Carlos Ghosn: Fiat Taking Risky Stand On EVs, Fight Is On Against Chevy Bolt

JAN 13 2016 BY STATIK 158

Carlos Ghosn - Always A Candid Interview About EV TEchnology

Carlos Ghosn – Always A Candid Interview About EV Technology

As has been the case from years past, we got a round table talk with the other ‘rockstar boss‘ of the EV industry, Nissan/Renault CEO Carlos Ghosn this week from the NAIAS in Detroit.

And as usual he didn’t disappoint.

Ghosn laid down the law on the latest criticism of the plug-in business from Fiat, touched on the challenges from Apple with their EV project, the state of the EV charging infrastructure, and even commented on the upcoming bolt.

Here are the highlights, as they relate to EVs, from Ghosn’s 40 minute chat with the media:

On earlier comments from Fiat/Chrysler boss, Sergio Marchionne that the electrification of the automobile will cause disintermediation amongst the car makers as they lose control of their businesses by no longer making vital components like the electric motors and batteries. (from 22:00)

Get Ready To Hear Something Stupid On EV Technology

Get Ready To Hear Something Stupid On EV Technology

“The beauty of the car makers, is that every car maker has a different opinion…I think electrification is not a question of a ‘I want it or don’t want it’, electrification is happening. We are obviously precipitating it.  We are accelerating it. Because we believe in it.  We can’t just say ‘there is a risk behind electrification’…the risk is not to partner or to (not) participate, or to contribute, or to understand – the trend is coming.”

“We are the last person to tell you that electrification is a risk, because we have taken the initiative to come with electric cars, and to move in this direction to build motors and to build batteries, and in a certain way open the batteries for other suppliers.  We have our own battery, but at the same time buy batteries from LG Chemical.

Carlos Ghosn Gets A Ride In Nissan LEAF Autonomous Drive Prototype

Carlos Ghosn Gets A Ride In Nissan LEAF Autonomous Drive Prototype

On the risk of connected cars, autonomous drive and the upcoming (and not so secret) Apple electric car project:

“Is Apple a risk or an opportunity? Well I can tell you, it depends how you position yourself.  If you are passive and staying behind, and it is not a good thing, because we are going to lose control X,Y,Z – then this is a risk.  If you say ‘this is something interesting for the consumer – let me jump onto the is opportunity and work, and build my own business system to be able to offer it’ – then this is a business opportunity.”

 

Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn Says He Can't Yet Talk About The Next Gen LEAF Yet As They Are Still Selling The Current Model ... ironically in front of a HUGE teaser for the next LEAF in the form of the 60 kWh/200 mile IDS Concept

Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn Says He Can’t Yet Talk About The Next Gen LEAF For Sake Of Current Car … ironically in front of a HUGE teaser for the next LEAF in the form of the 60 kWh/200 mile IDS Concept

On General Motor’s upcoming 200 mile, Chevrolet Bolt EV (full details/specs from NAIAS reveal here), and how Nissan will react with the LEAF and its timeline (from 27:30):

Chevrolet Bolt EV Fully Revealing At NAIAS In Detroit This Week (InsideEVs/Tom Moloughney)

Chevrolet Bolt EV Fully Revealing At NAIAS In Detroit This Week (InsideEVs/Tom Moloughney)

“Obviously, the LEAF is going to go though a lot of transformation.  First we announced more autonomy, more range.  But there is going to be a new LEAF coming.  We didn’t take the leadership of electric car to abandon it. We are going to be fighting for it, we are going to continue to develop cars.  But we would like to make announcement just before the cars come and not a long time before.  So you are going to see us coming with products, with technologies, with enhancements, with reduction of costs and (more range).”

As Ghosn touched on, Nissan can’t exactly show the next generation LEAF as the same way GM can currently show the Bolt EV, as the Japanese company still needs to sell the current model for the next year+.

Still, we could not help but notice the huge images of the 60 kWh/200 mile IDS Concept surrounding the room the CEO was speaking in – practically screaming “look at me, I am coming” to those who would listen.

Nissan Says It Will Assist The Charging Markets Around The World On A Case-By-Case Basis, And That The US Is Rapidly Approaching 1,700 CHAdeMO Points Today

Nissan Says It Will Assist The Charging Markets Around The World On A Case-By-Case Basis, And That The US Is Rapidly Approaching 1,700 CHAdeMO Points Today

The Nissan boss then doubles back to the need for a still stronger charging infrastructure,  no matter the range of the electric car the company produces, whether it be 200 miles or 300 miles, 400 miles:

words

“I never, never asked…what is the range of my (gas) car!”

