Nissan Developing Better Next-Generation LEAF Despite Head Winds

2 years ago by Mark Kane 121

Nissan works on 60 kWh battery

Nissan works on 60 kWh battery

2016 Nissan LEAF

2016 Nissan LEAF

Automotive News notes that Nissan is developing a more capable next-generation LEAF, despite the current sales slow down (in U.S. and Japan) and cheaper gasoline.

Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn hopes that electric cars sales will improve due to environmental reasons:

“In discussing the Leaf’s future, Ghosn also hints at a shift in marketing strategy. He acknowledges that U.S. consumers have focused mainly on the economics of owning a battery-powered car. Their equation is how much of the monthly household budget can be saved by not filling up a gasoline tank — a math equation that loses its excitement when gasoline drops to $1.95 a gallon, as it is in some areas today.

Ghosn says that the marketing focus instead should be environmental.”

Ghosn said:

“Thinking that you’re going to sell electric cars for economic reasons is somewhat of an illusion. You’re going to sell them more on emissions and incentives.”

The sales decreased in part because consumers were waiting on the 2016 model year prices, and the longer range version, which turned out to be a 30 kWh LEAF with 107 miles of EPA-rated range.

New 60 kWh Battry Found In IDS Concept Fits Snugly Into Almost The Same Space As Current 30 kWh Version (new pack is slightly taller) - photo courtesy of Daily Kanban

New 60 kWh Battry Found In IDS Concept Fits Snugly Into Almost The Same Space As Current 30 kWh Version (new pack is slightly taller)

The next-generation LEAF could get up to a 60-kWh battery pack (as poorly disguised inside the recent IDS Concept debut in Japan), which would translate to a true 200-mile range.

The prototypes of 60 kWh packs are ready, so now the Japanese manufacturer just needs to prepare for production.

On the other hand, new batteries will accept more power, while charging – like 100 kW, and are more durable.

Nissan is working on lighter materials (CFRP, like in the BMW i3), better aerodynamics, autonomous drive, wireless charging and more.

Source: Nissan, Automotive News

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121 responses to "Nissan Developing Better Next-Generation LEAF Despite Head Winds"

  1. kdawg says:

    Seems like economics and the environment need to go more hand & hand, not one or the other.

    1. Nonda Trimis says:

      OK – then charge the true cost of gasoline at the pump: Military protection of resources, tax breaks to big oil, environmental clean-up contingency. That brings the price up to about 5.00 per gallon like it is in Europe – bingo!

      1. ClarksonCote says:

        Yes, I do wish they’d take this opportunity to raise the gas tax to bring it in line with out infrastructure needs while also factoring in externalities not presently reflected in the cost (military, environmental, etc)

      2. EVcarNut says:

        FYI…Gasoline in Italy I aprox….$8.00 US give or take a bit per US gallon…

        1. Someone out there says:

          Wow, I thought Sweden was bad with ~$5.50/gal right now.

        2. zzzzzzzzzz says:

          Electricity rate isn’t cheap there either. E.g. around 0.23 EUR/kWh in Italy, 0.30 EUR/kWh in Germany and Denmark. Many people park on street or random parking place without any electric outlets available.

      3. mo says:

        100% correct. No one ever, (media) EVER writes about how much Americans pay for the military protection of the oil trade. If it were any other product, the Free market would force the companies selling the product to pay for its own transport protection. OPEC countries do not. Big Oil doesn’t either. Can you imagine if EV car companies demanded the U.S to protect battery shipments being transported from a war torn country in Africa? And then lobby America to fight a War to protect EV battery interests? But for Oil we do this ALL the time. Ridiculous

        1. super390 says:

          Unfortunately, that’s not true. Navies have always served as a subsidy for trading nations. And that has always led to interventionism and imperialism. When Britain’s East India Company was selling opium in China and the emperor tried to outlaw it, the Royal Navy crushed Chinese resistance and conquered Hong Kong. This blood money helped pay for Britain’s industrialization (& thru its bankers, America’s). The taxpayers always get stuck with the bill.

          1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

            super390 said:

            “Navies have always served as a subsidy for trading nations. And that has always led to interventionism and imperialism… The taxpayers always get stuck with the bill.”

            This is a difference in degree, not kind. The USA has a military budget bigger than the next seven countries, all put together! The question isn’t merely whether or not the U.S. taxpayer — and the blood and lives of American servicemen and women — are subsidizing falsely “cheap” oil imported from the Mideast. The question is just how much they’re supporting it. Just how much would it add to the at-the-pump price if all that were paid for by the oil companies, instead of the American taxpayer? I don’t know, but clearly it would be a lot.

            I’m not so sure that Great Britain using its military during the Opium Wars is such a good example. Great Britain had a powerful navy, yes. But it had a small army, more suited to fighting relatively small native uprisings than to conquering and occupying nations.

            The U.S. military-industrial complex has painted America into a corner, having unfortunately convinced the American public that it has to eternally maintain the most powerful navy and the most powerful army and the most powerful air force in the world.

            Even worse than the cost in tax dollars, having all that military power has lead our country to conduct wars of aggression, most notably in Iraq; wars with absolutely no justification in terms of our national interests. Neither moral justification nor practical/ realpolitik justification. As a result, during the Bush Jr. administration, America went from being the most loved country internationally, to the most hated. We’re paying the price for that, with every terrorist attack on American forces or American civilians.

