So far, though, aside from the Leaf's success, not much has happened on the Japanese electric vehicle front.
The following might be considered a sort of development in this field, even if it is more specialized in nature: Nissan is making a new generation of vans for the European market, and fully-electric versions will be on offer.
The Japanese carmaker announced the move at the end of last week. It said the future line of vans, whose exact names and specifications are to be announced later, would be based on a joint Alliance platform and would be produced at a facility in Maubeuge, France, together with the Renault Kangoo.
The range will make use of ICE powertrains, but, just like the present-day e-NV200 does, all-electric drivetrains as well. Commercial and passenger vehicle variants in various sizes will be on the table.
The current EV van uses the same battery pack deployed on the Leaf, providing a maximum range of 187 miles (301 km) in city driving. Charging can take from 40 minutes in fast charging mode to over 21 hours using a domestic plug.
"This future van announcement is more evidence of the strong momentum building for Nissan in Europe as we continue to advance our Nissan NEXT business transformation plan," said in a statement Nissan's Chief Operating Officer Ashwani Gupta.
"Manufacturing our future products together with our Alliance partner brings competitive advantages for both companies and is another example of our win-win strategy. While it is too early to give any detailed product information, our customers can be sure they will have a strong Nissan identity and continue our mission of making the all-electric driving experience a viable option for everyone."