Nissan reveals $40,000 electric SUV: Nissan Ariya to arrive in 2021

The Ariya is entering an increasingly crowded marketplace amid questions about whether Americans are willing to embrace electric vehicles.

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About a decade after introducing the first mass-market electric car of the century in the U.S., Nissan is poised to roll out its first electric crossover.

The automaker recently revealed the Nissan Ariya, a $40,000 SUV with up to 300 miles of battery range.

It is expected to hit U.S. dealerships in the second half of 2021.

Unlike when Nissan debuted the Leaf electric car to much fanfare in 2010, the Ariya is entering an increasingly crowded marketplace amid lingering questions about whether Americans are willing to embrace electric vehicles.

The Ariya’s most direct competitors include the Tesla Model Y, a crossover variant of the Chevrolet Bolt, the Kia Niro and the electric version of the Hyundai Kona.

More are on their way.

The vehicle, which was revealed on July 15, marks Nissan’s bid to recapture the interest of electric car enthusiasts, who have largely gravitated to Tesla in recent years despite Nissan’s initial leadership in the EV space.

Ashwani Gupta, Nissan’s global chief operating officer, called the Ariya “the flagship” for Nissan’s growing electric car lineup. He said it offers a good driving experience for people used to the comfort of a conventional gasoline car.

The Ariya goes from 0 kilometers per hour to 100 kpm, or about 62 mph, in 5.1 seconds, he said.

“This is the performance we get out of our sports car,” the 370Z coupe, Gupta said in an interview. “This is not a simple EV — it is much more than an EV.”

The Ariya is also “much more than (the) Leaf ” due to its features, he said, including the driving experience, longer battery range and safety systems.

“I’m not saying this is a cheap price, but this is a great price for the value proposition,” he said.

The Ariya comes with a more advanced version of Nissan’s ProPilot Assist technology, which enables hands-free steering on the highway.

The two-row, five-passenger vehicle enters the market as Tesla is ramping up production of its new Model Y crossover, which is built on the same platform as its hit Model 3 compact car.

“They are really making impressive cars, no doubt about it,” Gupta said.

Still, he said Nissan plans to expand the Ariya’s technologies and design into other models.

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