The Verge Covers this story here: http://www.theverge.com/2016/3/23/11291566/nissan-new-mobility-concept-car-video-electric-vehicle
The future of transportation is a tough thing to peg down. It could involve Hyperloops, or self-driving cars, or some strange mix of both. Two years ago, Nissan started up an experimental wing called “Future Lab” to address this shifting landscape. And the first project is the Nissan New Mobility Concept — a squat, four-wheel electric vehicle that Nissan has taken from Renault and modified for the United States.
Aside from different plugs, and a slower top speed of 25 miles per hour, it’s essentially the same thing as the original Renault Twizy. The doors swing open like they would on a Lamborghini, which is cool, but the rest of the vehicle is rather spartan. It has a tiny screen that shows you the battery level, range (up to 40 miles), and speed — but there’s no smartphone connectivity. One of the models comes with a rear seat, but good luck comfortably fitting a full-grown adult back there for more than a few miles. And there are no side windows, so you’re probably going to want to avoid driving one in anything other than the best weather.
Nissan brought a few of the New Mobility Concepts to Manhattan for the New York International Auto Show, and I got to drive one on a quick tour of Midtown. It’s nowhere near as fun as some of the other electric vehicles I’ve tried, like the Arcimoto SRK trike, or even an electric longboard. And sure, it doesn’t do well over bumps and potholes, the open-air design is sure to turn off a number of people, and I had to make myself forget what might happen if I got sideswiped by a bus. But it was otherwise a relatively enjoyable way to maneuver around the traffic that plagues 7th and 8th Avenues.
As someone who commutes more than an hour total every day, I’m constantly thinking about better ways I could get around this city. Uber and Lyft are popular options here, but so are CitiBike, ZipCar, and Car2Go. Something like the Nissan New Mobility Concept might someday have a home here, and by the time I parked it back in front of Madison Square Garden I found myself wishing that were the case.
What exactly Nissan will get out of the New Mobility Concept is hard to say because it’s still a young project. Josh Westerhold, Future Lab’s senior manager, tells The Verge that right now the team is focused on asking a lot of questions.
In fact, Westerhold rattled off a handful in a matter of seconds: “Is this a real trend? What would make a better product [for Nissan], if we need a better product? Is there interest? What are the demographic breakdowns? How do younger people use it, how do older people use it? How do females use it? How do males use it? How do those that are mobility challenged use it?”
But the most important questions, at least concerning Nissan’s involvement, are the last two Westerhold poses: what would the product and the business model have to look like?
Nissan is already searching for the answer to these last two. The company is six months into an exploratory program in San Francisco with the New Mobility Concept car. Future Lab partnered up with Scoot Networks, a sharing service akin to ZipCar or CitiBike that lets people rent electric scooters all around San Francisco. Nissan gave Scoot 10 of the little electric cars (branded as Scoot Quads in the city), and both sides are still trying to tease out answers to the rest of those bigger, broader questions.
Westerhold describes the contract between Nissan and Scoot as “semi-indefinite,” and that it’s still too early to say what the next step for the program will be. Nissan could give 100 more cars to Scoot just as easily as it could wrap up pilot program and move onto something else. (For what it’s worth, Westerhold says it hasn’t been easy — or cheap — for Nissan to import and convert the dozen or so vehicles that are here.)
For now, the two sides are happy to continue benefiting from the hands-on research and feedback that the program provides. That also means it’s not going to be sold here any time soon, so if the idea strikes you, you’re going to have to move to Europe and lay down €6,000 or so.
The New Mobility Concept is just one take on what urban transportation will look like in the future. It’s not the fastest or the sexiest, but after taking a spin in one it’s easy to see how it could play a part in the miniaturization, electrification, and personalization of our future cities.
Nissan has committed to making more batteries for electric vehicles in the United Kingdom. The Japanese company will use its Sunderland factory to make the next generation of batteries for electric cars. The £26,5 million ($37,5 million) investment safeguards 300 highly skilled (and well paid) jobs at the 30-year-old plant.
