Nissan Admits Current LEAF Is Low On Range – Claims Next-Gen LEAF Won’t Be


Nissan LEAF

Nissan LEAF

200 Buyers Purchased a Nissan LEAF From This Salesman.  Coincidentally, The Next-Generation LEAF Could Have Up To 200 Miles Of Range, According to Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn

200 Buyers Purchased a Nissan LEAF From This Salesman. Coincidentally, The Next-Generation LEAF Could Have Up To 200 Miles Of Range, According to Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn

The Chevrolet Bolt may have been the plug-in star of the 2015 NAIAS, but neither Nissan, nor Tesla are willing to let Chevrolet steal the show.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk responded to the Bolt by stating:

“…sounds like they are going to do something significant with the Bolt.”

Meanwhile, Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn stated that the “Bolt is not a surprise,” adding that Nissan’s long-range LEAF will beat the Bolt to market, match or beat its range and cost less.

Now, one more Nissan exec has gone on record to reinforce the claim that the next-gen LEAF will have more range, while at the same time admitting that today’s LEAF is lacking in the range department.

The exec is Nissan newbie Phillipe Klein, chief planning officer who replaced Andy Palmer shortly after his departure.

Here’s what Klein stated at the 2015 NAIAS:

“We don’t need that much to get out from the basic range anxiety.  We’re going to be there relatively quickly.”

“It’s fair to recognize we are a bit short [with current LEAF’s range.] But for commuting purposes, we are not very far from getting out from range anxiety.”

Klein didn’t provide further comment, but we do know that the next-generation Nissan LEAF is on schedule for a Q1 2017 launch and that Ghosn believes it’s range will be double that of the current LEAF’s 84 miles and may have even more range than the Bolt’s 200, as claimed by General Motors.

Source: Automotive News

Category: Nissan


97 responses to "Nissan Admits Current LEAF Is Low On Range – Claims Next-Gen LEAF Won’t Be"
  1. Someone says:

    Yep, this will probably be the Bolt’s biggest contribution, kicking the backside of the other manufacturers to get decent range cars out.

    1. Assaf says:


      IMHO Nissan has been sitting on its lead recently. Now they’ll have to move faster.

      1. Brian says:

        Nah, Nissan has been planning this upgrade for much longer than GM has been teasing their longer range EV. The Bolt didn’t change the timing or the specs of the next Leaf. If it did anything at all, it just cemented Nissan to their previous commitments.

        1. Goaterguy says:

          And we all win.

        2. MTN Ranger says:

          Nissan did rush the Leaf out to meet the Volt introduction.

          1. Brian says:

            True. I’m convinced that this is why they made a major update in 2013. The 2013 Leaf is probably the car that Nissan’s engineers wanted to release in the first place.

            1. ModernMarvelFan says:

              So, the 2013 LEAF is slower than the 2011/2012 LEAF in 0-60mph AND lost 1 star (from 5 to 4) in NHTSA gov crash test.

              You are saying that is the version of LEAF that Nissan engineer wants to release…

              Hmm… Is that a good thing or bad thing?

              1. Brian says:

                I am referring more to the integration of the power electronics under the hood. For example, the 2011/2012 has a hump in the trunk with an off-the-shelf charger attached to the frame. The 2013-2015 has the charger integrated with the motor, as it should be. That’s just one example. The heat pump is another.

                Noone *tries* to make a car less safe. Of course the Engineers didn’t “want” that. Take your Leaf hate elsewhere.

                As for the 0-60 times, I have driven both a 2012 and 2013. The only real difference is the punch off the line when you floor the accelerator. This is not how most people drive their commuter car, and would probably never be noticed by 90+% of the Leaf drivers today.

              2. RedLeafBlueLeaf says:

                The loss of a star was entirely due to a new crash test – there was no change in the model itself.

                However, facts haven’t gotten in the way of your rants before, so don’t let them spoil this one now.

      2. BraveLilToaster says:

        People are saying this like it’s just something you think of in the shower one morning, and then poof, out comes a car.

        Chevrolet was probably sitting on this particular development for at least a year before surprising everyone at NAIAS. Nissan by contrast, has been publicly known to be working on solving this problem in a real world, “we’re actually going to be manufacturing this, and this is the company who’s making the battery” kind of way for around two years. GM was just trying to steal their thunder with a concept car that probably can’t actually get that range at all right now, nevermind at the price point they’re quoting.

