Nis­san to power on

Nis­san says en­try-level elec­tric cars of­fer the most scope, writes Neil McDon­ald

Herald Sun - Motoring - - Onroad -

AHIGH-end elec­tric-pow­ered Nis­san is not on the com­pany’s radar. De­spite re­ports the In­finiti Essence con­cept car from last year’s Geneva Mo­tor Show was a pointer to an EV su­per­car, the com­pany’s se­nior vice-pres­i­dent of prod­uct devel­op­ment, Andy Palmer, says the biggest scope for EV power is en­try-level cars.

‘‘Can you do an elec­tric sportscar? Of course you can,’’ Palmer says. ‘‘Tesla does it. Do we have a plan to pro­duce a Tesla? No we don’t.

‘‘The clos­est we have is the In­finiti Essence, but we don’t have a plan to do it.’’

How­ever, Palmer does ad­mit that a lux­ury In­finiti EV is part of Nis­san’s plans to roll out four new elec­tric cars, in­clud­ing the Leaf.

Palmer says he does not think Nis­san will fol­low the path of the elec­tric Mercedes-Benz SLS with a sim­i­lar elec­tric su­per­car.

‘‘I wouldn’t say we’re go­ing ul­tra­high end,’’ he says. ‘‘We’re not go­ing to do a Tesla.’’

Palmer says the first four Nis­san elec­tric cars are rel­a­tively con­ven­tional to ac­quaint con­sumers with the idea of an elec­tric car.

‘‘Ob­vi­ously as you move for­ward there will be dif­fer­ent op­por­tu­ni­ties for dif­fer­ent ar­chi­tec­ture.

‘‘The fact you haven’t got a petrol en­gine al­lows you to do some in­ter­est­ing things.’’

Palmer says the com­pany would like to ex­ploit the sport­ing na­ture of an elec­tric car, which delivers max­i­mum torque from stand­still.

‘‘ Ob­vi­ously you can do other things. Some­thing like the Land Glider gives you some clue of the kind of flex­i­bil­ity you get through the technology. It gives you an op­por­tu­nity to push the bound­aries.’’

Apart from elec­tric cars, Nis­san plans to con­tinue to roll out hy­brids, both con­ven­tional and plug-in.

It has also just show­cased a DSGstyle seven-speed gear­box in its In­finiti M hy­brid in Ja­pan and will con­tinue to ex­tract ef­fi­cien­cies out of its ex­ist­ing petrol and diesel en­gines.

Ideas: Nis­san Land Glider shows the de­sign flex­i­bil­ity of elec­tric cars.

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