            The great irony is that having the most powerful military in the world has made America more vulnerable, not safer.

            1. Dave K. says:

              So why don’t the “financial conservatives” see this? I’m appalled by how much money we waste pissing people off and getting our best military people killed…

        2. super390 says:

          I forgot to mention an even more bizarre use of British military force in economics. When British attempts to drill for oil in Iran needed a bailout before WW1, British naval lord Winston Churchill had the Royal Navy actually buy the company, Anglo-Persian Oil, & kept it going long enough to strike oil. That company is now BP, and yes, it was responsible for demanding the overthrow of Mossadegh’s democracy, which was carried out by the CIA in 1953 in exchange for Britain sharing its control over Iranian oil with US firms. Which led to every grudge between Iran & the US today.

      4. Speculawyer says:

        If you count the military costs, the health effects cost, the climate change costs, the oil spill costs, and the toxic pollution costs . . . I think it would be much more than just $5/gallon. At least double that.

        1. KUD says:

          Totally agree

          ++1

          1. Dave K. says:

            +++1

        2. SJC says:

          Americans would never allow higher gas prices. It is like asking children what they want for dinner. They chose what they want, not what they need.

      5. EVDUDE says:

        Good idea – just a slight correction. I live in Europe and here we lie awake at night dreaming of $5 per gallon oil. Range is $6.00-$8.50

      6. Craig Capurso says:

        how about we stop subsidizing big oil and bring home all of our military you just want it to get worse.

    2. Priusmaniac says:

      Higher fuel price is not necessarily the tipping point since otherwise there would be way more ev in Europe than in the US. The real tipping point is still the range, so the next 60 KWh Leaf with 200 miles and the Model 3 with 200 miles as well are going to be the two real game changers.

      1. Rich says:

        To elaborate on your point, the range needs to be a minimum 200 miles per charge at an affordable price. Tesla currently offers a couple vehicles with over 200 miles of real world range. The problem is that very few people can afford them.
        Personally, I think $35K is still too high but it’s a great start.

        1. Mike616 says:

          You are correct. The median income family cannot afford a Tesla yet.

          And you are correct that 200+ miles of range seems to have been the real tipping point. Tesla sales eating away at Jag, BMW and Mercedes.

          This is going to get interesting.
          Will there be lines for the 150-200 mile Leaf?

          1. zzzzzzzzzz says:

            No yet unless they drop Leaf price significantly.
            They will also need DC charging infrastructure everywhere – hopefully it will appear.
            Places like EU have high taxes on fuel, but at the same time most people in cities there park on street or outside parking lots without any outlets. Electricity is overpriced as well, so not so much economy on fuel savings. And eventually governments will not be able to afford loss of gas tax revenue and will need to tax electric cars some other way – this already happened in some US states.

            1. Rich says:

              I expect Nissan to do just that. I think Nissan will eventually drop the price of the leaf into the $15k to $18k price range while making modest gains in range. There have been reports that Nissan plans to increase range in 2017 to 120 miles and then 150 miles range in 2018. This is the tell. The Nissan cannot stay competitive at a $35K price point with a 120 mile range car. Taking the different announcements together, I expect Nissan to release a new model at $35K with 200+ range and keep the leaf at 120 to 150 mile range in the low $20k range.

              1. Weis says:

                I so hope you are right but I am not holding my breath. I was really disappointed when Nissan raised the price on the 30KW Leaf. They should have kept the price the same with the added range. That would have really boosted sales.

      2. Someone out there says:

        I agree. I think the LEAF has picked clean the low hanging fruit of the real EV enthusiasts or radical greenies. They now need to reach a little higher up to get the people who are interested in EVs but are skeptical about the short range of the current LEAF. 200 miles per charge opens up a much larger market segment.

      3. EVDUDE says:

        Not so fast, availability is severely limited in Europe. We can’t buy more EVs than are produced…

        1. Rich says:

          Good to know about inventory shortages in EU. I keep an eye on inventory levels in the USA and have never noticed overall inventory shortages here. I’m sure there are places in the USA that don’t stock the Leaf, but in a 100 to 200 mile range most people should have access to purchase a Leaf.

    3. Anon says:

      Right. Tax Carbon, and the market will automatically shift to do the right thing with respect to the environment. Didn’t we just have a discussion about this in another thread???

      Reminder: Gasoline is a Carbon Based Fuel.

      1. Ziv says:

        Cheap energy, usually carbon based, is a huge advantage in growing an economy. It may be that a combination of nukes, wind and solar can supplant coal and natural gas for electricity generation, but renewables alone probably can’t do it.
        And simply increasing the price of energy to discourage the use of coal and/or nat gas would be penny wise and pound foolish. We need more nukes for the base load generation of electricity and due to the anti nuke hysteria, that probably won’t happen.

        1. zzzzzzzzzz says:

          No way can nuclear help intermittent energy sources like solar/wind. Most cost of nuclear plant is capital cost. You pay interest to bank no matter if you generate electricity or not. So it makes no sense to stop/start nuclear plant when sun stops/starts shining or wind starts/stop blowing, even if it would be possible technically. It can be helped by newer natural gas plants that can be started in seconds, but then excess solar/wind should compete by price with natural gas price only (just fuel price), and it is very cheap.
          Solar/wind already reached its maximum in Germany and some other European countries. Germany is still pushing forward, but other European countries scaled down subsidies as they have no use for surplus solar/wind energy. Households in Germany pay around 0.30 EUR/kWh as result.