        Concept cars are a company’s hopes and dreams, not their balance sheets at the end of the day. The only thing that ever counts is *not* the speculation before opening day, but what happens after you clean up the confetti.

  2. Delta says:

    Thankyou Model 3. A car that exists only in Elons tweets as far as we know, is pushing the range to double in the next couple of years. Ofcourse it could have the effect of stifling current EV sales while people wait for these new cars.

    1. Lustuccc says:

      The difference is when Musk says he will build Model 3 at 35 000 $ with 200 miles range, I believe him 100%.

      And If for any reason out of his will he cannot, the promises of GM and Nissan will shrink to something like 10% increase like the Volt..

      Go Tesla!

      1. Brian says:

        The first iteration of the Volt was closer to the promised vehicle in terms of performance and timing than the Model S was. Since then, the Model S 40kWh was cancelled, dramatically raising the price. Meanwhile, the Volt got a $5k price reduction.

        I have no reason to believe Tesla will hit all of their targets on time more than I believe GM will hit theirs.

        1. Jouni Valkonen says:

          Tesla has not raised the price of Tesla Model S. Some inflation adjustments have been made.

          Even with dramatic price cuts, Chevy Volt is still ridiculously overpriced and underperforming and it is 100 % depended on subsidies.

          1. Brian says:

            Sorry, I wasn’t clear here. By eliminating the Model S 40, Tesla dramatically increased the entry-level price of the Model S. They had promised a price of $50k, which they hit with the Model S 40. But now you can only buy the Model S 60 for $70k. Yes, it’s more car so not apples-to-apples. But the entry level price increased by $20k.

            I don’t believe the line that there was no demand for the 40. I believe that they eliminated it because their production capacity was (and still is) the limiting factor to their sales. There is plenty of demand to sell all of the 60/85s that they can make, so why bother with the 40?

            1. Jouni Valkonen says:

              85 kWh outsells clearly 60 kWh version. If I recall correctly, 60 kWh version has about 20 % market share. And now the AWD offering will make the situation even worst as 75 % of new orders are AWD cars.

              If the average selling price is around 100 000 dollars, then it is quite easy to see that there just is no demand for cheap electric cars.

              1. Brian says:

                There is plenty of demand for a lower priced EV, why do you think everyone is suddenly talking about building one?

                Tesla is supply constrained. They get a better profit margin from the 85s than from the 60s. So they build more 85s than 60s. I really believe it’s about as simple as that.

                When the gigafactory opens its doors, their production capacity will make a huge leap upward. At this point, they will saturate the market for $100k EVs, and have to look down market for more demand. This is where the Model III fits in.

                1. Lustuccc says:

                  If there were enough demand, Tesla would not have stopped production of the S40. It was the same car with the same form factor battery pack. Just get in line like the others.. Soon when Tesla realized that the Model S was such a success, they did what every good entrepreneur would do, they raised the price of all their offerings.

                  Still Tesla had kept their word introducing the car at $49900.

                  1. ClarksonCote says:

                    How can you start by saying they wouldn’t have cut production if there was more demand, and then go on to suggest they had higher than expected demand which is why they raised their prices?

                    1. Lustuccc says:

                      Oh sorry, I meant to say there was much demand for the S85 and the P85, the all dressed long ranged ones. The ones that wealthy people wanted bad to have the “best car in the world” no matter the price..

                    2. Tech01x says:

                      Tesla is production constrained and specifically, for a long time it had a limit on the number of cells that it could buy and it still has a limit on the number of vehicles it can build. Therefore, it makes sense to maximize the revenue generated per cell and per vehicle – that revenue is directly used to expand the Supercharger network, expand the Service Center network, and build both the Gigafactory and the production expansion for the X and the Model 3.

                      Basically, in order to get over this hump to make a much lower priced car, they are maximizing within reason the revenue per cell and per vehicle.

          2. pjwood says:

            Maybe when you own both, you will recognize the Model S isn’t close to twice the car the Chevy Volt is!

            1. ClarksonCote says:

              +1. The comments above are another great example of biases not backed up by facts or data, but instead from drinking the marketing kool-aid of one manufacturer over another.

              1. kdawg says:

                Yep. +1

                These are ridiculous statements.

