The Renault-Nissan Alliance leads all other car manufactures in global sales of electric cars
The Nissan Leaf remains the best-selling electric car in history, while the Renault Zoe is the best-selling EV in Europe.
Not many people know that Nissan and Renault are joined at the hip with a global alliance and interwoven stock ownership. The alliance also recently acquired a significant stake in Mitsubishi, the producer of the best selling Plug In vehicle in Europe. So it is no great surprise that Renault and Nissan will build the next Zoe and Leaf electric cars on a new common platform.
The cars will have different exterior styling but will share underpinnings and electric motors, said Arnaud Deboeuf, senior vice president of Renault-Nissan BV, the alliance’s strategic management unit.
Carlos Ghosn, CEO of Renault and Nissan, has been pushing the alliance partners to intensify cooperation to achieve economies of scale.
Deboeuf said the new generations of the Leaf and the Zoe will compete in the same segment but declined to say if the Zoe will grow in size to become a compact model or if the Leaf will be shrunk to become a subcompact.
He also declined to give a timescale for the launch of the new Leaf and Zoe, but said it will happen after a Leaf facelift planned in 2018.
French media reports said the Zoe will be the first Renault-Nissan alliance model to use the new EV architecture, but not before 2020.
Renault and Nissan might continue to use different battery cells but no decision has been taken, Deboeuf told reporters at a media event in Paris. The Leaf uses in-house, comparatively low-density LMO lithium chemistry. Renault buys cells from LG Chem. Nissan has not decided whether to continue to produce its own cells or buy them.
Renault has just introduced an upgraded Zoe with a range on a single charge of 400 km (250 miles) under the European NEDC testing procedure, up from 240 km. The Zoe has new lithium-ion pouch cells from LG that have nearly doubled the Zoe’s energy rating to 41 kilowatt hours from 22 kWh. The Leaf has a 30 kWh power rating and a range of up to 250 km.
Nissan began sales of the Leaf, the world’s first mass-market EV, in the U.S. and Japan in 2010 and in Europe in 2011. Renault launched the Zoe in 2012.
Deboeuf rebuffed criticism that Renault and Nissan still share too little in terms of platforms and powertrains despite 18 years of partnership.
He said that the decision to develop a new model is taken about 10 years before its market launch so product cycles between the two automakers need a long time to be completely aligned.
The alliance now shares platforms and powertrains across key product lines, Deboeuf said. These include: Compact crossovers with the Nissan Qashqai and Renault Kadjar; midsize crossovers with the Nissan X-Trail and Renault Koleos; Subcompact crossovers with the Nissan Juke and Renault Captur; Subcompact cars with the new Nissan Micra and Renault Clio.
Deboeuf said Renault and Nissan will not share automatic transmissions but this differentiation is because of customer preferences rather than technical considerations.
We look forward to testing the new Zoe.
As car models approach their end of life it is very common for the manufactures to roll out special limited edition models to keep the punters excited.
In just the vein Nissan has unveiled the special version LEAF Black Edition. The LEAF is the best selling EV by far. So why are Nissan pushing this? The Black gets the longer range 30KW pack, so it’s a good a LEAF as you can purchase.
The limited edition model is on sale in Europe for a restricted production run from March 2017 up until August 2017, with the first 1,000 customers in Europe receiving a free Wi-Fi hotspot – capable of powering up to eight devices. This implies that there is no pending model change.
Based on Nissan’s existing Acenta grade, the Nissan LEAF Black Edition offers cutting-edge design and a number of dynamic styling enhancements. Stylish exterior additions include 16” black alloy wheels, LED headlamps, illuminated entry guards, privacy glass, black door mirror caps and black rear roof spoiler. Blue-stitched mats give the interior a premium finish.
The Black LEAF also comes with the latest evolution of the advanced NissanConnect EV telematics system and its innovative Around View Monitor technology as standard. Gloss Black allow wheels adorn the new Black Edition.
Gareth Dunsmore, Director of Electric Vehicles at Nissan Europe, said:
“The Nissan LEAF Black Edition offers our customers stylish, premium design in an affordable mass-market 100 percent electric vehicle. We are committed to delivering innovation that excites and this vehicle does just that, with our leading Around View Monitor technology offering customers a more confident drive – embodying Nissan Intelligent Mobility.”
