Automakers Take Notice – Data Points to Love Affair with Electric Cars

2 years ago by Grant Gerke 91

EDTA

EDTA

Some early research findings by the research division of Recargo, PlugInsights Research, offers a look into the maturing electric car market as car leases start to end for early adopters.

So, when an industry receives great feedback on a new product offering: it will 1) began a marketing strategy to introduce this new product to a larger audience in hopes of increased sales volumes 2) or sit on these new market trends so it does not cut into its main product?

At this week’s Electric Drive Transportation Association’s annual conference in Indianapolis, Ind., Norman Hajjar, managing director at PlugInsights Research, unveiled new data on the topic of “veteran” electric vehicle drivers and how this technology is viewed by current EV consumers in a market research breakout session.

The findings from the presentation, called “EV Veterans: What’s Next for Early Adopters of EVs,” are amazing and the bottom line says “the probability that today’s EV owner/leaser is tomorrow’s EV owner/leaser is extraordinarily high.”

How did PlugInsights Research come to that conclusion?

Source: PlugInsights Research, a div. of Recargo. Caption: The third year is the typical lease length and so what will current electric car owners do at the end of their lease term?

Source: PlugInsights Research

During its research for a Net Promoter Score (NPS), used in many industries as a way to track direction of a product or brand introduction, it showed that there will be 32,250 electric cars in their third year by May 2015 and in May 2016, 95,716 cars will be three years old.

Hajjar says,”The category is still quite young, with the modern era starting in December 2010 with the intro of the Leaf and the Volt. But some rather seismic ‘age-related’ events are waiting in the wings for this category.”

The third year is the typical lease length and so what will current electric car owners do at the end of their lease term?

From a research panel of more than 8,000 EV drivers, Hajjar says, “around 24% of today’s EV drivers expect to part (lease ends) with their vehicle in the next 24 months.” PlugInsights estimates, conservatively, that more than 45,000 vehicles will have their lease end in the this time period.

So, PlugInsights posited the obvious question to its audience on whether EV drivers will sign another lease for an electric car or go back to a traditional internal combustion engine (ICE)?

So are you sitting down? With more than 900 respondents, the frontrunner for replacement is the electric vehicle at a resounding 96.9 percent rate. This would be either a complete battery electric vehicle (BEV) or plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV).

1.9 percent of the respondents said that they would return to a ICE car. The regional sample was not provided at the time of the presentation, but the percentages could be skewed in favor of EVs a bit if most were from California.

Those are heavy implications for automakers and electric car technology.  What will Audi, Toyota and other non plug-in supports do with this data? Maybe a real electric car strategy?

NPS Scores

NPS Scores

The other vital data point during this conference session was the Net Promoter Score, mentioned above. At its essence, the Net Promoter Score derives owner satisfaction on how long a person has owned their EV. The equations is simple: number of promoters minus the number of detractors equals a Net Promoter Score.

The NPS score for Tesla Motors went up from 94.2 to 96.6, Volt increased from 79.2 to 85.2 and the Nissan Leaf declined from 66.8 to 49.8. Hajjar adds,“The low LEAF NPS score is still excellent when compared to the top ranked auto brands.” Reasons for the small downward trend for the Leafs could be some “battery degradation” issues.

Hajjar, a market researcher with experience in other industries, says,“These are way above (ICE) automotive averages. The Volt is unbelievably healthy and Tesla NPS number has never been seen in any industry.”

Automakers, your move yes?

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91 responses to "Automakers Take Notice – Data Points to Love Affair with Electric Cars"

  1. ggpa says:

    Comparing the Nissan and Tesla scores makes me think the Leaf needs a bigger battery.

    1. Spec9 says:

      And perhaps a better battery. The heat-harming-the-battery issue was a big black eye.

      1. BraveLilToaster says:

        Funny thing about that. There’s a world outside of Texas, so in places around the world where the climate is less than blistering hot, nobody cares. And stunningly, it appears that people don’t like living in places that are quite so hot, and population densities support that theory.

