Nissan says it will roll out an urban electric vehicle that's even better than alliance partner Renault's Twizy. While Renault is marketing the Twizy small electric car as an alternative to scooters on European streets, Nissan thinks its upcoming EV will have more to offer.

Etienne Henry, Nissan's head of product strategy and planning, said the Nissan urban car will be compact and nimble like a motorcycle, and will offer protection from weather conditions and the safety features of a conventional car. While the Twizy is also working on combining these functions, Nissan thinks there are "optimizations possible with this kind of vehicle," Henry told Automotive News Europe.

Some are speculating that the optimization could be delivered through ideas from the Nissan Land Glider, a two-seat electric concept car Nissan began showing in 2009. While that made for "a very interesting concept with very challenging and meaningful technology," Henry declined to comment on whether any part of the Land Glider would end up in the urban EV.

Henry sees a correlation between the Nissan Qashqai compact crossover, where he'd served as product manager, with the concept EV. While the concept car mixes motorbikes and cars, the Quashqai fused the utility of a compact hatchback with the styling of an SUV. It will also address another European trend – fast growing, congested cities, he said.

The Automotive News piece also sees Toyota traveling down this path. At this year's Geneva auto show, the Japanese competitor showed its i-Road urban electric concept car. The three-wheel i-Road will only see limited production at first, and will join other Toyota EVs for a car-sharing program next year in Grenoble, France.


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  • 48 Comments
      tool0117
      • 2 Years Ago
      cool
      Cruising
      • 2 Years Ago
      What's old is new again: http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ford_Quadricycle
        Warren
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Cruising
        Yes. Three and four wheel cyclecars have been around as long as there have been cars. They have always been very popular when times were hard, as they are now, and will remain for the foreseeable future. Welcome to the future.
          eeenok
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Warren
          yeah, also the more tiny cars on the road, the safer it is to be a tiny car on the road. and modern control systems also make these things much more viable
      Drakkon
      • 2 Years Ago
      Could you possibly drive this without making race car sounds as you go around corners? rrrrrrrrrrrrrrr-RRROOOOOOOOOWWWWW--rrrrrrrr
      David Murray
      • 2 Years Ago
      As cool as these things are, from a practical standpoint it is like buying half-a-car. So if they can get the price down to half the price of a conventional car, then I think they'd sell well. But I fear that will not happen.
        VL00
        • 2 Years Ago
        @David Murray
        You think cars are priced on width? Or that the price per width scales linearly?
      waetherman
      • 2 Years Ago
      But 75% of Americans don't want or can't afford a car just for commuting.
      Nick
      • 2 Years Ago
      Nissan is zooming into the future, while other automakers are stuck in the past (look at Mercedes and it's senior-o-matic GL AMG FUV). This is what congested cities need!
      DaveMart
      • 2 Years Ago
      Nonsensical headline. That a future urban mobility vehicle may be a fusion just as the Qashqai is does NOT mean that it might have the same guts, which would only be an appropriate description is it might use the engine or or other hardware, which it most certainly will not since the Quashqai is a much, much bigger vehicle.
      Grendal
      • 2 Years Ago
      I'll believe it when I see them selling them.
        Reggie
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Grendal
        Can't see to many to many Italians with understated sprezzatura style giving up their waspy sounding Vespa for one of these, maybe a Fiat 500e yes as an urban commute. Maybe better suited for the streets of Tokyo. If Italians ever did have any desire to own a cheap commuter like this they would probably go for something cheap n' cheerful like the 84 MPG $6,800 Michigan based Elio to drive in austerity hit Italy. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2356608/Elio-Motors-Three-wheeled-commuter-car-price-tag-6-800.html Nissan designers need to take a trip to Lake Garda this is no alternative to the Italian scooter. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZCk_wUMdS6w
          aatbloke1967
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Reggie
          Reggie, as if you'd know. I'm tired of the American schoolkid pretending to be British. You haven't the first clue about the car market in the UK, or Europe for that matter, and certainly haven't the first notion about anything in Italy. That is patently obvious.
          aatbloke1967
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Reggie
          Italians don't buy Ligier, Aixim, Riva and they like, buy more unexclusive mass produced Ferrari's in Italy than the cars you listed in Italy. That's because you haven't a clue what I'm talking about. Italians buy Pandas in droves - especially 2-cyl models - but they're not EVs, which was the topic of this conversation. The cars I have referred to can be driven on a motorcycle licence and some models in some countries - such as France - no licence whatsoever.
          aatbloke1967
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Reggie
          Italians already have plenty of cheap city EVs to choose from, courtesy of the likes of Ligier, Aixam, Microcar, Reva and the likes.
          Reggie
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Reggie
          Shame no Italians buy Ligier, Aixam, Reva etc in the real world, common as muck unexclusive mass producer Ferrari seems more popular with Italians they sold more. http://bestsellingcarsblog.com/2013/01/08/italy-full-year-2012-fiat-panda-ends-18-years-of-punto-domination-in-worst-market-since-1979/ Italians don't buy Ligier, Aixim, Riva and they like, buy more unexclusive mass produced Ferrari's in Italy than the cars you listed in Italy. Nissan might do well in Brighton or Isle of Wight in the UK where they have 20,000 plus turn up at scooter rallies. But personally l can't see them giving up a their waspy ole Vespa or Lambretta hair dryers for this anodyne dull Nissan scooter. Will you get them to change to a dull Nissan scooter? l don't think so (They carry two as well).. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ABmDGT_AR-E
      Cayman
      • 2 Years Ago
      It depends on which price of the Model S you are talking about. The absolute base model with no features is around $71K, so that means $17-18K for a scooter with a roof. No, I don't think I'd be interested in that. Or if you mean the reasonably optioned S with charger installed, which would be around $20K. Definitely not. Or if you mean the top of the line, which gets us somewhere around $25K. Are you serious? That's the problem I see with most of these low volume, cool one off city cars; they don't offer much of a price advantage (if any) over a small compact car and they have far, far less utility. Yes, a car like this could fulfill 80% of the needs of lots of people, but giving up that additional 20% for very little money savings doesn't make much sense to most people.
      Giza Plateau
      • 2 Years Ago
      I hope they have the sense to not make it a tilter. Otherwise interesting.
      2 wheeled menace
      • 2 Years Ago
      Nice face, awful butt :(
      Alana
      • 2 Years Ago
      I Really like the Structure of Nissan. As its Comfortable to drive for a single person.
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