If you are wondering why this is a big deal, you should know that Nissan’s Sunderland plant is the largest facility in the history of the United Kingdom. Furthermore, the change will make this specific factory the largest lithium-ion battery plant of its kind in Europe.
Nissan has been making electric cars in Sunderland since 2013, when it invested £420 million ($595 million) in accommodating the production of the Leaf and its components.
The highly skilled workers did not come out of the sky, as Nissan partnered with several Universities and other technology partners to pave the way for future engineers that would further develop batteries for electric vehicles.
Nissan makes batteries for its EV in three factories across the world. The other European plant used by Nissan to make battery modules for one of its electric models, the e-NV200 electric van, is found in Barcelona, Spain.
The Leaf was recently updated, and the new version will be available at dealers across Europe starting this month. The car has an upgraded range of 155 miles (250 kilometers). However, the Leaf is not Nissan’s first electric vehicle. The first prototype of this type was made by the carmaker 68 years ago, and it was called the Tama Electric Vehicle.
The Japanese brand also marketed the world’s first electric car with a lithium-ion battery in 1996, the Prairie Joy EV. Thanks to that vehicle, Nissan engineers were able to develop the company’s first mass-produced EV, the Leaf.
Investing in making new electric cars is not enough to make them attractive. All carmakers that invested in this technology have rolled out their quick-charging solutions.
In the case of Nissan and Renault, the two alliance partners developed the CHAdeMO Quick Chargers. Currently, there are almost 10,000 CHAdeMO chargers worldwide, each capable of charging a Leaf’s battery from the “low level” alert to 80% capacity in just 30 minutes.
LEEDS could introduce free parking for electric cars as civic leaders try to forge a path to creating a clean, green and modern global gateway. Environment bosses are considering the parking perk for green-minded drivers in the city centre as part of a raft of measures to urgently improve air quality.
It follows revelations that Leeds is at severe risk of missing its European emissions targets for 2020 – and could face fines of millions of Euros if it doesn’t up its green-friendly game.
It also comes just days after civic decision-makers unveiled ambitious plans to revitalise parts of Leeds city centre, boost the public realm and update the creaking highways network as part of a 20 year vision.
Oslo, Los Angeles and the London borough of Westminster are among a handful of world cities to have already introduced free parking for plug-in electric vehicles – with mixed levels of success.
Councillor Mark Dobson, Leeds City Council’s executive member for environmental protection and community safety, said: “With the immensely positive health benefits people could experience and the possibility of severe financial penalties, doing nothing is not an option.
“We want to put the emphasis on rewarding people who make a positive contribution to improving the city’s air quality, such as offering free or discounted parking for ultra-low emission vehicles.
“This alone isn’t going to be enough.
“So we need to think about and act on what we can all do as businesses, communities and individuals about our travel habits that will cut pollution and improve air quality.”
He added the city was already doing some good work – with a quarter of all Leeds’s municipal vehicles set to run on new technologies.
Friends of the Earth’s Simon Bowens, who lives in Leeds and drives an electric car, said the plan was “a step in the right direction” but stressed it wasn’t “the whole solution”.
“Certainly the encouragement of less polluting vehicles in the city centre is welcome, but I don’t know whether electric cars are the whole solution,” he said.
“The question is how do you get more people walking and cycling – and better public transport.
“A lot of problems come from car traffic in the city centre, so if you remove that, it is positive.
“But there are other things – such as areas like Burmantofts and Harehills getting the most HGVS – which are very polluting as well.”
He said improving charging points in the city centre was also vital as “the ability to charge your vehicle is difficult” in Leeds.
Leeds currently has around a dozen public electric car charging points, amongst them the Elland Road Park and Ride, Leeds Arena, the council-run Woodhouse Lane multi-storey and Asda in Middleton.