                Like the Volt is overpriced, when it’s almost the same price as the average new car and that doesn’t account for fuel savings, or the tax credit, or the better EV ride.

                Or, there is no demand for low cost EVs, yet the Leaf is the #1 plug-in seller.

                Just silly.

                1. Bill Howland says:

                  And, they never made a 40 kwh Tesla S in any event. Just a few people got an excellent bargain on a hobbled 60

            2. tedfredrick says:

              I’ve driven a lot of cars and the Model S performance is the best that I have driven. That being said the Model S is not a car for the masses. 120K is as much as my first house, it is not worth three times what a Volt is worth.

          3. Spider-Dan says:

            How, exactly, is a car that won the most awards ever upon introduction and is one of the top models ever in owner satisfaction “underperforming”?

        2. Robb Stark says:

          Even with GM price cuts Volt can not sell more than ~1/3 its production capacity.

          Starting at twice the price but constantly upgrading content Tesla is producing at full capacity and increases capacity on a regular basis.

          1. Brian says:

            The Volt is a masterpiece of design and engineering. It’s not for lack of hitting their target that GM cannot sell more of these cars.

            GM and their dealers are not behind the first generation Volt. They don’t try to sell it. I sincerely hope this changes with the Volt 2.0. Tesla has no choice – they have a single model providing the majority of their revenue.

            1. Jouni Valkonen says:

              Chevy Volt could have been so much better car than it actually was. GM did not even try to take the maximum out of electric car technology. Chevy Volt may be better than most ICE cars in their category (Chevy Cruze) but Chevy Volt could have been 10 times better and ten times better selling than Chevy Cruze if they had really put some efforts to it.

              1. ClarksonCote says:

                You’ve clearly never owned one. All the Volt owners disagree with you, as it is the highest rated car by consumers under $40,000.

                Have you ever even driven a Volt?

                1. Lustuccc says:

                  Yes I did and it has a good accelration, but the interior design is like a small cage surrounding us. This car is a betrayal on the false promise to deliver an all electric car to replace the EV1. May I recall to you that the Ni-MH version of the EV1 did easily 120 miles on a single charge SIXTEEN YEARS AGO !?!

                  for short distances the Volt is a good EV but it is an inefficient series-parallel hybrid for long distances and highway trips.
                  Many users had problems, The ICE starts in the cold when it is not necessary and there is no way to adjust the temperature when it will start.
                  Again GM and other ICE car makers provide hybrids NOT to provide good range BEVs.
                  Nissan and Toyota had also two models of car in 1999 who did +120 miles on a charge. Simple adapted regular cars. Not expensive and quite efficient. I heard that Santa Monica still use some RAV4 with their original batteries!

                  How come the car makers “forgot” how to make long range BEVs ???

                  1. kdawg says:

                    You need to rethink your comments. The Volt is an EREV-50. It’s the best EREV out there. It’s not a BEV. It’s not trying to be a BEV. You are not allowed to fault it’s design as a BEV.

                    Also statements like “inefficient on long trips” couldn’t be more incorrect. Gen 2 will get 41mpg once it is in hybrid mode. That’s after going 50 miles gas free first. How many other cars get better than 41mpg? Just a couple hybrids at best.

                    Regarding the temp setting adjustability, yes you can adjust it. From 35 down to 15.

                  2. ClarksonCote says:

                    I’m amazed that you’re suggesting that the Volt is too small to replace the EV-1, a coupe (many a 2-seater) and arguably one of the tiniest modern vehicles ever made.

                    1. Bill Howland says:

                      The Roadster (Lotus Elise) is the tiniest.

                      If they ever make that Detroit Electric, which is a Lotus Exige with wider seats, it should be far more spacious.

                      Had a few questions for you Clarkson on the via article.

                2. Open-Mind says:

                  I own a 2013 Volt and can see both sides of this argument. While the Volt-1 drive train is unmatched and brilliant, the center stack usability is terrible, rear visibility is terrible, and the back seats are cramped.

                  IMHO GM’s marketing efforts have actually harmed Volt-1 sales. Most people I talk to think the Volt is an EV that only goes 40 miles. When I explain that it’s also a hybrid, then they get it, but GM will not use those words.

