More details emerge on low-cost electric car from Renault-Nissan for 2020


2017 Nissan Leaf

2017 Nissan Leaf

Enlarge Photo

The Renault-Nissan Alliance's plans for future electric cars are beginning to come into focus.

The two automakers have dominated global battery-electric car sales with the Nissan Leaf and Renault Zoe, as well as lower-volume models like the Nissan e-NV200 and Renault Kangoo ZE electric vans.

But many of the automakers' electric models are due for redesigns, and the two carmakers are also expected to emphasize lower costs in a bid to compete in developing markets like China and India.

DON'T MISS: Nissan Leaf leases can extend until all-new 2018 electric car late this year: updated

With that in mind, Renault-Nissan is preparing a new platform for electric cars.

Due in 2020, it's expected to accommodate DC fast charging, and batteries with high energy density, according to Challenges.

The new platform is expected to be announced shortly, alongside a technology alliance with Mitsubishi, the French publication reports.

2017 Nissan Leaf

2017 Nissan Leaf

Enlarge Photo
Nissan acquired a controlling stake in Mitsubishi late last year, after the smaller Japanese automaker was financially weakened by a fuel-economy cheating scandal in its home market.

Interestingly, the Challenges report claimed future versions of the Renault Zoe and Nissan Leaf would share this platform.

A previous report also claimed the Zoe and Leaf would soon share a platform, but Nissan recently announced that the next-generation Leaf will make its world debut this September—well ahead of the next-generation electric-car platform's 2020 implementation.

ALSO SEE: Nissan and Renault to share common electric-car platform in future (Dec 2016)

It's possible Nissan will apply the Leaf name to a second model, perhaps closer in size to the subcompact Zoe.

Renault and Nissan are also reportedly moving ahead with plans for a low-cost electric car aimed at the Chinese market.

Renault-Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn has said such a car is vital to boosting sales in China and similar developing markets.

2017 Renault Zoe

2017 Renault Zoe

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But this cheaper electric car may also be sold in Europe as well, according to Challenges.

Based on comments made by Ghosn last year at the 2016 New York Auto Show, this car would seem better suited to China than to Western markets.

Ghosn said any electric car geared toward mass appeal in China would need to be basic and simple, with a relatively low range in exchange for a lower purchase price.

CHECK OUT: Very cheap, low-range electric cars key for China, India: Nissan CEO Ghosn (Mar 2016)

The car is expected to cost the equivalent of $6,900 to $7,600, and appear in 2020.

In the meantime, Chinese automaker Dongfeng will launch an electric sedan based on the Renault Fluence ZE at the end of this year.

Pulled from the European market in 2014, the Fluence was perhaps most notable for being the car used by defunct Israeli company Better Place's battery-swapping subscription service.

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