          In theory, you can use batteries/pumped hydro/compressed air/power-to-gas to store solar/wind energy. But lowest projected storage cost 0.20 EUR/kWh exceeds even peak wholesale electricity price, so it makes little economical sense for now.

          Carbon capture that can be used for existing gas/coal plants would make more sense, but nobody is paying for it so far and technology isn’t developed yet.

          1. ziv says:

            z, I think you are mistaken about how base load electricity generation works. Nukes stay on all the time, no throttling, or very little. Once they are built they aren’t that expensive.
            If you are concerned about global warming and you aren’t pushing for more nuclear power, you haven’t looked at the numbers.

          2. mr. M says:

            Where is your lowest projected cost coming from? This is more like actual cost, but if batteries evolve 0,1€/kWh stored or even 0,035€/kWh stored is possible (at 100€/kWh with 1000 cycles or 250€/kWh with 7000 cycles). Then wind + battery will be only 0,10€/kWh production cost or solar at 0,13/kWh.

          3. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

            zzzzzzzzzz said:

            “No way can nuclear help intermittent energy sources like solar/wind. Most cost of nuclear plant is capital cost.”

            If most of our power came from nuclear power plants, as it does in France, then we wouldn’t need to worry about how intermittent solar and wind are. With nuclear power plants providing steady, dependable power 24/7, rain or shine, winter or summer, we wouldn’t need to invest in large-scale energy storage to make up for the erratic and undependability nature solar and wind power, either.

            It’s too bad that anti-nuclear hysteria is so heavily promoted by the news media and by “green” advocates that no rational public discussion of the huge advantages of nuclear power, both in terms of dependability and in terms of public health, is possible. Nobody talks about the estimated 15,000 to 30,000 Americans killed every single year by coal-fired power plant exhausts, yet the extremely rare, once-in-a-lifetime nuclear power plant accidents like Chernobyl — which killed only an estimated 4000 people — or Fukushima, which killed only 2 nuclear power plant workers — get painted as absolutely unacceptable risks by the news media.

            If humans were rational creatures, then decades ago we would have replaced every single coal-fired power plant with a clean, and over the long term much safer, nuclear power plant.

            1. Ziv says:

              That is so true pushmi. But if you share the anti-nuke hysteria the propaganda looks like “common sens” because it is repeated over and over again.
              If you are concerned about air quality or global warming and you are against nuclear power, you are working against your own interests.

      2. Weis says:

        “Tax Carbon” Of course you are right but I just don’t see it happening. Not until New York City starts to flood.

    4. Bret says:

      I was thinking the same thing as I read this article.

      In order to get the LEAF selling in mass market volumes, they need to appeal to all potential buyers, not just the environmentalists. They should have learned that lesson years ago from the polar bear commercials.

      The obvious formula for success is:

      1. More Range
      2. Better performance
      3. Mainstream styling
      4. Market to Everyone

      1. I really hope Nissan takes your advice.

      2. zzzzzzzzzz says:

        It is fine, but when you add all these nice to have features, you get price closer to Model S. And you already have that niche market filled by Model S, no point for Nissan to fight over few customers.

        1. mr. M says:

          2 seconds better performance would be enough and price regarding range will remain the same as batteries drop in price. So only 1000-5000 more dependant on added sensors and better performance.

    5. BraveLilToaster says:

      Absolutely. If a 60kwh Leaf only cost $16k, nobody would care how much gas cost. It would be a superior product at the same price and with the added benefit of lower cost of ownership. People are flocking to the Leaf in the one place where they *are* cost-competitive, and it’s not because Norwegians like polar bears.

  2. Darth says:

    Ghosn should take a note from Tesla – sell EVs based on performance. A LEAF with 60Kwh battery, sportier look and more powerful motor would be a hit.

    1. Foob says:

      Yeah, the IDS concept is pretty clearly inspired by this idea. I’d love a BEV hot-hatch. GM have talked about the Bolt’s ‘aggressive performance’, but it doesn’t really look the part.

    2. EVcarNut says:

      Not everyone wants an EV that sucks Volts like crazy & goes like Mad! 0 to 60 in 7 seconds-ish would be Fast enough for most 0f us, Range , Reliability & Safety would be the key factor for the majority of the people, All this speed is Not Necessary. I would Not want it, So I could Pay More & sacrifice Range…

      1. Pete says:

        I completely agree. Tesla has put too much emphasis on acceleration. A lower performance model with better reliability, tire life etc. suits me better than what they have.

        1. mr. M says:

          Me too.

      2. Trace says:

        Speak for yourself. I’d love it if they dropped an electric power train into the iDX concept. Little peppier motor. Around 5sec to 60 range would be great.

        What you want is already available, sans range.

        1. Just_Chris says:

          What we need are more options, the choice in most parts of the world is still pretty limited. When I bought my leaf my choices were a volt for $50+k, an outlander for $50k or a leaf for around $40k. That is not choice, if I was after a petrol ICE car I could start at about $12k and go all the way up. There is more choice of body style, cost, performance, colour trim, etc… in 1 model of ICE car than the entire EV market in most countries.

      3. BraveLilToaster says:

        That’s entirely true.