                  And I’m a bit disappointed that GM continues to ignore low-hanging fruit like high performance, AWD, a wagon form factor, and a third row of seats (perhaps rear facing). All these options would be simple to offer and dramatically increase Volt-2 appeal. But since there are only marginal improvements to Volt-2, I see no compelling reason to trade-up at this point.

                  1. Totally agree on the marketing. I can not believe the number people I talk to who misunderstand how the Volt works. Prius owners who think the Volt has to be plugged in every 40 miles!

                    It is a truly astonishing failure on the part of GM to educate.

                    I talk to thousands of people a year at ride and drives and trade shows. It’s not a small sample size. Simply puzzling.

                  2. kdawg says:

                    “GM continues to ignore low-hanging fruit like high performance, AWD, a wagon form factor, and a third row of seats (perhaps rear facing). All these options would be simple to offer and dramatically increase Volt-2 appeal.”
                    To you… those would appeal to you. I don’t want any of those things. Those would also increase weight, screw up the aero, and increase the cost significantly. Look above, you already have people complaining about the price.

                    1. Open-Mind says:

                      “To you… those would appeal to you. I don’t want any of those things. ”

                      That’s why I suggested they should be …

                      o p t i o n s.

                      The current Volt-2 package and price would still exist.

                    2. Brian says:

                      I’m sorry, KDawg, but I have to agree with Open-Mind here. He is talking about options, but then your argument is that they should not be options because they appeal to Open-Mind but not to you?

                      I do agree that GM needs to go after more options and form factors with the Voltec power train, just like Toyota now has a lineup of cars with their Hybrid Synergy Drive. It’s about appealing to a wider audience. They almost got it when they unveiled the crossover years ago. The time is ripe to bring such a vehicle to market!

                  3. ClarksonCote says:

                    While I want to see them market the Volt a lot more, it seems pointless to me until they fix their dealership problem. In other words, all dealers need to offer the Volt and actively promote it and encourage purchase of it, just like every other vehicle they sell. Otherwise, the marketing efforts will fail miserably.

              2. Spider-Dan says:

                The Volt is the most awarded car in GM’s history and has the highest customer satisfaction of any car they’ve ever produced. (It is worth mentioning that the EV1 was NEITHER of these things.)

                And you’re saying that GM wasn’t trying hard enough?

            2. Epicurus says:

              “GM and their dealers are not behind the first generation Volt.”

              Absolutely true according to a Chevy salesman I know. He is the “Volt guy” at one of the biggest Chevy dealers in Texas. He is the only salesman who really knows how the Volt works because he taught himself.

              GM could easily have sold twice as many Volts if they done even a modest ad campaign. They should have marketed the cost savings: “fill up for the equivalent of $1 a gallon. Unlimited range with the gasoline engine,” etc.

              Most Americans don’t even know the Volt exists, or what it is.

              1. Bill Howland says:

                It didn’t help that GM themselves LIED about the nature of the VOLT, even to their dealers, for the first 18 months, until someone from the dept of mtr vehicles in NY state aaid to them, “You’re not fooling anybody”.

                GM for some silly reason gets caught up in this Drama Crap (as Mary Barra is doing refusing to answer questions about the BOLT). This is where they need a Bob Lutz. I like the guy since there is only one time so far where I saw him give a BS answer, and he may have been scripted by someone else to say that, since he’s said in the past “they’ve told me to say this or that”.

                Now if this 2016 version is economic, it should immediately go into a crossvolt or crosshhr, cross colorado, and maybe a Solace Roadster.

          2. Spider-Dan says:

            Tesla’s production capacity couldn’t build all the Volts currently on the road, while GM’s production capacity could build far more Model Ses than Tesla has sold, so that’s not really a meaningful point of judgement.

        3. Lustuccc says:

          Lol! GM lowered the price on the Volt because it didn’t sell enough, Tesla raised their price for the opposite reason!

          1. tedfredrick says:

            The market for a $100K car will saturate in a couple of years. Thats when I step in and buy a used one. If you look at the used car market most of the Model S cars on sale are people trading up to a D version. That will stop soon and the price of new Model S cars will drop.

          2. ClarksonCote says:

            GM lowered the price because it didn’t sell enough? Haha. You don’t understand marketing apparently. New introductions typically have a price skimming methodology applies as costs are cut, efficiencies in production are gained, and additional competition enters the marketspace.