        1. Koz says:

          …and Florida, Arizona, New Mexico, 10 miles inland California. Cold climates aren’t much better aside from the reduced range not being permanent.

          This lines up with what many of us predicted when Nissan came out touting the Leaf as a 100 mile EV. Real world 50ish mile everyday range would dissapoint once the uninformed figured it out after some time of ownership.

          1. SuperG says:

            You could have the worst of both worlds. In my Honda Civic Hybrid, the Virginia Winter decreased the mileage and the Summer heat destroyed the batteries. When I traded it in for my Volt, it was good riddance.

          2. LarrySchuler says:

            You obviously know little of some of the things you write as facts.
            1. Even after a summer of many +100* days here in central Texas, our Leaf continues to exceed its rated battery range, both in charging and in actual miles driven.
            2. The topography of California varies greatly, and there are many relatively flat areas that allow the cool Pacific breezes to travel far inland.
            BTW, our 2013 Leaf’s MPGe is +163, and we average over 5 miles per kWh. Over 600 miles driven last month, costing us $12.90 in electricity.
            When our lease is up, we will be getting another Nissan Leaf.

            1. Dan says:

              So then, what is your explanation for the relatively poor (and declining) satisfaction score on the LEAF?

      2. JakeY says:

        The battery heat issue was the first thing that popped into my mind too. However, I’m sure the limited range of the pack has to do with it too (can’t wait for Leaf 2.0 to come out).

    2. Vin says:

      It would be interesting to see data for other BEVs with range similar to the LEAF. My guess is they would look something like the Volt.

      So is it safe to say that despite the decline in satisfaction with the LEAF, those owners will likely buy another one, or at the very least migrate to another EV?

      1. Dan says:

        Why would you think other BEVs would have a better score than the LEAF? Do you think the LEAF is uniquely flawed?

        1. Vin says:

          Yes, it does have a unique shortcoming… no battery thermal management system, hence the battery degradation everyone is talking about here.

          1. mike w says:

            Yes it is flawed. It would be sweet if they would have included the NPS score for the Ford Focus and the Meiv

  2. A few quick points of information.

    The 45,000 used vehicles coming onto the market are a combination of lease-ends, trade-ins, and sales, not lease-ends only.

    Our panel is well balanced geographically, so there was no California skew to the findings at all.

    Our main theories on why the LEAF NPS scores decline aren’t about battery degradation (though it may be a contributor, too). We think it has more to do with drivers continually bumping into range limitations (logistical hassle) and the lack of fast charging infrastructure.

    Lastly, it’s true: the Tesla Model S NPS score is stratospheric. Truly. I have never seen a satisfaction level anything like it. It bodes well for future long-range battery-only vehicles on the drawing board!

    1. GeorgeS says:

      Thx for the feedback.
      I kind of thought everyone would jump on the Nissan numbers…….doesn’t seem to be holding sales back though.

      When is the 48 kwh Leaf coming out?

      1. Gibber says:

        Nissan’s next-gen battery will be seen first in the INFINITI BEV 1st Q of 2017 and in the next-gen LEAF shortly after.

    2. Mint says:

      Ooh, welcome to InsideEVs! Always nice to see EV researchers and engineers commenting here.

    3. Assaf says:

      Norman,

      Thank you for the study and for staying around to answer questions!

      A couple more if you don’t mind:

      1. What’s the range of NPS considered “good” for a solid ICE vehicle brand? Can you give examples?

      2. How was the study’s sample recruited?

      Thanks again, Assaf

      ps: as a Leaf lessee nearing the end of our 1st term and grudgingly preparing for a 2nd Leaf, I second your assessment of what bothers Leaf owners most. A decent and reliable L3 network would greatly alleviate range issues.

      1. Follow this link for a look at NPS scores for auto brands: http://www.prweb.com/releases/2012/2/prweb9157073.htm.

        The most recent data is from 2012, but it still makes the point. The LEAF’s “low” NPS score after three years is still very, very, healthy when you compare it to industry averages.

        Regarding where we get our sample, we have have an online panel of about 8000 EV drivers that we draw on. Join the panel at http://panel.pluginsights.com.