        But not everyone wants an appliance car either. I suspect that there are more people who would like a sportier hatchback than a car that looks and drives like medicine, that you only use because it’s good for you.

        After all, it’s Mazda’s entire raison d’etre.

        1. BraveLilToaster says:

          On the other hand, looking at Nissan’s sales sheet (http://insideevs.com/nissan-leaf-sales-hit-all-time-high-in-canada/), I would say that as much as people *say* they want sports cars, they simply don’t *buy* them.

    3. Rob Andrews says:

      +1000
      0-60 in less than 7 seconds is a good start!

      Tesla bottom of the line is closer to 5 seconds

      You want it to be faster than a Honda Accord v6!

  3. ClarksonCote says:

    The marketing focus should be performance, quietness, smooth acceleration, convenience, etc.

    Fuel savings and the environment should both be icings on the cake. Neither should be the focus.

    1. David Murray says:

      My thoughts exactly. EVs are just plain better than ICEs in almost every way except range and refill time, and those two issues are rapidly closing in on ICE.

      1. EVcarNut says:

        Yea! I think all this Global Warming Will help Melt away The “ICE” Vehicles , In due time.

    2. Murrysville EV says:

      And lower maintenance is a real plus.

      I – and most Americans – could give a hoot about the environmental improvements, but they’re nice to have.

      1. arne-nl says:

        You wouldn’t mind breathing in Beijing air all day every day?

        You wouldn’t mind going fishing and finding all fish belly up?

        You wouldn’t mind having to scrape of the oil after a dip in the ocean?

        After all you don’t give a hoot, right? 😉

        Don’t say things you don’t mean.

    3. KenZ says:

      Agreed. For me environment is the sell, but that’s the exception. You need to sell to the general public on price/value or performance/desire.

  4. bingo says:

    Bingo!

    “…sell EVs based on performance. A LEAF with 60Kwh battery, sportier look and more powerful motor would be a hit.”

    “…performance, quietness, smooth acceleration, convenience”

    1. EVcarNut says:

      Bingo! All in a nut shell……….

  5. larry4pyrto says:

    Has Nissan made any statements on the use of battery thermal management in the next gen Leaf? Seems to me if they can eliminate it, it puts them a step ahead of the competition.

    1. Speculawyer says:

      Well, they don’t use it now and it hurt them. I think Thermal management is needed. You don’t want the batteries to overheat when fast-charging and in hot climates. And you don’t want the batteries to lose so much range in cold climates.

      Have a thermal management system that keeps the batteries at ideal temperature when hooked up to AC>

      1. zzzzzzzzzz says:

        Thermal management also costs extra money, adds extra weights, complexity and many points of failure. Failure of some cooling hose and resulting failure of engine is common on older gas cars.
        If Nissan can achieve acceptable battery degradation with heat-resistant battery chemistry as they claim now, it would be major cost saving. Few people living in desert climates may choose other car models, that is all.

  6. David Murray says:

    I know many things affect gasoline prices. But let’s face it, if it were still $4.00 per gallon EVs would be selling a lot better. Oil companies are bound to realize this and may give them further incentive to keep the price down. So in a way, gasoline drivers can probably thank us EV drivers for their cheap gasoline. Big Oil never had a serious competitor until recently.

    1. Josh says:

      Oil companies don’t care at all about EVs right now. Bankruptcy is on the minds of every company except the Super Majors and Refiners.

      If Oil doesn’t get back to $75/barrel in 18 months, the industry will seriously consolidate (and hopefully never return if EVs progress).

    2. Murrysville EV says:

      EVs might sell somewhat better with $4 gas, but not much better.

      The word is out about the massive depreciation of the Leaf, and questions still linger about battery degradation.

      Remember, Ford F-150s were selling in record numbers when gas was $4. EVs remain a tough sell.

      1. Rich says:

        $35K for a vehicle that only gets 107 miles of range is the limiting factor in sales. Even with the federal tax credit, IMO it’s still overpriced for a 107 mile range vehicle. That’s 107 miles in perfect weather. There’s a limited number of people with the financial means and the will to buy a vehicle like this. Sooner or later, that segment will reach saturation and sales will drop like a rock.
        Regarding depreciation, IMO once BEVs stabilize around a 300 mile per charge offering, depreciation should stabilize. Large improvements in year over year battery degradation should also help stabilize depreciation.
        Tesla has great stats around battery degradation but Tesla isn’t exactly an affordable vehicle for most. 2017 and the Tesla Model 3 can’t get here soon enough!

        1. Jeff Songster says:

          The 107 miles is the conservative “I have to drive 70MPH everywhere I go with the flipping heater on full blast…” rating. My 2015 is rated at 84 miles and I can routinely get that. I do drive at a moderate 55 to 65 legal limit on the highway for short bursts up to 70ish… but mostly I drive on city streets. I have gotten up to 100 when driving on old rural highways and backroads that usually top out at 45MPH. The newer car is rated 107 and I’d bet I could easily get 120 reliably in one. I am also anxiously awaiting the model III but am currently quite happy with my LEAFs.

      2. Marshal G says:

        Depreciation is a double edged sword. If you bought a 1st gen EV as an investment, then yes you’ll be sorely disappointed. On the other hand, a young person can pick up a relatively low mileage 2013 Leaf in the Puget Sound area for $13k. If you have a place to charge at night and don’t have a ridiculous commute then you could have a very dependable car for next to nothing that is perfectly suited for the PNW and should last many years.

