Report: Nissan Cooking up $45,000 Electric CUV With 220-Mile Range
Electric crossovers are in vogue, but can a vehicle with so little range at such a high price be competitive?
As outlined in its M.O.V.E. to 2022 business plan, Nissan reportedly intends in the next few years to introduce a $45,000 electric crossover with 220 miles of range based on the design of the IMx Kuro concept that debuted at the 2017 Tokyo Motor Show. Electric vehicle blog Clean Technica alleged the above price point and range targets for the vehicle and details what the vehicle's design could look like according to an inside source within Nissan.
"The exterior was amazingly slab sided, despite current trends, with a very large, transparent grill similar to what Mercedes is doing," the source allegedly told Clean Technica. "It even had the Nissan logo in lights behind the transparent bubble grille. It had a panoramic roof and a large cargo area."
The source added that "The measurements were obviously EV purpose built, with a short hood and a lot more room after the front axle. The exterior width and length is similar to the Lexus RX, but the interior was more spacious given that the hood area was so small."
An arcing dash screen reportedly stretches across the front of the interior of the vehicle, which supposedly features materials of quality far above that of current Nissan products. Though billed as a Nissan-badged product, its price, design, and interior quality as described by the source could apparently force the model upmarket into the Infiniti marque.
"There were no hard plastics, and the design was very modern," the source reportedly stated. "Truly, it gave the Lexus a run for its money as far as fit and fabrics were concerned. The seat had an incredible new fabric that seemed in between Alcantara and leather."
While the IMx Kuro has some similarities to the prototype allegedly described by the source inside Nissan, such as the backlit badge and exotic interior, none of the specific details such as the grand screen and bubbly grille appeared on the concept vehicle.
Nissan's dealings with Daimler could support an expedited market arrival for the alleged electric crossover. Just last week, Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance CEO Carlos Ghosn and Daimler's former chairman Dr. Dieter Zetsche reportedly met to discuss expanding the two automakers' technical partnership to encompass batteries on top of platform sharing in which the two already engage. Nissan lends its Navara pickup's platform for use by Mercedes-Benz for the X-class, and Daimler sends chassis to Infiniti to underpin the QX30 and QX50.
Mercedes-Benz plans to bring its own EQC electric crossover to market in 2020, which sits within the target window for Nissan's launch of its own electric crossover. While there is no evidence to suggest Daimler will share the vehicle's platform with Nissan, it would not be beyond the boundaries of the pair's existing partnership for the EQC's platform to underpin what the IMx Kuro becomes.
The Drive contacted both Daimler and Nissan for comment on whether the EQC and Nissan's own alleged electric crossover will be related, and we will update when we receive their responses.
If the alleged price and range targets are accurate, they would be underwhelming compared to many EVs already on the market, though not out of line with Nissan's current electric vehicle offering, the Leaf. The Nissan Leaf is often faulted for its tiny battery and consequentially short range, and though Nissan promised that the Leaf will get a bigger battery at some point, it has yet to specify when. If 220 miles are all Nissan can manage from a crossover (the electric Hyundai Kona can do 258), it will have to compete on price point. However, $45,000 isn't competitive with the likes of the Hyundai, nor the rest of the entry-level EV competition like the $36,620 Chevrolet Bolt and eventual $35,000 Tesla Model 3.
Because the 220-mile range of Nissan's electric crossover remains no more than an allegation for now, Nissan must be judged on the standard set by the Leaf. Going by that, it's evident Nissan still needs to learn that in the battery world, size matters. Go big or spend a lot of time at chargers.