According to executives, performance and enthusiast cars remain a part of Nissan’s plans. Solid-state batteries are crucial to make them economically viable in Europe during the EV age.

After 13 years of production, the Nissan GT-R supercar has come to an end. European emissions regulations have kept the new Z sports coupe from being sold in Europe. The Japanese brand seemed set to keep the GT-R in production, and the Japanese brand was left without a competitor in this market. Autocar has been informed by Nissan executives that performance cars are now possible thanks to the advancements in battery technology.

A quartet of concept cars from Nissan were unveiled recently by the company. The Chill-Out compact crossover, which is a preview of a Leaf replacement, is the closest to production. It will be an electric crossover built in Sunderland on the same CMF EV architecture as the Nissan Ariya coupe/SUV.

These concepts included the Surf-Out pickup truck and the Max-Out sportscar. Francois Bailly (senior vice president and chief planning officer of the AMIEO region, Middle East, India Europe, Europe, Oceania) said that they had announced 23 new electrified models. 15 of those were EVs. Five have been revealed so far. It is now time to ask: “What is the next phase?” The Leaf replacement and a successor to the Micra supermini are two of the 15 EVs. There is also room in the product plan for enthusiast cars.

The Patrol is getting a lot more attention than the GT-R or Z. Bailly stated to Autocar that solid-state battery technology Nissan is developing is likely make these cars possible. It will give them the range they require without adding weight.

Bailly went as far as to confirm that internal discussions are underway regarding a possible electric follow-up for the GT-R. “In the final, it will be prioritisation so yes, we’re considering it.” “We’re all car lovers, right?”

He said that more mainstream models would be first. “I would love an EV sportscar, but we have to organize. Although we are not ready to reveal the sequence, it is clearly on the table.

Nissan’s timeline for solid-state battery production gives clues as to when enthusiast-oriented EVs might be available. The research is still in its early stages and a pilot plant is expected to be operational in 2024. It is expected that the technology will be available by 2026, and the first production cars should be on the roads by 2028.

The new technology should significantly increase the energy density and accelerate price parity between hybrid and petrol cars. Nissan estimates a cost of $75 per kWh (PS57) as an initial cost, which is lower than the current cost of about PS100 per unit.

Crossover clues to Micra EV

Nissan is committed to making smaller and more affordable cars. Francois Bailly said, “It is super-important.” It’s an important segment in Europe. Having younger customers go to EV is crucial for building the next generation.

However, the Micra replacement will not be a conventional hatchback. It will be an electric compact crossover, based on the CMF–BEV platform. This crossover was built alongside the Renault 5 in Douai. Bailly stated that the EV market is moving towards crossovers for either good or bad reasons. There are the safety perceptions, the cargo space, and the stance. Crossover is an important strategic axis.

Q&A: Guillaume Cartier, Nissan AMIEO region chairman

Why is Nissan launching its second electric vehicle (EV)?

“We have a vision up until now, and that’s something new at Nissan. We used to focus more on MTP [medium term plans] until recently. This meant that we had a three- to five year cycle. We now look 10 years in the future. Second, we see electrification clearly and have vision. You have to make a decision today: Should I invest in an EV or in both ICE and EV? We won’t invest in Euro 7 (for non-hybrid vehicles).

What is the plan for Nissan Sunderland operations in Sunderland?

Although Nissan is recognized as a Japanese company, the company has decided to invest in Europe and manufacture in the UK. This is a bold statement considering the company owns more than 40 plants. Why is the UK so special? Because we have the know-how, and have created the entire ecosystem. This is not only to build cars but also to have the battery production – a gigafactory for nineMW – right next to the plant.

How will Renault-Nissibishi Alliance distinguish EVs from each other?

“Even though some platforms are used for cars within the same segment, they are very different because of how we design cars. There are many important things in the Alliance that aren’t always visible, but are very important.