      3. DesiCoder says:

        IMO depreciation model for EVs needs to be revamped! Agreed that batteries will die off but OTOH electric motors are tuff and can easily last past 250k+ miles. Some numbers:
        – 250k miles @ 50mph = 5000hrs of operation or roughly 200 days @24×7 (for perspective 🙂
        – Battery pack replacement every 5-7 years, presently $5000 for Leaf replacement pack
        – Tires every 80k miles: $700
        – brake pads & wiper fluids etc

        My assertion is that since such little work is required for EVs to run past 250k. realistically the depreciation model for ICE is not applicable here. Most ICE vehicles need considerable work to keep running past 150k let alone 250 hence the loss in value (compounded by value of time and hassle) is reflected as depreciation. This is absent is EVs. short of battery pack and tires I dont see why EV shouldn’t keep going for a long time in ‘antique mode’.

        So to summarize at some point there will be an aha moment when there will be a collective realization that if not for new tech features (& accidents) the ev once on road will never be obsolete.

    3. zzzzzzzzzz says:

      OPEC can’t control market anymore, they are fragmented and have only 40% or so of the oil market anyway. Commodity market bubble produced too many independent oil producers around the world and most of their oil fields are not going away even if they go bankrupt and change owners.

      1. ffbj says:

        They can’t directly control it but they can heavily influence the price. Just look at the last few weeks when rumors leaked out that the House of Saudi would lower production, oil spiked, today when they said they would not reduce production at the OPEC meeting, oil crashed, now under $40 a barrel.

        They are like a drumnken sailor swinging wildly. Not that dangerous if you keep your distance, but if you are too close to him, like the other OPEC members, he can really hurt you. The Saudi gambit plays out.

      2. ziv says:

        Saudi Arabia alone can affect the international price of oil. If they cut production by 10%, prices would rise in days.
        Likewise, if US oil production continues to contract (3% so far, from the peak earlier this year) we will see oil prices rise as the production drops but will need to see at least another 3%-5% drop in production.

      3. arne-nl says:

        http://www.bidnessetc.com/56100-is-only-opec-responsible-for-the-crude-oil-price-crash/

        “Since last year, OPEC has maintained its monthly production target of 30 million barrels per day (bpd). In July, the group exceeded its goal, as it produced 32.1 million bpd of crude oil. The increased production from OPEC resulted in a global glut in crude oil supply, which forced crude oil prices to plunge by more than 50%.”

  7. James says:

    The focus has to be on a better driving experience, sexy (but not goofy) looks, and adequate range. 200 actual miles and adequate quick charging infrastructure are key. Right now I can’t find one decent alternative to the Tesla, and that’s a real shame.

  8. alain says:

    60 would be great ,,i would be happy with 40 kw.be goood even in winter . here gas is 1.20 a liter hay that 4.80 a gallon !as soon as the next leaf is for sale im buying it ,that or model 3 and still waithing on an electric truck or a small van like the Env200 but with a bigger bath.i pay more in gas than the price of my truck over a 5 year period.

  9. Ian says:

    Bigger KWh batteries are coming. Soon the 24kwh will be something they talk about when discussing how bad things were in the old days. What is needed by Nissan LEAF drivers that plan to keep our cars longer than 3 years need to find out /push for is confirmation from Nissan that larger retro fit packs will be able to be purchased from the dealers for all model years and what price. Can someone at insideevs use their connections or try twist Carlos Ghosn’s arm at a press conference and see if he will commit to this. It would be a win for Nissan and all loyal LEAF owners.

    1. Murrysville EV says:

      Sorry, but I can’t agree.

      It’s already known that a replacement 24 kWh Leaf battery is $5500, so I’d expect a higher capacity pack to go for more than that.

      My 12 Leaf listed for $38,250.
      Nissan deducted the Federal subsidy of $7500, since I was leasing it, so the list price became $30,750.

      I offered Nissan $9000 to buy it when the lease was done, and they refused – they wanted $13k even after the $5k discount they were offering. So the car went to auction.

      The car ended up on a used car lot 3 states away, listed for $8998. The new dealer probably paid $6k at auction, and put $1k into new tires, transport, detailing, and other administrative expenses.

      It probably sold for $8000 to its next owner.

      Its battery was down to 85% SOH, and winter range was severely compromised.

      Why would anyone pay $8000 for a used car, only to sink another $5500 into it for a battery, when they can buy a new Leaf for a few grand more, or even a nice hybrid?

      Old EVs are toast. It won’t be long before the 1st-gen Leaf is viewed with the same curiosity as the 1974 Citicar.

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Citicar

      1. SparkEV says:

        It seems you and I are minority among commenters in thinking current crop of low-mid EV are disposables. People aren’t likely to spend $5500 to replace the battery on 10 year old used car, and it’ll be junked.

        This is especially true for underperforming EV like Leaf (0-60 in 10 sec). Even if the battery comes down to raw material cost ($100/kWh + labor = $3500), I doubt people will spend that much money unless car was practically free. Bigger battery makes the problem worse; 60kWh would need $7000 for 10 year old car!

        But if it’s like Tesla P90DL 0-60 in 2.9 seconds, people may decide to pay for the battery (~$10K?)

