It has been seventy years since Nissan bought in its first ever electric vehicle and the company has now confirmed that it will unveil the next generation Nissan Leaf on 6th September 2017. The company has been teasing its new electric vehicle since May this year and the company is betting big on one its most sold electric cars globally, the company has sold over 277,000 Nissan Leafs worldwide. Nissan’s EV story began in 1947 with the launch of Nissan Tama, a four-seat EV which was sold a passenger car and a van that offered a range of 65 kmph on a full charge. The new generation Nissan Leaf now gets proper hatchback dimensions and the teaser image shows many aggressive lines running across the body of the car to improve aerodynamics which will allow it to be more efficient. Nissan believes that aerodynamics is the key on how efficiently an electric car runs, less drag and better stability will allow the new Leaf to travel more kilometres before having to recharge. The next generation Nissan Leaf is completely redesigned and sits much lower to the ground when compared to the outgoing model of Leaf. The design is inspired by airplane wings, Nissan claims that its engineers were managed to recreate an ideal shape for the new Leaf, allowing a symmetric air flow that helps it slice across the flow of air for a smoother, more efficient and silent journey.
While more details on the range, interiors and the Nissan’s business strategy around the Leaf will be announced closer to the unveiling date, there is a strong possibility that this new generation Nissan Leaf will make it to India. Nissan has been contemplating bringing in the Leaf in India for a while now but now with government taking a bit clear stance on electric vehicles and its goal to achieve electrification by 2030, Nissan being one of the global leaders might want to make in an early impact in the EV space. The company is in a consolidation mode and is planning to bring in eight new products to the country by 2021 and we strongly believe Nissan Leaf is a part of its future product strategy.
Nissan wants to position itself as a premium brand in India while its sister brand Datsun will cater to the mass market. Guillaume Sicard, Ex-President of Nissan India had earlier said that India is a paradise for carmakers, India has about 20 cars for over 1000 habitants and if infrastructure is managed properly then it is possible for to gain profits in the crowded car market. The company will also be launching the Nissan X-Trail hybrid in India this year and we wouldn't be surprised to see the next-generation Leaf at the Delhi Auto Expo next year.
Nissan India will be looking at importing the new Nissan Leaf and first test it for the Indian market. The product will be an expensive one if sold as CBU. A source close to the company tells us that Nissan will be happy to manufacture the new generation Leaf from its Renault-Nissan Alliance plant in Chennai if they find some right partners. Nissan Leaf being sold as CBU is not an ultimate plan for the company, however Nissan should bring in the Leaf to test and understand the Indian EV market. The company should invent something new for India in India with the help of local suppliers and partners delivering not just the product but a reliable chain of infrastructure and charging stations and go on to support till the last mile to achieve electrification in India.