2015 Geneva Motor Show: Nissan to double electric range

2015 Nissan Leaf

The next version of the Nissan Leaf electric car will be capable of travelling 400km-plus on a single charge – twice as far as the current model

A SENIOR Nissan executive has revealed that the company’s second-generation Leaf electric car will be capable of travelling more than 400 kilometres on a charge.

Speaking at the 2015 Geneva motor show, Nissan senior vice-president and chief creative officer Shiro Nakamura told journalists the new Leaf, expected in 2016, would more than double the driving range of the current version.

“Our target is double – more than 400km,” said Nakamura, who confirmed the Leaf was being readied for production and was “not too far” away.

He said work had been done on the batteries to extend the range, as well as the all-new body, which is expected to look more conventional than the current car’s distinctive lines.

Nissan Australia general manager of corporate communications Peter Fadeyev said he was unaware of details of a next-generation Leaf but reiterated the importance of the electric car to Nissan’s Australian model range.

Nakamura also revealed that the Nismo high-performance range would expand globally, giving Australia more models to choose from as it establishes the sub-brand here.

“We have plans – we are expanding [with Nismo],” said Nakamura. “Most of the products [in the Nissan range] we are expecting to have [a] Nismo [model].

Nissan Australia is yet to announce when (or if) Nismo models will be sold here, but there is a strong desire and work is in progress at the company’s Melbourne-based headquarters.

“The project to introduce Nismo Australia has advanced significantly in the last couple of years, but we aren’t in a position to confirm it at this time,” Fadeyev said.

Nissan used the Geneva show to reveal the Sway concept car, which has been confirmed for production and will sit at the lower end of the brand’s price range.

Many have speculated it will be the replacement for Nissan’s Micra city hatch, but Nakamura did not rule out selling two baby hatchbacks.

“We don’t say this is a Micra replacement,” he said. “When it comes to the market, you will see.”

There is a chance the production Sway could be positioned above Micra, with more attention to detail and more adventurous styling, catering to markets that are prepared to pay a premium for a city hatchback.

Micra could be more basic with a focus on lower prices.

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