            From day 1, they’ve always talked about incrementally lowering the price and improving range as new advancements allowed, which they’ve followed through with quite well.

            1. Brian says:


              Looking back, I don’t fault either GM or Tesla for their pricing. The Volt’s price cut was due largely to a reduction in costs. Tesla’s elimination of the 40 was to milk more profits from their limited production capabilities. Both make good business sense.

          3. ModernMarvelFan says:

            “Lol! GM lowered the price on the Volt because it didn’t sell enough”

            LOL. Tesla cancelled the S40 version b/c of lack of demand, right? or so are Tesla claiming…

            Didn’t sell enough is still better than lack of demand and cancelling, I guess…

        4. JakeY says:

          That’s not how I remembered it.

          Back during the Volt concept in 2007, it was promised MSRP at “comfortably under $30000,” but it launched at $41k.

          While for the Model S, Tesla in 2012 launched what they promised during the 2009 unveiling: $50000 after tax credit ($57,400 MSRP).

          Also for specs, Volt was promised at 150mpg, 40 miles AER, 640 miles of total range. Results were 93MPGe/33MPGe, 35 miles AER, 380 miles of total range.

          For the Model S they promised 300 miles under the same rating system as the Roadster, they ended up with 320 miles.

          1. Bill Howland says:

            Alot of a bit of wishful thinking there Jakey.

            Musk pulled a fast one by out-of-the-blue raising the Roadster price $20k and then REFUSING to refund anyone’s deposits. He had to have a meeting with the depositors to ameliorate their ‘concerns’.

            The mileage of the S is constantly news… from the get go it didn’t average 300 as it was initially advertised. And now there’s ‘confusion’ to put it politely (notice how its always the buyer’s fault for not keeping up with Tesla’s constantly changing marketing statements) regarding the somewhat poor (but frankly, to be expected) mileage of the p85d.

            In other words, each of these companies, GM, Nissan, and Tesla, all play word games to a greater or lessor degree.

            Those of us in the market have to see through these companies’ games and ask piercing questions at the time of purchase so that, as buyers we know exactly what is promised, and what isn’t.

            1. JakeY says:

              He’s not talking about the Roadster, he’s talking about targets for the Model S vs the Volt. And even if you consider what Tesla did with the Model S 40kWh “cheating”, they did hit their target, while GM wasn’t even close.

              While there’s talk about the P85D efficiency, Tesla did show what kind of rating system they used (65mph steady speed). And they issue clear cut blog posts with graphs to explain the efficiency differences and different rating systems. It’s far more informative than what other manufacturers offer. This is something they did back then for both the Roadster and original Model S too. See their blogs.


              1. Bill Howland says:

                I think its a matter of degree…..

                None of these companies are Choir Boys when it comes to twisting the facts.

                So therefore, I’m not going to defend many of the statements of even the manufacturers of the cars I own, since both have at various times lied to a greater or lesser extent.

      2. RedLeafBlueLeaf says:

        Why do you believe Musk 100%?

        His track record is horrible when it comes to meeting dates. The Model X is now at least 2 years overdue.

        If we ever actually see a Model X we’ll be able to evaluate how it did versus it’s promises. But we probably won’t be able to do the same before the Model E, I mean 3, I mean whatever it turns out to be, before it’s actual release in 2020 or so.

  3. Sam says:

    Is the higher range leaf really not expected until 2017? Any rumors of 2016?
    That would mess up our lease. Maybe we need to get a new lease. Are there still 2 yr leases available?

    1. Lustuccc says:

      They all wait for Tesla to fail…

    2. Eric Loveday says:

      Yes, it’s on the schedule for Q1 2017 right now. Could Nissan move it up? Probably, but the financials/documents show it at Q1 2017 for launch at the moment.

  4. Brian says:

    “…for commuting purposes, we are not very far from getting out from range anxiety.”

    It’s a shame they are still talking about a commuter car. A 200-mile BEV plus a robust QC network is so much more than a commuter. It can be your only car. Tesla gets it, Nissan still doesn’t seem to.

    1. Lindsay Patten says:

      Or perhaps they do get it but have decided that it makes more financial sense to sell to the large number of people that have cars that they don’t drive more than 200 miles at a time than to try to build a world-wide network of fast chargers?

