Nissan is the latest automaker to announce a massive investment in an ambitious electrification strategy. The company stated that it will invest 2 trillion yen (approximately $17.6 billion) over the next five years to accelerate the rollout of electric vehicles. To that end, Nissan unveiled a slew of adorable EV concepts, including an adorable pickup truck, an outdoorsy SUV, and a sleek sports car.
It’s an impressive commitment, but Nissan did not make the same promise that other automakers have made to phase out the production of gas-powered vehicles. Volvo and General Motors, for example, have pledged to become EV-only companies by 2030 and 2040, respectively.
Nissan has stated that by 2030, it will produce 23 new electrified models, 15 of which will be fully electric. By the end of the decade, the company hopes to have electrified 50 percent of its Nissan and Infiniti brands. In the United States, Nissan intends to take a more cautious approach, aiming for 40 percent of its sales to be EVs by 2040.
Nissan is aiming for “all-solid-state batteries (ASSB)” by 2028. The company is planning a “pilot plant” in Yokohama, Japan, for early 2024. Solid-state batteries could theoretically charge faster, hold more power, and last longer than traditional lithium-ion batteries, which use liquid electrolytes to move energy around. While solid-state batteries have eluded researchers for years, some companies claim that a breakthrough is close at hand.
Nissan claims that solid-state batteries will help make EVs more affordable by lowering the price of battery packs to $75 per kWh by 2028. In the future, the company hopes to reduce it even further to $65 per kWh in order to achieve cost parity between EVs and gasoline vehicles.
Nissan unveiled a number of EV concepts to emphasize its commitment to an electric future: a small pickup truck called Surf-Out, a boxy crossover called Hang-Out, a compact SUV called Chill-Out, and a convertible sports car called Max-Out.
Nissan did not provide any specifications or details about the future, but the Chill-Out concept SUV appears to be the most close to production. It resembles the Ariya but is built on the company’s smaller CMF-EV platform, which means it will be slightly less expensive than the $47,000 Ariya.
The Max-Out concept is the most sporty, with a low-slung stance and a focus on speed and performance. According to Nissan, it will include dynamic cornering and steering response that is balanced with limited body roll to maximize driver and passenger comfort.
With a lounge-like interior and adjustable seating, the Hang-Out is marketed as a hybrid of mobility and “personal space.” From the front to the back of the vehicle, the floor is completely flat. It, too, features Nissan’s e-4ORCE all-wheel-drive system and ProPilot driver assistance technologies, as do the other concepts.
The Surf-Out is unquestionably the most distinctive of the bunch, with a minimalist interior and an unusual rear lighting scheme. According to Nissan, the pickup will have off-road capabilities as well as some sort of outboard generator.
Nissan has long been a market leader in electric vehicle sales, despite having only one EV on the market: the functional-but-uninspiring Nissan Leaf hatchback. Nissan unveiled the Ariya in the midst of corporate turmoil, executive turnover, plummeting sales, and pandemic-related cost-cutting.