On this, we can all agree

Nissan’s first look at 2018 LEAF

Easily the most disliked feature of the current generation Nissan LEAF is the headlight design. Nissan’s whole argument behind the large, misshapen and protruding objects was that they were designed to optimize airflow around the side-view mirrors. In fact, they even posted video showing how effective they were at splitting the air. Try as I might, I can’t seem to dig it up now, although I thought I had posted it way back when. In case you can’t visualize the current headlight design, here’s a closer look:

LEAF Headlight

See how it has that ridge down the top of the headlight as it extends almost the full length of the fender down the side of the car? That was so that it would split the airflow around that side-view mirror, thus making for a quieter ride and a more fuel efficient vehicle. It seems, however, that other car makers have been able to build cars with better aero without making them look like aliens. So while we don’t know much about the 2018 LEAF just yet, we know we can all agree that the headlights will be improved. Nissan has said the reveal of the rest of the car will be in September, with start of sales late this year.

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The Electric Car Second Edition Input Request

Book cover

Help Define the Second Edition

Since I published The Electric Car eighteen months ago much has changed in the EV business. More makers than ever are moving into the business in big or small ways. Existing products are being updated to compete with the new electric vehicles making their way into being. And the whole charging infrastructure has exploded offering more ways and places to charge your electric car. With all of these developments, it’s time for an update which I should have out by the end of the year.

The second edition will include information about all of the new models and future models that have been made known thus far. In addition, I’m looking to possibly expand the scope of the book to include more information about autonomous cars, alternative energy generally, commercial vehicles, and more. I am also considering offering the book in various formats beyond e-book. I’ve developed a short ten question multiple choice survey that can be answered in just a few minutes time and would appreciate your input. You will find a link to the survey below.

If you haven’t read The Electric Car yet, now is a great time! For a seven day period I’m offering a Kindle Countdown Deal on Amazon. Regular price is $2.99. The deal starts at $.99 on March 30. On April 2 the price goes to $1.99 and it reverts to it’s regular price on April 6. This gives you a great opportunity to get a killer deal and time to tell your friends about it. Also, if you do choose to read it, please take a moment to leave a review on Amazon. Reviews make a world of difference to someone trying to decide which resource to choose, and this first-time author would enjoy your feedback. You can order the book by clicking on its cover image in the right column.

Click here to be taken to our survey provided by SurveyMonkey

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Nissan Launches Second EV Car Share Service in Japan

New Mobility Concept on the road

In October 2013 Nissan launched Japan’s first large-scale one-way car sharing service, using the Nissan New Mobility Concept EV as the vehicle of choice. The initial program was a one-year trial run starting with 30 units. In 2014 the program was extended for a year with an expansion to 50 vehicles. Nissan found that over 10,000 users signed up to use this innovative service which allowed users to pick up the car in one location and drop it off in another.

Today Nissan announced a second car sharing service, also using the New Mobility Concept.  This service will offer round-trip rentals – basically renting the car in one location, using it for your needs, and returning it to the location that you rented it. Priced in Yen, the rates are inexpensive – roughly $9 per hour with a maximum of $27 per day after paying a minimal user fee to join the program. The service operates 25 cars in the city of Yokohama, and offers 14 locations to start and end your trip. For the tourist that wants to easily get around the city, this offers a great way to increase your mobility near your destination. Perhaps that’s where Nissan derived the name – New Mobility Concept.

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2018 Nissan LEAF reveal in September

Spy shots reveal some styling cues

On Friday Nissan finally threw us a bone on their official Twitter account – the 2018 Nissan LEAF will be revealed sometime in September with sales starting likely in December. The “globally revealed” comment in the Tweet could refer to the upcoming Frankfurt International Auto Show. Although the Oklahoma State Fair Auto Show also falls in September, I don’t really think it’s going to be Oklahoma. One other interesting alternative exists though – the Altcar Expo to be held in Santa Monica, California on September 15-16. A statement directly from their website homepage states “Given that 52% of all Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV) purchases are happening in California, this event is critical to build upon the momentum for the emerging marketplace.” Where better to launch the next gen 2018 LEAF? Perhaps I’ll schedule a drive up there later this year.

Since early February, 2018 Nissan LEAF spy shots have been popping up all over the internet. As I don’t know who originated the photos, and I don’t want to misappropriate someone else’s work, here’s a link to the Autoblog site, that has all of them and they can be easily viewed full screen. Looking at the first photo, it’s easy to see that the current LEAF’s hideous headlight design has finally been relegated to the dustbin of doom. It looks like a more conventionally designed projector beam style headlight will take its place, perhaps a variation on what is found on the Rogue Sport below. The hoodline gets the aggressive V-Motion front-end treatment, which is a continuation up the hood of the V-Motion grille treatment which you can see more clearly in photos 15 through 17. Here is a look at that execution on the upcoming Rogue Sport:

As I’ve mentioned before, it appears that the new car will pick up the floating roof design, similar to what is found on the more upscale Murano. This can be seen most easily on photos 7 through 12. Also, as you cycle through the photos, looking at the driver’s side rear (14/22), there is a very clear outline of the boomerang-style taillights Nissan is incorporating in many of their more progressive designs.

Unsaid thus far is that the middle of the car seems to be virtually unchanged. In the industry, this is referred to as a major-minor change. Kind of like jumbo shrimp. In essence, the chassis is essentially unchanged from the prior model, but the front-end and rear-end are revised while the passenger compartment remains much as before. That’s not to say that there will not be an interior redesign, as it will definitely be updated. But rather than coming up with an entirely new car, it seems as if Nissan is updating their current LEAF. Considering that the LEAF is still the best selling EV in the world, that’s probably not a bad thing.

I’ve already gone over the 60 kWh battery coming late this year with its 200-mile plus range. I’ve been seeing rumors though of the possibility of Nissan offering two different battery sizes – a la Tesla. This could make sense from a marketing perspective. Let’s say a 40 kWh battery, priced at $30,000 with a range of roughly 140-150 EPA miles, and the 60 kWh version starting at $37,500, the same as the Chevy Bolt. There’s also a slight chance that Tesla might actually get the Model 3 out by the end of the year. Things could get interesting between now and Christmas.

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Honda Clarity EV to go just 80 miles

Why bother?

Honda must have no real plans of selling any battery electric versions of its Clarity EV as it has just announced that its roughly $35,000 asking price will give you just 80 miles of electric range, according to Automotive News.

So let’s see… we can currently buy a 2016 VW e-Golf for under $30,000 with its 83 mile EPA range, or we can wait a few months and buy the Honda for an extra five grand to go roughly the same distance. Or we can spend $2,500 more than the price of the new Honda for a Chevy Bolt to go well over 200 miles now. The only takers will be Honda diehards, as no one else would possibly consider this.

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Nissan makes electric sexy

Nissan’s BladeGlider gets an update

Perhaps recognizing that there’s not much excitement with their everyday electric car, the LEAF, Nissan announced Margot Robbie as their new electric vehicle ambassador with a video of her racing around the streets of Monaco in the newly redesigned BladeGlider. Here’s a look:

Nissan introduced the BladeGlider, an all-electric, rear-wheel-drive, three-seater all the way back in 2013, but the car has seen some refinement, with a dash of aggression thrown in, since then. Here is a look at that earlier version:
With times of 0-60 in under five seconds, and an open top, the BladeGlider is infinitely more interesting than the current generation LEAF. If you’re interested, here is what some of Nissan’s executives have to say about the car:
The BladeGlider is pure concept, but we can dream, right?


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