Nissan’s executive Vice President Any Palmer has strong words for EV competitors looking to knock the Nissan Leaf’s push out of the starting gate: Nissan will be increasing the range of the Leaf to ‘at least 200km’ in order to compete more strongly in the EV market. Right now the Leaf has a range of 135km (84 miles). A 200km range for the Leaf would be roughly a 120 mile range, nearly 50% more range than it currently has.
Why the public statement?
Volkswagen recently claimed that it would be launching over 40 new models of electric cars to try and corner the electric car market. Their claim? That they would be the number one EV maker within five years.
Nissan’s reaction at the Frankfurt Motor Show? Not so quick, VW. Because Nissan has a four year jump on VW, and besides, Nissan says “…yeah but we say that too, don’t we? One of us is going to be right…” The Leaf has 75,000 units on the road, giving Nissan a data and customer base to grow on.
Palmer also had a lot to say about EV detractors: “Electric and cars is inevitable as tax and death.” He doesn’t regret that Nissan did an all-electric car. Making it was most of the battle, from now on he sees the focus as incremental improvement, bringing down the price and increasing battery capacity.
And on battery capacity, that’s where Palmer gets interesting. “Battery technology is moving “much faster than I ever believed,” he said. “We imagined a four year cycle for a battery, then we were on a two year cycle, now we’re modifying the battery every year.”
If that’s true, one can expect to see some increases in the Leaf’s range as soon as next year. Certainly they seem riled up for competition with VW.