NISSAN Chat-Conference about Zero Emission Strategy and the ESFLOW Designstudy

Da ich heute Abend schon wieder unterwegs bin, gibt es diesmal eine englische Zusammenfassung;

In this conference we had the opportunity to ask Andy Palmer some questions about Nissan’s Zero Emission Strategy in general and Francois Bancon about the ESFLOW Electric Sportscar Study in particular.

The Chat was really crowded. So I tried to place all the questions I got here, via Twitter, Facebook and Motor-Talk. Not all got through, some also popped up in the questions of colleagues. Hope you are pleased with the answers.

Hello everyone. We thank you for joining us today for this webchat session on Nissan ESFLOW concept. We are pleased to welcome François Bancon from Nissan Headquarters in Japan.

Let’s start with the first Chat and Francois Bancon on the NISSAN ESFLOW

dna : what will be the next Nissan electric car ?
The next car is going to be an LCV probably based on NV 200, and the third one will an Infiniti.

azm : Does electric vehicles have important heat losses whem we ask for big power?
Yes like in any mechanical system, but less than in ICE (Internal Combustion Engine) vehicules.

Mike: The car named ESFLOW lookd good, when is it likely to be sold in the UK?
Let’s do the first three. We are studying, and making plans for the future, but nothing is decided at this stage.

marc bolier: How much (%) of de LEAF drivetrain can we find in the ESFLOW?
We are using the basic LEAF technology for powertrain and battery.

MikeBoxwell: What does ESFLOW tell us about future cars from Nissan? Are you considering an electric sports car, or are you using the concept as a way of gauging reaction for different vehicle solutions?

Yes it tells you something about the future of Nissan based on our sports heritage. ESFLOW is a concept but of course this shows our serious considerations of EVs sports car in the future.
We are a sports car company and a leader in EV.

David: Who is the designer of the ESFLOW
This is not one designer but our studio in downtown Tokyo Creative Box.

Nikki Gordon-Bloomfield: Can you give us any more details on the LCV? Will it be a ground-up vehicle like the LEAF and the ESFLOW, and will it compete directly with the Ford Connect EV?
We have no details yet, but more to come!
I like your idea though regarding competing with Ford Connect EV! ….

thomas from germany: From what other cars in the Nissan line-up did you draw inspirations for the exterior design? Z, Juke?? Any other?
It’s an interesting question! Z and Juke are part of the Nissan heritage -This is who we are – and we build on this.

David: Is Nissan using new technology in the Nissan ESFLOW Concept?
Yes, we have some new technology exploration. Weight is the key driver to this.

RaphaelFromAustria: Is the ESFLOW the modern version of the 2006_URGE_Study?
No, it’s not a new version of the URGE. ESFLOW is a breakthrough in itself !

Alex Kahl @probefahrer: Can you tell us what was the main inspiration for the design
ESFLOW wa about designing a Zero Emission sport car. It’s not just purely inspiration, but designing a credible sports car that could be real. Somewhat stereotypical but real!

MikeBoxwell: What is your vision for the Electric Vehicle market over the next three to five years? What will the car industry look like by 2015?
We estimate the EV market in 2020 to be about 10% of the total car industry volume, and the Alliance is aiming to secure 20% of this EV market.
The auto industry is currently going to a major transformation and 2015 will be the very first evidence of the revolution to come.

Nick Chambers : How strong of a hint is the ESFLOW for the future design of Nissan’s already planned electric sports car?
We want to make a real EV sports car and it’s our first attempt. For sure, we are thinking of the next one.

JR RomanO : Obviously that electrifying the car is the future, but is Nissan planning to do a sports car like ESFLOW with an internal combustion engine, for example, with the 1.6L Turbo 190hp?
ESFLOW is purposely built to be Zero Emission.
I like the thinking, and 1.6 L turbo is an excellent base! we should try it ;-)

esflower : Talking about powertrain transmission, is Esflow using any gearbox or CVT component? If not, how in-wheel motors adjust final torque to the wheels? Thanks.
ESFLOW is an electronically controlled dual motor technology, not a in-wheel motor technology.
Look for more later in the year!

James Scoltock : Range is quoted as 240km – compared to a vehicle like the Leaf is that extra distance achieved purely by better battery management systems?
Weight first, it’s a two-seater car, and then the battery management – increase batterry capacity.

