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Nissan and Renault Set to Launch 10 Autonomous Vehicles by 2020

“The future is not clear,” says CEO Ghosn.

by on Mar.24, 2016

“This is not a time to be conservative or cautious,” said Renault-Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn in NY.

Already the world’s number one producer of battery-electric vehicles, Japan’s Nissan and its French alliance partner Renault intend to become the leader in autonomous driving, as well – CEO Carlos Ghosn telling a New York International Auto Show audience the partners intend to offer 10 vehicles with “significant autonomous drive functionality” by 2020.

According to Ghosn, the Renault-Nissan Alliance will begin to roll out increasingly advanced version of its technology over the next four years, starting with cars capable of operating hands-free in a single lane on limited-access highways. The next step will allow vehicles to pass and change lanes, with the alliance’s first, fully autonomous car set to go into production by 2020.

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“This is not a time to be conservative or cautious” about changing technology, said Ghosn, who added that traditional automakers face a series of potential challenges, some posed by an assortment of outside tech companies like Google and Apple.


Nissan Shakes Up Global Management Team

Increases emphasis on electric vehicle operations.

by on Mar.11, 2013

Nissan Chief Operating Office Toshiyuki Shiga with the maker's Townpod EV concept.

Nissan Motor Co. has become the latest of the major Japanese automakers to announce a global realignment of its management team.

More than a dozen ranking executives will be shuffled, see their duties increased – or retire.  The moves cover a wide range of operations at Nissan, from marketing to supply chain management to communications, but the maker appears to have put a significant emphasis on its electric vehicle operations.

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NMC’s Chief Operating Officer, Toshiyuki Shiga, will now directly overseas planning and strategy for the global battery business unit, an operation Nissan has already invested several billion dollars in, with a second assembly plant for its Leaf battery car recently going into operation in Smyrna, Tennessee.


Nissan Likely to Launch U.S. Hybrid Production

But despite new Tenn. battery-car plant, hybrid batteries will still be imported.

by on Jan.24, 2013

The hybrid-powered Nissan Resonance will reappear in production trim as the next-generation Nissan Murano.

Nissan is likely to start producing a new generation of hybrid-electric vehicles at its assembly plant in Smyrna, Tennessee in the near future.

The Infiniti JX is among the first models assembled in the U.S. that will be equipped with Nissan’s new 1-motor/2-clutch hybrid system, senior sources told Other American-made models, including the new Altima and Pathfinder, along with next-generation versions of the Rogue and Murano may also add hybrid drivelines in the near future.

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But countering some newly published reports, the batteries for the hybrids will likely continue to be imported from Japan despite the recent launch of a new lithium-ion plant alongside the sprawling Smyrna factory complex.


2012 Nissan Leaf: More Car, but More Money

Higher price tag for winter package, quick charger, as battery car rolls into more markets.

by on Jul.19, 2011

The 2012 Nissan Leaf will deliver more car - but at a higher price tag.

With production finally ramping up, sales of the Nissan Leaf are on the rise and should grow even faster, in the coming months, as the maker expands the number of U.S. markets where the battery car is available.

But electric aficionados could be in for an unpleasant surprise, with the introduction of the updated 2012 Nissan Leaf.  The modified model will get new equipment, such as a winter driving package and a more powerful quick charger, but it will also cost more, the company today revealed.

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“Many enthusiastic consumers have eagerly anticipated ordering a Nissan LEAF of their own, and now we can make zero-emissions mobility a reality in more markets,” said Brian Carolin, senior vice president, Sales and Marketing, Nissan North America.

Leaf was initially available in seven states: Arizona, California, Hawaii, Oregon, Tennessee, Texas, and Washington.  On Monday, July 25, the maker will add Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Maryland, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia and Washington, D.C.

Nissan is expanding Leaf production - and availability.

Meanwhile, Carolin noted, the Japanese maker is also upgrading Leaf for 2012.  “In response to direct feedback from Nissan LEAF owners, the features that customers want most will come standard on the 2012 Nissan LEAF – including quick charging and cold-weather features.”

The latter package will include such things as seat heaters.  Studies show that motorists are less likely to turn the heater of a vehicle on full blast – which, in a battery car seriously degrades range – if they have heated seats.

As for the quick charger, the current Leaf’s built-in charger is a modest 3.3 kilowatt system, which requires almost 8 hours even on 220 volts.  For 2012, the top-line SL trim Leaf will get a Level 3 DC quick charge port that is capable of yielding an 80% charge in just 30 minutes.  It was previously a $700 option.  The downside is that there are only a handful of those 440-volt chargers available to the public right now.  But there are plans in the works to add hundreds of them around the country in the next several years.

Unfortunately, Leaf customers will have to wait until 2013 to get an upgraded Level 2 charger, which increases the built-in charger’s capacity from 3.3 to 6.6 kilowatts – about the same as the system that will be offered on the upcoming Ford Focus Electric and Ford C-Max battery-electric microvan.  That should reduce home charging times to under 4 hours.

The added features on the 2012 Nissan Leaf will drive the base price up by 7.4%, or $2,420, to $35,200.  The SL model will start at $37,250, compared with $34,570 for the 2011 version.  (Add another $850 for destination charges.)

For those who prefer to lease, Nissan will add $30 to the monthly fee, bringing the total to $369 for 2011.

The increased price tag for the 2012 Leaf will narrow the gap between the Nissan batter-electric vehicle and the plug-in hybrid most often seen as its chief competition.  The 2011 Chevrolet Volt carried an MSRP of $41,000.  For 2012, however, Chevy is cutting the base price to $39,995.

Competition will become even more intense in the upcoming model-year, however, as an assortment of new battery-based vehicles come to market, including the C-Max, Focus Electric, Toyota Prius Plug-in and the Mitsubishi i.  Formerly known as the iMiEV, the Japanese battery car will start at $27,990, though it will also be smaller than either the Volt or Leaf.

Qualified buyers will also be eligible for $7,500 in federal tax credits and additional incentives in more than a dozen states.

So far, Nissan had delivered more than 4,000 Leaf sedans to U.S. motorists.

Nissan Ready to Take Orders on 2011 Leaf Battery-Electric Vehicle

Strategy shifts as maker decides batteries "not sold separately."

by on Feb.11, 2010

Have $100? You can reserve your 2011 Nissan Leaf battery car starting in April.

Wrapping up a 24-city promotional tour for its first battery-electric vehicle, Nissan has announced it is ready to begin taking orders for the 2011 Leaf sedan.

Interested customers will be able to place a refundable $100 reservation fee, starting in April, for the lithium-ion-powered Leaf, which will be one of the first in a new generation of battery-electric vehicles, or BEVs, expected to reach market over the next several years.  The deposit will put registrants at the head of the line when the formal ordering process begins in August.  Nissan plans a phased rollout of the 2011 Leaf, starting in select markets, in December 2010.


The automaker says it will make the BEV available for either lease or sale, but in a surprise move, it has reversed course on what was seen as a creative, if untraditional, pricing strategy.  The maker had considered the idea of setting one price for the Leaf itself, then another for the battery, which would have only been available as a lease.