Nissan Pivo 3 concept car (2011) first pictures

Published: 09 November 2011 Updated: 26 January 2015

Nissan – the pioneer of the modern electric car age – is to show a third iteration of its radical Pivo concept car at the 2011 Tokyo motor show. Dubbed Pivo 3 (funnily enough), the new concept is the brand’s eighth EV concept car.

Nissan Pivo 3: all pie in the sky?

Far from it, says Nissan. Earlier Pivos have made us laugh and giggle, but the Japanese say this one is nearing reality. ‘Pivo 3 is what Nissan envisions to be a more “realistic” EV of the near future,’ says the blurb.

Sounds like you might actually be seeing something like this on city roads sooner than you might care to imagine.

Is that why the Pivo 3 looks less radical and more production-ready?
Got it in one. There’s a certain realism to this Pivo that makes it look like it could sit in a Nissan showroom next to a Leaf and a Qashqai. Some will say that it’s gone through the group’s Boring Filter and lost some of the magic of earlier iterations. Others will reply that it’s this very realism that actually enables cars like this to become reality.

Francois Bancon, deputy division general manager of product strategy and product planning division (his business card is presumably A4-sized), explains the rationale behind the latest Pivo 3: ‘Pivo is one of the answers for active urbanists living in mature markets,’ he says. ‘Through the three Pivo proposals, we have gained a deep understanding of their needs in such large, metropolitan areas.’

So what’s new on the Nissan Pivo 3?

This is an electric car aimed at young singletons and couples living in densely populated urban areas. Perhaps London, but more probably – to begin with – Tokyo and other emerging megacities. Seating is in a 1+2 layout.

The Pivo 3 now has self-park – or automated valet parking, as Nissan dubs it – and is designed to slot itself into specially equipped electric car recharging slots. It’ll turn on a sixpence: at less than 3m long, it can pull a U-turn in just 4m.

Like earlier Pivos, this one has in-wheel motors, which gives each wheel greater flexibility and frees up more space in the package for bodies and baggage. Naturally, this is an holistic vision, so the Pivo 3 could even sell electricity back to the grid should the battery hold excess charge at times of peak demand.

By Tim Pollard

Group digital editorial director, car news magnet, crafter of words