Electric cars shouldn’t look like electric cars if they are to go mainstream.
Tesla figured that out early, while other automakers, especially BMW and Nissan, made their electric cars look more and more… electric.
The BMW i3 and Nissan Leaf are perhaps the “most electric” looking of today’s electric cars.m BMW shows no signs of easing up on its polarizing styling, while Nissan, known for pushing the limits of good design taste, will soon unveil all-new looks for the Leaf and a slightly tamed-down design for the soon-to-be-hybrid Juke.
AutoExpress has some dirt on the next Juke, which will be based on a new platform, and says,
Nissan’s chief creative officer Shiro Nakamura has revealed the next generation will remain “edgy and less mainstream,” but acknowledged that it would still be recognisable as a Juke.
That means the styling will retain key Juke cues, such as the high-mounted headlights and distinct wheelarch blisters.
Now Nissan is set to unveil the second-generation of the Juke, improving upon the current model so it can really compete against its rivals. The new Juke will be more refined, more efficient, and will improve in some other crucial areas such as cabin quality.
If the report is correct, the Juke could lose its frog-like face and gain a grille more in line with Nissan’s other vehicles. That’s not a bad thing.
In addition to revised styling, the new platform will allow for more engine choices, one of which in the U.S. could be a hybrid.
For buyers who want to go fully electric, the Nissan Leaf remains one of the most popular, and oddly styled, cars available. Nissan hopes a change in design could sell more cars to people who want an attractive car that happens to have an electric powertrain.
There are no photos or teasers of the next Leaf, but Green Car Reports says it’ll remain a five-door hatchback and still be about the same size but with its “EVness’ dialed back several notches.”
That article also cited Nakamura and said,
to expand the Leaf’s appeal to more of a EV-adopting mainstream market, it requires designing a nice-looking car, then adding more ‘spice’ in the design for the people who want it—rather than starting with specific design traits that call it out as an EV.
That’s a strategy that should pay off. The Leaf has established itself as a reliable EV for in-town commuting, and a new design could cement it as a leader in affordable electric cars.
Do you prefer Nissan’s current styling of the Juke and Leaf, or would you prefer a more mainstream look?