Prepare for a lot more these announcements to be made in the coming years. Nissan has revealed it will abandon the development of new engines for cars sold in Europe. The important disclosure was made this week by Chief Operating Officer Ashwani Gupta during a press conference about the company's third-quarter results for the 2021 financial year. He explained the reasoning behind this decision, and it makes sense when you think about it.
The COO mentioned Nissan will end ICE development for Euro-spec cars as a consequence of an upcoming switch in customer preferences caused by the implementation of Euro 7 regulations. The automaker projects vehicles equipped with internal combustion engines will be much more expensive than they are today, once the stringent emissions legislation will come into effect.
Gallery: Nissan Micra 2021
Developing greener ICEs will force car manufacturers to make massive investments to meet Euro 7 criteria, but Nissan won't be doing that. Instead, the Japanese brand estimates more people will embrace EVs as Ashwani Gupta projects zero-emissions vehicles will be cheaper. Even if that won't be the case, electric cars will become more affordable with time, so EV price parity with ICE will become a reality sooner or later. VW Group CEO Herbert Diess thinks it could happen as early as 2025.
Speaking of the middle of the decade, it's when Euro 7 regulations are expected as the last emission standard before completely switching to EVs. As a refresher, a proposal made by the European Commission calls for a sales ban on new combustion cars from 2035. It has to be voted to come into effect, but many automakers active on the Old Continent have already announced plans to drop ICEs five years sooner, by 2030.
Nissan is already taking steps towards shifting to electric cars as a replacement for the Micra supermini has been teased as a purely electric car. We also know there will be a next-generation Leaf, but rather than being a hatchback, it will morph into a crossover. Both EVs are scheduled to hit the European market around 2025.
Elsewhere, Nissan's COO mentions the company will continue to pursue engines running on fossil fuel, pointing out some customers still want a good ol' ICE. He specifically mentioned the new Z sports car and Rogue SUV, adding development of conventional engines will continue in the United States. Nikkei Asia reported a few days ago Nissan plans to end ICE development "in all major markets except the US."