Nissan has just confirmed that it has a new electric car in the works, set to launch in Europe in 2025. The long-serving Nissan Micra is getting the electric treatment, and Nissan is getting some help from Renault to make it happen.
This news shouldn’t come as a huge shock, since Nissan already announced it was working on a smaller EV that was designed to replace the current Nissan Micra. Now we get to see exactly what sort of car Nissan has planned, though it’s unclear what this means for the entry level Nissan Leaf EV.
For those that don’t know, the Nissan Micra is a compact hatchback that’s currently only sold in Europe and other select markets. It also has an identical design to the second generation Nissan Leaf — albeit with a gas tank and engine instead of a battery and charging port.
Teaser images released by Nissan show off a new Micra that is very different to the current iteration. It’s still a fairly big car, but looks like someone combined the modern design with the supermini Micras that were sold between 2002 and 2017.
The car still has the flat-roofed hatchback design as the current Micra, though the more straight-edged design has been replaced with more pronounced curves at the front and rear. The rounded lights also call back to older models, albeit without the bulbous bug-eyed shape.
According to Nissan, the automaker designed the car, but engineering and manufacturing duties will be left to Renault. The two companies share a common CMF-BEV platform, as part of the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance.
The platform will be shared with the upcoming Renault 5, and is said to reduce costs by 33% and power consumption by 10% compared to the Renault Zoe — which is set to be discontinued by 2024. Lower costs are especially important, especially for an entry level car, and hopefully means the electric Micra will be even more accessible.
Nissan Leaf by another name?
Of course, there are some obvious comparisons that need to be made with the Nissan Leaf — an entry-level EV and the only pure electric Nissan on sale. Or at least, it will be until the Nissan Ariya launches later this year.
The current iteration of the car launched in 2017, and is starting to show its age as other automakers start taking electric cars more seriously.
We already know that the Leaf is on its way out. Nissan previously announced that it was developing an all-electric crossover to replace the current model in 2025. So far Nissan hasn’t revealed whether this car will bear the Leaf name, or if it will be something else entirely.
Nissan has only confirmed that the electric Micra will come to Europe, and has made no mention of whether it will launch in other markets. That means it would be a pretty shoddy successor to the Leaf, which is available in Europe, Japan and North America.
Then again, as Nissan further electrifies its portfolio, is a new Leaf really necessary? Maybe not. The Leaf has proven to be incredibly popular, and gave Nissan a foot in the electric car business when few other automakers were involved — especially in the United States.
But the automotive industry is setting targets to stop producing gasoline-powered cars within the next decade. Nissan itself wants at least 15 pure electric vehicles on sale by 2030, with electric cars covering 75 percent of sales in Europe, 55 percent in Japan and 40 percent in the U.S.
You could argue that the Leaf served its purpose, and is succeeded by all future Nissan EVs rather than just a single car. Let’s just hope that there’s enough choice at entry-level price points to make sure people can actually buy one.