Nissan plans to release three new electric vehicles within the next four years, according to an article in the Detroit News. Following the Leaf will be a commercial electric vehicle, a luxury sports car, and small urban vehicle.
Blurry sketches of Infiniti’s proposed electric sports car were released on Facebook last month, but other than its proposed release date of 2013, details of the vehicle are scarce. However, the Japanese carmaker recently revealed its Nissan New Mobility Concept–a small electric vehicle for urban use–which could be the basis for the compact urban vehicle in question.
In its news statement, Nissan suggests its zero-emissions golf cart-like vehicle could be the ideal last mile transportation solution for commuters connecting to public transit or for tooling about planned communities. Electric vehicle partner Renault showed off a similar electric vehicle, the Twizy Z.E. Concept, at the 2010 Paris Auto Show. The Twizy, which is expected to go on sale in Europe next year, is powered by a 15kW, 20 horsepower electric motor and has a top speed of 46 mph.
Beyond campuses and retirement communities, use of those vehicles is limited because technically they’re not cars. To be considered an electric car, it must achieve a 100-mile range during LA4 test cycle. If not, it’s relegated to the status of Neighborhood Electric Vehicle, which means it can’t travel on highways and is limited to 25 to 35 mph roads, depending on state traffic laws.
At a Leaf press event, a spokesperson announced that the Smyrna battery plant will produce 200,000 batteries per year. However, the manufacturing plant can produce only 150,000 Leafs annually. Those 50,000 excess batteries could be sold to other companies for a variety of uses, but could also easily power Inifiniti’s planned EV, which share’s the Leaf’s platform–should the Smyrna facility be lucky enough to win the international company-wide competitive bid to build the proposed car.