11 Apr 18

Christophe de Beaumont, Nissan: "Leaf can be cheaper to run than Qashqai"

Christophe de Beaumont has been heading Nissan’s European corporate sales department for almost a year. Time to ask about his strategy, not least regarding the brand-new Leaf.

Nissan has sold over 80,000 units of the first Leaf in Europe. What are your targets for the new generation Leaf and how will you achieve them?

“Learning from our customers, Nissan has developed what we believe is an incredibly attractive family car that makes electric driving more convenient than ever, not least thanks to its real-life WLTP range of 270 km. Also, it arrives at the right time: companies are clearly showing a strong interest in electric vehicles. That is why we are confident that sales will double over the next two years. 

What was your fleet customers’ feedback on the previous Leaf and how has Nissan translated this in improvements?

Combined, our over 300,000 Leaf drivers worldwide have travelled more than 4 billion kilometres – much to their satisfaction, according to our surveys. The reliability of our batteries proved outstanding, to say the least. Amongst the elements we improved on, the demand of our customers are the battery range and the motor output and torque. Apart from that, we also improved NVH to make the ride even more quiet.

Which other solutions make electric driving easier than before?

Especially with fleet customers in mind, we developed a 22-kW on-board charger. This means that companies do not necessarily have to invest in a Wallbox to charge their cars at a medium pace. Moreover, Nissan will be adding over 1,000 quick-charging stations to the existing 4,600-strong ChaDeMo network in Europe.

Is the new Leaf TCO competitive compared to ICE models?

It all depends on the market and its fiscal context, but according to our calculations, in many countries the new Leaf is cheaper to run than a petrol-engined Qashqai. Another major element is residual value, evidently. Benchmark studies involving lease companies and RV setting instances show that there is a sizeable gap between the old and the new Leaf. The new model promises to perform better on the used car market because of its bigger battery, inherent qualities and the EV experience Nissan has built up.

Picture copyright: Nissan, 2018

Authored by: Dieter Quartier