Could Nissan be working on a subcompact EV to be positioned below the Leaf in the lineup?
One report seems to think so. Gareth Dunsmore, who leads Nissan’s EV operations in Europe, indicated as much to AutoExpress:
“We’ve invested $5.4 billion (£4.1 billion) in electric cars such as the Leaf, so we need to ensure we’re satisfying as many types of customer as possible. In Europe, that could mean looking towards B-segment hatches and SUVs or crossovers,” he said.
A B-segment car would comparable to the Ford Fiesta in size.
Dunsmore added the car will evolve as the market demographics are evolving.
“The first people who bought EVs were the proud early adopters. The second people were the fleets. And the third people were families, who wanted affordability and practicality,” said Dunsmore. “The Leaf is well placed to deliver to those customers, and will continue to do so. If we look towards crossovers or the B-segment for the next car, those could make perfect sense.”
Dunsmore’s quote only offers a hint, and it doesn’t mean that’s what Nissan actually has planned. But Nissan is allied with Renault, and the Renault ZOE could be the perfect car for Nissan to borrow a platform – and battery technology – from.
Meanwhile, a potential upcoming electric crossover could use the Leaf’s platform.
“Nissan is committed to EVs making up a large part of its range, and we are looking at where we can add more electric cars. The next step would be in another volume sector, which probably isn’t sports cars,” said Nissan executive vice president for product, Roel de Vries, recently. His comments and Dunsmore’s suggest that subcompact EV or crossover or something else, Nissan is looking to expand the EV lineup, and in non-sports-car classes.