Nissan ramps up European electric vehicle push on multiple fronts

Nissan Leaf 2018 front photo
© Nissan

From vehicle-to-grid charging to a longer range electric van, these announcements are more than the sum of their parts.

When I wrote about the new 2018 Nissan Leaf, many commenters were unimpressed by its 150 or so miles of range. It was, they argued, yet more evidence that Nissan and other legacy automakers are dragging their heels on full electrification. I'm personally not so sure. A medium-range, lower priced model may be the perfect entry point for many mainstream would-be electric car drivers.

But all that's beside the point. The electrification ambitions of any single automaker shouldn't be judged on any one model, but rather how serious they are about putting a broader strategy into place. And Business Green reports that Nissan has just revealed a significant ramp up of its electric vehicle efforts in Europe.

Specifically, the reveal of this expansion of the Nissan electric vehicle 'ecosystem' includes:

—60% more range for the e-NV200, Europe's best selling electric van, achieved without any increase to the size or weight of the 40kW battery pack. Nissan is now reporting 174 miles under the notoriously inaccurate NEDC test cycle, which probably adds up to about 100 miles in real world driving.
—An additional 1,000 CHAdeMO fast charging points across Europe in the next 18 months, in addition to the 4,600 charging stations already installed.
—A promise to start selling bi-directional charging to fleet customers soon, allowing them to use their cars for energy storage and sell back to the grid in times of high demand.
—And according to Nissan's own newsroom, the launch also included new home and business vehicle charging equipment (7kw and 22kw respectively), as well as home energy storage solutions too.

Taken individually, there's not much here that isn't being offered by other manufacturers. Indeed, a 20% increase in CHAdeMO fast chargers would be impressive if it weren't for Tesla tripling their (much more practical) supercharger network by the end of next year. But still, they do feel like a significant sign that Nissan's commitment to electrification is more than a passing fancy. Yes, they could do more. Yes, they could go faster. But the direction of travel is set—and each new commitment from a legacy automaker makes the likelihood of backsliding that much harder to imagine.

Tags: Electric Cars | Electric Vehicles

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