      2. Ian says:

        Before I bought my leaf I spent 500 a month on gas. That’s 5500 a year. People sink that into Thier cars every year and they burn it up with nothing in return.

        1. Best comment of the month.

        2. SparkEV says:

          Electricity isn’t free. In fact, with gas prices so low, EV electricity pays close to what gas cars would pay for gas.

          http://sparkev.blogspot.com/2015/10/money-mpge-for-various-ev.html

          People driving 10 year old cars won’t have the same means as people who drive new cars. They are far less likely to spring for $4000 for battery when other comparable used cars that need no immediate repair can be had for cheaper. Bad battery out of warranty = Junk yard for most of current crop of EV.

          1. ffbj says:

            I think around $1 a gallon is where you have parity with electric. Of course this disregards maintenance cost which is also much less with say a 10 year life of the car. With low electric prices say around 10 cents a kwh you pay $9 to fill your Tesla for 250 miles of range. This does not even take into account supercharging which costs nothing.

            1. SparkEV says:

              It depends on electricity prices, not only gas price. I made the tables so one can quickly see at what price of gas + electricity would particular EV reach parity with gas cars.

              For $1/gal gas and $0.11/kWh electricity, SparkEV would pay equivalent to 32 MPGe gas car, worse than SparkGas.

              For $2/gal (some parts of US), SparkEV would need to have $0.19/kWh or less on electricity to get 37 MPGe, similar to SparkGas. In SoCal, SDGE already charges $0.19/kWh as base rate, but gas can be had for $2.50/gal, making SparkEV get 46 MPGe$. Still, that’s less than what Prius would get.

          2. Erwin says:

            SparkEV
            Where are you finding gasoline for less than 1.00/gal which is where it would have to be to reach parity with what it cost to drive my 500e. I am looking at my total lifetime mileage stats on my 500e and I have 1781 miles, total usage of 486 kwh with an average of 3.66 miles/kwh. I pay $0.11/kwh between 10p – 8am here in SoCal, which is definitely not the cheapest electricity in the country. That works out to $1.10 to drive 36.6 miles, or $ 2.20 to drive 73 miles. I don’t know of very many 4 passenger cars getting 73 milles/gal. This isn’t even counting the fact the car requires zero maintenance for 3 years, saving me another $2000.00 + in maintenance over 3 years versus the gasoline version.

            1. SparkEV says:

              In some parts of US, electricity is cheaper than others, especially for TOU. But where I live (San Diego), cheapest rate even for TOU (super off peak) is $0.19/kWh. That’s why I made the tables so you can look it up yourself no matter where you are.

              In LA, one can get $0.11/kWh using EV TOU with dedicated meter. But installing dedicated meter isn’t free. If I’m in LA, and I had to pay for it, it’d be about $3000. Factor that into per kWh cost, and it’s easily over $0.20/kWh.

              For normal TOU, one cannot have electric use during the day, which means no stay at home moms, kids, grandparents, etc., so it’s not suitable for many.

              One can also make the argument with extra Solar as being free. But how much did it cost to put extra solar and consider typical stock returns (eg. 5% AT&T), it’s far from free.

        3. Murrysville EV says:

          @Ian:

          If you were spending $500 a month on gas before, I’m guessing you’re now filling your Leaf twice a day – at least. Time would dictate that this is a rapid DC fill.

          If this is true, you’re rapid DC filling it too often, in violation of good battery practice and Nissan’s recommendations.

          Sounds like you bought the wrong car. The Leaf really isn’t the right car for someone who drives as much as you do.

          1. SparkEV says:

            If he’s driving car that gets 12 MPG (eg. minivan in traffic) and gas prices are $4/gal, 1500 miles per month would result in $500.

            Another way to look at it, 20 MPG and $7/gal (eg. Europe/Asia) = 1430 miles per month to spend $500/mo on gas.

            Gas isn’t always $2/gal, especially not in CA. But in rush hour commutes in traffic, many cars that supposed to get 20 MPG get less than 15 MPG, closer to 12 MPG.

          2. Ian says:

            I used to drive 2 x Xterras (my wife drove one) was it wasteful…yes. With Canadian winters for us it was great and I paid for gas without thinking. We use my 2011 pro 4X for long distance now and we carpool with the LEAF. We even put our camper trailer 100 km from our house so we can drive our LEAF there and charge it. My hydro costs have increased an average of 55.00dollars a month Canadian. I put one tank of gas in my Xterra a month at 68.00. My savings are considerable. I’m sure someone out there has a detailed list of how much can be saved over the lifetime of the car from all the repairs not required-exhaust repairs,belts etc. In reality I am still making the same vehicle payments as when I had the 2 4×4’s (maybe a touch more) but only spending around 10% of the fuel costs I used to and that is driving in -40 in January and February.

            1. Ian says:

              Last year gas prices were 1.35 a litre. Now it’s down around .98c litre.

            2. SparkEV says:

              That’s not really apples to apples. You were using two gas guzzlers, and now you’re carpooling with one EV. I suspect most of the savings come from carpooling and one car and smaller part due to EV.

              Still one Xterra would be about 20 MPG and $4/gal ($1/liter), so you would be saving under hundred dollars for 1500 miles a month.

      3. Just_Chris says:

        I don’t think that there has been a full realization of what an opportunity low cost LEAF’s actually are. There are not that many of them and they are really cheap, give it another 3-4 years and there’ll be all sorts of crazy things being done with them and their parts.