    4. Holger says:

      I have a problem understanding the x-axis… what does it mean 36+ months? Teslas older then 3 years = roadsters?

      1. The bottom categories are the length of time the vehicle has been driven (owned or leased). So 36+ means three years or more.

    5. Tesla NPS score must ony reflect Roadsters, as no production Model S is over 24 months old (1st were delivered in June 2012). Re: 24-35 mo & 36 mo age categories.

      For Nissan LEAF NPS, it would be interesting to see differences between 2011/12 and 2013/14 model years. (I know still early, but get feeling more efficient climate control and faster 6 kW charging make a noticable difference)

      1. JakeY says:

        I interpret it differently, I think it’s based on 2010 as the starting year and the Model S is what’s being evaluated for Tesla (with the 24-35 months representing 2012, 36+ representing 2013). That’s why it only has two data points.

    6. DonC says:

      Personally for me the Leaf is a problem because of battery degradation and because it has a low build quality. The Volt scores better on both fronts.

      The Volt is also less hassle since there are no range limitations but the lack of fast charging is a non-issue as is the range limit. Fast charging is a pain for little gain and you can work around the range limit by taking another vehicle.

    7. Dave R says:

      I can tell you that as a LEAF owner my satisfaction has dropped significantly over time, primarily because of loss of capacity over time. Browsing the LEAF forum shows many others with similar results.

      My LEAF is down about 20% capacity after 3 years, in coastal southern California.

      1. Ziv says:

        Dave, if you were going to keep the Leaf long-term, at what point would you pay to get a new battery? Would it be before Nissan acknowledged that the loss was sufficient to be covered under warranty?
        Every time I see a Leaf, a Tesla, a Volt or an i-MIEV (one is parked, charging, near my gym just about every day) it makes me glad to see them on the road, using American electricity to get where they are going.
        I wish the AER on the first gen BEV’s had been a little higher, say 100 miles, but given the government incentive situation, it was a given that they would build cars just sufficient to qualify.

        1. mike w says:

          I’m in the same boat as Dave. 20% capacity loss after 2 years. 15% in the first year and 5% in the second. Not sure if I will ever qualify for a new battery under warranty. BTW Nissan does not sell batteries you have to lease them for almost the cost of a whole new car. Poor business model, poor engineering and poor build quality. that’s why their NPS scores dropped.

          1. Ziv says:

            Mike, are you sure about that? I thought Nissan had a $100 a month lease deal. Admittedly, that adds up to $7200 in a six year period but that would get a Leaf owner out to 10 years of Leaf life, so to speak, if the original pack packs it in after 4 years. $10,800 would get you out to a 13 year old Leaf and cost about half the net cost of buying a Leaf new.
            It isn’t a bargain but it isn’t terrible. I still think the Volt idea works better and probably will for the next 5 or 6 years. When batteries cost less and take up less space, a truly affordable BEV with 200+ miles of AER will be hard to beat.

  3. BraveLilToaster says:

    Less than half of Leaf owners are happy with their cars after 3 years? That doesn’t sound “above average”, but my google-fu fails me when I try to find 3 year customer satisfaction surveys for other cars, so it might be helpful to post some numbers to back up that assertion.

    1. Assaf says:

      I don’t think it’s half who are satistfied.

      Rather, as I understand it, it is the difference between those who would actively encourage others to buy this specific car, and those who would actively discourage others.

      1. RedLeafBlueLeaf says:

        Absolutely right, Net Promoter Score (NPS) is completely different from a satisfaction rating. The LEAF NPS is much higher than NPS’ for most ICEs.

      2. Ziv says:

        I believe the scale goes from +100 to -100, so a 0 is middle ground and a 50 is moderate approval and a -50 is moderate disapproval.

        1. Actually, zero is a very, very weak rating, not an average score. Read more about NPS here: http://www.satmetrix.com/net-promoter/nps-score-model/

          It is measuring likelihood to recommend a brand/service to others. I find it to be a good measure of satisfaction. In a recent previous life I was the CMO and Chief Customer Officer at Guitar Center Inc. We measured customer satisfaction hundreds of thousands of times. NPS correlated closely with just about any measure of satisfaction we used.