“We are not going to eliminate range anxiety by only having better batteries…the anxiety is going to be eliminated only when we have a charging infrastructure which is widespread and visible.  I bought a lot of cars (in my life), I never, never asked myself the question, ‘what is the range of my car’. Never.  Why? Because you have gasoline station all over the place.  So, I don’t care I went 200, 300, 400km, I know that I could stop at any moment and I can (fill) my car.  Why people have anxiety?  First, because the range is smaller, and because there is no charging station.”

Be sure to check out the entire video for even more background on Mr. Ghosn’s thoughts on the EV industry, emission standards, and why the future is all-electric – even if consumers have yet to fully embrace i.t (Hint: Think government regulations/incentives and what happened with the adoption of diesel technology in Europe)

Categories: Charging, Chevrolet, Chrysler, Fiat, Nissan

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158 Comments on "Carlos Ghosn: Fiat Taking Risky Stand On EVs, Fight Is On Against Chevy Bolt"

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Tech01x

Please standardize on the next rev of CCS… Show leadership and get 400 amp, 150 kW L3 DC out the door and also push for 40-80 amp J1772 AC in the U.S. Look forward… The BEV of 2020, or 2025 will need infrastructure built in the next few years that is adequate. Stop with this 50 kW BS and 24-30 amp L2 AC. If your next vehicle is 60 kWh, don’t almost get there like GM.

Combo is cancer and must die!

150 kW would be over 2C, that will never happen, because it causes too much heat.

SparkEV 19kWh battery, 48kW charging to 80% (no taper). That’s 2.5C, and no problem with properly designed thermal management.

R.S

I really hoped they would reproduce that with the Bolt, maybe they even could. But as I found out today, GM won’t spend money on the Bolts infrastructure, so as long as everyone else uses and more importantly builds, 50kW CCS, thats what the Bolt will use. And if I were BMW/VW, I wouldn’t bother with building higher power chargers for GM.

Fun fact, VW, apparently, built some public 150kW chargers in Germany, although they can’t use them. Imagine if the Bolt could charge 160-200 miles+ in about 20 minutes. Well that won’t happen soon, since the Bolt won’t be sold in Europe… and VW isn’t that stupid.

Bob

Spark EV is a compliance car and a dud…
sorry

Brian

Compliance? Yes, sadly. Dud? Absolutely not. The Spark EV is a great offering. The only thing that’s “dud” about it is that it’s only offered in two states. In other words, the fact that it’s a compliance car.

SparkEV is sold in CA, OR, MD, Korea, Canada, Mexico. I’d hardly call it compliance when Mexico MSRP is less than CA MSRP.

http://sparkev.blogspot.com/2015/11/sparkev-you-are-not-compliance-car.html

But the point I was making was regard to EV unable to charge at 2C. Tesla does close to 2C, albeit for short time, SparkEV does 2.5C to 80%. There’s no reason why other EV can’t do as well (or better) with proper thermal management.

Whether you think SparkEV is compliance or not, it kicks butt when it comes to charging, something EV makers should emulate.

Brian

Sorry, three states. And three foreign countries. Just because it’s not a strict CARB compliance run doesn’t mean that it’s not a compliance car. Would it exist without legislation? I doubt it. In the end, the term “compliance car” is entirely subjective, and not worth spending much time nit-picking over.

The Spark generally kicks butt for the power density of the pack, both in (charging) and out (power to the motor). And in general I agree, it is a better car than the ICE competition, that happens to be an EV. Just like Tesla strives for.

TomArt

If a vehicle is not available for sale in all 50 states, and no plans to do so, then it is a compliance car, at least as far as us consumers in the US are concerned.

ffbj

And most importantly, as far as I am concerned it is too.

Even without CA legislation, SparkEV or something like it would probably exist if only to test the EV tech before mass market EV. Regardless, I read somewhere long ago that Chevy will cancel SparkEV after mass market EV comes out, which probably means SparkEV won’t be available at all come next year.

But going back to the point about charging, if 200 mile EV charges like SparkEV, 80% (160 miles, 2.5 hous of freeway) would be reached in about 25 minutes. While it’d be nice to have quicker (4C 15 min?), 25 minutes break after 2.5 hours of driving is close to what you’d do with gas cars.

When comments like CSC or even gas bigots boo-hoo about slow EV charging, we can point to SparkEV and confidently say what is possible even today; it’s just matter of time before all EV do even better.

Oops. Math error. 80% would be reached in 19.2 minutes with 2.5C charging, not 24. Even better!

Clive

If it were not a compliance car, you’d be able to buy it in all of North America.

Its a drop in the bucket with no solid commitment towards anything other than compliance. Next !

AlphaEdge

> “SparkEV is sold in CA, OR, MD, Korea, Canada, Mexico. I’d hardly call it compliance when Mexico MSRP is less than CA MSRP.”

