During his keynote presentation yesterday at the Consumer Electronic Show, Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn stated that a second-generation Leaf is coming “in the near future,” though he gave no information regarding driving range or a date and model year.
It is known that Nissan has already developed a 60-kWh lithium-ion battery as suggested on the IDS concept car shown at the 2015 Tokyo Motor Show, and Ghosn’s statements in Janury 2015 that the company was developing a 200-mile range battery.
Also, recently in Europe the Renault ZOE small EV was introduced with a “real world” range of 186 miles.
Prior to Ghosn’s speech, Takao Asami, Nissan’s senior VP of research and advanced engineering, told reporters on the sideline that the next Leaf will have an “above 200-mile” range and the company is planning a 150 kilowatt charge rate.
Asami also said the company is considering different size batteries and driving range for Asia, Europe and North America.
The main topic of Ghosn’s keynote address was Nissan’s upcoming autonomous and connected car technology.
“The model will be equipped with ProPilot technology, enabling autonomous drive functionality for single-lane highway driving,” Ghosn said.
As for connected cars, Ghosn highlighted NASA developed artificial intelligence technology, which Nissan is calling Seamless Autonomous Mobility (SAM).
This tech bridges the gap between roads that are filled with human drivers and fully autonomous traffic.
In addition to Nissan’s core electric vehicle-based technologies, Ghosn said the company has a diverse range of electrified technology, including e-Power, a series hybrid.
The first e-Power car is already on the road in Japan, the subcompact Note e-Power hatchback.
Power for the e-Note’s wheels are provided solely by an electric motor that receives electricity from a small battery pack.
The battery pack is charged by a small gasoline engine that does not power the wheels. This means the car has the fuel economy of a hybrid vehicle, but drives like an electric car.
And when might the new Leaf be revealed? That could come as early as next Monday at the Detroit auto show, or we might have to wait for the Tokyo Motor Show at the end of October.
In either case, we will give you the full details.