    2. CherylG says:

      Yes, you are indeed correct. Less than half is not a good result.

      Other, more complete satisfaction surveys of automobiles reveals that vehicle satisfaction levels in the 40s are the worst performing, least satisfying vehicles.

      1. ggpa says:

        Cheryl … you mention “complete satisfaction surveys”. I wonder

        – are they NPS or not (please compare apples to apples)
        – are you being factual or are you just making stuff up for fun?

      2. ggpa says:

        You write “Less than half is not a good result.”

        Since NPS scores range from -100 to +100, half is 0, not 50 as you probably assumed.

        1. Ziv says:

          I should have read all the comments before I made the comment above, ggpa got there before I did…

    3. Please see my earlier comment regarding NPS norms for other automakers. By no means do I want you to see LEAF satisfaction as a “problem”. It is actually excellent compared to the entire auto category. It’s just a bit less excellent than the Model S and Volt. And it declines over time, it appears.

  4. Brainknot says:

    Nissan must do a free battery exchange for those early adopters who bought 2011-2012 Leaf’s otherwise they will lose them FOReVER

  5. ggpa says:

    Brainknot, BraveLilToaster

    It seems you do not understand NPS ratings, it is not subject to the “grade inflation” that we have in our schools.

    While the Tesla NPS is excellent, the Leaf NPS of 49.6 is great, and better than most ICE cars would score.

  6. Assaf says:

    I just had a thought about that observed “downward trend” with Leaf.

    Remember, this is a cross-sectional study, so the 100 mile range).

    The ones most burned by this were of course the earliest adopters.

    OTOH the 2013 crop of Leaf drivers, come in fully aware of what the car can or cannot do.

    Also…. the 2010-11 buyers and lessees, even till mid-2012 or so, paid way more than the later one. Another big hit to satisfaction, esp. when you see those who come after you get the same car – or an even better one – for less.

    I’m not saying there couldn’t be score-degradation over time for the same people as well. But we could probably tease this apart only a couple of years down the road, seeing whether 2013 Leaf drivers also drop their NPS score like the 2010-11 cohort.

    1. ModernMarvelFan says:

      Doesn’t your logic applies to the Volt owners too?

      2013 (effectively)/2014 Volt has $5K price drop with more range over 2011 and 2012 Volt?

  7. ggpa says:

    Cheryl

    Please read http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Net_promoter_score

    You will learn that “an NPS of +50 is excellent”.

    There is no need for your to add uninformed speculation.

    1. CherylG says:

      Yes, you just corroborated my point. The LEAF is Not rated ‘excellent’, we both agree with that.

      Even worse, the LEAF has a negative trend that is unabated over three years. The longer customers have a LEAF, the less they like it.

      Certainly you can observe the trend along with the absolute number.

      Using this declining trend and absolute number to reach a conclusion that people are ‘in love’ with the LEAF is an incorrect conclusion that ignores the data.

      1. ggpa says:

        Cheryl if excellent is 50, then 49.6 is also excellent for most people, except you, who ignore facts.

        I contradict your statements, not corroborate.

        What happend to your “complete satisfaction surveys”. Can you please stop making stuff up?

        1. CherylG says:

          Facts? What facts have you presented?

          A chart that shows the LEAF in a continual decline with a score below ‘Excellent’ by your own definition.

          From these ‘facts’ you conclude that LEAF owners “love” their car.

          Can you please present the facts that support your conclusion?

          People that are in “love” with a product don’t have a continued, linear decline as the LEAF does.

          You are grasping at straws to reach a conclusion the data does not support.

          1. ggpa says:

            Dear Cheryl who knows no facts and sees no facts, and put words in my mouth and think my statements support her when they do not.

            The first fact I presented was that 50% is considered excellent. The link is there. Please wake up and look at it.