It not sold in Canada yet! Fleet sales don’t count, especially when no sales have been listed. They claim 2016 for public purchase, but that has not happened yet, so you can’t claim it’s sold in Canada.

Michel

The Spark is now sold in Canada . As a fleet that was last year.

Get Real

Well, that solves it. CSC is probably an employee of a Japanese auto company/supplier since the only standard left is Chaedmo after he rips CCS and Tesla.

zzzzzzzzzz

I would agree that Combo is cancer and must die. But this cancer metastasized all over the place and situation is a bit hopeless now, you will have fragmentation.

2C is not impossible, though I don’t know if it is possible with current LG Chem cells. It was demonstrated by Aerovironment to CARB 9 years ago:
http://www.autoblog.com/2007/05/30/aerovironment-successfully-quick-charges-altair-nanotechnologie/

Ambulator

I didn’t see it in the summary, but Carlos mentioned a ten minute charging time. Possibly that was for a partial charge, but they are trying to improve the current situation.

AlphaEdge

That is the long term goal, and no indication it was for the upcoming Leaf 2.0.

Brandon

I would agree that an intercity network needs to be in the planning phase now, but let’s all get it in our minds that the higher power 100 kW and 150 kW fast chargers will only be deployed as there are vehicles that will use them, and not before. But like I said, an intercity network needs to be in the planning phase now.

What we really need in this country is a company like Fastned in the Netherlands. A for profit company that will rollout a nationwide network of fast charge stations at rest stops and other locations along main highways. This will really only become possible and necessary with longer range and therefore faster charging affordable EV’s. When Audi begins their 150 kW fast charging station rollout in 2018 I would hope to see a Fastned style rollout start here in the US. But somebody’s going to need to step up to the plate and have a real vision and passion to do a totally awesome nationwide rollout like Fastned is doing in the Netherlands and plans to do in most of Europe. Have a look at this great read if you haven’t already:

http://fastned.nl/en/blog/post/the-fastned-freedom-plan

Pushmi-Pullyu

Brandon said:

“What we really need in this country is a… for profit company that will rollout a nationwide network of fast charge stations at rest stops and other locations along main highways. This will really only become possible and necessary with longer range and therefore faster charging affordable EV’s.”

Well said, sir! Bang on the mark.

And if Fastned is doing that in the Netherlands, then more power to them… pun intended. 😉

Rich

Brandon said:

“What we really need in this country is a… for profit company that will rollout a nationwide network of fast charge stations at rest stops and other locations along main highways. This will really only become possible and necessary with longer range and therefore faster charging affordable EV’s.”

Isn’t this what Tesla is doing?

mr. M

No, Tesla is pushing their own cars with a internal standard!

We need a commercial party that is interested that all fast charge capable cars can get some juice there. So the site will have 3-4 ChadeMo stalls, 3-4 CCS stalls and some AC Level 2 as backup, maybe even Tesla Destination Charger added (but they could also use the ChadeMo-Charger).

Jasmin

No, it really isn’t. The problem with Tesla is it’s a walled garden system. It’d be like having Ford running a network of petrol stations that only Fords can use, then saying the problem of petrol fueling has been solved. I know *technically* some of the standards are open, but the reality on the ground is it’s a walled garden.

The Fastned system, as Brandon mentions, is far superior because it is manufacturer agnostic. Any car using one of the open standards (Chademo, Combo or Rapid-AC) can use it, and being financially independent of the manufacturers, there is no issue with one brand “freeloading” on the back of another (i.e. the way some Nissan dealer chademos are used by non Nissan cars)

GrokGrok

Probably will never happen, but my vote would be a company called “Tesla.” Have everyone standardize on their fast charging connector, give them money from other manufacturers and maybe the government, and I’d trust that a sensible system would be rolled out which actually would be operational when a vehicle needed it.

Spider-Dan

If Tesla wanted everyone to standardize on their connector, they would have opened up the communication protocols for it.

It seems obvious that Tesla went with their own connector specifically to lock non-Tesla drivers out of the Supercharger network. Tesla is already experiencing congestion issues while selling $90K luxury cars; if the plebes could access the SC network, it would be so congested that the value of it (as a sales tool) would be drastically reduced.

Get Real
Spider-Dan

And yet Tesla does not “pay their fair share” in helping ChargePoint or NRG or bl!nk (etc.) build out their charging networks, even though Tesla offers charging adapters (e.g. CHAdeMO) for their owners to use said networks.

Why should GM/Nissan/BMW have to become a partner in Tesla’s charging network when they don’t have to do so for any other charging network? Why wouldn’t the charging network be paid for by the drivers who use it?

Omar Sultan

That makes not one stitch of sense. By offering J1772 and Chadmo adaptors, Tesla gives owners more options and increases the addressable market for companies like ChargePoint et al. allowing them to capture more revenue.