The limited edition model is on sale in Europe for a restricted production run from March 2017 up until August 2017, with the first 1,000 customers in Europe receiving a free Wi-Fi hotspot – capable of powering up to eight devices.
Launched in 2010, the Nissan LEAF was the first mass-market electric vehicle. The latest 30kWh version gives drivers up to 155 miles of range using the NEDC calculations, opening up a new world of opportunity for drivers. Nissan is dedicated to delivering a smarter, more sustainable future, with customers having driven more than 2.5 billion electric miles.
Since the Nissan LEAF first went on sale in 2010, almost 240,000 units have been sold globally, with 64,000 of these on Europe’s roads; making it the world’s best-selling electric vehicle.
Charging an EV like the Nissan Leaf is easy.
See this short video of plugging a Leaf into a Public Type 2 Charging Post at Sainsbury’s.
The Nissan Leaf uses a TYpe 1 on board connection. The Pod Point charging system offers a standard Type 2 connection. The cable required is thus a Type 1 – TYpe 2 Charging Cable. This leaf has a standard 16 Amp charger and. This will function with both a 16 Amp or a 32 Amp cable but will only draw 16 Amp from ther supply. In this case we are using a 16 Amp Type 1 – Type 2 cable. EV-CHC007.
The Renault-Nissan Alliance will provide a fleet of 50 all-electric vehicles as the official passenger-car provider for the United Nation’s COP22 Climate Conference in Marrakech, Morocco. The fully electric fleet will shuttle delegates.
More than 25,000 participants from 195 countries are expected to attend the annual climate summit during Nov. 7-18. It marks the second time the UN will use a zero-emission shuttle fleet in support of public transport at one of its major conferences.
The COP22 fleet will feature the Renault ZOE, the Nissan LEAF compact car and the seven-seat Nissan e-NV200 van. The vehicles will be available to shuttle delegates 24 hours, seven days a week to key venues at the conference, as a complement to public transportation.
The Alliance will also provide a network of more than 20 accelerated and standard charging stations at strategic locations. The accelerated charging stations will be able to charge the EVs from 0 to 80 percent in about one hour.
The Renault-Nissan Alliance is the global leader in zero-emission vehicles. With six models, it has already sold more than 360,000 electric vehicles worldwide. Nissan LEAF, launched in 2010, remains the industry’s best-selling EV. Renault ZOE is the best-performing EV in Europe. The Alliance has sold about half of the electric vehicles on the road globally today including the Renault Twizy two-seat, urban commuter vehicle, and the Nissan e-NV200 van, which has been on sale in Europe and Japan since 2014.
In addition, the Renault-Nissan’s Tangier, Morocco, plant is designed to move towards “zero CO2” emissions through the use of renewable resources, for thermal energy produced on site, as well as its purchased electricity. The plant began operations in 2012, and its approach remains unique in the automobile industry.
In Morocco, Renault Group is the only major automaker to market a fully electric range of vehicles. Thanks to COP22 and the desire of the Kingdom to develop low-carbon energy, several companies have decided to bet on the 100 percent electric car by buying fleets.
“The Renault-Nissan Alliance is proud to contribute to COP22 by providing a fleet of 50 100 percent electric vehicles,” said Marc Nassif, managing director of Renault Morocco Group and Alliance COP22 leader. “This technology, coupled with an increasingly decarbonized electric mix, is the solution for individual mobility to address the issue of global warming and enhance air quality in our cities.”
Isao Sekiguchi, managing director of the North Africa Region and Egypt for Nissan Group, agreed.
”Climate change is one of the most pressing issues facing the world today,” Sekiguchi said “The Renault-Nissan Alliance was not only quick to recognize the import contribution the automotive industry could make to the collective effort to tackle emissions, but was also quick to act.”
The Alliance was also an official partner of COP21. The fleet of 200 electric vehicles from the Alliance represented the world’s largest EV fleet ever provided for an international conference. This fleet shuttled more than 8,000 delegates, media and negotiators during the two-week United Nations annual climate change conference in Paris last year. In doing so, it traveled at least 175,000 kilometers without emitting any CO2 tailpipe emissions and without using any petroleum, which saved nearly 182 barrels of oil and avoided 18 tons of CO2 being emitted.
