Did Nissan just show the second generation LEAF in Geneva?
Introduced as the Nissan SWAY at the 2015 Geneva International Motor Show as a possible European crossover, this new small hatchback could easily fit into another role. My thought is that Nissan is previewing LEAF 2.0.
Nissan has stated three design concepts that will make their vehicles recognizable as a Nissan anywhere in the world. The first is the V-Motion grill as seen above. While the overall width of the vehicle might need to be toned down a bit from this very aggressive look for fuel efficiency reasons, the basic statement looks good.
Nissan introduced the floating-roof design on the 2015 Murano, and it will be seen on the 2016 Maxima due this summer. The blacked-out c-pillar theme carries over nicely to this small hatchback design.
A third design element making Nissan’s stand out from the crowd are the boomerang style head- and/or tail-lights. Here we see them incorporated into the rear design of this mini-hatch. Introduced as a European crossover, it incorporates dual exhaust which we won’t see on the LEAF.
UPDATE: Finally, there is this: “With this new concept car for Geneva, we are experimenting to see how Nissan might be able to bring fresh ideas to the compact hatchback segment,” said Shiro Nakamura, Senior Vice President, Design and Chief Creative Officer, Nissan Motor Co., Ltd.
So… place a charge port behind the faux grille, remove the dual exhaust, and this could be very influential on the next LEAF design.
Who is king of the mountain?
While editing my last post, looking at the maps of DC quick chargers in Japan and in the United States, it made me wonder how the coverage would compare when evaluating the three standards available in the U.S. now. Using the plugshare.com site once again, here is a visual comparison of the CHAdeMO standard, SAE Combo Connector (sometimes referred to as CCS or Combined Charging System), and the Tesla Supercharger network.
CHAdeMO U.S. charge stations – 854 according to CHAdeMO.org
SAE CCS U.S. charge stations – 109 according to plugshare.com
Tesla Supercharger U.S. stations – 89 according to plugshare.com
It is clear that the CHAdeMO standard has a significantly larger installed base at the moment. That said, I just wrote an article (found here) about the addition of roughly 100 SAE CCS stations thanks to BMW and Volkswagen which are not reflected on the map above. These will be part of the ChargePoint network, and ChargePoint just announced that some of these stations will also support the CHAdeMO standard. The additional stations will be primarily up and down the East Coast and West Coast Interstate corridors.
I know that Tesla has plans to continually expand their Supercharger network, and when I visited their site to find out more information, I also found a more complete picture than that shown by plugshare.com.
Tesla Supercharger U.S. stations – 169 according to Tesla
On Tesla’s map the red stations are already installed and the gray stations are planned. Each station offers multiple chargers, which is sometimes the case with both CHAdeMO and SAE CCS. Interestingly plugshare users don’t seem to drive Teslas. Or if they do, they aren’t as interested in updating the plugshare database.
The advantage that the Tesla network provides is a cohesive, manufacturer backed installation that is clearly geared for long distance travel, albeit along narrowly defined routes at the moment. The deployment of the CHAdeMO and SAE CCS networks currently lean more toward regional travel – which makes sense since these vehicles currently offer a shorter range than the Model S. The Supercharger network is not as useful for local or regional travel except perhaps around the Bay Area in California or New York.
It will likely be decades before the U.S. quick charge map is saturated. But considering that none of these maps had any charge stations five years ago, I’d say we’re making measurable progress.