      1. kdawg says:

        That’s why I wished they would all offer different KWH capacities. That’s one thing Tesla did right. You want more battery, no problem, and you pay for it.

        Personally I’d like more than 200 miles. I do a lot of trips that are 180 miles round trip. I don’t know if I feel comfortable with just 20 miles of reserve, especially when the weather gets cold.

        If it costs more, that’s fine, I’ll buy it.

  5. Jouni Valkonen says:

    Nissan should triple their range and double the price of their electric cars. This way they could sell perhaps 300 000 electric cars annually.

    1. Brian says:

      That puts the range and price on par with a Model S 85. This would be OK for the Infiniti LE but does not make sense for the Leaf. The Leaf needs to stay affordable so that EVs don’t just turn into “toys for the rich”

      1. Jouni Valkonen says:

        Only a complete nutcase is offering electric cars into hatchback markets, because there electric car markets are just too low in order to justify large enough production volumes. Annual global markets are less than 100 000 electric cars per year in hatchback category. Instead in premium car category, about 50 to 60 000 dollars and above, global electric car markets are today about few million electric cars annually. Premium car markets are therefore about ten times larger than The markets for Nissan Leaf.

        Of course, Nissan Leaf was not meant to be profitable car as standalone, but it was designed to take the max out of government subsidies. And this was a success. That is also wrong in politics that middle class is paying the development costs of electric car technology. Instead we should have negative subsidies for non-electric luxury cars and encourage the rich 2% to pay the development costs of new technology.

        Also car companies are directing most of their R&D efforts into luxury car category. E.g. Toyota’s premium car brand Lexus provides about half of all profits that Toyota is generating. Therefore Toyota allocates their R&D budged accordingly. That is, Toyota is today using about zero yens for the R&D of electric cars. I would say that there just cannot be more grandiose failure of government electric car incentives. EV incentives did not encourage at all car companies to invest on electric car R&D and and global fast charging network.

        Today Tesla is the only car company that is actually investing on electric car R&D and infrastructure. Most others are just trying to milk government subsidies with minimal efforts. And many do not do even that but are rather paying zero emission credits.

        1. Fool Cells says:

          is it also wrong middle class tax payers are subsidizing fossil fuel companies with several orders of magnitude more dollars?

          1. Scott Franco says:

            Exactly. For instance I am tired of subsidizing McDonald’s by buying their hamburgers. Clearly they should be giving them away.

            So…. Flunked economics 101 did we?

            1. Jouni Valkonen says:

              What we need are burger flipping robots. Those can make a gourmet burgers on the price of BigMac. This way we can kick all those minimum wage burger flippers away from their miserable jobs.

        2. Brian says:

          “Annual global markets are less than 100 000 electric cars per year in hatchback category. Instead in premium car category, about 50 to 60 000 dollars and above, global electric car markets are today about few million electric cars annually. Premium car markets are therefore about ten times larger than The markets for Nissan Leaf.”

          I’m not sure I understand where you are getting this information from. Yes, the electric hatchbacks sold less than 100k copies in 2014. But at what earth did premium electric cars sell 1 million copies in 2014?

          If we are talking about future market potential, you really think that a premium electric car can sell 10x as many copies as a 150-mile Leaf? Even if that premium EV had a 400 mile range, I think that is fantastical dreaming.

          1. ClarksonCote says:

            If you drink the Kool-aid he is drinking, it will all make sense. Granted you may die of an overdose, but everything will briefly come into focus as you realize 2 + 2 clearly equals 22.

          2. Jouni Valkonen says:

            No one offers electric cars in that price category. Although battery tech has been ready and affordable enough since 2012 or so. First offering into that price category will be Tesla Model 3

            Only Tesla is pushing the limits of electric car markets forward, but they have very limited resources and limited experience on car manufacturing.

            Toyota is outright hostile towards electric cars. This tells something!

            The predicted cost reduction of batteries due to Gigafactory are only cutting the costs of Model 3 by some 3000 to 5000 dollars. This is hardly a deal breaker!

  6. Robb Stark says:

    All full line OEMs should make BEVs for every purse and purpose.

    Just like they currently do for ICEv.

    Commuter cars for the Western Middle Class,luxury sport cars for the Upper Class, and super simple city cars for the developing world’s aspiring middle class.