The Alliance will also participate in Solutions COP22, an international exhibition on climate-change solutions, to be held in the Green Zone in Marrakech. The exhibition, which will take place Nov. 7- 18, will feature CO2 solutions from cities, businesses and other organizations around the world. In addition, the Alliance will have electric vehicles available for public test drives.
Nissan UK has just announced plans to invest £26.5m in its production of electric vehicle batteries in Sunderland. These will be used in the next generation Leaf.
The announcement may end rumors that Nissan would outsource production of lithium-ion cells and perhaps even battery packs for the next Leaf to giant Korean maker LG Chem.
Nissan Europe’s press release, however, did not offer specifics of the cell chemistry–and it did not mention current cell supplier AESC, Nissan’s lithium-ion cell joint venture with Japanese computer giant NEC.
Sunderland imports the new 30-kWh pack offered on high-end 2016 Leaf models, however, from Nissan’s battery plant in Smyrna, Tennessee. It also produces battery packs for the Nissan e-NV200 all-electric small commercial van, which is assembled in a plant in Barcelona, Spain, for sale in Europe.
In 2011, Nissan UK benefited from £189m of European funding to build the Leaf and the lithium-ion batteries. Since 2013, production of the Leaf has supported more than 2,000 jobs at Nissan and in its UK supply chain.
The announcement comes at the beginning of a landmark year in which Nissan will celebrate the 30th anniversary year of its Sunderland factory – now the largest plant in the history of the UK car industry.
Already the global leaders in electric vehicles, and with a new 155-mile range Nissan LEAF on sale across Europe this month, this long-term commitment signals Nissan’s bold vision for the future of zero-emission motoring.
Paul Willcox, Chairman, Nissan Europe, said: “With 200,000 customers around the world already, the Nissan LEAF has transformed the performance and perception of EVs and made Nissan the undisputed leader in EV technology. Today’s announcement reflects Nissan’s intention to remain EV leaders for many years to come, with our UK operations at the heart of our future innovations.”
The money will be used on projects to develop and improve the batteries.
The Nissan Leaf was the first electric car to be mass-produced in the UK – about 60,000 batteries are produced at the plant each year.
The second-generation of Nissan Leaf electric car is now expected to be unveiled sometime late this year or early in 2017, and go into production as a 2018 model.
It will compete in the U.S. against the 2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV, which GM CEO Mary Barra has promised will have 200 miles or more of range for a starting price of $37,500 before incentives as well as the Tesla Model 3 expected to be announced in March this year.
European sales of electric vehicles grew last year by 50% to nearly 100,000 units. One of the key benefactress of this sales growth was Renault, whose Zoe was the best selling electric car in Europe during 2015.
As well as the Zoe, Renault offers the Kangoo ZE small delivery van, and the crazy but interesting Twizy tandem two-seater low-speed electric vehicle.
With this lineup of electric cars already know secured nearly one-quarter of all electric car sales in Europe: Its 23,086 sales of Zoe and Kangoo ZE electric vehicles represented 23.6 percent of sales.
The bulk of those sales were the Zoe, at 18,453 registrations or 19.2 percent of the market. Most of the remainder were the light-commercial Kangoo ZE electric van, at 4,325 sold. That makes each car the leader in its segment.
The Zoe racked up more sales than the larger Nissan Leaf, which is assembled in the U.K., and the Kangoo ZE dominated the all-electric light commercial vehicle segment, at 42.6 percent of sales.
Unsurprisingly he largest market for the Renault Zoe is its home country of France–10,670 sales, or 48 percent of battery-electric sales–due to a national “Superbonus” incentive introduced last year to encourage sales of zero-emission vehicles.
More than half the Zoes sold during 2015, Renault says, benefited from that incentive.
From their launch in 2011 through December 2015, Renault says, it has sold 62,228 electric cars plus another 16,331 Twizy low-speed vehicles.
