Nissan Leaf 2nd version with ProPilot autonomous tech will be in India in 2018
Yokohama,Jan 6:Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn confirmed plans for a follow-up to his company’s flagship EV, the Leaf. While speculation has focused on how much range a successor could add to the current model, the announcement emphasized how a new Leaf represents “the next chapter of Nissan Intelligent Power” and will include ProPilot autonomous technology. The car is due “in the near future” — at a media roundtable Ghosn said “we can’t announce new EVs in advance because unlike our competitors, we’re already selling them.”
Autoblog spoke to a Nissan engineer who said the company does plan to release a Leaf with 200+ mile range, but it’s unclear whether this new model will be the one. As it is, Nissan is proudly noting that despite the hype around competitors like Tesla and Chevy’s Bolt, it is the maker of the world’s best-selling electric vehicle. By focusing on keeping prices down, it could keep that position going forward.
“On stage at CES, Ghosn announced plans to launch a new Nissan LEAF, with ProPILOT technology, enabling autonomous drive functionality for single-lane highway driving. The new LEAF is coming in the near future and represents the next chapter of Nissan Intelligent Power.”
Mr. Ghosn said that the next-gen Nissan Leaf will come with ProPILOT technology for autonomous driving on single-lane highways. In the 2017 Nissan Serena, the ProPILOT system can be activated and deactivated using a switch on the steering wheel. The accelerator, brakes and steering are controlled based on information obtained through a mono camera which can quickly recognize in 3D depth both preceding vehicles and lane markers.
On activation, the ProPILOT system automatically controls the distance between the vehicle and the preceding vehicle and also keeps the vehicle in the middle of the highway lane by reading lane markers and turning the vehicle automatically through curves.
Speaking to Green Car Reports, Takao Asami, a Senior VP of research and advanced engineering, said that the next-gen Nissan Leaf would have a driving range “at or above 200 miles (321.87 km)”. The company is yet to figure out if it will need to offer different ranges in North America, Europe and Asia, though, he added. The redesigned Leaf would continue with an air-cooled battery pack, as changes in cell chemistry have “significantly” reduced concerns over battery durability.
Mr. Ghosn did not reveal the launch timeline for the next-gen Nissan Leaf, but confirmed that it is arriving in the near future. The all-new Leaf is expected to be revealed in late-2017 and go on sale internationally in 2018. It will reportedly be launched in India as a CBU priced at around INR 35 lakh (ex-showroom).