By design SuperChargers are not set up to handle payments so the requirement is that costs are reimbursed at the company level. Why should Tesla take on the costs of handling transactions for other manufacturers cars when it does not need to do so for its own cars?

Spider-Dan

Tesla has already shown that a one-time $2000 payment is sufficient to grant access to the SC network. So again, why is it that customers cannot simply walk into a Tesla store (or browse to their website) and spend ~$2500 to buy a Tesla Connector adapter with SC network access? Why is it that (unlike every other charging network) the automakers themselves must buy in as partners? Remember, the SC network is supposedly sustainable and self-funding at that $2000/car level.

It’s market gamesmanship.

jerryd

What are you talking about. Tesla came out first and had to make a new plug to handle the higher power.

And Tesla will work with any EV maker.
That other companies haven’t went with the Tesla standard shows they are not serious.

Spider-Dan

Tesla dropped out of the SAE discussion on a DC standard because they insisted on communication/validation through the connector instead of with, say, a card. Yet they have no problem with making J1772 and CHAdeMO adapters for Model S drivers… subjecting said drivers to the very same hassle they quit the SAE forum over. Hmmm.

And yes, it’s technically true that Tesla will “work with” any EV maker… in the sense that in order to get access to the Tesla connector specs, said automaker must fully buy in as a partner of the Supercharger network. Yet strangely enough, GM and Nissan didn’t have to buy in as partners with ChargePoint, NRG, evGO, etc. for their cars to access those charging networks (and, it bears mentioning, neither did Tesla). Hmmm, again.

What explanation do you offer to explain the fact that there are dozens of third-party J1772 EVSEs available, but exactly zero third-party Tesla Connector EVSEs available? Tesla used their proprietary connector as defacto DRM, plain and simple.

Nix

Tesla dropped out because the SAE standard wasn’t going to be completed on time for the first Model S cars going into final validation testing. Tesla had to lock down their design for the Model S so they could test them in time for starting actual production. The SAE standard wasn’t completed until well after that.

Phr3d

Thanx Nix

Spider-Dan

I don’t understand how that’s an excuse. So if Tesla can’t use it in time for their next car, they have no interest in developing a standard at all? That seems a strange position for a company that’s “in it to save the world.”

RexxSee

Spiderdan is an anti Tesla troll, here and elsewhere.

You mean private companies like Chargepoint, EVgo, etc.?

The reason they aren’t placing chargers between cities, is there is no vehicles that can get their to use them.

Once Bolt, LEAF 2.0 and others are available, you will start to see more of that offered.

Tesla has been the only company with financial motivation to build an intercity network.

LOL

+1

EVcarNut

400 mile Leaf ??….Where Do I Sign ? I’m In!

Leaf Owner

Leaf in real transition…..a 200 miler is really needed ASAP.

BraveLilToaster

If you were paying any attention to the article, Nissan won’t release any information about Leaf 2.0 (or whatever they’ll be selling) until about 2 or 3 months before they start shipping it to showrooms. If even *that* long ahead of time.

So you might well get exactly what you’re asking for. But you won’t know it until it’s there. So stop whining. Nissan will do whatever they want, and it’s pretty clear they want to be selling electric cars, and they want to be the best at it, the way Toyota is the best at selling hybrids.

CopperRoad

Nissan can wait all they want, but I can’t imagine that Leaf 2.0 will be as fun to drive as the Bolt, hit its power numbers, or have significantly better range. This is why I’ve extended the Lease on my Leaf so I can get the Bolt.

Nix

It is really impossible to say until it is actually out.

Nissan knows how to make fast cars. Look at the NSX.

LEAF_AU

You mean GT-R? Honda/Acura makes the NSX.

Nix

Ooops!! My mistake. Thanks for the correction. Yes, I should have said GT-R.

Alan

I read the Fiat guy’s comments a day or two ago and thought how backward thinking is that ?

It was interesting to hear that Ghosn saying Nissan only likes to make announcements closer to when cars are arriving and not long in the future, does this mean we could see the new leaf or longer range BV sooner rather than later ?

David

He’s trying to protected sales of the current LEAF. GM has no car to sell that would be hurt by pre announcing the Bolt. But if Nissan says a 200 mile range LEAF is coming at the end of the year the few sales of the 2016 LEAF they may get, would instantly disappear.

Nissan is hoping current consumers will be stupid enough to not know about the Bolt or the expected LEAF 2.0 and plunk down $34,000 on a 100 mile range car today rather than wait a few months for a $37,000 200+ mile range car from GM or maybe Nissan.

Alan

I think they would have to be super dumb to do that !

The Bolt has a thinny trunk, everyone with children will be stupid to buy it, when you can’t fit a child stroller in it.

There are plenty of people with children over age 3 who do not feel the need to carry a stroller everywhere. The Bolt may not work for you, but it will work for millions of people.

