Video: Tesla’s Elon Musk Not Impressed With Chevy Volt or Nissan LEAF

4 years ago by Electric CarsTV 11

We’re not inclined to pick a side of the fence on this one, as it’s our belief that all electric vehicles have their place.

Elon Musk Says Chevy Volt is Too Compromised

Elon Musk Says Chevy Volt is Too Compromised

However, it seems Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla Motors, has a different take.

Musk Says That LEAF's Range is Too Limited

Musk Says That LEAF’s Range is Too Limited

In general, Musk seems to be implying that the Chevy Volt is a decent vehicle that will forever be compromised by its hybridness.

Whereas the Nissan LEAF (we’d have to assume Musk feels the same way in regards to all of today’s sub 100-mile pure electrics) is too range limited for Musk’s tastes.

But as we’ve previously stated, all of today’s electric vehicles have their place.  And most will appeal only to a certain set of buyers.

In the end, it’s the variety that matters.  Someday, there will be a perfect electric for every individual.  And no, the Model S is not a one-size-fits-all EV.

 

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11 responses to "Video: Tesla’s Elon Musk Not Impressed With Chevy Volt or Nissan LEAF"

  1. Fred says:

    This is old new previously reported. Why is it being reported again?

    Agree with Musk on both counts. Leaf is a very good relatively low priced EV with limited range, while the Volt is a compromise and but a stepping stone to a true EV.

    1. Mint says:

      Musk is wrong and if this is a his a sign of intransigence rather than just a sales pitch then Tesla will fail to live up to its current valuation.

      PHEVs are not compromises, but rather intelligent optimizations. If a Volt driver can do 11k miles/yr on electricity while a Tesla driver does 14k, then marginally speaking we are talking about 69kWh of battery being used to electrify just 3000 miles/yr. On top of that, your transportation routes for longer trips need to accommodate detours and charging time.

      62% of households have more than one car, and a huge chunk of them can use a short range EV. Tesla is battery limited in ramping production, and 3 LEAF owners can displace 30-40k miles of gasoline with less battery and cost than 1 Tesla owner. His Gen3 will not be as cheap as a 2017 LEAF, Volt, or other 100-mile EREV.

      The LEAF is the cheapest form of new car transportation today when you look at lease+fuel or TCO (aside from a few barebones econoboxes).

      The Volt is now only $3k more than a Prius with a much better driving experience. Payback time is only a few years compared to any similarly performing/equipped car.

      How are these achievements not impressive?

  2. Priusmaniac says:

    That is right on both cars but they are both affordable while the Model S is a great EV but only affordable to the happy few.
    I really like the Tesla because it shows that a practical EV is possible, but I wonder what is best for the environment, a lot of Leaf and Volt or just a few Model S.
    My own answer would be a lot of i3 types systems but with a Camry size. That is what would be affordable and long range able while still converting the car pool to 99% electric driving.
    That last 1% is not really worth all the extra worry or money, especially if biofuel from waste is used for it. In a sense even gasoline could be acceptable at that low level. After all there are indeed oil rings that do make a great job of pumping in an ecologically responsible way and the resulting CO2 emission then becomes bearable, at that level, by our planet.
    In more, as batteries further improve and superchargers become widespread, that 1% will become 0,5 %, then 0,25 % and so on until you use more oil for bearings then for range extending.

  3. Kent says:

    This video shows Musk in a poor light as an elitist. There will always be compromises with cars that aren’t over $100k. His comments about the Volt not being excellent in performance or handling or as a gas car ignore the number one reason most people buy a car — they can afford it. If you produce a car no one can afford, but is subjectively perfect or better than one than costs a third as much, many people would purchase the cheaper vehicle. His cracks about the Leaf and its range again shows a narrow view for what cars should do. What if you only work 5 miles from your work and never travel more than 25 miles away — why do I need 250 mile range and pay for that unneeded range?

    1. Michael says:

      The main problem with Leaf and Volt is that they are OVERPRICED for cars of their range / performance / build quality. You can get a lot of cars that are faster, have much greater range, much more luxurious build for ~$30,000.

      Model S, on the other hand, it priced JUST RIGHT in it’s segment. It routinely outdoes much more expensive gas cars in acceleration, matches other $60,000+ cars in build quality, provides multiple benefits over gas cars.

      So, Elon is 100% correct in what he is saying.

      1. Spec says:

        If they are overpriced then go ahead and try to do better. I bet you can’t. Neither can Tesla or they would have done so.

        1. Rick Danger says:

          That comment is below you Spec.
          Tesla has had to build *everything* from nothing, including the factory to build their cars. The others already had billions in sales, R&D departments, factories, suppliers, foreign markets, and everything else an automaker needs.
          They started with a high-end car for reasons you very well know, and when they have the money to expand their factory, and after they move into worldwide markets, and come out with the Model X, they *will* come out with an affordable car that will still blow away the competition.
          Tesla showed them that starting on the high end is the way to go. They showed them that designing the platform for EVs lets you put in all the batteries you want without sacrificing interior space. They showed them that using commodity cells was much less expensive than having all these yahoos develop their own, but the entrenched thinking among the big OEMs is the NIH (not invented here) syndrome. Do you seriously think that it would have cost Nissan more to use Panasonic batteries rather than spend a fortune to develop their own lame brand with no TMS system?
          The biggest reason Tesla hasn’t produced an award winning more affordable EV is because they have to grow to do it.
          What’s the rest of them’s excuse????????????????

      2. Mint says:

        How can you visit an EV site and make an ignorant statement like that?

        The LEAF is the cheapest car on the market after adding fuel/maintenance, aside from a few woefully equipped gas cars.

        The new price for the Volt puts its lifetime TCO below almost any other similarly equipped car.

        The Model S is a marvel of engineering and competitively priced, but the latter is much easier in a segment where competitors intentionally overprice their cars and leverage badge status for high gross margins. To be clear, neither GM, Nissan, nor anyone else could do what Tesla did in the luxury segment, but it’s still not very comparable to the $20-30k market.

  4. vdiv says:

    Actions speak louder than words. If Tesla built a Volt or a LEAF competitor three years ago that was better, then awesome! However Tesla still hasn’t. And as much as the Model S is an inspiration to EV makers and an aspiration to drivers, it pains me to say that very few of us can justify spending a whole year worth of pay to drive one.

    Using his analogy a helicopter is a significantly better vehicle than any car and yet I don’t see him riding in one every day. Instead he complains about the traffic on the 405 and teases the media and the public with Hyperloopy ideas. :p

  5. Bill Howland says:

    Actually this is one of the rare times I agree with Musk, although I’ve learned not to trust him. As both a 2011 volt and roadster owner, his criticism is true, however, the Volt is a tolerable car and much less cost than anything Tesla is making, it is also much quieter than the roadster. Supposedly, with the engine off it is as smooth as a Rolls.

    I let one of tesla service guys drive my volt and was told he was very impressed..

  6. Ruffhouse says:

    I think Musk is an optimist and I’ve heard the volt described before as “Rolling Pragmatism”. That said, I think you need to be an optimist to make the big steps Musk takes. I drive a volt, and will do so until that supercharger network and the cheap, high volume tesla comes through.