MikeBoxwell: When designers no longer have to consider the packaging of a conventional Internal Combustion Engine car, there is the potential for much more revolutionary car designs. The compact motors need much less room than a conventional engine and can even be fitted in the wheels, the batteries can be distributed across the whole vehicle. Are we going to see more unique car designs from Nissan that repackage the entire car, or are we going to see very little difference between future electric cars and ICE cars in terms of their overall look?
Yes, the EV opens the door for a new packaging, and ESFLOW is the first demonstration. We have explored a lot of alternatives such as Pivo 1 and Pivo 2, which were the first and ultimate attempts to revolutionize packaging.

Seal: ESFLOW is to fight the leadership of Tesla in supersport cars? It will be made with this intent?
We are not in the supercar category. ESFLOW is about performance and affordability, which is our general guide as an auto maker.

Esflower: Is Esflow battery pack liquid cooled or air cooled? Have you find battery cooling an important issue you have developed consciously?
We use the LEAF asset. Yes the cooling might be an issue and we have some solutions for this.

Nikki Gordon-Bloomfield: How does the ESFLOW differ from Renault’s own EV Sportscar Concept?
We are on a different price band, and ESFLOW is part of the Nissan heritage.

Thank You very much François Bancon, a word from you to wrap up the discussion ?
Nissan is about excitement and innovation and EV is perfectly in line with this objective, and this is the reason why we did the ESFLOW.
Thank you, tons of great questions and gave me many inspirations.

And now Nissan Vice President Andy Palmer on the Zero Emission Strategy

Lembit : Should Government do more to support EV use and if so what would Nissan like to see?
The important thing is that the government has been an intrinsic part of our go-to market strategy. I think it would be fair to say that without government assistance through the recent crisis, our ambitions wouldn’t have been nearly as great as they are today.
If I could simply refer to the US as an example, here the DOE made us a privilege loan of 1.4 billion dollars in order to facilitate the deployment of the vehicles and the battery facilities.
Is it enough? Would we like to see more ?
Of course the answer is yes.
so far, governments’ supports have been specific to some countries but not all.
It would be true to say that some countries have spoken about support but have not yet deployed it.
At least over the next few years while the technology is maturating.
Incentive support is important, if we are to democratize EVs.

Shotaro : Do you have plans to manufacture LEAF or other EVs in China?
We have ambition to manufacture in China. China is Nissan’s largest market, so it’s natural that we would want to deploy vehicles of our highest technology in our biggest market.
As per the previous question, initiating EV roll outs is predicated on governments’ support both in terms of fiscal and infrastructure. This support in China is becoming more clear but is not yet fully clear. The best I can say right now is watch this space.

Maxim Kadakov: Main question from Eastern Europe: is there a chance to see Nissan Leaf and other Nissan electric cars in Ukraine, Russia, Poland? When will they appear on sale? Are these electric vehicles ready to exploitation in winter at subzero temperatures?
Joost Vianen: How will Nissan’s EV range evolve after Leaf?
Like me, batteries don’t much care for the cold. That said, many of the potential customers for LEAF and our other 3 future EVs require solutions that allow them to work in extreme cold and hot climates.
In short, we have to deploy battery heating and cooling systems.
These systems are almost ready to be deployed.
Now, are we ready to go to Ukraine, Russia or Poland? This is really reliant on the charging of infrastructure being deployed in these regions. Today, I don’t have visibility, but the speed of uptake by countries around the world never fails to surpirse me…. So we are ready.
Joost Vianen : How will Nissan’s EV range evolve after Leaf?
Range anxiety is a phenomenon that we can hear very often. Fact is, if someone looks at the B-segment customer in Europe around 35% never, I mean never, drive more than 100kms a day.
So in this sense, a typical LEAF charge allowing the range of 160kms is adequate to meet our ambition of 10% market share in 2020.
However, we also want to be the undisputed leaders in Zero Emissions. Therefore we are extending our autonomy range and vehicle portfolio range over the coming years.
To be specific on portfolio range, we will introduce 4 electric vehicles including LEAF by 2013.

marc bolier: Hello Andy, thnaks for answering our questions. I have one too: does Nissan aim to have a zero-emission car in every passenger car segment or are some segments ruled out beforehand?
Today ‘s EV technology does give us some limitations. So in the short term, I would tend to limit EVs to the B, C and small van segments.
Above this weight limitation, the batteries tend to become large and in consequence heavy and expensive. This makes it hard to match with our vision of democracizing EVs – which is to say our vision is to sell EVs (including incentives) at a price broadly equal to that of an internal combustion engine vehicle.
So, for the rest of the range, today we offer our PURE DRIVE range, which is a variety of low CO2 technologies, such as clean diesel, HEV, down sizing and idle stop, etc.