Taser54

Ahhh, now resorting to the stroller objection. Lol, how sad.

Pushmi-Pullyu

Looks like CSC has decided to bash the Bolt, not just Tesla cars.

Maybe we can vote him off the island. 🙁

ModernMarvelFan

I think he/she is anti all EVs…

Nix

I guess it is better than him arguing that the trunk was too small to fit actual kids….

*grin*

Seth

The Bug-a-boo fits in the boot of my i-Miev?

ModernMarvelFan

Somehow I can fit a stroller in a much small space than 16 cuft which is the cargo volume that Bolt has…

What do you have? A quad stroller for whiny adult?

You compare the price of a 2/3 loaded Leaf with the price of an _empty_ Bolt. The Bolt doesn’t even have quick charging by default, you need to buy it extra.

When the Bolt gets on sale, Nissan will cut the Leaf prices, a similar equipped Bolt will be significant more expensive.

ModernMarvelFan

But Bolt has more range, more performance and more interior passenger volume.

Those don’t matter to people?

Stimpy

Don’t forget far better tech features.

Get Real

it down some more CSC, so you work for Nissan or one of its suppliers or dealers?

zzzzzzzzzz

It is not clear if Bolt will be available worldwide or when it will happen. So it may be more than end of the year for the other people.
IDS concept was already shown and you may expect something similar – I don’t think Nissan itself knows for sure when it will be ready.

LOL

It would be more than wise move to sell Bolt in Europe, too.

scott franco

Just 2 cents: The guy from Fiat is an idiot. If packaging a car from components were thin an industry, why are none of the converter outfits not a larger concern, ie., the shops that convert gas to electric? There is a lot to assembling a car, even if the components come from Frys down the street.

Mike

Two points come to mind related to the Fiat comments:
1. I bet you heard similar comments coming from steam engine manufacturers. A more important question we should be asking is why aren’t IC engines more like a commodity? The form and function is remarkably similar from all manufacturers (an air pump with a maximum thermal efficiency of about 40%).
2. Chrysler already outsourced the design and manufacture of all its Diesel engines to Cummings. That has worked really well for them.

bro1999

Interesting that he did not outright say Nissan will have a 200+ mile competitor to the Bolt, be it Leaf 2.0 or something else.

Is it because he wants to protect the Gen 1 Leaf’s sales? Or is it because the next-gen Leaf won’t have a standard 200+ EV mile range?

bro1999

Rather, 200 miles will be an option with Leaf 2.0, with a sub-200 mile version offered as the base model.

Alan

According to the article above, it states he mentions no matter if the company’s car has 200, 300 or 400 miles, there is still need to a stronger charging infrastructure ?

Sublime

It’s to protect sales. When Apple was working on the iPhone there were tons of leaks, announcements, everyone knew they were working on it. Everyone questioned if they could pull it off (idiotic in retrospect). However now that they have a model out there, they are as tight lipped as possible. Sure leaks happen, but they weren’t out there, a year before the plus model shipped, saying “we’re coming out with the 6 inch phone you’ve been asking for”… ie “don’t buy the phones we offer now”

David

I think the IDS concept does NOT look good. Hope that is not the look for the LEAF 2.0. Too swept back, too small a windshield. Seems to abandon the LEAF’s high driving position.

So far I’m really liking what I’ve seen and read about the Bolt. They specifically went for a tall seating position with good forward visibility.

And for the sake of the current LEAF, they need to start dealing. Insanely high purchase and lease prices are not going to help the brand. No one wants to touch it now with the Bolt announcement. Even 2015 lease rates are too high due to abysmal residual.

Brian

All the things you count as negatives for the IDS, I count as positives. But to reach the mainstream, the Leaf 2 will probably be closer to the Leaf 1 than the IDS. I can still dream about an EV sports car, though…

I am with you. I love the general look of the IDS vs. LEAF 1.0.

I would like to see a hybrid between the IDS and a mini-version of the new Murano design.

Oh, and of course the sport version with double the kWs.

AlphaEdge

It will be quite different from the concept. Nissan knows that’s not a viable model, and it’s like many concepts shown by many auto companies over the years. Too sci-fi looking!

Murrysville EV

@David – Agreed. That concept is hideous.

I think the days of making EVs and hybrids look like science projects are over. The new Prius is a visual mess, while the new Volt is beautiful and mainstream.

I am concerned that Tesla could foul up the Model 3 by trying to make it too slick (target Cd of 0.20 according to Mr Musk). A goofy-looking Model 3 will ruin Tesla, but I wouldn’t be surprised if they blow everyone out of the water with more range, more performance, and a good-looking car.

Then the mainstream Bolt would just look dorky.

