Will Nissan reveal an electric crossover in Tokyo?
18 October 2017 - Autoblog
When we went to Japan to meet the 2018 Nissan Leaf, we had a chance to talk to folks there about the company's electrification plans.
Nissan's senior vice president of global design, Alfonso Albaisa, told us about how bringing the Leaf closer into the heart of the Nissan family would allow the car to lead the way forward for future electric vehicles. He said the design team was "eager to attack" Tesla, and to democratize EVs by making them more affordable and mainstream. Without being specific, Albaisa told us "other things" were coming.
We recently got a taste of what one of those things will be, with the Nissan Leaf Nismo concept. Another one of those "other things" might be lurking in the shadows in the above video, with a debut set for the Tokyo Motor Show. Nissan says it will reveal "a new concept model that embodies the future of Nissan Intelligent Mobility" at the show. In the video, we see the silhouette of what, as James Riswick elegantly put it, "sure looks like a big old quasi-SUV with room for a bajillion batteries."
An electric Nissan crossover makes complete sense, considering that the momentum of utility vehicles is pegged to the floor for the foreseeable future. What better way to bring EVs into the mainstream than by offering them in popular formats (and for less than a Tesla)? John Pearley Huffman lamented that Nissan hadn't already done just that when he drove the Leaf in Las Vegas.
In addition to being electric, we can expect a "Nissan Intelligent Mobility" concept to incorporate automated driving technology, for which the automaker's ProPilot system would be the basis. It would also make sense to include V2X technology, not just in terms of connectivity, but also in terms of smart charging and energy management (vehicle-to-home and vehicle-to-grid).
Nissan says it will display "a number of exciting concept cars and production vehicles at this year's Tokyo Motor Show, giving customers a glimpse of the company's newest and future innovations." We'll be there next week to tell you all about it.