Home » Nissan’s EV Decision Could Be The ‘Most Important Decision In Its History’

Nissan’s EV Decision Could Be The ‘Most Important Decision In Its History’

Nissan Ev Tmd

Nissan is the Japanese automaker that’s in the hardest position when it comes to planning for the future. Having won some independence from Renault, the company is learning the hard way that it’s not necessarily ready for what comes next, leading to some difficult decisions.

The fluke of currency valuations has worked a bit in Nissan’s favor, as has a recent court decision, but having money and knowing how to spend it are two different things (see: mules with spinning wheels). Where Nissan goes with its EV plans could decide the fate of the company.

Vidframe Min Top
Vidframe Min Bottom

It’s a bleak news day and it’s going to get worse. VinFast, another automaker facing some tough existential questions, is facing an investigation over a wreck in one of its vehicles that killed an entire family of four.

What else? Forced labor. It’s probably happening in China, and BMW says it inadvertently imported about 8,000 Minis with parts from a supplier on the Treasury Department’s no-no list.

Slightly less bleak, depending on your perspective, is the news that Ford is going to accept the newly revised (in its favor) EPA emissions and not make a big ol’ thing out of it.


Let’s Dump.

Nissan Delays $500 Million EV Investment In The USA

240425 Nissan Auto China 2024 Press Groupshot Large

Oh, Nissan. It’s a brand I like, though, I’m starting to realize, mostly for sentimental reasons. There’s not much that Nissan makes at the moment I truly love. The new Frontier looks interesting. The Leaf is cheap, but also-ran. Most of the company’s vehicles are also-ran and not quite clever enough to feel like anything other than a decent value.

At least in the United States, the company is in a deep pit of mediocrity and pissing off its own dealers with uncompetitive, meh products. The company is also in the process of separating itself more from the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance, which means it needs to do more on its own.

But what will it do?


For a while, it seemed like a new generation of electric cars, many built in the company’s underutilized Mississippi plant, could be the key to the company’s growth. But with rivals like Honda and Toyota kicking the ever-lovin’ crap out of Nissan in just about every category, it does seem like Nissan would be better suited it if offered some real hybrids here.

And now comes news, via Automotive News, that Nissan is going to halt the development of the first of its next-generation EV vehicles:

In a memo to suppliers obtained by Automotive News, Nissan said it has adjusted the “development schedule” of a pair of battery-powered sedans “to enhance product competitiveness.”

“Please stop all development activities related to [the EV sedan] project until further notice,” Nissan instructed suppliers in the letter, dated May 17.

Nissan had planned to begin production of the electric sedans in June 2026. The schedule has been delayed twice, with the most recent start date pushed to November of that year.

That sounds bad, but I think it could be a good thing for Nissan. Just look at the extremely weak performance of its Ariya EV crossover, which offers sub-average performance in an uncompelling package.

Nissan probably should stop and consider if what it’s planning makes sense. More EV adoption is coming, but another extremely mid and expensive electric sedan isn’t going to do it. What Nissan should offer is something cheaper.

This is a big deal for Nissan, as pointed out by an analyst in the article:


“Trying to find just the right mix of EVs and timing their arrivals to hit at just the right time is crucial to Nissan’s success,” AutoForecast Solutions Vice President Sam Fiorani said. “This could be Nissan’s most important decision in its history.”

At least Nissan, like other Japanese automakers, is making money thanks to a weak yen and can therefore use some of its profits for investment. Plus, a Saudi firm connected to then Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn will likely have to pay $320 million to Nissan, which doesn’t hurt either.

Why Did A Family Of Four Die In A VinFast VF 8?

VinFast VF8 front 3/4 shot
Photo credit: VinFast

In our review of the VF 8, the first American EV product from Vietnamese automaker VinFast, we told consumers not to buy the VF 8 because it was unfortunately too half-baked. Most of the issues revolved around software and a recall was supposed to fix the issue, but perhaps there are more issues that need to be resolved.

Per TechCrunch :

The top vehicle safety regulator in the U.S. has launched a formal probe into an April crash involving the all-electric VinFast VF8 SUV that claimed the lives of a family of four, TechCrunch has learned.

The crash happened in Pleasanton, California at about 9 p.m. on April 24. Police told local news outlets at the time that it appeared the vehicle lost control before crashing into an oak tree and catching fire. A spokesperson for the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) told TechCrunch on Monday that its Special Crash Investigations division will “document the crash circumstances and the ensuing fire.”

A NHTSA complaint about the incident comes from someone reported to be a co-worker of one of the victims; this coworker claims to own the vehicle and says they had previously experienced an issue with the car’s lane-keeping assistant. The co-worker alleges the car jerked itself to the right.

