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Nissan Europe’s EV plans laid bare

Green machine: Nissan is planning on releasing a Nismo-tuned version of its second-generation Leaf to raise the street cred of its all-electric, emissions-free small car.

Improved charging infrastructure, Leaf Nismo, e-NV200 van on the way from Nissan

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Nissan logo3 Oct 2017

By TUNG NGUYEN

NISSAN Europe has outlined its plans for its electric vehicle (EV) future with more charging stations, improved home storage technologies and more emissions-free models – including a Nismo-fettled Leaf – on the horizon.

Announced in Oslo, Norway at the Nissan Futures event, the developments are expected to roll-out over the next decade starting with an expansion of its 4600 European quick-charging stations by 20 per cent over the next 18 months.

New battery storage technologies will also launch across home and office charging stations that include double-speed 7kW units for suburban and 22kW systems for business EV charging.

According to Nissan, the new home system can fill an EV battery from zero to 100 per cent in 5.5 hours, while the office charging solution is designed with plug-in fleets in mind.

Nissan’s new home electric storage system, xStorage, was also showcased at the event, allowing owners to better manage electricity generation and charging of EVs.

The Japanese car-maker has also been testing bi-directional charging of its EVs that allows users to sell excessive electricity generated – via solar panels, for example – back into the grid, netting about £350 ($A593) per annum.

Headlining these developments will be the new-generation Nissan Leaf, topped by an incoming Nismo-tweaked version and a special European-specific 2.Zero variant.

While little was revealed about the new vehicles, the Leaf Nismo Concept is expected to make its public debut at this month’s Tokyo motor show to lift the brand image of Nissan’s all-electric small car.

Although the tuned Leaf is not expected to provide a boost in performance – the second-generation model is powered by an 110kW/320Nm electric motor for a 400km driving range – leaked images reveal it will wear a number of cosmetic styling tweaks including Nismo’s signature red detailing along the lower front lip and sportier bodykit.

Expect to also see some suspension changes to make the Leaf Nismo Concept handle more responsively than its garden-variety sibling.

Nissan will also launch its all-electric e-NV200 van to European markets, with a driving range of up to 280km – a 100km improvement over the previous model.

Nissan Europe chairman Paul Willcox said the Japanese car-maker will continue pushing EV adoption, like it has since the introduction of the first Leaf in 2011.

“Step by step, we are removing any barriers to electric vehicle adoption, from infrastructure investment to how people access the power itself,” he said.

“Now we’re outlining our plans for the next decade, which will see even bigger investments in infrastructure, new battery advances and will even change the way people access and pay for the power in their cars.

“Put simply, we’ve been doing it longer than anyone else, we’ve sold more than anyone else, and we have a more exciting plan for the future than anyone else.”

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