Earlier today, Nissan announced a series of investments and electrification plans that have long been rumored but are now being clearly defined. Expect two new compact utility vehicles (CUVs) and a totally new redesigned Leaf, all of which will be manufactured at Nissan’s Sunderland facility in the United Kingdom. Nissan also intends to build another gigafactory in Sunderland to support those objectives and facilitate production.
In short, Nissan revealed an EV version of the Qashqai—called the Rogue Sport in the U.S., an EV version of the Juke and a replacement for the Leaf EV. These three models will be based on the Hyper Urban and Hyper Punk revealed at last month’s Japan Mobility Show and the ‘Chill Out’ concepts.
This is big news for the Japanese carmaker. First off, it seems that the Nissan “Chill Out” concept—shown above—will serve as the model for the upcoming Leaf. Second, it appears that Nissan’s EV lineup will be heavily crossover-centric. In addition to an electric Qashqai and EV Juke, it looks like the Leaf is set to become a CUV.
Since the Hyper Urban is the biggest member of the family, the Qashqai EV takes its cues from it. The closest comparison to the Juke seems to be the Hyper Punk, which is a small stylish crossover. We find the Hyper Punk idea so intriguing that we’re eager to see how the Juke replacement turns out.
Nissan has stated that it intends to have a completely electric portfolio in Europe by 2030, indicating that it is switching to electrification, although the firm will continue selling ICE cars for the foreseeable future. The surprisingly highly praised Ariya is now the sole competitive EV offered by the brand, given that the 12-year-old Leaf (yes it’s had upgrades but the model has been around for a long time and has aged) is running out of legs.
Today’s news is long overdue, especially considering that Nissan launched the Leaf—the world’s first production EV—way back in 2011. And it took over a decade for it to launch its next strategic EV, the Ariya SUV. In light of today’s announcement, we can confidently say that Nissan is making the switch to BEVs and in the not too distant future. But the main signal here is that the firm is focusing on electrifying two of its most popular models — the Juke and Qashqai. Let’s wait to see if it will add larger trucks to that plan, like an electrified Patrol for example.