    1. Jouni Valkonen says:


      Of course car companies do not want this. Because they are happy selling ICE cars in their established market niches. Electric cars are meaning a change and change is bad, because it is unpredictable.

      That is why the real failure was the failed government incentives that were directed into wrong car segment. They did not encourage car manufacturers to invest on R&D of electric cars.

      1. hsparra says:

        I would not necessarily say the the government incentives were a failure. The best selling electric cars volume-wise are priced in the 30’s. Although not low end that is pretty low for new technology.

        Technology tends to start at the high-end, high-margin products. This allows companies to recoup costs earlier with less risks while allowing them to work out early issues on a smaller number (cars in this case). Cars are not unique in this.

        The problem with capital intensive industries is that risks are much higher when pursuing new technology. Economics are also against new technologies since economies of scale are much more important in high capital industries. Not only does economies of scale give efficiencies in production and delivery, it also gives you pricing power with suppliers. You will get a better price if you are buying an entire years output from a supplier compared to just buying one item (an extreme example).

        1. Jouni Valkonen says:

          Tesla Model S will be the best selling electric car around early 2016. And it costs on average 100 000 dollars. Why it is not today the best selling electric car is only because Tesla and Panasonic have failed to ramp up the production fast enough. By the end of 2015, Tesla will have production capacity about 100 000 cars per year.

          In 2020, Tesla will have about 50 GWh batteries available and by 2025, Tesla’s production capacity should have reached the demand.

  7. Tech01x says:

    Automotive journalists, especially green car journalists should know to pin down the difference between range estimates given with JC08/NEDC standards or EPA standards. The difference with the Leaf is that the EPA range is 60% of JC08/NEDC range.

    When Mr. Ghosn discussed the upcoming Leaf’s range, he talked about doubling it to 400km or 250 miles. Which is double the 124 miles range of the Leaf on the JC08/NEDC standards. But that translates to 150 miles on EPA standards.

    So now, Nissan obviously believes that GM’s claim for the Bolt’s 200 mile range is given with the JC08/NEDC standards which means 120 mile EPA range which is less than the upcoming Leaf’s 150 mile range.

    GM could have made it clear if they mean 200 mile EPA range or 200 mile JC08/NEDC range, which means 120 mile EPA range. 120 mile range means more like a 40-50 kWh battery and that actually coincides with the DCFC specs that they did give… 80% in 40 minutes which seemed very slow, but would be about right talking about a 40-50 kWH battery with a 62.5 kW CCS EVSE.

    Of course, GM got the headlines they wanted… 120 mile range would not have garnered the same attention, but it was up to journalists to suss this out.

    As for the Tesla Model 3, the it has to have a realistic 200 mile EPA range in order to make the 120-140 mile jumps between the Superchargers in most, if not all conditions. 150 mile EPA range would mean charging to 100 percent and still usually not being able to make the jumps. I would be very surprised if the Model 3 will have less than 190 mile EPA range as a result.

    1. Jouni Valkonen says:

      200 mile version of Tesla Model 3 may not even have supercharger available. It may be offered only for 300 mile version of Tesla Model 3.

      1. hsparra says:

        I would be surprised if it was not offered. I think Tesla recognizes the value that their supercharger network brings. I do think it will be an option, like it is on 60kWh Model S.

      2. Tech01x says:

        The big difference, even if the Model 3 base model doesn’t come with Supercharging, is that a version of the Model 3 will be able to drive on the Supercharger network.

        Say the Bolt comes out with 40-45 kWh of battery for 130 miles of EPA range, DCFC at 50-60 kW for $37,500. The Model 3 comes out with 60 kWh of battery with 200 miles of EPA range, add tech package and Supercharge at 95 kW option for $42,000. Which would be more desirable?

    2. kdawg says:

      Why would GM use a Japanese or European range estimate at the North American Auto Show? This is silly.

      1. Tech01x says:

        The same reason why Ghosn talks about 400km (250 mile) of range for the Leaf or Audi and others use the same metric. It sounds better.

        GM gets headlines for 200 miles of range. Not 120 or 130 miles of range. The confusion with the Tesla Model 3 is just a nice side effect.

        Why do you think GM didn’t provide the battery capacity?

    3. Astute analysis. But if GM doesn’t create the equivalent of a Supercharger network, long distance trips are kind of a moot point anyway.

