Category Archives: Nissan

News and reviews of Nissan electric cars (including plug-in hybrids).

The Nissan Leaf (L) and Kia Soul on charge on a London street (Image: M. Willis/Getty for GUL)

UK electric vehicle boom drives new car sales to 12-year high

The number of new cars registered in the UK hit a 12-year high in January, with electric vehicles taking a record share of the market, according to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).

The Nissan Leaf (L) and Kia Soul on charge on a London street (Image: M. Willis/Getty for GUL)
The Nissan Leaf (L) and Kia Soul on charge on a London street (Image: M. Willis/Getty for GUL)

The industry body had warned of a slowdown in the motor trade in 2017 because of the impact of the weak pound, but there was no sign of deceleration in the first monthly numbers of the year.

Drivers registered 174,564 cars in January, up 2.9% on last year, to reach the highest monthly level since 2005, the trade body said.

Alternative fuel vehicles, mainly electric cars, such as the Nissan Leaf, increased by a fifth to reach a record 4.2% share of new vehicle registrations, beating a previous high of 3.6% in November last year.

Read more: The Guardian

Renault-Nissan Alliance extends electric vehicle sales record

  • Alliance sales reach 9,961,347 vehicles in 2016 – one in nine cars sold worldwide.
  • The Alliance confirms its zero-emission* leadership; cumulative sales reach 424,797 electric vehicles worldwide.
  • 18-year old partnership sees boost in innovation for the vehicle of the future.

The Renault-Nissan Alliance delivered significant growth in 2016, with global sales of 9.96 million vehicles. The car group also reinforced its leadership in zero-emission vehicles with cumulative sales of nearly 425,000 electric vehicles since the introduction of the Nissan LEAF in 2010, followed by the Renault ZOE.

The Alliance sales figures include Mitsubishi Motors sales of 934,013 vehicles globally. Mitsubishi Motors joined the Alliance last fall with Nissan‘s acquisition of a 34 percent equity stake in the company.

Launch of Rapid Charge Network (Image: Renault)

“The combination of Groupe Renault, Nissan Motors and Mitsubishi Motors creates a new force in the global auto industry,” Chairman and CEO Carlos Ghosn said. “The strength of this innovative partnership that began 18 years ago has allowed us to improve our competitiveness, boost our growth and engage in the race for the vehicle of the future.”

The Alliance brands accounted for about one in nine cars sold worldwide last year.

Groupe Renault’s sales were up 13.3 percent to 3,182,625 vehicles in 2016 for the last year of the “Drive the Change” plan. This marked the fourth consecutive year of sales growth with a record year-on-year increase of 374,000 units.

Both Renault and Dacia brands had a record year in terms of sales volumes and Renault Samsung Motors volumes were up by 38.8 percent. Market share and sales volumes are up in all regions, with the Renault brand becoming number two in Europe.

Nissan Motor Co. Ltd. sold a record 5,559,902 cars and trucks worldwide, up 2.5 percent. In the U.S.A. and China, the company achieved sales growth of 5.4 percent and 8.4 percent respectively, setting new records in both markets. Infiniti sold over 230,000 vehicles in 2016, a 7 percent increase from the previous year. In December alone, Infiniti sold 27,200 vehicles, an 18 percent increase versus the prior year.

Mitsubishi Motors sold 934,013 cars worldwide, down 13 percent. Sales grew in the United States and Australia, but were offset by lower sales in Brazil, Russia, and the Middle East. Japan sales were also affected by lower consumer confidence following the fuel consumption issue.

Through Nissan’s partnership with Mitsubishi Motors, Nissan expects to target synergy benefits worth 24 billion yen in fiscal year 2017, rising to 60 billion yen in fiscal year 2018 and beyond. The gains will contribute to increased earnings per share worth an estimated 4 yen per share in fiscal year 2017 and 10 yen per share in fiscal year 2018 – on top of any earnings accretion linked to Nissan’s overall shareholding in Mitsubishi Motors.

AVTOVAZ, which sells cars under the LADA brand, sold 284,807 vehicles. Together, the Renault-Nissan Alliance and AVTOVAZ sell about one in three cars in Russia.

Sustained leadership in electric vehicles

The Renault-Nissan Alliance, with Mitsubishi Motors, cumulatively sold 424,797 electric vehicles through 2016, making it the undisputed leader in zero-emission mobility.

The Nissan LEAF, the first mainstream, mass-marketed electric vehicle, remains the world’s best-selling EV with more than 250,000* vehicles sold since its launch in December 2010.

In addition to the LEAF, Nissan also sells the e-NV200, a light commercial vehicle sold mainly in Europe and Japan since 2014.

Renault has sold more than 112,000 electric vehicles worldwide since 2011, including the Renault ZOE, Kangoo Z.E., Fluence Z.E., the SM3 Z.E. and the Twizy.

