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EV Navara hinted as Nissan unveils concepts

Nissan’s Ambition 2030 vision showcases ute, SUV, sports, and city electric vehicles

29 Nov 2021

NISSAN is pushing ahead with its electric vehicle plans, the Japanese brand announcing that it will launch 23 new electrified models by 2030 – 15 of which will be battery electric vehicles (BEVs) utilising the latest solid state battery technology.


The brand has stated aims to be carbon neutral by 2050 and that its new ‘Nissan Ambition 2030’ strategy will “speed up” the electrification of its entire model portfolio – including what appears to be an all-electric version of the Navara ute.


With as many as 23 new pure electric and hybrid vehicles to be launched over the next five years, Nissan CEO Makoto Uchida said he expects three quarters of the company’s European sales will comprise some form of electrification (hybrid, plug-in hybrid, or full electric) by 2030, with Japan and China estimated at 55 and 40 per cent respectively.


“The role of companies to address societal needs is increasingly heightened. With Nissan Ambition 2030, we will drive the new age of electrification, advance technologies to reduce (our) carbon footprint, and pursue new business opportunities,” Mr Uchida explained.


“We want to transform Nissan to become a sustainable company that is truly needed by customers and society.”


Under the plan, Nissan will invest the equivalent of $A24.6 billion over the next five years. It says it will reduce the cost of its battery packs by as much as 65 per cent by 2028 by evolving lithium-ion battery technology and introducing cobalt-free solid-state batteries under a program that will commence in 2024.


Mr Uchida said Nissan aims to produce a solid-state battery pack capable of providing 1kWh for $A65 while at the same time reducing charging times by 30 per cent and says that it will increase global battery production to 52GWh by 2026 and 130GWh by 2030.


The company also has plans to reuse and recycle used battery packs, extending existing repurposing schemes into markets including China, Japan, and the United States.


Coinciding with the Ambition 2030 announcement, Nissan ripped the covers off four electric concept vehicles, one of which shows what could be the brand’s first all-electric ute. 


Not all the concept models – called Chill-Out, Hang-Out, Max-Out, and Surf-Out –are slated for production, instead serving to provide a look at the brand’s future styling and technology directions.


The first of the four concept models, the Chill-Out, is the only vehicle confirmed for production. The small SUV will be built at Nissan’s UK factory from 2025 and is expected to replace the Leaf in the brand’s portfolio. 


The entry-grade Chill-Out EV rides on the Renault-Mitsubishi-Nissan Alliance CMF-EV architecture, meaning it will operate on a traditional lithium-ion battery pack, offering comparable range to segment rivals such as the Hyundai Kona Electric, Mazda MX-30, and upcoming Toyota bZ4X.


The remaining three concepts (Hang-Out, Max-Out, and Surf-Out) are purely concept vehicles that form part of Nissan’s EV Technology Vision. The trio feature solid-state battery packs set beneath the floor, the Surf-Out utility concept offering four-wheel drive courtesy of Nissan’s forthcoming e-4orce dual-motor technology.


A similar all-wheel drive configuration to the Surf-Out is featured in the Max-Out two-door sportscar concept, the model a possible future take on Nissan’s Z car range – or even a contender to the next-generation Mazda MX-5 and Toyota 86/Subaru BRZ.


Finally, the Hang-Out concept offers Kei-car-like proportions and a clever fold-flat interior, the model also featuring e-4orce dual-motor all-wheel drive and a more advanced version of Nissan’s ProPilot suite of driver-assistance technologies.


Nissan currently offers just one all-electric model in Australia, the Leaf hatch offering a driving range of between 270 and 385km from a choice of 40kWh or 62kWh lithium-ion battery packs, respectively providing the front-drive model available with outputs of 110kW/320Nm and 160kW/340Nm.


Priced from $49,990 to $60,490 plus on-road costs, the five-door electric hatch is the second generation of Leaf to be sold locally.

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