LOL

The CUV is always welcome, GM has done swell job with Bolt. Now, the only thing missing is quality CHARGING INFRASTRUCTURE within every major city, say downtown Miami, Orlando, Tampa, Tallahassee etc. This is a MUST if GM wants to dodge Bolt being labelled as compliance car.

Mr. M

Maybe Goshn is coming at the beginning of 2017 with a 48kWh battery as base version for the Leaf 2.0 and 72/96 kWh batteries are optional. 3*24 = 72. Might happen and would be so cool…

Mark

Doesn’t sound like they are close to announcing anything, especially with the 30kwh just now available. Bolt is gonna kick their ass for a few years for sure.

Alex

Why Nissan should, until June 2017 (SEVENTEEN) there will be ~ 15.000 Bolt on the raods and 280.000 LEAF. GM will not hurt Nissan sales in Europe until end 2017, no Bolt in United Kingdom (Right Hand Drive), not in South Africa, not in Japan and in China.
The Leaf is a whole number greater than the Bolt. Nissan could present Leaf 2 one year later and not much will happened except Bolt looks old.

DonC
The idea that he’s not making any announcements because he wants to protect Leaf sales sounds good. However, when thinking more on the subject, it doesn’t make a lot of sense. First is that with the Bolt being out there and the Model 3 promised for sometime, a new Leaf wouldn’t have a ton of impact on current Leaf sales over and beyond what the Bolt and Model 3 have already done. Second is that car companies do announce cars in advance. I think we saw/heard about the Cadillac XT5 (or whatever it’s called) in 2014 and it’s still not on sale AFAIK. Third is that, even if the company doesn’t want you to see the car, there are always leaks and spy shots. Given that the Leaf battery was such a disaster you have to think they’d be doing some testing on US roads. This leads me to believe that, while Nissan will have a successor to the Leaf, it won’t show up until late 2017 at the earliest. However, the timing of the release would seem to matter less than the substance. Nissan seems to specialize in vehicles that look nice and use crap parts. I never had… Read more »
Alan

I think Nissan deserves a little more credit for getting a mass produced EV to market with reasonable range given the costs of batteries at the time, they may have cut corners with build quality but the car had to be reasonably affordable to buy ?

M. St. J.

I have had no problems with my 2012 leaf, and the quality of everything seems to be excellent.

Fred

Agreed. I have a 2013 and I think the quality is good. I think Nissan will release their car as close to the bolt release as they can. They’ll announce it shortly before the Bolt becomes available. That way they can try to hurt Bolt sales. There’s no point in them pre announcing now while selling the Leaf. The Bolt is still vapor ware. It cannot be purchased.

John

Ghosn almost always makes a lot of sense. I hope he’s right and Nissan has a compelling competitor for the Bolt by the time it comes out. More EVs and more choices are always better.

As for the infrastructure remarks, they still need to put their money where their mouths are by putting fast chargers on intercity routes and major highways instead of dumping them on dealer lots and making availability and reliability a total crap shoot for their customers. I think they have good intentions but those aren’t making it down the food chain to actual installations.

M. St. J.

Nissan should pick up the tab and install a 480 charger at any dealer that is near and interstate. That charger should be available 24 hours a day seven days a week and be absolutely reliable.

Brandon

Nice idea, but IMO dealer chargers will probably always be susceptible to being blocked and not maintained. A network provider is best as their sole focus is the network. A company like EVgo has the potential to roll out reliable networks that are well located and well maintained. I’m not saying they are doing it all right, but sure beats the dealer chargers! Also, a fast charge company can get help from the automaker to kickstart things as we have already seen happening and Ghosn in this article indicates Nissan will continue to do so. This is far better than fast chargers at dealers, although its great if they are there, but I sure wouldn’t rely on one when going somewhere.

LOL

+1

David Murray

I agree with Carlos that charging infrastructure is the main problem. 100 mile AER is plenty for any EV as long as there are charging stations everywhere. The trouble is, with most EV drivers charging at home, I am not sure the business case exists to have the charging infrastructure needed on the scale that it is needed unless everyone was driving an EV. As such, I suspect the growth of infrastructure will be gradual, thus prolonging the adoption period of EVs.

Brandon

Yes, agreed. The infrastructure will come, but gradually, although already the pace has picked up recently. A business case right now is tuff, but soon it could be there. Charge providers need to look forward, and there will be even more of a demand for fast chargers with the longer range EVs that are coming because they will get used for more than the current generation cars get used for, and there will be a lot more of them too 🙂

mr. M

and the long range cars can charge faster and more kWh, making the use case even better

LOL

+

Doug B

You didn’t see Tesla pushing the 4wd version before its release, only giving teasers that something is coming. They have never promoted big changes until they are ready to release for the same fear of maintaining current model sales.
Nissan are in a hard place with such rapidly evolving technology in an industry with long lead times.

