Nissan Could Sell an Electric Sports Car by 2020
Carmaker says it could build one today, but doesn’t see people craving it for another few years.
The Leaf could have an athletic sibling coming down the pipe. Nissan could reveal an electric sports car by 2020, according to one of the carmaker's senior employees.
At an event for the Nissan BladeGlider concept car (pictured above), Nissan Europe director of electric vehicles Gareth Dunsmore told Autocar that the company has everything it needs on the technical side to build an electric sports car already. Customers, however, aren't yet clamoring for electrically-powered vehicles in large numbers—but that could change by the end of the decade, he said.
"As we head towards 2020 you’ll see greater moves towards EVs. Governments are starting to support the move towards climate change objectives, and to get to that point needs a huge shift towards electric mobility," he told Autocar.
The BladeGlider concept, he said, exists to help convince potential Nissan customers that electric vehicles can be sexy. While similar in profile and planform to the DeltaWing race car that inspired comparisons with Ace and Gary's Duocar, the BladeGlider is powered by an electric motors for each rear wheel, giving it independent torque-vectoring capability. According to Williams Advanced Engineering, which partnered with Nissan in the BladeWing's development, the electric sports car's 268-horsepower output means it can run from 0 to 60 miles per hour in less than five seconds and top out at 155 mph. (You can see the BladeGlider in action in the video below.)
Nissan may not be the first name that leaps to mind when you think of electric cars, but the automaker has more presence in the EV world than you might realize. With more than 220,000 units sold since it debuted six years ago, the Leaf is the best-selling purely-electric car on the planet. And while EVs are expected to become increasingly important around the world in upcoming decades, that goes double for Europe; the governments of the Netherlands and Norway have expressed a desire to ban new gas-powered cars from the roads by 2025, while Germany could mandate all new cars must be zero-emissions vehicles by 2030.