November 8, 2011

Media Center Interview: Nissan designers discuss PIVO 3 EV concept

Francois Bancon, deputy divisional GM for product strategy, and Taro Ueda, design director of product design, discuss the innovative electric vehicle concept ahead of its appearance at the Tokyo Motor Show.

Q1. From an innovation point of view within the PIVO 3, what particularly stands out?

Francois Bancon:

With PIVO 3, let's say, there are two main stories within the car. One is to provide people with a very new driving sensation. Thanks to the center driving position, you are not any more on the side of the car – you are in the center. That gives you very different visibility, a very different way of driving in general. You are like a driver in a racecar – for example, a one-seat racecar. That's a big thing because we think only EV can provide this in the vehicle and that'll change completely your relationship with the car together with the others outside of the car. That's the first part.

The second part is about this extreme agility in the city – you know we can complete a u-turn in four meters, which is in itself a revelation. Now, a car needs about 8-to-10 meters to do this. So that provides you a sensation of freedom. I can do whatever I want with a car, I'm not anymore limited in terms of technology of the car. You can almost move like people. They are the two main advantages of the PIVO 3.

Q2: To what extent has PIVO 3 evolved from PIVO and PIVO 2?

Taro Ueda:



It's not an easy challenge for us. As an iconic design, it's something we enjoy to play around, something new and [we can] forget about today's design theme. But PIVO 3 is exactly designed for the mainstream of our EV, so we have a lot of requirements: Nissan-ness, EV-ness, to be realistic and environmentally friendly. That means we have mixture of requirements and the design teams are working hard to make sure all those requirements are combined into one design and that design should be at a higher level than PIVO and PIVO 2.

We're proud of this design because the final execution is such a high level of design including Nissan-ness and EV-ness and also the real-car feeling. You can feel those things through the design.

Q3: PIVO 3 is much closer to cars on sale today than PIVO and PIVO 2. How soon could this car-or technologies in it-be put into production?

Francois Bancon:

There is no decision to do this. We are now considering the next step of the EV after LEAF and Infiniti EV and an LCV EV. We are going to have many ways to propose to the market what seems radically different, it must be an EV signature [model], if you will.

So, while PIVO 3 is one of the candidates, this is not the only one. If you remember, we made years ago, a kind of compact sports EV. We have a lot of investigation into what kind of category we should go – what kind of body type, what kind of story we are going to tell to the people with this car. So I would say, PIVO 3 at this stage is one of the candidates. If we do this, we should do this after the first wave of product, LEAF, NV200 EV and the Infiniti EV. So let's say, we talk about something in 2016 or 2017 or about then.