Renault and sister company Nissan announced in June 2015 that the two companies combined had sold more than a quarter of a million battery-electric vehicles. That followed a November 2014 combined total of 200,000.
But while the Zoe does well in France and parts of Europe, its global sales are about one-quarter the number of the Nissan Leaf’s sold throughout the world with strong showings in Japan and United States
Nisan expect the 200,000th Leaf to be sold sometime this month.
Nissan announced a partnership with Enel, Europe’s second largest power company for installed capacity, to develop a new “Vehicle-to-Grid” initiative to use, store and return to the grid electricity in excess from Nissan’s electric vehicles.
The initiative appears to be a revival of Nissan’s “LEAF to Home” program, which appears to have been abandoned years ago. Although the new program seems to be more focused on providing a service to the grid rather than backup power, which was the focus of “LEAF to Home”.
Nissan and Enel confirmed that trials are already underway to test the viability of ‘Grid Integrated Vehicles’. Nissan Europe Chairman Paul Willcox commented on the announcement:
“Nissan is the world leader in electric vehicles. We’ve being doing it longer than anyone else, we’ve sold more than anyone else and we’ve got plans for the future that are more credible than anyone else. Our pioneering partnership with ENEL is a perfect example of those plans, taking the car beyond a pure road vehicle, and using it to charge your home or office. It ultimately means that electric vehicles can now become a fully integrated part of our national electricity systems right across Europe. A sustainable transportation future demands better connections between vehicles, utilities, renewable energy sources and buildings. This is why today’s announcement is so important – it’s the first step towards a truly integrated automotive energy eco-system.As the energy and automotive sectors converge, and as we look toward to an ever electric future, the opportunities for enhanced energy management have never been stronger. Vehicle-to-Grid technology represents a step closer to this vision and underscores Nissan’s commitment to the entire EV ecosystem – it goes way beyond driving.”
The agreement with the ENEL Group will bring the first Grid Integrated Vehicles to countries where regulation allows sufficient value generation. Denmark will host the first set of trials with Germany, Netherlands and other northern European regions following suit. This endeavour is part of Enel’s and Nissan’s commitment to support the entire electric vehicle ecosystem, going way beyond the car itself and delivering new services to the power industry.
In a press release, the two companies gave an interesting example of the potential of a fully integrated grid with electric vehicles:
“In France for example, where there are 38 million vehicles and where the current electricity generation capacity is 130 GW, a future where all vehicles on the road are EVs/PHEV, the grid integration of the vehicles could generate a virtual power plant of up to 380 GW (3 times the national generation capacity of France).”
To help explain this concept see the chart below: First add a large battery to your house. Connect to a Smart Grid that has the ability to add and take power from your new battery and LEAF. Charge the house pack and car when the sun shines and when demand increases, take power from the combined house and car pack.
Tesla is also believed to be working on a similar vehicle-to-grid system based on comments made by Tesla CTO JB Straubel and its tie up with SolarCity and Powerwall.
This month is the 5th year since Nissan launched the all electric Leaf in December 2010. Since then the Leaf has become the world’s best selling electric car by far. Nissan estimate that Leaf owners have driven a collective 2 billion KM or 1.2 B miles and saved over 300,000 tons of CO2.
The 200,000 unit will trundle of the production line some time in January 2016. The U.S., Japan and Europe have accounted for 90 percent of total LEAF sales, with the U.S. leading the way with more than 90,000 sales, followed by Japan (50,000) and Europe (40,000).
Ever since the first Nissan LEAF rolled off the assembly line, it has been continually celebrated around the world, garnering more than 92 awards, including being named Car of the Year in Japan and Europe, not to mention winning the very prestigious World Car of the Year.
And it’s not just the LEAF that is showcasing Nissan’s EV engineering expertise and investment, as the company has reported that there are nearly 10,000 CHAdeMO Quick Chargers (QC) available worldwide. These QC can charge a LEAF from low battery alert to 80-percent capacity in just 30 minutes. Japan is taking the lead in developing this infrastructure with 6000 chargers throughout the country.
The new 2016 Nissan LEAF is now available with a new 30kWh battery that extends the miles per charge by more than 20 percent. UK shipments are expected at any time. Base Leaf models continue with the existing 24-kWh pack.
