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Nissan rejects parent Renault's electric plan

Date: 07 August 2009

Nissan Leaf

Nissan is initially rejecting parent company Renault's battery exchange plan for electric vehicles. Renault is planning a network of 'battery drop' centres where owners drive in and simply exchange an empty battery for a fully-charged one.

"We think there are some business model issues with that so we are sceptical, but we're keeping our options open," said Jerome Lacroix of Nissan Europe's zero-emissions programme. The biggest issue, according to Nissan, is the number of different shapes and sizes of batteries that will be used, meaning the need for a "warehouse of batteries" next to each drop point.

Though the Leaf, the first electric model coming from the Japanese brand, won't have the quick-drop facility for easily switching the battery, Nissan said it will be able to quickly adapt its models if the system does prove successful.