Pushmi-Pullyu

“They have never promoted big changes until they are ready to release for the same fear of maintaining current model sales.”

Never? I’d say Tesla touts its “big changes” years in advance at least half the time; perhaps more. Note all the talk from Tesla about what Autopilot will be able to do, when we almost certainly won’t see any company sell fully autonomous cars for years.

The “solid metal snake” robotic charging arm is another example of what Tesla teased years in advance of putting it into production.

AlphaEdge

> “The “solid metal snake” robotic charging arm is another example of what Tesla teased years in advance of putting it into production.”

That does not count. It does not effect the sale of anything.

Brian

Neither autopilot nor the robotic charging arm threaten the sale of current Model S / X. Tesla has stated that they hardware is already present in car rolling off the line, they just have to finish the software and – more critically – get it approved by NHTSA. And clearly the charge arm is compatible with existing cars as well.

TomArt

Yep – they said the hardware was in all cars manufactured after a certain date, and that they would be enabled via software upgrades once development is complete and regulations permit the operation.

Thanh Lim

Just like when Windows was first announced. Tesla and others pulled exactly what Micrisoft did. Announce and delay. It killed the software industry for a few years until Windiws finally rolled out.

Nissan should have a platform that allows for upgraded batteries so they don’t lose when someone releases a Y kWh battery that is bigger. Just swap once batterie are ready and go. Then really the fear is gone about a car like the bolt.

Nonda Trimis

+100

AlphaEdge

They may announce a 30 kWh upgrade at some point, but it’s too early right now, and the upcoming 60 kWh Leaf 2.0 won’t fit the current Leaf chassis.

Jonathan

They need to have a 30kwh (affordable) swap option in place by early 2017, otherwise they will find a mass exodus of lease returns on Leafs. They will have tons of lease returns coming in later this year through early next. They need to make sure that they don’t lose those customers to Tesla and GM. The only way to do this is to offer a low residual on the lease return ($10K or so) and a future option for a $6K 30KWH battery. That will be pretty compelling to get someone to keep their Leaf. Then, a few years later when the federal credits are gone and everyone has 200+ EVs and that person wants a new car, they have a better shot at grabbing that customer.

M. St. J.

I would buy my 2012 leaf for $9000 plus a guarantee of a 30 V replacement within the next two years. I would buy that car in a heartbeat.

I think Leaf batteries are higher than 30 Volts! “I would buy my 2012 leaf for $9000 plus a guarantee of a 30 V replacement within the next two years.” I bet 30 V meant 30 kWh! And having a guarantee that the 30 kWh pack or future larger ones could be added would do wonders for resale values too!

Phr3d

@Thanh Lim
Clearly, you Weren’t there when Windows was released — briefly, Windows one and two were alphas released upon an unsuspecting public in an effort to compete with Apple.
Windows 3 & 3.1-3.11 would have been much More successful if Bill had never released the crap versions. Microsoft OFFICE is why 3.1 began to sell, but not until Win95 was launched did Windows become a household word.

Phr3d

i.e.,
“It killed the software industry for a few years until Windiws finally rolled out”
is a figment of someone’s imagination.

ffbj

“The beauty of the car makers, is that every car maker has a different opinion…”
Sergio M. said that.
I find little beauty in car makers who have wrong opinions and try to prove they are right. Those who trot out, with fanfare and hoopla, piece of trash cars and explain to the stupid public how wonderful they are. There, there is an opinion for you.

Pushmi-Pullyu

As they say: “One man’s trash is another man’s treasure.”

If everyone agreed on what the best car is, then there would be only one model of car made and sold. That would be a much less interesting world.

ffbj

I am not advocating for a one size fits all.
Point being that Tesla showed that the car industry was languishing to a large extent in their own incorrect opinions, at least in regard to making a compelling ev as Tesla has done. Their ‘opinions’ were that it could not be done, that Tesla would fail, etc…
I also showed that their opinions on what made good cars where not all that in line with current events.

Nix

Pushy is dead right. One big problem with plug-ins right now is that they compete with only a tiny fraction of gas car categories. We need more variety of vehicles to compete against more ICE vehicles, even if us enthusiasts don’t like them.

ffbj

Oops, Goshn said that.

Ocean Railroader

GM unleashing the Chevy Bolt is GM going Catfish on Nissan and Tesla along with everyone else. In that they sat there for years not doing anything and now they are going on the attack.

This term going Catfish is based off of that I once had a Catfish that lived in a fish tank and for years it sat there. But then one day it tried to kill everything in the fish tank after living the tank for years not doing anything.

Luckily I threw the Catfish back outside into the lake.

