Nissan Offers Free Electricity to Revitalise EV Sales

Nissan offers free electricity to revitalise EV sales
Nissan offers free electricity to revitalise EV sales

Hot on the tails of a trial in Texas, Nissan has this week revealed that those who acquire a Nissan Leaf after 1 April 2014 will be entitled to free electricity for the next two years. They will be given a card allowing them access to the four major electric vehicle charging networks: ChargePoint, Blink, AeroVironment and eVGo. The recent trial in Texas led to a threefold increase in the sale of Nissan Leaf vehicles at one of the company's dealerships. So could this be the next step towards mass market appeal for the Nissan Leaf?

To be honest, there have been many similar promotions considers and executed by various electric vehicle manufacturers around the world. Some have been successful and some have fallen by the wayside but the reality is that the greater the value of the offer available to electric vehicle enthusiasts the more chance they will acquire your vehicles.

Read the small print

While there is no doubt that two years of free recharging will go down very well with Nissan Leaf owners, there are some restrictions you should be aware. The offer gives you access to both level II and fast charger services with a maximum one hour free with level II and 30 minutes with a fast chargers. While the fast charge service will give you 80% capacity on your battery it is worth noting that the level II option will only give you in the region of 20 miles journey capacity. Ensure that you factor this into your plans!

Quote from ElectricForum.com : "Many people are still sitting on the fence with regards to electric vehicles and their short to medium term value therefore the option to buy or lease a Nissan Leaf has given electric vehicle followers food for thought. So, did you decide to buy or lease your Nissan Leaf?"

This option will soon be rolled out to 25 of the company’s worldwide markets with 10 due for rollout this July alone. There is no doubt that this will further entice electric vehicle enthusiasts towards the Nissan Leaf, a car which is already making significant ripples in the electric vehicle market.

Educating consumers

On the face of it, perhaps the main problem facing the electric vehicle industry is to educate consumers about the electric vehicle revolution. There have been significant developments in battery technology, there have been major developments in EV technology and while many of us will panic about finding the next electric vehicle charging station, you have probably passed many during your daily journeys.

It is becoming apparent that electric vehicle charging stations are not always advertised or promoted as they should be and many of us are not aware of their existence in our neighbourhood. The two-year free charging card to be issued by Nissan will focus the eyes and ears of Nissan Leaf owners in the months and years ahead and they will likely become more aware of electric vehicle charging services in their neighbourhood.

Conclusion

Nissan has been at the forefront of the electric vehicle market for some time now, this is a company which is prepared to go that extra mile and give incentives to attract the attention of EV enthusiast. It will be interesting to see how this latest promotion is received and indeed whether the significant increase in sales experienced in Texas is replicated elsewhere. It may simply be a case of educating consumers around the world and making them more aware of the services in their neighbourhood and on their long-distance journeys.

Nissan Leaf Charging Station Agreement in Israel

Nissan Leaf charging station agreement in Israel
Nissan Leaf charging station agreement in Israel

Renault Nissan importer Carasso Motors has confirmed an agreement with the Paz Oil Company which will see the installation of Nissan Leaf charging stations at Paz gas stations. The first stage of this agreement will see nine recharging stations installed across some of Israel's busier road networks with the intention to roll this out right across the country. This is not the first international charging station agreement involving Nissan Leaf vehicles which are proving to be one of the more popular electric vehicles of the day.

Even though electric vehicle use across Israel, and indeed many other countries around the world, has increased dramatically over the last few years there is still much work to be done. One of the major concerns was the location of recharging stations, their affordability and their reliability. This deal seems to have caught the imagination of electric vehicle users in Israel and could be the start of an array of similar arrangements.

Israel and the Nissan Leaf electric vehicle

The Nissan Leaf has been available across Israel for some time at a cost of NIS139,900 (about £24,000) which is pretty much in line with the worldwide market. However, perhaps more importantly the fact that a Nissan Leaf can be recharged to 80% capacity in just 20 minutes at a cost of between NIS15 and NIS20 has not gone unnoticed. Traditional home recharging kits would take eight hours to fully recharge the batteries of a Nissan Leaf and therefore the introduction of these new gas station services will be well received.

Quote from ElectricForum.com : "Despite the fact that Nissan has been forced to push back its initial target to sell 1.5 million electric vehicles by March 2017, the company is unconcerned about the likes of Toyota and Honda which are scheduled to release fuel cell powered vehicles to the market in 2015."

There are few countries around the world which do not have an active interest in the electric vehicle market, the tentacles of companies such as Renault Nissan continue to grow and this is expected to increase in the short to medium term. It is also worth noting that plans are in place to make these charging stations compatible with other brands of electric vehicle arriving in Israel in the future.

Are commercial joint ventures the way forward?

As we touched on above, one of the main concerns to impact the electric vehicle market of late revolves around recharging stations and their availability. Some of the electric vehicle manufacturers have chosen to introduce their own independent charging station networks, although this can be relatively expensive and difficult to roll-out without significant financial backing. Therefore, are we now to believe that commercial joint ventures could be the way forward?

If you take a step back and look at this announcement in Israel it is potentially a win/win for all parties involved. The electric vehicle industry receives important PR, it becomes more dependable in the eyes of the general public and the gas station company will attract more customers. There is some debate as to whether relatively low recharging costs will create enough profit for all parties but no doubt this will be clarified in due course.

Conclusion

While countries such as Israel have been very much at the cutting edge of new technology, and it is no surprise to learn that electric vehicles are now readily available, this new venture has certainly caught the eye of many people. As we touched on above, the main concerns about electric vehicles in years gone by have revolved around journey capacity and recharging stations. There is long-term movement and improvement in journey capacity but the availability of mass market recharging stations will certainly create a very important stopgap in the short-term - as well as the basis for a long-term national recharging network.

