That total encompasses the sale of all “electrified” vehicles, meaning all-battery as well as gasoline-hybrid EVs.
By Murray Slovick, Contributing Editor
In response to tightening emissions regulations around the world, Nissan, Japan’s second biggest automaker, announceda new goal to sell 1 million “electrified” vehicles annually by 2022. The mandate is part of its new “M.O.V.E to 2022” midterm plan (M.O.V.E. = Mobility, Operation excellence, Value to customers, Electrification).
The word “electrified” is in quotation marks in the above paragraph because it does not mean “all-electric vehicles” powered solely by batteries. In fact, Nissan’s definition of the term electrified includes both pure electric models and its e-POWER models. The latter is equipped with a hybrid powertrain that works with a gasoline-powered generator charging a battery pack, which feeds the electric motor. There’s no plug to independently charge the battery pack, so these vehicles are entirely powered by gas.
Through 2022, vehicles powered by its e-Power gasoline-hybrid technology would likely comprise the majority of Nissan’s electric lineup, according to the company. Requiring a much smaller battery than EVs, e-Power vehicles are less expensive to produce.
Nissan says the main parts of its M.O.V.E. to 2022 plan include:
- Developing eight new pure electric vehiclesover the next five years, building on the success of the new Nissan LEAF having sold more than 300,000 Nissan LEAF electric cars.
- Launching a new product offensive in China led by a new C-segment electric vehicle this year, derived from Nissan LEAF technology. The product offensive will also include what’s described as an affordable EV in China, developed through the Alliance joint venture eGT New Energy Automotive. This new lower-cost electric vehicle will be jointly developed by the Alliance and Dongfeng on an A-segment SUV platform. Two further electric-vehicle derivatives are also being prepared for the Venucia brand.
- Introducing an electric “kei” mini-vehicle in Japan (kei literally means “light automobile” in Japanese).
- Offering a global crossover electric vehicle, inspired by the Nissan IMx concept vehicle, which is powered by two electric motors at the front and rear, enabling all-wheel drive. The dual motors have a combined power output of 320 kW and 700 Nm of torque.
- Electrifying its luxury brand INFINITI models from fiscal year 2021;about half of the luxury brand’s sales will be either full electric or e-Power by 2025, the company said.
- Equip 20 models in 20 markets with autonomous driving technology. As part of its strategy for autonomous driving systems, Nissan announced plans to deploy and sell 1 million ProPILOT equipped vehicles a year by 2022. This will be followed by enhancing ProPILOT to automate multilane driving on highways and managing vehicle destinations. The enhanced capability will be introduced in Japan as a pilot project within one year.
- Reach 100% connectivity for all new Nissan, Infiniti, and Datsun cars sold in key markets by the end of the plan,enabled by the launch of the Alliance Connected Cloud. This will allow all Alliance companies to integrate the data management of future, current, and past connected vehicles—new models and those already on the road,
At a briefing, Nissan Chief Planning Officer Philippe Klein told reporters “the heart of our strategy in terms of electrification is battery EVs and e-Power technology.” Klein further said that Nissan would largely forego plug-in hybrids and hydrogen fuel-cell technologies, given their low cost/performance at the moment.
Nissan currently makes about 5 million vehicles per year. Together with its partners, France’s Renault SA and Mitsubishi Motors Corp., Nissan plans to launch 17 electric models as part of a strategy to achieve annual vehicle sales of 14 million units by 2022, compared with 10.6 million units sold by the three firms in 2017.
Klein, when asked about the fatal accident involving a self-driving car operated by Uber Technologies in Arizona last week, declined to comment. He did say, though, that Nissan requires two engineers to be present in the car during self-driving tests on roads—one behind the wheel who can override the automated system if necessary, and another in the back seat to monitor the system. Nissan will not stop testing its autonomous vehicle tests as a result of the incident, he said, “because we believe we are safe.”
Nissan plans to offer a self-driving taxi service in Japan beginning in the early 2020s.