Public charging points can power a car up to 80 per cent in half an hour – enough for an 80 mile drive.
Mr Bowens added Leeds has some way to go before catching up with promotion of low polluting vehicles, and the North East had been “particularly good” at encouraging usage, partly due to the Nissan Leaf – the leading EV (electronic vehicle) brand – being manufactured in Sunderland.
Opposition leaders from Leeds City Council’s’s Tory and Lib Dem groups welcomed the proposals, but called for “firm action”.
Coun John Procter, Tory group deputy leader, said a free parking initiative for plug-in cars, like Norway’s trailblazing and highly successful scheme in Oslo was the sort of “imaginative approach” that Leeds should look at, and encouraged his Labour colleagues to lobby Central Government to provide extra funding.
Coun Stewart Golton, leader of the Lib Dem group, warned that the city’s emissions readings could get worse before they get better, because new plans to pedestrianise some parts of the city centre would divert traffic to the inner ring road, one of the city’s worst hotspots for poor air quality.
He urged more “firm action” by the council rather than ideas.
UK sales of electric cars have seen a massive boom in the past year.
From January to September this year, Nissan’s Leaf model sold 43 per cent more than in the first nine months of 2014, and year-to-date sales are already dwarfing the 2013 total of 1,812 by more than double.
Sales of the firm’s e-NV200 electric van have also more than doubled since last year, according to a Nissan spokeswoman.
25% increase in LEAF driving range – 155 miles (250km) on a single charge
Significant battery updates improve performance
New NissanConnect EV infotainment system with greater functionality; off-board telematics for remote operations
Nissan has updated its LEAF electric car with a new 30kWh battery that promises to give drivers 155 miles of motoring range. It’s hoped the new battery will also help to broaden the LEAF’s appeal and boost sales. » Read the rest of this entry «
Car manufacturer Nissan has now sold more than 10,000 of its zero-tailpipe emission Leaf electric cars in the UK, the latest figures from the UK car industry have confirmed.
According to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), Nissan sold 2,964 Leafs in the first half of 2015, which is an increase of 69.4% compared to the previous year.
And, announcing the milestone this week (July 6), Nissan said this brings total UK sales of its Leaf to 10,161 since its launch in 2011.
The majority (51.7%) of these units were sold in the last 12 months and predominantly to retail customers, as almost 71.2% of LEAFs are registered in the retail channel.
Nissan said that this “significant growth is reflected in the wider EV market as the benefits of switching to all-electric mobility become better known”.
The Nissan Leaf remains the biggest-selling purely-electric car in the UK – also where the vehicle is built – with SMMT data revealing that it outsold all other such models combined by more than two-to-one in the first half of 2015, commanding a market share of 63.3%. » Read the rest of this entry «
It just happened family dropped by with a plan “Let’s all go on a family trip“.
It also just happened that my twizy went into service and i ended up with a zoe electricCar which i have been after for a thorough test drive (not those half hour “we let you drive and hope you buy this car” sort of thing, but a real life test).
Leaf Visia+ 6.6kw “FLEX” in Flame Red
24 Monthly Payments: £0.99p – (Plus mandatory batteryrental of £80 per month for 7,500 miles P.A.)
OTR Cash Price: £17,589.25
Customer Deposit: £1,925
Wessex Deposit Contribution: £3200 *
Total Amount of Credit: £12,464.25
Duration of Agreement: 24 months
Optional final Payment: £12,464.25
Total Amount Payable: £17,589.25
Rate of Interest Fixed: 0%
# Orders must be placed before 31/04/2015 and delivered before 01/06/2015. Monthly payment is plus an additional £80 per month mandatory batteryrental. * Subject to availability. Deposit contribution is paid by Nissan via Wessex Garages Cardiff. The offer can be withdrawn at anytime. Terms and Conditions apply. Finance is subject to status and guarantees may be required. Written details on request. Excess mileage charge of 10p per mile. Model for illustration purposes. Metallic or Arctic white paint incurs extra charge.