BMW Used Parts From Supplier Tied To Forced Labor

P90504454 Highres Mini JCW 1to6


A new report from Senator Ron Wyden’s staff over the use of parts from banned suppliers shows that Volkswagen isn’t the only company with issues. From the report:

Importing goods made with forced labor to the United States has been illegal since the 1930s. Recognizing the systematic, government-sanctioned use of forced labor in the Xinjiang region of China, the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act (UFLPA) in 2021 strengthened enforcement of the law with respect to facilities in Xinjiang and other entities identified as having been complicit in China’s forced labor scheme.

Despite those laws, automakers have been slow to adequately watchdog their supply chains to ensure parts originating in Xinjiang and other identified entities are not used in cars and trucks imported to the United States, the staff report found. In January 2024, Volkswagen disclosed that a shipment of its vehicles intended for the U.S. market included parts made with a supplier banned by the U.S. government under UFLPA.

While the Volkswagen disclosure became public earlier this year, committee staff discovered that BMW imported thousands of vehicles intended for the United States that included parts banned under UFLPA.

BMW admitted there was an issue, stopped importing parts from the supplier, and is now trying to replace those parts.

Ford: We’re Cool With New EPA Regulations

Ford Maverick Hybrid

The Environmental Protection Agency put out a potential set of emissions regulations in April of 2023, leading automakers to mostly freak out. After a lot lobbying, the new regs were revised to be slightly less stringent.

Even with lower standards, automakers still producing ICE cars have a tall hill to climb. Ford, for its part, isn’t sweating it according to this Reuters article on the company’s approach to the new regs:


“Complying with emissions regulations requires lengthy advance planning, and Ford has taken steps to transform its business to ensure compliance with stricter emissions standards,” the Dearborn-based automaker said.

It said it welcomed the regulatory stability that the Multi-Pollutant Rule will provide, preventing the “possibility of flip-flopping or changing standards.”

Former President Donald Trump, who is seeking a return to the White House, has vowed to reverse the Biden rules that would boost electric vehicles.


What I’m Listening To While Writing TMD

This song came on the radio this morning and I had to share it. Even if you don’t know who US3 is or that this song is called “Cantaloop (Flip Fantasia)” you probably recognize those horns and the “Funky, Funky” sample.

The Big Question

What’s a Nissan EV that would work? Or maybe it’s a hybrid?

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Chris D
Chris D
1 month ago

Importing goods made with forced labor to the United States has been illegal since the 1930s. 
If that law were strictly enforced, a couple of major US companies (cough, cough, Amazon, cough, Harbor Freight, cough) would likely go out of business, along with most dollar stores and Wally World.

Jatco Xtronic CVT
Jatco Xtronic CVT
1 month ago

If Nissan commits to EVs, the Jatco CVT as we know it may go extinct. We must stop the electrification of Nissan, for the sake of the best-engineered transmission in automotive history!

Derek van Veen
Derek van Veen
1 month ago


1 month ago

Nissan is a bit like GM and Toyota, they have the historical knowledge and hopefully supplier relationships from early adoption of EV product offerings. they really just need to take a few of the more popular offerings they have and convert. Dual up the leaf motors in a Murano, and get some decent batteries and the soccer moms of the midwest would likely look past the 80K failed Murano’s they have to trade in still.

Hell, better yet offer buy backs that are roughly twice the going market rate on any Nissan with a CVT so they can buy back some confidence that the Goshen Nightmare years are fully behind them.

Bill Garcia
Bill Garcia
1 month ago

For Nissan, I’d go with:

(1) Seeing how the hybrid Maverick has been so successful, Nissan should absolutely make a hybrid version of the Frontier.

(2) Look into adapting the PHEV powertrain of the Mitsubishi Outlander to as many of their cars as possible, while keeping them within the brand’s price positioning.

If they can’t do both, do at least (1) without completely botching it, “right-size” the US corporate structure as needed to become/remain cash positive and wait until the rest of the world’s markets pull Nissan through and eventually come out with something that can be additive to the US affiliate.

Just don’t give up and become another Suzuki without trying it at least!

Chris D
Chris D
1 month ago
Reply to  Bill Garcia

The first automaker that makes electric versions of current models, instead of trying to reinvent the wheel, will be accepted by the market. Imagine an electric Maverick, electric Camry, electric Corolla, electric Civic, electric Chrysler minivan, electric Suburban… and so on – popular, excellent vehicles that are cheaper to drive and easy to fill up overnight at home. We don’t need ID#, Ariya, Bz4x,or anything else with a weird name. Normal, popular, excellent, and electric – and without a huge price differential at the outset.

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