Nissan Unconcerned By Rival Fuel Cell Hopes

Nissan unconcerned by rival fuel cell hopes
Nissan unconcerned by rival fuel cell hopes

Despite the fact that Nissan has been forced to push back its initial target to sell 1.5 million electric vehicles by March 2017, the company is unconcerned about the likes of Toyota and Honda which are scheduled to release fuel cell powered vehicles to the market in 2015. There has been speculation that fuel cell technology will become a major element of the future transport market but so far these hopes have been dashed and there are enormous barriers to entry.

So far the combine Nissan Renault group has sold around 120,000 electric vehicles over the last three years. Due to a mixture of slower technology development, and issues with recharging services, initial hopes for 2017 have been dashed. However the company is adamant that electric vehicles are the future and has ridiculed rival plans to focus upon the fuel cell market.

EV recharging infrastructure

While there is no doubt that electric vehicle technology has been relatively slow to develop prior to the last two years, there is also no doubt that recharging issues are in some ways holding back the sector. It will be interesting to see developments on the charging front in the short to medium term with rumours of new technology, new infrastructure systems and with the likes of Tesla pushing ahead with ground-breaking technology and services Would you really bet against electric vehicles hitting the mass market?

Quote from ElectricForum.com : "In many ways car companies around the world have invested too much money to turn back now and the electric vehicle market is set to grow significantly even against the backdrop of a very difficult worldwide economic situation."

The number of recharging stations is set to increase enormously in the short term and indeed the U.S. government has invested an enormous amount of money in battery technology companies. In many ways governments around the world have come too far with regard to financial incentives and we will see a growing push for more electric vehicles in the short to medium term.

Infrastructure problems for fuel cell vehicles

Ironically, many of the issues which are holding back the electric vehicle market may well emerge to hold back the fuel cell industry. Even though fuel cell vehicles will in theory recharge much quicker than their electric vehicle counterparts, as things stand today, and have a significantly longer journey capacity, their recharging requirements are very different.

While electric vehicles can be charged from home as well as charging stations the fuel cell industry will revolve around filling stations. Indeed when you bear in mind that hydrogen refilling stations will cost around $6 million each this would take a massive upfront investment in what is still a relatively young and relatively risky technology. For a far lower investment and on the surface, far less risk, an investment of this magnitude in the electric vehicle market would go much further.

Conclusion

As we know, the electric vehicle industry has been around in some shape or form for around 100 years. It has taken some time to develop the technology (and battery development has been even slower) but the sector has made great strides over the last few years. The fact that Nissan Renault has publically ridiculed rival plans for fuel cell vehicles shows the confidence they have in the EV market despite having to put back initial sales targets.

If we were to see a major breakthrough in the recharging/battery technology industry this would take the EV sector onto a different level. Does Nissan Renault know something that we don't know yet?

Will the Nissan BladeGlider Finally Offer Some Competition to Tesla?

Will the Nissan BladeGlider finally offer some competition to Tesla?
Will the Nissan BladeGlider finally offer some competition to Tesla?

It should be an interesting Tokyo Motor Show later this month, with Nissan expected to showcase its new entry to the green market in the shape of the Nissan BladeGlider. The name itself is already getting car enthusiasts buzzing and when you take a look at the structure and design of the vehicle it certainly looks the party. Some believe that finally we could have a competitive vehicle which might at last reduce the market share which Tesla has built up at the luxury end of the electric vehicle market.

So what exactly can we expect from the Nissan BladeGlider and will it really be the next big thing in luxury green travel?

What is the BladeGlider?

When we tell you that the Nissan BladeGlider is 1 m wide at the front and 1.89 m wide at the back you will begin to get an idea of the design and look of this particular vehicle. It is able to accommodate a driver in the front, centrally positioned in the style of a pilot, and the two passengers in the rear will certainly have the ride of their lives.

Quote from PropertyForum.com : "Even though the Nissan Leaf EV has taken the headlines of late this is just one of many Nissan electric cars coming to the market. What can we expect next from this technologically advanced Japanese car manufacturer?"

The design of the vehicle ensures that the centre of gravity is focused upon the rear tyres, which makes for excellent handling and ultra-tight corners. This is something which has been in design for some time now and while some sceptics were cautious that it would ever make it to market, it seems that later this month we could see the finished product. Will this be the next big vehicle to tackle the luxury end of the electric car market? Or is this just a publicity stunt by Nissan to take the light away from Tesla?

Tesla's dominance

The fact that Tesla is now moving down towards the mass market end of the electric vehicle sector illustrates the fact that the company has a stranglehold on the luxury electric vehicle market. While companies such as Nissan have been very successful with the award-winning Nissan Leaf there is no doubt that few companies have even dared to take on Tesla in its own backyard, i.e. luxury cars.

With some companies you might wonder whether a potential loss of market share could force them to lose momentum, but the fact is that Tesla Motors is like no other vehicle company in the world and seems to thrive on competition. Chief executive officer Elon Musk has this week been fighting his own battles with reports of a third fire connected to one of the groundbreaking Tesla Model S vehicles. However, those who write off the multibillionaire do so at their own risk!

Competition is good

On the face of it there is no doubt that competition at the luxury end of the electric vehicle market is good for everybody, it will keep Tesla fresh, and it will keep prices soft. It will also allow consumers more variety and more options and could potentially kickstart yet another phase of the electric car market. The Nissan BladeGlider certainly looks different, it is not your stereotypical green car, but it is certain to attract the attention of drivers desperate for performance and styling within an environmentally friendly vehicle.