Renault was at the top of the European EV market last year, with sales up by 11 percent at 25,648 units (excluding Twizy). ZOE led the EV ranking with 21,735 sold. Renault Pro+ recently announced the addition of two new commercial EVs to its lineup: the New Kangoo Z.E. and Master Z.E.

In 2016, the Renault-Nissan Alliance, including Mitsubishi Motors i-Miev series, sold 94,265 EVs, up more than 8 percent from 2015.

* Including Venucia E30 sales in China. No CO2 emissions and no regulated exhaust pollutants while driving, according to NEDC homologation cycle.

Boosting innovation for the vehicle of the future

In 2016, the Renault-Nissan Alliance took several steps to advance the development of future vehicles that will be electric, autonomous and connected.

The Alliance plans to launch at least 10 models with autonomous drive functionality by 2020. Development and tests of connectivity and autonomous drive technologies are underway with several partners, including Microsoft and NASA.

“We were the first to launch an affordable electric car back in 2010. Other major automakers are now recognizing that EVs are the most effective zero-emission solution,” Ghosn said. “With autonomous drive and connected cars and services, we are firmly engaged in the race for the vehicle of the future.”

Source: Renault Nissan Alliance

The Ioniq will first be available as a hybrid and EV, with a PHEV coming later

My IONIQ Test Drive

Together with my wife I set off to our local Hyundai dealer in Hendon for a test drive of the all-electric IONIQ Premium.

We are currently Leaf drivers and thinking of upgrading to the 30 kWh version. However, given the very positive range reports being given for the IONIQ, it made sense to try it as a possible alternative.

The Ioniq will first be available as a hybrid and EV, with a PHEV coming later
The IONIQ electric car

It was a booked test drive so we were disappointed to be kept waiting an extra 30 minutes, but eventually we got to go on the road.

My wife had her turn first, and took a few minutes to run over the controls and get everything set up. Our host took us on a route through rather slow, congested roads, so there was little chance to swoop on the open road. However, my wife enjoyed adjusting the regenerative braking to different levels and feeling the effect, as well as switching between the ECO, NORMAL and SPORT modes of drive. What she didn’t like was the bar across the back window where the spoiler is placed. Apparently, this is a major contributor to a low drag coefficient, but because they add glass below the spoiler, it does look a bit odd from the inside. I didn’t mind it myself.

After a few miles we swapped over and I enjoyed the feel of the sporty steering wheel. The layout of the controls was good and intuitive; I certainly preferred the steering wheel paddles for adjusting the regenerative levels, against the rather tiresome central lever in the Leaf. Eventually we came to a spot of more open road, and I was pleased at the sporty feel of the car to the throttle, even with 3 adults inside. As ever, the instantaneous response of an electric drive was satisfying (petrol automatics always have an annoying lag). We also saw some of the advanced driver support features such as accidental lane change warnings and car follow.

And of course, it has all the usual features of satnav, timers to pre-heat the car in the morning, and a good stereo. Unusually it doesn’t have an app to allow you to trigger pre-heat from your phone.

At the end of it our conclusions were:

  • Pros: sporty feel, apparently excellent range, nice roomy hatchback, advanced driver support features.
  • Cons: a slightly ordinary look externally, split glass on the back window, no app available for remote pre-heat.

So, a very impressive car. Left to me we would get the IONIQ, but my wife is a big Leaf fan. Watch this space. I’ll let you know what we choose eventually.

Hyundai Ioniq, Volkswagen E-Golf, BMW i3 vs Nissan Leaf

The Hyundai Ioniq Electric is the latest addition to a growing class of city-friendly battery-powered hatchbacks. We pit it against its rivals

The electric vehicle market is growing, so we’ve collected the Hyundai Ioniq, Volkswagen E-Golf, BMW i3 and Nissan Leaf together to see which comes out on top.

Hyundai Ioniq, Volkswagen E-Golf, BMW i3 vs Nissan Leaf - electric vehicle group test (Image: Autocar)
Hyundai Ioniq, Volkswagen E-Golf, BMW i3 vs Nissan Leaf – electric vehicle group test (Image: Autocar)

A watched EV never boils. More to the point, it doesn’t bleep, flash, pop, ping or do anything else that you might imagine an all-electric hatchback ought to do to indicate a completed charge. Shame. I like the idea of a Nissan Leaf gradually browning, wafting warm toast smells in every direction, before spontaneously hopping three feet into the air like a slice of Warburton’s ready for the butter knife.

It would at least make an interesting spectacle in the motorway services car park in which we’re now waiting. We’ve got four brand-new battery cars lined up in front of Ecotricity’s fast chargers, each suckling almost noiselessly in turn from the national grid, before setting off on an exercise we’ve been waiting a long time to carry out.

