Nissan to sell 1M electrified semi-autonomous cars p.a. by FY2022
People associate Nissan with SUVs and the iconic Leaf, the world's best selling electric car, but not exactly with hybrid powertrains. With the electrification wave becoming an unstoppable tsunami, that is about to change. However, NIssan has its own vision on how to combine petrol engines with electric motors and batteries. Contrary to its competitors, the brand takes the electric powertrain as a starting point, rather than the petrol engine.
Electric and range-extended electric
As part of its electrification strategy, Nissan will launch a product offensive in China led by a new Leaf-derived C-segment electric vehicle this year. An affordable EV jointly developed by the Alliance and Dongfeng on an A-segment SUV platform is to follow later. Two further electric vehicle derivatives are also being prepared for the Venucia brand.
Nissan will also continue to expand its e-Power technology, already offered on the Nissan Note and Nissan Serena in Japan. E-Power is essentially a series hybrid set up, or a battery electric vehicle with a petrol-powered range extender, if you prefer - much like the BMW i3 REX and the late Opel Ampera/Chevrolet Volt.
Nissan expects that electrified vehicles – either electric or e-Power models – will make up 40 percent of the company’s sales in Japan and Europe by 2022 and 50 percent by 2025. In the U.S., that number is expected to be 20-30 percent by 2025, compared to 35-40 percent in China.
As to its premium sub brand: Infiniti will also adopt pure electric vehicles and e-Power models in its line-up from fiscal year 2021.
But there is more to Nissan's mid-term strategy: the 'M.O.V.E to 2022' plan not only includes strengthening the brand's electric vehicle leadership, but also expanding autonomous driving and delivering mobility services. As part of its strategy for autonomous driving systems, Nissan announced plans to deploy its ProPilot technology in 20 models in 20 markets by 2022. The company expects to sell 1 million semi-autonomous vehicles a year by 2022.
This will be followed by enhancing ProPilot to automate multilane driving on motorways and managing vehicle destinations. The enhanced capability will be introduced in Japan as a pilot project next year.
“Based on Nissan’s history of providing world-first safety technologies, we continue to evolve autonomous technology towards hands-free, eyes-off convenience in all environments", said senior vice president Takao Asami at last week's press conference. "Already we have more vehicles on the road with semi-autonomous capabilities than any other automaker, and we continue to learn from this experience to bring benefits to customers.”
Connectivity and mobility services
Nissan also announced it wants connectivity for 100 percent of new Nissan, Infiniti and Datsun cars sold in key markets. “The Alliance Connected Cloud will allow for all of the Alliance companies to integrate the data management of future, current and past connected vehicles – new models and those already on the road,” said senior vice president Ogi Redzic. “It will support infotainment services, as well as a single communication mechanism to facilitate updates over the air for all vehicles.”
The Alliance Connected Cloud is a cornerstone enabling the expansion of connected and mobility services for Nissan, including robo-vehicle ride-hailing services. Nissan tested its first autonomous taxi called “Easy Ride” with partner DeNA earlier this month. The brand aims to provide commercial services directly to customers by the early 2020s.
Picture copyright: Nissan, 2018