            Fact #2 is that automobile NPS scores is an average of 20.1%. Please wake up and look at it at http://www.slideshare.net/prosperbusinessdev/vehicle-net-promoter-scores

            Now most people can figure out that 49.6% is far greater than the industry average of 20.1%. If you take enough time, you might figure it out as well.

            By the way, once you understand how this number thing works, you’ll be blown away by the Volt and Tesla scores, which are even better. Really they are!!

            You mentioned “complete satisfaction surveys”. This is the third time I ask you to show us the facts are not just made up.

            1. Saabluster says:

              ggpa Cheryl is nothing but a troll. Not worth your time.

                1. Rick says:

                  If the score is the difference between those who are satisfied and those who are not, the the Leaf’s score of 50 means 75% like it and 25% don’t. That’s still pretty high, even though nowhere near the others in the study.

  8. Grant Gerke says:

    Thanks Norman for the extra information on the LEAF score and the 45,000 cars with leases ends, sales and trade-ins.

    Great research!

  9. scott franco says:

    I only know of two stories about Leaf leases that ended. One was a friend of ours that traded a 2011 in for a 2014. The other was a coworker that bought a leaf returned from a lease in 2011.

    1. Right, my data is showing that the “used EV boom” is just about to occur. So while there aren’t many second hand EVs on the street today, there will be shortly.

  10. Anon says:

    Nissan might want to consider moving that battery update up a bit? *shrugs*

    It’s amazing how beloved Model Ss are by their owners. 🙂

    1. CherylG says:

      Model S? Huh?

      How many Model S are 24 to 36 months old ?

      1. Anon says:

        Troll on baby. Troll on. 🙂

  11. ffbj says:

    I guess George Clooney was not part of 96.6% who
    were happy with their vehicles. Another example of how celebrity carries much more weight than it should. Celebrity views are probably of much less value than more, as they are often considered.

    1. Spec9 says:

      But he’s pretty dedicated to the cause. He never publicly dissed them, someone else told that story.

      1. Anon says:

        Probably CherylG. 😉

  12. no comment says:

    it is incorrect to speak of a “maturing electric car market” because it is still a small, immature market that will probably end up looking very different from the current market.

    the high NPS scores (for even the Leaf) are no surprise because EVs attract enthusiasts more than do other cars. even though most people are probably satisfied with their cars overall, their cars are an afterthought to a certain extent so people aren’t going to be motivated to actively promote them.

    i would propose an variation for a future study to include information on how many cars in total are owned by respondents. i would expect that few people would own a Leaf as an only car and that most Tesla owners have sufficient income that they would be owning multiple cars anyway. owning multiple cars can offset any perceived inconveniece of BEVs.

    a related question would be to explore how range anxiety presents in the actual marketplace environment. you could ask questions like how many times in the previous 3 weeks (or so) the respondent had to alter travel or travel planning because of their EV? this could include detours to find recharging and the time spent waiting for the vehicle to recharge suffienctly to continue travel as well as people who actively planned their travel around a need to find charging capacity en route and people who made a vehicle substitution to use another vehicle because they were concerned that they may not have been able to conveniently complete their travels in their EV.

    these kinds of inquiries attempt to cut through the EV enthusiasm and to give an insight into how likely the general market will be to adopt EVs. EV enthusiasts will be willing to put up with inconveniences, but most people want to just get in their cars and be able to assume that their cars will allow them to get to where they want to get.

    1. Jeff D says:

      All the extra questions would not make any difference to the NPS, because a person would already be taking those thoughts in to consideration when deciding if they would promote or not. You said that EV owners are likely to have multiple vehicles. Wouldn’t that mean that they have a direct point of comparison and still would promote the EV more so than ICE.

      1. no comment says:

        the extra questions would give insight into the likelihood of how the EV market needs to change so that the EV market will be able to expand beyond being a cottage industry that appeals primarily to EV enthusiasts.

    2. Grant Gerke says:

      Couple of points:

      1. Nissan, Tesla, and Chevy are coming out with 2nd generation cars in 2015, so this market is staring to mature along with charging infrastructure.

