Nissan has announced plans to launch a new battery-electric mini-vehicle in Japan in early 2022. The small EV is part of a joint project with Mitsubishi and will have a nominal battery capacity of 20 kWh, which helps to keep the price down. However, competition at least overseas will be tough.
Nissan joins a growing number of carmakers working on a low-cost, small electric car. GM’s mini EV, currently only available through the Wuling joint venture in China, is reportedly the country’s (secretly) best-selling EV. The small electric car is available at prices starting at 28,800 yuan, less than 3,800 euros. At the IAA Mobility, Volkswagen, too, announced a small EV, this time with a planned 20k price tag. The ID. Life, however, won’t make it to market before 2025.
Nissan and Mitsubishi, on the other hand, aim to launch the electric mini car in 2022, however, first in Japan. As Nissan points out, mini vehicles are a popular car category in the country, featuring instant acceleration, smooth driving, and cabin quietness – all key characteristics of electric vehicles. In addition, the new mini EV will also come with driver assistance technologies.
For the clearly low battery capacity, Nissan claims that the 20 kWh results in a driving range “designed to cover daily needs in Japan” without giving further details. It is a minimal power pack, a price dropping strategy Nissan knows well from the early Leaf vehicles and resulting in projected purchase prices of about two million yen, equivalent to 18,000 dollars or 15,000 euros (before subsidies). Yet, compare this to the 57 kWh power pack that VW is envisioning for the ID. Life and the forecast price of 20,000 euros.
As with other Nissan EVs, the small car will also be V2X capable and acts as a mobile power source – a feature that has grown in importance in disaster-prone Japan of late.
Measurements have also been set at 3,395 mm long, 1,475 mm wide, and 1,655 mm high. (VW’s small EV platform operates on a 2.65-metre wheelbase with the concept study also measuring 4 metres.)
The Nissan mini EV is part of a joint project with Mitsubishi Motors Corporation. It is being developed by NMKV, a 50/50 joint venture between the two companies engaged in product planning and project management for mini vehicles sold in Japan.
Nissan discloses no plans for bringing the low-cost electric car to overseas markets yet. As reported, the Japanese corporation aims for every new model introduced in key markets to be electrified by the early 2030s.
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