It was six years ago that the Nissan Leaf and Mitsubishi i-MiEV first tested the appetite of drivers all over the developed world for a compact, affordable electric hatchback. It’s an appetite that’s needed plenty of encouragement, but it’s finally growing at something close to the rate those evangelical early market entrants had hoped for. Viewed globally, the market for pure EVs and plug-in hybrids will total more than 600,000 cars this year, up about 50% year on year. Just over half of all those ‘plug-in’ cars sold this year will be wholly electric-powered.

More important, as concerns today’s agenda, the all-electric hatchback market now provides the UK motorist with enough choice to populate a full Autocar group test. Welcome, then, the new Hyundai Ioniq Electric to UK showrooms. And allow us to introduce it to the similarly priced, all-electric rivals against which its stature must be measured: the Nissan Leaf, Volkswagen e-Golf and BMW i3.

Having followed the early-stage development of these zero-emissions pioneers, we’ve become used to the strengths and limitations of electric propulsion at the affordable end of the ownership spectrum. An £80,000 Tesla may already offer the sort of cruising range it takes to replace internal combustion in a car for almost any occasion or journey, but a £25,000 Leaf doesn’t – and probably won’t for a few years yet.

Where affordable EVs have already shown strength is when performing as responsive, relaxing, cost-efficient short-range transport, in the role typically served by the second car in a family. And that’s how we’re going to test today’s field. We’ve plotted a route across north London, taking in some of its most congested streets and winding up at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in Newham. We simply want to know which of these cars would serve you best with predominantly urban use in mind.

Before we set off, time for a quick poke around our newbie: the Hyundai Ioniq. The Leaf, i3 and e-Golf are well known to us, all having been the subject of Autocar road tests over the past few years and all serving customers looking for slightly different things from their first EV. And rather than competing for exactly the same customers as any of its new-found rivals, the Ioniq definitely adds to the breadth of choice in the market.

Read more: Autocar

Petar Kralev and his wife, Lyuba, collecting their Nissan LEAF (Image: Evening Standard)

How to make the move to electric cars

No longer a futuristic novelty, electric cars are becoming an increasingly common sight on Britain’s streets.

Petar Kralev and his wife, Lyuba, collecting their Nissan LEAF (Image: Evening Standard)
Petar Kralev and his wife, Lyuba, collecting their Nissan LEAF (Image: Evening Standard)

Most of the major car manufacturers are now either selling or developing electric and hybrid models, even the supercar makers at Ferrari are planning on fitting every new car with a hybrid powertrain by 2019. There will be roughly 500,000 electric cars on Europe’s streets by the end of the year.

The Nissan LEAF is the world’s best-selling fully electric car, with more than 180,000 sold last year. It’s a true all-electric vehicle – with no range-extending or hybrid petrol engine in sight.

It comes in several variations, with prices ranging from £21,000 to £27,000 but that’s before the UK Government plug-in car grant of £4,500. WhatCar recommends a target price of £12,863-£24,535 for a new LEAF, which is also road tax and Congestion Charge exempt.

Petar and Lyuba Kralev are a London couple who traded in their Audi A3 Cabriolet and purchased the Nissan LEAF 24kwh, which comes with an everyday driving range of 124 miles. Their Leaf will soon have its two year anniversary with couple, who are now going the whole-hog and installing solar panels on their house, providing them with free electricity from renewable source.

Many potential customers looking at the EV market are put off by fears that the battery won’t carry them far enough, but Petar Kralev tells me this has not been an issue. Petar has a daily 40-60 minute commute between Romford and London’s Canary Wharf, and tells me he has never suffered from “range anxiety”, even on a 150 mile round trip.

I caught up with Petar Kralev and asked him about life with his electric motor.

Why the move to EV?

Electric vehicles are the cars of the future, there’s no doubt about it. They’re cheaper to run and also quieter than any other car on the road. I find it easier to drive an electric car compared to other options – more so than any other vehicle with an automatic transmission. All the power is instant, whether you’re moving or from a standstill.

Read more: Standard

'Battery Level is Low' (Image: J. Tisdall)

Musing on range anxiety

My daily commute is currently a 64 mile round trip; a beautiful cross country route ending in Milton Keynes (free parking for electric cars – yippee – saves me £20 a week).

I know that my first generation Leaf is good for 75 miles in cold weather, increasing up to 90 miles in the summer (and even higher if I drive slowly). Probably because I am a bit mean and only like to charge at home on Economy 7, this means that in winter, I am always down to my last 10 miles when I get home.

However, last week we had an exceptional day. It was very cold, with snow sweeping through the country and the combination of cold, with surface snow and slush (which increases resistance to movement) meant that I knew I would be closer to the limit than usual.