      2. Regarding the high NPS, the emphasis of the article is to show that automakers should devise a strategy to sell and market these cars in greater numbers. Like you said, most people are going to have two cars and one will be an ICE. That’s 80% of the N. American market, I believe.

      So how does the marketing face of GM look across N. America if they can be the one to sell the 2nd car that achieves 125-35 mpg (New Volt w/ 50mpgE) for the family that has a work commute around 35 miles a day?

      I think that’s the rub here, people are astounded with their Volts…its MPGs and new tech, which translates to the astounding NPS for….GM. Yes, GM.

      A rising tide lifts all boats, no?

  13. ffbj says:

    Oh yeah like when owners say they will never buy another gasoline car again by huge percentages.
    That means nothing.

  14. ModernMarvelFan says:

    Regardless of the LEAF trend (which hopefully will improve or stablize over time), it is a fact that they are all better than the ICE cars.

    Tesla S is the best b/c it is the BEST plugin car on the market today.

    Volt is relatively high b/c it is the “best” PHEV/EREV on the market today.

    LEAF is still high, but its trend can be attributed to other competitions. LEAF is no longer the “best” BEV on the market once the Tesla Model S is out. Now with many other BEVs on the market, the gaps are narrowing.

    The same would eventually happen to Volt.

    That is why both platform needs major revision soon.

  15. Martin T says:

    Volt still the best PHEV / EREV value and all rounder.

    Try driving your Tesla or LEAF on a flat battery!

    1. David says:

      With that reasoning, get an ICE and never have range anxiety.

      1. no comment says:

        that is not the correct way to look at it. i think that the reality is that gasoline is not going to disappear any time in the foreseeable future. so the challenge is to find an intelligent way of integrating EV and ICE technologies to *reduce* use of gasoline.

        that is why the Chevrolet Volt is the better model for a general purpose automobile, while BEVs can be very useful as special purpose vehicles (local commuting, &c). the difference being that the Chevrolet Volt can be a person’s only car; something that would be a bit risky with a BEV.

        1. Jeff D says:

          I see range anxiety to be an issue less about actual range and more about available infrastructure. Most EVs have a range that covers daily driving. The concern comes when taking longer trips and not knowing if charging infrastructure will be there. This isn’t any different than driving in an ICE through remote parts of the west and wondering if it was a mistake driving past the last gas station you saw.

          1. Nate says:

            I’ve lived many years in MT and have driven through remote parts of the west … many times. Personally I think the charging infrastructure situation is very different than driving a ICE car in remote areas.

          2. no comment says:

            there are also times when you run a lot of errands in a metropolitan area and can easily run up enough miles to exhaust stored battery charge. even if you have a public charging infrastructure, it still takes a lot longer to recharge a battery than it takes to refill a gas tank. that is the advantage of the EREV approach as used in the Chevrolet Volt; you can use electricity most of the time but use gasoline when you need to do so without having to stop to recharge. so the Volt allows you to do most of your recharging at home, where it is more convenient.

        2. BravelilToaster says:

          Gasoline might not “go away” anytime soon, but considering the disastrous efficiency (nevermind monetary cost) of refining it from *tar sands*, the fact that we should be switching away from it at all cost will become increasingly clear as we run out of the light sweet crude that most certainly *is* going away.

          It’s the job of manufacturers like Nissan and Tesla to find a way to stop using it before it all runs out, regardless of whether it running out is the problem. It’s supply is certainly not the only problem with oil.

          1. no comment says:

            the intelligent use of EVs is to reduce the amount of gasoline used. for example, i rarely use gasoline during the summer months in my Volt; most of my gasoline usage is during the winter months when i get less EV range, and even then i use less than i would if i had an ICE vehicle.

            the Chevrolet Volt provides enough range so as to displace most gasoline driving and has a battery that can be fully recharged overnight from a 120V outlet, so i don’t pay extra for battery capacity that i can’t always recharge overnight. while i understand calls for more battery capacity, battery capacity isn’t free and you can only recover about 50 miles of EV range in an overnight charge anyway.

            the other nice thing about the Chevrolet Volt EREV model is that i was able to do a long distance trip and my operation was just like a gasoline vehicle with the advantages of smooth EV operation; a refill only took minutes and i was able to get 300+ miles on a fill up, so i wasn’t having to stop every hour to refill.

            then when i got back home, i was back to not using gasoline again…

  16. Murrysville EV says:

    As a 12 Leaf driver halfway through my 3-year lease, I would look first for another EV to replace the Leaf – what brand, I don’t know. The mythical Model Y, or a longer-range Leaf are the main contenders.