        I’d love to buy a kit car and use a LEAF drive train in it. Maybe not all the batteries, maybe different batteries. Similarly if a home storage system costs $20k why not by a $5k V2G system and connect your old car? it means you have a spare car to run to the shops in and your own solar charging system.

      4. Lad says:

        Too bad Nissan is still making policy based on gas cars instead of EVs. They haven’t figured out they are different yet. Tesla gets it. Even BMW gets it. Carlos Ghosn doesn’t have a clue. You can tell that by his belief that people buy EVs because of the environment and his policy of no battery upgrades for older cars. Tesla upgrades and so does BMW.

        They haven’t figured out there’s big money in selling upgraded batteries to owners of older cars. You might have gone for the buy out if they had offered a 200 mile battery for the 5k price.

        There are over 200,000, and growing, old Leafs out there that some day will need to have a new traction battery and the guy selling a replacement long range battery for good prices will do well. I’ve bought my first and last ever Nissan.

      5. Sveno says:

        Yes for richer people buying new EVs it doesn’t make much sense but for poorer countries which import a lot of end-of-lease cars (eastern Europe from Germany) it makes a big difference. Just as the guys figure out to roll back odometers they will figure out how to install a 30kWh pack in an old leaf. And I am not even talking about automotive and off-grid hobbyists!

        1. zzzzzzzzzz says:

          There is little chance it would make economical sense if you buy battery at Nissan list price. Sometime later you may see cheaper aftermarket batteries from China. But I doubt it will happen for 1st generation Leafs, they would get obsolete sooner, even in third world.

          1. sveno says:

            Yes, a 30kWh pack from Nissan won’t be popular but they will get them from crashed cars. Also like you mentioned – from China. Hopefully with brand name cells.

            I don’t think such old (50%+ capacity) Li-ion packs ever reach the landfill unless they are not even offered for sale. There are far to many tinkerers.

  10. Gsned57 says:

    Personally I’d respond better to energy independence and national security. After the Paris attacks folks should be clambering to get a domestically fueled car. Isis is funded by oil not electrons.

    Starve a terrorist…buy electric

  11. ffbj says:

    News stories coming out that Nissan dealers have little incentive to sell evs, and steer customers away from such purchases, or leases of said vehicles. Just as Musk said, and ‘just as we thought.’ Think I’ll take the old Antelope Freeway.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MHtPgfVgg0M

    1. Rich says:

      My wife and I went to look at a Leaf earlier this year. The salesman kept talking about battery fires. I even reset him by telling him that I would never buy another gas powered vehicle again but that didn’t slow his discouraging comments. Unreal.

      1. ffbj says:

        When I think of car salesmen the word ‘smarmy’ comes to mind. This sort of attitude of hey I know more than you I am a professional idiot. Sad.

      2. Nate says:

        Wow.

        It probably wasn’t worth the time to point out how frequently there are fires to gas cars. You weren’t going to get decent help regardless.

  12. Anon says:

    Time for Nissan to dust off that Polar Bear ad!

  13. Rich says:

    I’m glad to hear Nissan is staying on course. I was sad to see the 2016 model only offer 107 miles of range on a charge. I think they’re going to give up a clear market advantage by waiting until first quarter 2017 to release a 200 mile range car (assuming the next model will actually get 200 miles of range). If GM delivers the BOLT with 200 miles of range in the 2016 Aug. to Oct. time frame, they will be able to severely impact Nissan Leaf sales for at least 6 months. Carlos can’t be happy with his battery development team.
    Nissan needs to rethink this 5 to 6 year model cycle. By all means, leave the car shell in prod for 5 to 6 years before major upgrades in the life cell, but make significant gains in power train every 2 to 3 years.

    1. Priusmaniac says:

      Yes, we forgot about the Bolt but it is only a four seater just like the BMW i3. Too bad GM hasn’t a proper, seating 5, full electric sedan yet and BMW a 5 series with the i3 system inside (i5?). Actually many others are absent too with no electric sedan at all like Chrysler, Mercedes, PSA, Fiat, Hyndai, Mazda, Opel, Toyota, Honda, Volvo, etc…

      1. ziv says:

        I would bet that the production bolt will have 5 seats. The concept had 4 but the production car will be more traditional. The battery pack is under the cabin so there is no “T” battery in the center.

        1. JakeY says:

          Right. GM execs have said the production version will have 5 seats. They aren’t going with a “T” pack so no reason to have 4 seats.

          1. ziv says:

            Thanks for the heads up on the fifth seat situation, Jake. I thought that would be the case, but you never know.

  14. pjwood1 says:

    Can someone tell Carlos Electric is a better drive?

  15. Speculawyer says:

    Good

    LOL, that slide cracks me up.

  16. Anthony Castro says:

    Next Nissan Leaf should offer Dual Drive too. Efficiency Gains and 4 wheel drive could win over my right winged family.

    I’m a Leaf owner and other tweaks I’d like would be a bit more customizations(software). The most open audience of non-evironmentalists I’ve came across are tech people. In addition to 200 mile ranges:
    Consider treating the car like a computer.
    – Allow people to set Wallpapers or modify their interfaces.
    – Allow additions of ringtones, Sound Effects, and other various Sound Effects the car comes with.