Sure enough, as I got close to home, my remaining distance went from 6 miles to blank and the gentle voice of my satnav told me to find a charge point urgently.

'Battery Level is Low' (Image: J. Tisdall)
‘Battery Level is Low’ (Image: J. Tisdall)

All was well as I got home and plugged in, but it was interesting how an event that in my early days of ownership would have had me on the edge of my seat and white-knuckled, was now something to take in my stride. I realise that what has changed is that electric car driving has now become normal for me. I have come to trust that the range is actually pretty consistent, and I have learnt the slightly different way of thinking that electric cars demand.

Finally, I am free to simply enjoy the ride.

Millennials say driving an eco-friendly car is the primary action they’d take to make their lives greener

More than three quarters of millennials (76 percent) consider driving an eco-friendly car as the best choice to make their lives more environmentally friendly, according to a Nissan European study investigating millennials’ attitudes towards electric and hybrid vehicles.

Revealed exclusively by Gareth Dunsmore, Nissan’s Director of Electric Vehicles at FutureFest in London, the study probed the views of 2,500 European millennials (aged 18 to 34) across the UK, France, Italy, Germany, and Spain.

The study found that as a generation, millennials are willing to try new things, challenge processes, and think differently about the future. As such, the report showed that the environmental concerns of millennials aren’t smaller scale issues like recycling (24 percent) or overflowing landfills (14 percent) but global issues such as climate change (53 percent) and air pollution (42 percent). To help solve these issues, they are willing to make bold changes such as switching to an energy provider dedicated to eco-friendly solutions (62 percent), or supporting brands that are committed to being more environmentally friendly (53 percent).

Perhaps surprisingly, the majority of millennials surveyed owned a car (77 percent). Although they might not be driving electric vehicles now, they are in the market for future driving technology with over half saying they would buy an electric car in the next 10 years.

With a focus on Intelligent Mobility solutions that have an ultimate goal of zero emissions and zero fatalities, Nissan has been pioneering the pure electric vehicle market since the introduction of the 100 percent electric, zero emission Nissan LEAF in 2010. There are now more than 230,000 Nissan LEAFs on the road worldwide, securing it as the world’s best-selling EV. Nissan recently introduced the third generation model that delivers 26 percent more range versus the previous model, and up to 250 km of driving range on a single charge.

Gareth Dunsmore, Director of Electric Vehicles, Nissan Europe, said:

“We’ve always known that millennials are the challenger generation but our European study has also revealed that they’re the future ‘change-makers’ – willing to make drastic lifestyle choices to make a meaningful difference to the world they live in. It gives me immeasurable hope to see that millennials believe electric vehicles, such as the Nissan LEAF and e-NV200 that are already on the road today, are part of the solution for a more sustainable future. As an industry we must work harder to engage the interests and needs of this group.”

Source: Electric Cars Report

Top 5 best Electric Cars

Electric cars are getting better all the time, making them a more realistic proposition for more people. These are currently our experts’ favourite five

More and more people are coming to realise that an electric a car is a genuine proposition for 21st-centrury motoring.

With increasing amounts of us living in the city or the suburbs, and never needing to undertake long journeys by car, the relaxing drive and low running costs of an electric car are making them all the more attractive.

Of course, most are not without their limitations – most have a real-world range of no more than 100 miles; they’re comparatively dear to buy; and, you need easy access to charging facilities – but as long as you can live with those restrictions (and more people than will admit it, can…), an electric car is a very sensible choice.

The question is what to buy, but with more and more makers selling electric cars, you can find pretty much whatever you want – from city cars to sports cars, and all points in between. And, if you are tempted, let our experts guide you through the best of the current crop.

Nissan Leaf – the British-built one

More than any other, the Leaf is the car that convinced a sceptical public that an electric car was something to consider; and, even now, it’s a compelling proposition. Around town – which is the natural habitat of an electric car – the Leaf is smooth, comfortable and near-silent. Even in the heaviest traffic, the way it drives is supremely relaxing. Above all, apart from the range, there are no sacrifices to make: the Leaf is a decent five-seater, while the boot will take plenty of luggage. As with any electric car, everyday motoring can cost just pennies, and to cap it all, it even costs less to service than a comparable Pulsar.

Renault Zoe – the (relatively) cheap one

One of the main attractions of electric cars is that they cost so little to run, but the trouble with so many of them is that they cost so much to buy. Not so the Zoe, which is yours for little more than the price of a decently-specced Clio. The beauty of it is that, despite the fact that you’re not spending a million dollars, the Zoe is still a very smart-looking little thing. The blue accents on the outside are complemented by a hi-tech interior; and, as the car was designed from the ground up as an electric car, the batteries don’t limit the car’s practicality too much. It’s good to drive, too, and the icing on the cake is a five-star Euro NCAP crash test rating.

Read more: Autotrader