Nissan charges ahead to electric future
It became very clear on arrival to the Circuito del Jarama racetrack outside Madrid recently that Nissan has firmly set course towards a sustainable future.
I was there to see the presentation of the Japanese carmaker’s new six-car electrified line-up, most of which will arrive here this summer.
Using its electric expertise, Nissan is supercharging its shift to electrified mobility with the brand's most exciting and comprehensive offerings to date.
Nissan will not introduce any new pure internal combustion engine-powered passenger cars in Europe from 2023. The company expects 75% of its sales mix in the region to be electrified by 2026, with the ambition to reach 100% by the end of the decade.
It is the manufacturer’s intention to invest €15.6 billion over the next five years and to offer 23 EVs (electric vehicles) by 2030.
The Japanese manufacturer is delivering more choice and more accessibility than ever before. With the introduction of hybrid technology on the Juke, e-Power on the Qashqai and X-Trail and the launch of the Ariya, a pure EV, 2022 will mark the year where Nissan offers levels of electrification to match customer needs.
While the Juke was not on the test fleet at the circuit a few miles north of the Spanish capital, the latest iteration of Nissan’s compact crossover shows it has at least retained the Juke personality.
Designed to give EV-curious customers a comprehensive introduction to the world of electrification, it offers a multi-modal powertrain and smart manual gearbox which delivers pure electric power or a combination of combustion engine and electric motor.
Nissan’s innovative e-Pedal Step system allows the driver to accelerate and decelerate the car to a slow creep-speed (5km/h), technology that Nissan claims enhances comfort and convenience on the move.
The carmaker further claims the latest Juke is more economical despite it offering 25% more power.
The new Qashqai e-Power builds on its heritage as the world’s first crossover model.
I drove five 3.8km laps of the former Spanish Grand Prix track in the new model which now combines the crossover driving experience with the company’s unique e-Power powertrain technology.
The system, developed entirely by Nissan, delivers the unmistakable thrill of fully electric driving without the need to recharge. A 100% electric-driven motor powers the wheels for instant and linear acceleration, while a 1.5 litre petrol engine recharges the battery on the move.
Like the Juke, the new X-Trail was on static view only. When launched, it will come equipped with Nissan’s innovative e-Power drivetrain and e-4orce all-wheel-control technology.
Nissan informed us that effortless electric performance and refinement will be at the driver’s disposal with the support of e-Power. The model’s claimed refinement is reinforced by the precision of the e-4orce twin-motor all-wheel-control drivetrain.
On a smaller track, I reacquainted myself with the Leaf, the world’s first mass-market EV and a car that has accounted for 577,000 sales since its 2010 launch. Testing its e-Power and braking systems, my guide relayed a verbal confidence that helped me push the test model to its handling and excellent braking limits.
Marking a new chapter in Nissan’s electrification journey, the Ariya is Nissan’s first fully electric coupé-crossover.
It certainly showed its capable performance, excellent handling abilities and beautiful refinement, again over five laps of the testing racetrack.
The sharp-looking, nicely designed car is the first vehicle to employ the ingenious CMF-EV platform developed by Nissan. Boasting one of the most spacious interiors in the segment, my first impressions are that it embodies Nissan’s Japanese DNA.
The Ariya will also feature e-4orce - the twin-motor system’s seamless power distribution delivers instant response for effortless acceleration in a variety of driving scenarios.
Last but not least is the next generation of Nissan’s fully electric compact light commercial vehicle (LCV) offering: the new Townstar is set to arrive later this year at dealer showrooms.
Designed to be a reliable, efficient and sustainable business partner, we were told it will come with a fully electric powertrain that can deliver 300km of range under the WLTP combined cycle. It will also have a suite of 20+ technology features. The occasion marked our introduction to an Irish Lady who commenced her career as an engineer. Now Director of Product Strategy and Planning for Europe, Middle East, Africa, India and Oceania for Nissan, Cliodhna Lyons company at the small Irish dinner table highlighted why Irish women and men have succeeded to reach such heights in world industry.
Prices for each model will be announced closer to launch dates.