Nissan’s next-generation EV may include a new crossover model as well as the five-door hatchback

Nissan could add extra models to its Leaf line-up when the next generation of its electric vehicle arrives, according to a senior official.

The Sunderland-built hatchback has notched up more than 10,000 UK sales since it was introduced in 2011. However, its global figure is still some way short of the initial projections from Nissan chief Carlos Ghosn.

A successor is already in the works and is likely to have a much-improved battery life as Nissan attempts to quell the range anxiety still suffered by many potential customers. The next Leaf is likely to stick to the current car’s format of a five-door hatchback on a bespoke platform. However, Nissan executive vice-president Trevor Mann believes there could be room to expand the Leaf sub-brand to include other bodystyles. “There could be more than one Leaf,” he said. “We’ve always said it needn’t be one car.

“We’ve got the NV200 electric, too, now, but obviously we’re still studying other opportunities. What we’ve got to do is to make sure the market is right. We want to make sure that when we do the next one or we expand the line-up, we’re really taking the market intelligence that we’re gathering and using it. With our customer base, we have an enormous amount of feedback that we can recycle into what we do in the future.” 

Mann declined to comment on how Nissan could expand the Leaf range. However, the firm has enjoyed considerable success with its Juke and Qashqai crossovers, and this seems most likely to be the bodystyle chosen.

A higher-set seating position could also appeal to one particular sector of Leaf owners: older buyers who use their cars almost exclusively for local journeys. No timeframe has been given for the Leaf replacement, although Mann hinted that it could be different from the usual seven-year model cycle. “The product life could change slightly because it’s an EV,” he said.

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Nissan Leaf
2013 saw the launch of the re-engineered Nissan Leaf

The electric Nissan Leaf has its work cut out competing with cheaper mainstream cars - but it does make a case for itself

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Comments
5

bol

28 July 2015
Or does this article not say anything at all? The headline could have read "Website makes obvious speculative point about obvious thing".

28 July 2015
This article says nothing at all. Fills up space though. Tomorrow it will be a story that Ferrari is possibly planning more front-engined cars in the future, or not. And they could expand range of cars painted red. Ferrari bosses agreed they could do this but were looking into it and reserved the right to do this or not do this within any potential time frame. This kind of article is great because it is never wrong.

28 July 2015
The car is symbolic of freedom and choice but electric brings with it, perhaps, an unwelcome restriction that people are simply not used to, even though research has suggested that most target buyers do daily short journeys well within the actual range available. I was watching "Fully Charged" on YouTube recently (re a Tesla, but it mentions Leaf), and it is said there that over some 50,000 miles, the overall cost of running the Leaf car was much cheaper than a conventional car, and that included the purchase price in the equation (depreciation was not mentioned, though). Whilst no doubt a sales disappointment for Nissan in UK, presumably sales in hydro-electric-powered Scandinavia have been more encouraging. I am sure that Nissan will be watching the market very carefully in UK, no doubt other manufacturers will too, so it is hardly surprising that they are coy over the future. Maybe a different way of "owning" an electric car could help. Or a try before you buy experience, say for a 3 months rental or something. Any other ideas?

28 July 2015
Got the following from car buyer: "in 2014 the LEAF continued its sales success by increasing sales in Europe by a third and in the UK by a half, which must please Nissan, even if the sales figures are nothing like the 1.5 million electric cars sold by 2016 and 10 per cent of ALL car sales by 2020 will be electric as Nissan predicted in 2012." I'd view the car as a success to build on. Certainly made others take note

 

Hydrogen cars just went POP

28 July 2015
I like the idea of a Cross Leaf - lol

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