Nissan will receive four, Infiniti two. Question is, what body styles will be chosen?
Right now the only pure electric vehicle Nissan sells is the second-generation Leaf. That will soon change because it will receive four EVs over the next five years. Luxury division Infiniti is scheduled to get two EVs of its own within the same time period. This information comes to us from Automotive News, whose source was Toshihiro Hirai, Nissan’s vice president for powertrain and EV engineering. It’s important to point out specifically that these six EVs will not be hybrids and will not utilize the automaker’s new e-Power system.
The E-Power range extender hybrid tech is currently found in the Japanese-market Nissan Note. Like the Chevrolet Bolt, this vehicle has a small gasoline engine that generates power for its electric motor that drives the wheels. Looking ahead, Nissan CEO Hiroto Saikawa previously announced that beginning 2021 every new Infiniti will be either an EV or incorporate an e-Power system, and Hirai’s comments align with that plan. Question is, what will these new Nissan and Infiniti EVs be? Right off the bat, expect the Leaf’s platform to be further utilized for most, if not all of these vehicles. An all-electric Infiniti crossover sounds like a no-brainer given the upcoming segment surge, consisting of the Tesla Model X and Jaguar I-Pace.
A crossover version of the Leaf, badged as a Nissan, is also highly probable. Other possibilities include – and this could be interesting – a next-generation Z sports car. Of course this is purely speculation at this time, but an all-electric Z car could help redefine the sports car segment from one that’s not particularly profitable for automakers to one that could be. The EV body style we’re less sure about is the sedan. When we spoke to Infiniti’s new design chief, Karim Habib, at Detroit last month he old us “the sedan is the new coupe” and that “you don’t actually need a sedan today. If you want an effective kind of vehicle…an SUV probably makes more sense.
You pick a sedan because you want to…that’s why sedans are becoming more and more aesthetically pleasing.” Thing is, aesthetically pleasing doesn’t necessarily translate into sales. In any case, it’ll be interesting to see what Nissan and Infiniti ultimately produce, EV wise, in just the next few years.