    – Apple CarPlay please?

    Let use customize our dashboard with info that we care about. (In the same way we can choose apps on out home page on the phone. Examples. I want to only see: Mph, KWh remaining, efficiency, Motor KW usage on dash, trip, and a lower and upper range estimate. Other info could be available too. The idea is that the driver can swap out some info with others at our own will. Of course they could leave MPH(since it’s the law) in there)

    Better Voice technology, It’d be fun to talk to the car like the Star Trek Computer.

    Offer more cameras: even some in the car or outside and that can be optioned to the display or other displays.

  17. jh says:

    Tesla has shown with extreme clarity that at minimum two things needs to be in place;
    1) range
    2) charging network
    A car missing either of rhos is a non starter and will only a peak to the minority that’s prepared to sacrifice quite a bit of the meaning of having personal transportation. Performance is nice, and cheap to build in elecric vehicles but it is not the game changer for at least me. I’ve been waiting for a car in the midprice segment fulfilling those two points specified above. Until I see one a I will keep my fossil clunker.

    1. Because Tesla’s goal always was, always is and always will be to try and help save us from ourselves.

      The Roadster, Model S and Model X are not Tesla’s end game. But vehicles to provide the means to get to the mass produced Model 3.

      No other manufacture is producing EV’s because its the right thing to do But only because they are forced too. (I give some creds to Nissan though)

      It is time for carbon producers and users to pay up.

      http://citizensclimatelobby.org/at-cop21-elon-musk-pushes-for-revenue-neutral-carbon-tax/

  18. Leaf Owner says:

    And in Georgia, you need to factor in the $200 / year TAX into the equation, bringing the needed gas price to be closer to $3/gal for it to make sense…..

  19. Anon says:

    I’m tired of this focus on range. If I could charge in 5 minutes then I’d only need 50 miles of range, because I stop at a gas station every 50 miles anyway.

    http://insideevs.com/heres-how-long-it-takes-to-refuel-the-bmw-i3-rex-wvideo/

    StoreDot is working on a battery that can do 300 miles in 5 minutes or 60 miles in 1 minute. Hopefully more research is focused on making fast charging batteries than denser ones.

  20. jim stack says:

    BUT will Nissan have battery cooling for longer life like FORD, GM , KIA and many others have? If not their electrics cost a lot more in life cycle analysis and are not as good for the environment.
    The life of the battery is very important.

  21. Brian says:

    Anyone else notice that “Competitor A” (i.e. Tesla) will still have better cell density than Nissan? But Nissan is claiming superior packaging? Curious. I wonder what is so “superior”? I hope it isn’t their lack of TMS…

    1. Nate says:

      Yeah I thought that chart looked like a good add for competitor A.

  22. Epicurus says:

    “Ghosn hopes that electric cars sales will improve”

    Try advertising them and incentivizing dealers and car salesmen to sell them.

    http://cleantechnica.com/2015/12/03/car-dealers-dont-like-selling-evs-no-duh/

    Sheesh.

  23. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

    “The sales decreased in part because consumers were waiting on the 2016 model year prices, and the longer range version, which turned out to be a 30 kWh LEAF with 107 miles of EPA-rated range.”

    That’s right. So characterizing Nissan as pursuing the improved Leaf as “despite head winds” is, to put it politely, a mis-characterization. It would be much more accurate to say that Nissan has created head winds for Leaf sales by making it known they’re developing a more advanced version. Creating head winds is the exact opposite of fighting head winds, which is what the headline of this article implies.

  24. Nate says:

    From what I’ve seen, Nissan’s marketing has already focused on the environment and they have done a pretty good job with that aspect. Granted, this could be partly due to the region I live and the ads I’ve happen to have seen. So when I see this:
    “Ghosn says that the marketing focus instead should be environmental.”
    I’m pretty worried.

    The economic aspect hasn’t been marketed well because they only focus on the price of gas $ savings, and neglect other aspects.

    I find it very frustrating that other than maybe Tesla, I see little advertising for other EV benefits. The ability to ‘fuel’ at home (and for some folks work) is a great perk, but they can’t seem to get the focus off how things work on longer trips. For the majority of people, this is a small percentage of the days the car is used. So the point that it is actually more convenient for the majority of time isn’t communicated. I’ve yet to see the ride quality improvement communicated by Nissan or GM marketing. The (lack of) sound and the instant torque is quite nice. I’d include the Volt in this failed marketing effort due to the power output of the electric motor, high percentage of trips where the gas engine never kicks on (which is good deal higher than EV% due to how long trips effect that), and the even higher percentage where it doesn’t kick on when your trip drive begins pulling out of your parking spot. Even the better ICE engines sound and feel like junk to me now on a cold start, and it is even worse when you compare to other cars in the same price range.

  25. tom says:

    With more ev’s using 60kWh and larger packs the L2 EVSEs are going to become stranded assets. Some of us were saying that years ago, before the Tesla S and Nissan Leaf. No one will want to wait several hours to charge their mostly depleted 60kWh pack from a 7kW EVSE while on a long trip (~5 3/4 hr to replace 40kWh), and they will have no need to charge away from home when driving within a 75 mile radius of their home. Heck, I’ve been charging my converted car at RV parks at ~ 9kW whenever possible for a few years because the L2’s are too slow. Installing the 7kW L2’s was short sighted.