Alex Kahl @probefahrer: How far goes the Zero Emission Strategy? Does it end at the emissions of the car or doest it go beyond to Zero Emission in Production and supporting the development of technology for producing Zero Emission Energy that drives the car?
Zero Emissions refers to a lack of tailpipe on the car itself. However our ambition goes beyond that even if we are not the master of the entire supply chain. For example, we try to reduce the CO2 emitted in the factories that produce our cars eg. windmills in Sunderland.
We try to encourage governments to promote the use of renewable power generation. We even champion the re-use of our batteries in second life to help for example to store energy created through windmills. I’m personally member of several forums promoting the debate about smart grids.
We cannot control everything as a car maker, all that we can do is lead by example and hope and encourage others to follow.

Peter Lawton: Will you launch range-extended EVs then? Like the Ampera (or is that a hybrid?)
In our definition Ampera is a plug-in hybrid – it has a tailpipe. Therefore it doesn’t meet our definition of zero emissions. That is not to say we think hybrids are bad idea, we think that they have their place and we are also deploying hybrid solutions. We are currently working on a range extended EV solution, but we have no firm plans to launch it at the moment.

David: Will (plug-in) hybrids be part of the Nissan Zero Emission Mobility Strategy
A Hybrid has a tailpipe, so does a plug-in, so does a range extender. Therefore, de facto, it’s not zero emissions.
Hybrids, PHEVs, REEV, clean diesels, down sized turbos, idle stop, etc. all form part of our PURE DRIVE technologies. We are agnostic in the use of these technologies and simply look to the best low CO2 solution for the segment. PURE DRIVE is complementary to our Zero Emission strategy.

Alex Kahl @probefahrer: What about other Zero Emission Technologies like Fuel Cell? Is Nissan / Renault considering alternatives?

Nissan has been working on fuel cell technologies for some time.
We are part of a consortium in Japan looking at deployment of FCVs.
The maturity of this technology at the level of the vehicle is within sight, but the challenge of infrastructure is even greater than that of EVs.
We think it has a future. We are preparing for that future, and we consider this to be part of our zero emission leadership strategy.

Alex Kahl @probefahrer: Is the strategy risky to set everything on pure battery-driven EVs? 5 Billion EUR is a lot of money.
I believe that we are not ‘betting the farm’ on EVs. We are seeking leadership in EVs envisaging around 10% of our portfolio to be EV in 2020.
That means 90% of our portfolio will use a PURE DRIVE technologies, such as hybrids and clean diesel, etc.
5 billion euros is certainly a lot of money, but leadership in EVs is core to what we want to be and our “raison d’être”. We also believe we have sight of a return on our investments within the mid-term.

Mykola Zakharenkov : What countries are most interesting in ZEV cars sale, and what countries will be interesting in it the next time? A few words about geography of electric vehicles for now and for the future…
Today the leaders can be defined by early deployment of infrastructure and a willingness to financially support the vehicles. In simple terms a non-exhaustive list would include Japan, United States, UK, Ireland, Portugal, Holland and Switzerland.
Within the US some states are even more agressive, California for example.
If we speculate I would anticipate that it’s not so far in the future where we could expect other european countries to join this list, and of course China. I also know that some countries in the Middle East are contemplating early adoption of infrastructure, Israel of course is part of this.

Thank you very much Andy, final words from you to wrap up the discussion please ?
Thank you for your patience with my typing speed.
I enjoyed the questions and the opportunity to share our vision for a cleaner world.
I hope to do this again if you found it useful?
Thank you.
Sayonara from Yokohama.
Thanks to all for joining us today. Looking forward to seeing you at Geneva for those who will attend the Show.

No Comments

Red' mit und lass mich nicht dumm sterben!