    However, I want to know what will become of all these cars when they go off lease? Their resale values will be terrible.

    1. Nate says:

      They are already on the market. I don’t think resale should be that bad. I wouldn’t rule buying a used one someday. Even with decreased range it would still make a great 2nd car around the house. Battery degradation scares me less compared to the reliability and maintenance of used vehicles in other segments. I’ve been kicking around the idea of a used minivan. Even the more reliable brands have some problem areas (Many or which would be non issues with a used LEAF).

      They’ll be reports that resale has plummeted, but that will be from sources that are either lazy or just want to make the car look bad, by not taking into account the Federal (and in many cases) credits. My neighbors in WA get a huge tax savings (8-9%) buying a LEAF instead of other non BEV’s. On a lease the difference isn’t as much (because the tax wouldn’t be on 100% of the car). The federal and state credits help make it a win-win for people buying, leasing, leasing companies, and people buying 2nd hand. They’ll be reports that will spin the numbers differently but they probably won’t tell the whole story. Overall the LEAF is a reliable car with low cost of ownership and high owner satisfaction. The true resale value reflecting original incentives will be just fine.

  17. Saabluster says:

    I took part in that survey. Kind of cool to see the results of it as I rarely get to see that. Someone mentioned wondering if the study was California centric? Well I’m from Texas:)

    1. Grant Gerke says:

      I wrote the article (and at the time of publishing did not know whether there was a regional skew towards California. Valid point.

      However, Norman Hajjar, Managing Director, PlugInsights Research confirmed that this was a national sample.

  18. David says:

    I spoke with a Nissan executive a while back. He claimed the heat resistance battery would be released midstream in April.
    He denied that battery degradation is even an issue.
    Nissan not admitting the problem is a problem.
    Introducing a major battery improvement without admitting it is trying to ignore the problem exists.

    If Nissan introduces a heat resistant battery and extended range option, the Leaf would do very well. There still are no other nationwide BEV competitors.

    1. Jeff D says:

      I can see the Kia Soul EV being some healthy competition for the Leaf when it comes out in the Fall.

  19. ffbj says:

    Yes, nationwide Leaf is the only affordable game in town. I too find them to be very defensive about their cars, ev’s.

  20. leaf owner says:

    We have owned a Leaf since mid December. We drive it mostly around town and both me and my teenage son use it. We always fight for use of the Leaf – our ICE cars sit in the garage a lot. My son said to me a few weeks back “Dad, I don’t think I can ever own a gas car” Friends of his have BMWs and Mercedes — yet his friends find the Leaf as the coolest car… Once the young folks grab onto this revolution — there will be no turning back…

    And yes – I wish it had a 150 mile range.

  21. Mark in Florida says:

    I’m a 30 month/25Kmi Leaf Leaser in Florida who has two bars down and knew my battery was going to degrade. I’m still very happy with the car and get 55-75 miles on a charge depending on highway usage…but I’m glad I leased v1 technology because of the range degradation. It’s a big deal to build and launch a version one car, especially when you’re going for low cost…and Nissan did a good job. I’m hoping that version two designs out hot climate range degradation.

  22. ggpa says:

    Grant

    Thanks for the great article, I have some observations.

    1) People will continue buying EVs

    2) More context about NPS would have been great. In a world where our schools give A’s (90%) to almost everybody, it is easy to think that 49.6% NPS is bad, when it is not.

    3) About the Leaf score … every year one team loses the Superbowl, but they still are a very, very good team, just not the very best. Likewise Leaf’s #3 position is still great, but Nissan should strive to improve.

