Ghosn From Detroit In January: No, I can't talk about the next gen LEAF. What is this huge picture behind me? Nothing at all.
Unlike Faraday Future, of whom we reported yesterday thinks the Model 3 "...is not our competition” , Nissan treats the inexpensive Tesla as a rival of sorts, specifically "good competition".
It seems that Tesla's hundreds of thousands of preorders are making a big impression on the Nissan CEO (~325,000 after the first week for the Model 3).
Especially considering those pre-orders are complete with ~$1,000 (USD) deposits, and with the cars still just in the "pre-production stage", and without the opportunity for hand-raisers to check them out, much less test drive them.
Carlos Ghson, CEO of the Renault-Nissan Alliance said:
“The fact that so many people are willing to pay a down payment to get this car which becomes available at the end of 2017 is a good sign. Finally, good competition for EVs is picking up.”
“We welcome competition because it can expand the market. It’s going to stimulate demand.”
Tesla has sold over 120,000 electric cars (since mid 2012), while Nissan and Renault are now well over 300,000 (since December 2010), of which more than 220,000 via the Nissan brand. So these two EV companies are truly the two global super-brands. Some 300,000 Tesla Model 3 pre-orders is a huge volume considering the limited scope of the for current EV market.
60 kWh lithium-ion battery for Nissan IDS concept
We are not sure whether Carlos Ghson realizes that despite corporate designs just for mass-market EV adoption for Nissan and Renault, in 2016 Tesla could sell significantly more electric cars (target of 80-90,000 cars) than the Alliance...in the premium end alone, before moving to the more affordable part in late 2017.
Our hope is that Tesla's push will trigger Nissan to more rapidly advance into the next generation of its all-electric cars, after recently only increasing the LEAF's range by about 25% 9up to 107 miles of real world driving) after around five years since introduction in 2010.
The much alluded to 60 kWh LEAF (or even adjusted higher) would be huge step in the right direction.
"He said new offerings from rivals such as Tesla will spur customer appreciation for electric vehicles and push Nissan to develop better cars of its own. Indeed, the Japanese carmaker is working to boost the range of its next-generation Leaf, cut EV costs and expand the recharging infrastructure."
source: Automotive News