Nissan joins Formula E to showcase ‘intelligent mobility’ updates

Japanese car manufacturer Nissan has confirmed its participation in next season's all-electric racing series Formula E, while also launching two new commercial electric vehicles (EVs) at the Tokyo Motor Show.

Nissan will enter the Formula E racing series in late 2018, once the all-electric championship has introduced new chassis and battery regulations, to highlight the performance of its battery and autonomous solutions listed under the carmaker’s “Intelligent Mobility” initiative.

Formula E’s founder Alejandro Agag said: “To have a name like Nissan coming on board is a momentous day for the series. Not only is it great to welcome a new manufacturer to the Formula E family – it’s great to see our first Japanese manufacturer entering the frame, showing truly how global the electric revolution is.

“Japan is a country at the forefront of new technologies with one of the biggest followings of Formula E. The shift towards sustainable mobility is in motion and it’s unstoppable. I look forward to seeing the Nissan logo adorned on the new-look cars for season five.”

Formula E has grown over the past few years, with the series heading to Beijing, Buenos Aires, Paris, London and Berlin to highlight the improved speeds of EVs as part of an entertainment racing series. EVs racing in the series are performing well above the season one average speed of more than 75mph and have a maximum speed of around 140mph.

Nissan will use the “highly visible global platform” of Formula E to showcase its Intelligent Mobility vision, which captures electric and autonomous driving features to benefit the owner of the vehicle.

Mobility momentum

At the Tokyo Motor Show this week, Nissan unveiled the next vehicles to be rolled out under this vision. The carmaker showcased a new Nissan IMx all-electric Crossover, which offers fully-autonomous features and a driving range of more than 370 miles. The vehicle is fitted with twin motor power units capable of delivering 320kWh of capacity and the battery system can act as a “virtual power plant” through its vehicle-to-grid technology.

The new Nissan Leaf Nismo was also showcased at the event. With 147 horse power, the all-electric Nismo is quicker than a standard Leaf vehicle – which recently had a range-extended version launch in the UK.

The announcements made at the Tokyo Motor Show build on declaration made in Oslo earlier this month that Nissan would remove “any barrier” for EV use through its products and services. The company is offering EV owners free power to charge EVs or send surplus electricity back to the grid through a one-cost installation of bi-charging technology.

The Japanese carmaker also revealed that it was expanding its existing EV charging network in Europe by 20% over the next 18 months. Nissan will support the installation of a further 1,000 chargers over the time period. This was soon followed by the UK’s Automated and Electric Vehicles Bill, which requires large petrol retailers and motorway services to install charging points.

Nissan also showcased the successor of its xStorage home energy system, which was designed in collaboration with Eaton. The new system allows EV owners to plug vehicles directly into a wall box charger and can interact with renewable electricity generated from any solar panels on the house.

Matt Mace

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