      I agree that 200 mile with SC is the minimum viable product for “no compromise” EV. SC means more than just 100kw charge rate. Network and placement are key competitive advantages.

      Tesla solution wins as long as OEMs pretend someone else is going to build it for them.

  8. Sublime says:

    Nissan should win this race. They’ve been working on LEAF 2.0 for a while now. I’m assuming the next LEAF has a lower profile and longer wheelbase making it much more aerodynamic while including more space for battery storage. The advent of LG chem’s new secret sauce that seems to have all the OEM minus Tesla on board impacts Nissan the least. Since they manufacture both their cells and packs, nothing physical should need to be re-engineered. They should be able to build cells with exactly the same dimensions, but with more capacity.
    I’m hoping we see an Infiniti LE in late 2016, but I’m guessing Nissan will choose to debut anything new under the LEAF in 2017.

    1. Larger car would kill the Leaf sales in Japan and Europe.

    2. kdawg says:

      I’d say LG’s new chemistry affects the car companies currently using their cells the least; Ford & GM.

      Is Nissan going to retool their TN plant, or just source the cells from Holland MI?

      1. Sublime says:

        I thought I had read that Nissan would begin sourcing anode/cathode materials from LG for their next gen battery. However maybe that was just a rumor.

    3. Thanh Lim says:

      I’m just hoping that when I do need to replace my batteries, that they will be compatible (and still passively cooled), but with vastly more range.

  9. shawn marshall says:

    I like the Leaf Bolt competition At 200 miles range, my wife might say ok to a BEV. GM is not pushing the Volt because BEVs are a better option if one really anticipates an improvement factor of 2 in battery technology. $30k & 200mi range may very well be the sweet spot. If they can hit that let one Fearless Forecaster predict that BEV sales will strike like lightning.

  10. Kaleb says:

    I see that Jouni thinks anyone that doesn’t spend $100k on a Tesla is somehow an inferior human-being. Jouni–many of us could afford a Tesla if we wanted one, but I don’t see the point in spending $100k for my 40 mile daily commute only to leave a depreciating asset in a parking lot all day to get dinged up. Sub-100-mile EVs had their place the past few years and I have loved mine.

    1. Jouni Valkonen says:

      Good for you. Somehow your attitude does not reflect in electric car sales car. E.g. Here in Finland where we do not have significant EV incentives, only less than 1000 electric cars have been sold.

    2. tedfredrick says:

      People that have purchased the Model S are lossing over $15K a year on depreciation.

      1. Jouni Valkonen says:

        that is the same with all other luxury cars. In general, luxury cars are losing quite fast the value.

        But anyway, if you buy Tesla today, you need also subscribe to Tesla’s battery replacement program. It costs 12 000 dollars extra that you will get new 85 kWh battery pack after eight years. This prevents all together the significant depreciation of value of your Model S, because after eight years, you will have brand new battery pack in the car.

  11. More important question is, will there be an upgrade pack for the existing Leaf’s.

  12. tftf says:

    Nissan could well offer two battery packs in the future, so I wouldn’t reach too much into these statements.

    Maybe the “better than Bolt” applies to the larger battery option only, for example 150 miles for the smaller battery and 250 miles for the larger one (the larger one could maye also be used in a future Infiniti EV etc.)

    In any case, the 2017-2018 timeframe could get crowded in terms of new BEVs (Honda recently announced a new one as well for 2018).

    1. Jouni Valkonen says:

      It would be outrigth ridiculous to offer 250 mile range for hatchback, whose sales are 100 % depended on subsidies and still the car is only barely profitable. Nissan predicts that LEAF will be profitable in 1H 2015 IF ALL R&D spendings are excluded.

  13. Scott Franco says:


    A. amazing how many people seem to believe that leaf is a failure despite having the highest volume of EV sales. EVER. Of any EV.

    B. That a thread on leaf turns into a thread on Volts.

    1. Bill Howland says:

      No one here is knocking the Leaf.

      It is an impressive product.
      Decent performance and handling.
      Competively priced.

      The styling is a bit of an acquired taste, especially for American Eyes, but world-wide this hasn’t hurt sales.

      The only point being made is that, for some, the battery is too small to be practical,
      and, for ‘hot-climate’ owners such as in Tucson, Arizona, Nissan’s handling of some of the owner’s problems have been ‘less than philanthropic’.