As the level of electric vehicle technology continues to increase, Nissan believes that this shift towards cleaner, more efficient zero emission vehicles will contribute greatly in improving air quality and lowering noise levels.
“EV technology will continue to be at the heart of Nissan’s product development efforts. By combining our pioneering EV technologies and other intelligence and innovations, Nissan is moving closer to a zero-emission future for car transportation. With the technologies we are creating, mobility is becoming safer, cleaner, more connected and more exciting. That’s the power of innovation. And that’s what you can expect from Nissan,“ said Nissan President and CEO Carlos Ghosn.
The Renault Nissan Alliance will concentrate on mass-market electric cars, rather than luxury models, CEO Carlos Ghosn told reporters at the recent Tokyo Motor Show
The success of the Tesla Model S has automakers–particularly German automakers–scrambling to build pricey luxury plug-in electric cars to compete with the upstart from Silicon Valley. But the automaker that’s sold more electric cars than anyone else plans to continue in a different direction.
The Renault Nissan group will not produce a rival to the Model S or Model X, Ghosn said during a roundtable session at the recent Tokyo Motor Show. Asked by a journalist if Renault-Nissan planned to build a large luxury EV to compete with the Tesla Model S, CEO Carlos Ghosn said, “No, you’re not going to see that. Frankly we are concentrated on the mass market, the core market. We think that going niche is very small volume, and there is already somebody doing a good job there, so why go after the segment?”
If the company moves in any new direction with electric cars, it will be crossovers, Ghosn said. Crossovers are currently experiencing a boom in the U.S., as well as Europe and China. You can see the whole interview in the video below. Watch the full 44 minutes to learn more about Nissan.
Concentration on the mass market could mean the on-again, off-again Infiniti electric car will remain on the back burner.
Since displaying the Infiniti LE concept at the 2012 New York Auto Show, executives have vacillated about committing to a production luxury electric car.
The LE was a four-door sedan based on then-current Nissan Leaf underpinnings, using a 100-kilowatt (134-horsepower) electric motor and 24-kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery pack. It also featured wireless inductive charging, with a 50-kW DC charging pad that would be placed on a garage floor. – These sound great but we remain unconvinced of their practical use or value.
The LE received generally positive reviews for its design, but was gradually ignored by the Renault-Nissan management.
Infiniti recently said that it does not see demand for an electric car, and doesn’t expect that to change for at least a few years.
On related news the new Infiniti Q30 is the first major new car to be manufactured in the UK in over 23 years will roll off the production line in Sunderland today.
The move upmarket has meant money for robotics as well as people: 134 new robots have been installed in a completely automated body shop and 300 jobs have been created.
Nisan has invested £250m, including £9.2m from the government’s regional growth fund, and trained 4,000 staff on Infiniti customers’ requirements. Priced from £20,550, the brand is pitched against models from Audi, Mercedes-Benz and BMW, as well as Toyota’s Lexus.
Nissan’s Sunderland site, the UK’s largest car plant, currently makes the Qashqai, Note, Juke and the all-electric Leaf. Last year it produced 500,237 vehicles — one in three UK-made cars. Since production began in 1986 the plant has made more than 8m.
Trevor Mann, Nissan’s chief performance officer, said Infiniti Q30 production was creating more than 1,000 UK motor jobs. It also means the Sunderland site, which exports 80 per cent of its output, will send cars to the US and China for the first time.
In the short term, Nissan is likely to focus on the next-generation Leaf. Expected in 2017 or 2018, the second-generation Leaf will likely offer a variety of electric ranges–with the highest approaching 200 miles. It’s unclear whether Nissan will add models beyond the second-generation Leaf, but it’s been slow to do so up to now. Nissan currently sells the Leaf and e-NV-200 van in Europe and Japan but the US only gets the Leaf.
Nissans partner Renault currently offers the subcompact Zoe ZE hatchback, Kangoo ZE small commercial van, and the tiny two-seat Twizy low-speed electric car.
The 2016 Nissan Leaf will be available with a 30KWh battery pack offering a claimed 150 miles of driving. The current 24KWh option remains. This represents a 25% increase in the pack and will increase range by the same amount.