isn’t data points to suggest losing 4 bars (ever) anymore is even close to normal. I’ve never head of that at all on a 2016 other than yourself. On the “plus” side, if what you are saying is accurate (losing 4 bars on a 2016 LEAF), then you really have no worries…as you are going to get a new pack inside the capacity warranty when you take it in. The issue for many of 2011/2012 LEAFs, which did have serious issues with heat, was owners were fairly quickly losing a bar, then another, then another…but not actually reaching the warranty threshold in time for a replacement (5 years/60k miles). The newer LEAFs, which are much, much more robust, have warranted “capacity loss below nine bars of capacity (~70%) as shown on the vehicle’s battery capacity level gauge for a period of 96 months (8 years) or 100,000 miles“, so its not-so-much a timing vs loss… Read more »

“but I have a 2015 LEAF with 78,900 clicks on it, ~95% capacity remaining”

But you are in Canada, now?

So, who needs better cooling in Canada? =)


Given Nissan’s continual struggles with electric range, will this barely top 100 miles AER?

And will it have the same air cooled battery, guaranteeing it to degrade the fastest of all electric cars?

My 2016 Leaf SV (30 kWh bat.) with 24 months on the build clock (10/2015), and 12k mi., is showing approximately 1% degradation (Leaf Spy Pro) after 12 months of in service use. That is quite a bit less than half the degradation rate that my 2013 Leaf SV has been experiencing over the last 4 + years/ 52k miles. The newer Nissan Leaf “Lizard Packs” 2015+ , are way better than the 24 kWh 2012-2014ish packs.

It’s not so much a struggle with range, it’s more to keep it affordable.

If the way Nissan “keeps it affordable” is by leaving out the TMS, like it continues to do with the Leaf, then that’s a guarantee that the car will become obsolete quickly.

That’s just not going to fly as more PEVs go on sale, and the market becomes more competitive.

Like clockwork whenever a Nissan EV is mentioned, people are complaining about the battery thermal management system.

My understanding is that the thermal issues with the LEAF were primarily in the early 2011-2012 models, and that the 30kwh (and now 40kwh) versions are better than the 24kwh batteries.

This is because Nissan switched from the cheaper LMO chemistry in the 24kwh batteries to the better NMC chemistry in the 30 and 40 kwh batteries. Another factor is that the larger batteries don’t get cycled as frequently and don’t need to be charged to 100% as often, meaning that they’ll degrade slower over time.

Hyundai also didn’t see the need for a liquid cooled BTMS either, and only put in a simple air ducting system.

But all that might be a moot point, since this vehicle will probably be using LG Chem cells and will probably have a BTMS anyway.

You’re right that the 2011/2012 24kW were the worst. The 2013+ 24kW were a bit better. The 30kW were even better, and the 40kW should be better again.

But it’s still no proper thermal maangement system. No matter how good the chemistry is, a hot battery will degrade faster than a properly cooled one. We have a 2013 Nissan Leaf 24kW that I got used, but I live in a climate that sees +30degrees celsius only about 1 day a year so heat-related degradation should be minimized. I would never buy a Leaf in any climate that gets hot in the summer.

The Pittsburgh area isn’t considered a ‘hot’ climate, yet my 12 Leaf’s battery degraded 15% in 3 years (26k miles).

I blame the cold weather, not hot, as well as the inferior chemistry of those older batteries, plus the deep cycling required to drive any reasonable distance.

Taking all things into consideration batteries just last longer if they are kept withing tolerances of their operating ranges, which liquid cooling does best.

Sure the early batteries were junk, destroyed by hot climates, and the later batteries were better, but still not the best configuration which would have been adding TMS with liquid cooling.

You’re probably right, but I guess the issue for all the manufacturers is how much it costs to add liquid cooling to the pack, and how much of the valuable battery space it takes up. I’d guess it’s not that much in terms of cost, but space might have been more important with the older less dense batteries.

The BMW i3 has active gas(A/C) cooling and it works fine.

Kia Soul Ev cool and heat their battery with the cabin climate control recirculation air in close loop and it works fine.

VW E-Golf have some active air cooling and so far, so good.

Liquid cooling has advantage and disadvantage, like any method use.

They don’t have to follow the same path.

Right. The lesson is, active cooling in some way is required for long term battery protection. Doesn’t have to be liquid, but passive only doesn’t work.

Too bad that Nissan has not yet figured out what you obviously have!

“My understanding is that the thermal issues with the LEAF were primarily in the early 2011-2012 models, and that the 30kwh (and now 40kwh) versions are better than the 24kwh batteries.”

The problem is less frequent than it was, but it certainly hasn’t gone away. Nissan is just trying to cheap out on this. That will only work for so long, and my guess is that we’ll see Nissan’s PEVs without a TMS become non-competitive within 5 years.

“…the larger batteries don’t get cycled as frequently and don’t need to be charged to 100% as often, meaning that they’ll degrade slower over time.”

Regardless of how big the battery pack is, if you charge a li-ion battery pack when it’s hot, especially if the humidity is high when it’s hot, then you’re going to degrade the battery pack faster than you would if it wasn’t hot.

What I don’t understand is how Nissan can afford to keep offering such a low, low lease on these cars. Nissan has to take the hit if the battery pack ages prematurely and the car is returned after a lease. How does that work for them, financially?

Nissan Teases with Tesla Tactics, totally terrific today!

Wouldn’t almost 100% certain, be, I don’t know, 99% certain?

Hopefully this is not a concept but something close to a production car that can hit the markets in the next year.

Yes! This is exciting news! I just hope it goes on sale soon and pushes the envelope a little bit, rather than do the typical Nissan thing of just good enough at launch, soon left behind..!

(Like the 2018 Leaf is a big step forward, but kinda just good enough for 2018… and the expected 2019 Leaf would have been pushing the envelope if it had arrived in 2018, but will be just good enough by the time it goes on sale… or the 30 kWh one was just good enough when that came out.)

Pushy’s Grammar Nazi head wants to know:

Is “embiggened” a word?

Well, I guess it is now! 😉

It’s a perfectly cromulent word.

Thermally controlled batteries are needed or you’ll have a range loosing CUV rather than a leaf!

Nissan apparently isn’t interested in battery longevity, or at least isn’t that concerned with markets other than California or western Europe or parts of Asia that have mild climates.

It’s too bad because they’re going to give EVs a bad reputation with people angrily returning their cars after 3 years with significant reduction in battery capacity.

Yes, the 60kwh in the CUV will get cycled more and cycled deeper than in the Leaf. Marginal TMS in the Leaf, means insufficIent in the CUV

Taller version of Leaf to be sold as a crossover is certainly welcome and this can be named as “BRANCH”. More customers are flocking to crossovers since they offer a choice of AWD and more interior space. So Nissan can raise the length, width & height of Leaf by few inches and sell this vehicle. Same design can be retained for cost saving which will eventually keep the price of this EV low and affordable.

Just hop over into Canada they will have 25-30 million jobs in the next decade or two for all those born to border crossers.

25-30 million? In all likelihood. Yeah…let’s get lazy no more lawn mowing, gutter cleaning, car/ home washing fixing cleaning, robo-mowers could be stolen, it’s not our worry anymore.