    4) IMO the most amazing result here is the Volt score, and while the score is somewhat less that the Tesla, bear in mind the Volt costs way, way less than Tesla.

    1. Nate says:

      I agree, espcially with #2 and #3. As a kid my favorite team was the Broncos, and it still is. So I know about Super Bowl losses I’ve been through many!

    2. no comment says:

      to put this in context, i would think that most cars have an NPS near zero; lemons have a negative NPS and well liked cars have a slightly positive NPS. in that context, an NPS of +50 (as is the case with the Leaf) is pretty darned impressive on its face.

    3. Grant Gerke says:

      Here’s a comparison of regular ICEs, see link below.

      Draw your own conclusions.

      https://www.dropbox.com/s/3hienc79prjvpnu/1405comnps%20copy.png

      1. ggpa says:

        Grant

        What you present is NOT “a comparison of regular ICEs”. You excluded the regular and gave “a comparison of the few top ICEs with the very best scores”.

        Sadly this is not helping people get a good overview, but it does illustrate that the #3 EV is in the ballpark of the very best ICEs.

        Will you please give the complete list??? One that shows several well known makes at 10% or less like the complete list (somewhat dated) list at http://www.slideshare.net/prosperbusinessdev/vehicle-net-promoter-scores.

        1. Grant Gerke says:

          GGPA:
          I wrote the article, didn’t conduct the research which is still winding itself out to three years.

          The point of the article, from here, is not an overview of NPS scores but what are automakers going to do with this information for these outliers in the automotive category.

  23. If you’re interested to see for yourself why the Tesla Model S and other EVs have such high NPS, come out to an Electric Car Guest Drive event this week in the San Francisco Bay Area.
    Talk to owners who like their cars enough to make themselves available on a weekend afternoon to talk to anyone interested in EVs. And then take my Tesla Midel S for a spin. (Really).

    Google knows.

  24. Dan says:

    Not to pile on here, but I have to wonder how many of the 1.9% of responders (who indicated that they would return to a traditional ICE car at the end of their EV lease) were LEAF drivers.

    I read a lot of EV forums, and I can’t recall *any* post from a Volt or Model S driver complaining about the drivetrain, but I can think of several LEAF drivers who were displeased with the LEAF’s real-world range.

    I would think the former would tend to result in responses of “I will still get an EV as my next car, just a different one,” while the latter would result in more responses along the line of “EV technology is not ready for prime-time yet.”

  25. Dave Connell says:

    All our year round drivers of personal conversions at MEVA selected LiFePo4 Technology for their wide variety of makes and models of EVs.
    I’ve seen battery operational test results of ‘Good’ from -40oF to +176oF.
    When Nissan discovers the cure for heat, they’ll likely come up for the cure for deep cold at the same time.
    This last winter, I didn’t hear any complaints, even with prolonged cold stretches.
    When somebody catches on, store-bought EVs will come with batteries that handle distance and extreme temperatures also.
    Hopefully this will ‘warm’ up the communication style of the earlier participants & remind each of us that the enemy is ICE drivers, not EV enthusiests. We won’t covert them by being disrespectful of their point of view, any more than we will by disrespect opposing views of EV ‘Family Members’.
    Grampa Dave Connell
    Founder Manitoba Electric Vehicle Association 🙂

  26. Grant Gerke says:

    This is from “Driving Electric, A Journey” blog, which documents a Nissan leaf and solar charging. Some stats on one Volt:

    2011 Nissan LEAF SL (Blue Ocean) Placed in Service: March 30, 2011
    Our 2011 LEAF’s Longest Range Full Charge to Empty (“Turtle”): 86.5 miles (at 4.0 mi/kWh on dash), April 2011.
    Our 2011 LEAF’s July 2012 Range, Full Charge to Turtle: 75 miles (at 4.1 mi/kWh on dash)
    Our 2011 LEAF’s Most Recent Range, Full charge to Turtle: 69.9 miles (at 4.1 mi/kWh on dash) June 11, 2013

    http://drivingelectric.blogspot.com/2014/04/eight-months-in-our-nissan-leaf-another.html