ModernMarvelFan

I hope you didn’t damage the lake’s eco system by introduce an “invasive” specie that aren’t native to it…

Ocean Railroader

The catfish was native to the lake and even came from the same lake when it was only three inches long.

ModernMarvelFan

In this case, it is perfectly good thing to do…

I guess you don’t like deep fried cat fish? =)

Fred

I sometimes question GMs motivation. Why make a 200 mile range car but make no effort to deploy charge stations? For local commuting the current Leaf is plenty. 200 mile range is useful for long trips, except no charge stations thanks to GM.

Maybe they only intend to divert sales from Nissan and tesla. Only sell a few cars but stall sales of competitors.

Jonathan

Apple’s Eddy Cue is on the Board of Ferrari (which owns Fiat). All of the sudden the Fiat boss went from “compliance cars” that he didn’t support to “all in” on EVs? And he also mentions a “partnership?”

Paul Stoller

Actually that was the other way around, Fiat owned Ferrari, but they just spun of Ferrari into it’s own company. They are now independent.

http://www.wsj.com/articles/fiat-chrysler-approves-ferrari-spinoff-1449170879

All is going according to Elon’s master plan. Get every off their CAN and start building EV’s.

Some of of their commitments are pretty shallow. But they’ll be sucked in by being shamed by others efforts.

Maybe Carlos should set up a page on the Nissan corp. Web site showing their infrastructure plans going forward, like Tesla did for their Supercharger plan.

Then he could have some email linked there for tips, suggestions, and feedback. Like dcqc-suggestions@nissan.jp would be a usefull tpol for them, and another on for Nissan EV owners to connect with them for dcqc-support.

Unfortunatly, communication is not easy with these big players.

It would be nice if they surveyed buyers as to where their greatest needs for qc is!

Alex

Perhaps it was the intention from GM destroying sales from Nissan, who knows. They didn’t have invested much money like Nissan, GM yet never wanted to sell EVs and the production volume 30.000 Bolt is not very courageous. In Europe Bolt will arrive end of 2017, far away. In this time my neighbor will add 15000 miles on his new 30 kWh Leaf.
And Musk would never show his models so early if he does not have to collect money to build produciton line.

Alex, the part “And Musk would never show his models so early if he does not have to collect money to build produciton line.” Is only partly true. It also gives him advance notice of where demand is going, so the Supercharger Team can prepare for the traffic and demand, ideally with more well suited sites.

Fred

+1

Speculawyer

Your Sergio image caption of “Get Ready To Hear Something Stupid On EV Technology” is HILARIOUS and deadly accurate.

Here it comes . . .

“He warned the adoption of electric technology risked continuing the process that he called “disintermediation”, under which carmakers have gradually lost control over elements of a vehicle’s contents to suppliers.

Having initially manufactured all their own components, carmakers currently retain primary control of making only vehicles’ powertrains — their engines and transmissions — he added.”

OK, then why not DESIGN YOUR OWN ELCTRIC MOTORS, CHARGERS, BATTERIES, etc. Duh.

Paul Stoller

I think his real fear is that as core competencies move from ICE and their transmissions into electric motors, power electronics, and batteries is that it will open the barriers to entry into automotive manufacturing to the likes of Apple and other industry players (part suppliers, batter makers, etc).

He’s tacitly admitting that he’s scared of increased competition from players that don’t operate in the same way the automotive industry has for the past 100 years.

Speculawyer

And that is exactly what is happening. Tesla, Apple, LG Chem, Faraday, BYD, etc.

Gotta hand it to GM, they really have been pushing on hard on electrification. During the bankruptcy/bail-out, Obama’s “car czar” wanted GM to kill the Volt because it was expensive and would not pay back soon. GM Execs were adamant in keeping it knowing that it was the future.

We got the Volt, the Spark EV, the ELR, and soon the Bolt . . . now sadly, none of those are profitable. But at least GM is positioned for the future whereas other companies may not be . . . like Fiat/Chrysler.

John

I wonder if Nissan is still losing money on each 24 kWh Leaf, considering that they should have improved the production lines, since the first model, and the cost of batteries has decreased.
Is there any way to know it?

mr. M

yes, start a job at nissan, work your way up until you are directly under Goshn. Get information, share it here and get fired again ^^

John

Ok, I’ll do.
😉

jim stack

Tesla already does all the things they are talking about for the future. Tesla Super Charging, Located Nationwide, autonomous driving and even better battery range and lower cost IE Model 3.

Fabian

Nissan, your “Ghosn” is cooked. We all now want a new 60kwh leaf in 18 months to compete with the Bolt, or leaf sales will not last another year.

Bill Howland

I’ve been incraeasingly skeptical oF Ghosn’s statements over the years.

“I’ve never cared about range.”.
“charging infrastructure is needed.” Both statements are true if you are trying to sell poor quality, miniscule batteried cars.