Then the range required is : “From £0.99p to £81.20 (£81.20 with no deposit) per month (Plus mandatory battery rental)
I knew what I wanted from a New York taxi, and this small SUV wasn’t it. “Where are all the Crown Victorias, with their V8 engines and sloppy suspension?” I asked my wife. If sharing my concern, she was doing a good job of hiding it.
The crummy Ford seemed fundamentally ill-suited to life as a taxi, with its small boot and almost total absence of space for passengers. It was also slow, noisy and rode like a sideboard being pushed down a staircase.
We were therefore more selective when time came to hail our second taxi of the trip. To the untrained eye, the Nissan we selected was just another bland yellow box, roaming the streets in search of paying occupants. But there was actually more to it, I told Mrs K. It was in fact (I used my fingers as inverted commas at this point) the “Taxi of Tomorrow”.
“And what does that mean?” she said, using mock inverted commas of her own.
Shrugging off the sarcasm, I explained how the Mexican-built NV200 was the replacement for the ageing New York yellow taxi fleet, and how, as a result, this seemingly innocuous vehicle has caused a lot of controversy. In addition to the issue of pushing drivers towards a one-size-fits-all vehicle, there were complaints from the Greater New York Taxi Association about the NV200’s restricted wheelchair access and lack of a hybrid drivetrain to cut emissions.
As a result, New York’s Taxi of Tomorrow initiative has been on and off like the light atop the Nissan’s roof. But in June this year the deal was finally put back on track, and as a result the plan at present is for more than 26,000 of these converted vans to hit NY over the next decade, helping to provide transportation for the 600,000 people who ride in a cab every single day. And do you know, I think they’re going to like it.
For a start, being based on a van means the boot is enormous. And while there’s only seating for three on the back bench (a fourth person can travel in the front), the sliding doors mean access is easy. The interior is refreshingly airy, with room to move your legs and – nice touch this – a glass roof through which you can admire the city’s skyscrapers.
From what I could tell, the petrol engine had just enough oomph to pull the little van along at the modest speeds New York traffic allows, and the CVT gearbox seemed well-suited to the stop-and-start conditions. A small panel containing USB ports so that passengers may charge their phones is an inspired touch, as is the “low annoyance horn”, which emits a quiet honk accompanied by a light.
If that all sounds like fun, an officially licenced London version of the NV200 taxi, with a comedy black cab-esque nose grafted on, was due to arrive this month – right up until Mayor Boris Johnson proposed that all new taxis registered in London should be zero emissions by 2018. Wary of rolling out lots of shiny new petrolcars that could be redundant in three years’ time should the legislation go ahead, Nissan has put a hold on the project.
Not for the first time, the Taxi of Tomorrow is at the mercy of the bureaucracy of today.
According to its CEO Carlos Ghosn, Nissan is putting the final touches on batteries that will double the range of its Leaf EV. A release of the technology, which would be a long sought breakthrough, is said to be only a few years away.
In a late night interview at Tokyo’s Business News channel, a relentless host pressed Carlos Ghosn for answers about the future of Nissan’s electric vehicle program. Is Nissan working on new batteries? Ghosn: “Yes.” Can you tell us more? Ghosn: “No.” Will the range double? Ghosn: “Yes.” That means more than 400 km? Ghosn: “Yes.” » Read the rest of this entry «
2016: “The government’s current air quality plan with respect to London is based on the very limited ambition of the previous mayor to tackle air pollution and isn’t enough to protect Londoners health,” said Khan. “I know from personal experience that the city’s air is damaging people’s health as I suffer from adult-onset asthma myself.”
Khan’s first major policy announcement after winning the mayoral election for Labour were new plans to tackle the capital’s air pollution. These include more than doubling the size of the planned Ultra Low Emission Zone.