Nissan Asks “How Much of a Premium Would You Pay For a 150-Mile EPA-Rated LEAF?”


Could the Next-Gen LEAF Get 150 Miles of Range?

Could the Next-Gen LEAF Get 150 Miles of Range?

If Nissan were to ask you the following:

“How much of a premium [over today’s 84-mile LEAF] would you pay for a 150-mile EPA-rated LEAF?”

What would your answer be?

Before providing an answer, let’s go backwards a bit.  The 2014 Nissan LEAF is priced as follows:

  •  S from $28,980
  • SV from $32,000
  • SL from $35,020 

Let’s assume that Nissan is asking the question based on those prices.

Nissan LEAF

Nissan LEAF

So, let’s say you wanted a 150-mile EPA-rated Nissan LEAF SL?  What would you be willing to pay for it? $40,000?  $45,000?

Or perhaps you want the stripped down S, but with 150 miles of range.  What’s that worth to you? $35,000?

As it turns out, Nissan is asking the exact question we presented above.

In preparation for the launch of the next-gen (let’s say 2016 Model Year for now) Nissan LEAF, the automaker is trying to get a feel for the following:

  1. What’s the level of demand for a 150-mile version of the LEAF?
  2. What’s the right price premium to set on a 150-mile LEAF?
  3. Should we do 2 versions of the LEAF differentiated only by range or should the 150-mile version be the only one offered?

Here’s the real shocker…

When Nissan posed the “price premium” question to current LEAF owners, the highest amount listed by Nissan was…only $5,000.  Zing!!!

So, the real question is, would you be willing to pay $5,000 or less to jump from an 84-mile LEAF to one that’s rated by the EPA at 150 miles?  Do we even have to ask?

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190 Comments on "Nissan Asks “How Much of a Premium Would You Pay For a 150-Mile EPA-Rated LEAF?”"

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I just answered that survey last night, I was very happy they were so direct with the questions. BTW, I’d be willing to go $3,500 more.

Why would you pay more for an item Nissan should be improving as SOP? The fact is We have paid for the ongoing development of their battery. $30,000 for a BEV driveline built on a $17,000 Nissan Note chassis and the DOE loan money, seems to me as profit enough for them to fund 150 mile battery modules. I would not encourage them to offer longer mileage as an option. A improved battery should be original equipment for all new Leafs. And, it should be offered as a low-cost upgrade to all older Leaf models.

BEVs are not ICE cars and don’t come close to fitting the outdated policies, Nissan would like to apply to them. They are vastly different and should last decades longer before wearing out. In fact, a used Nissan Leaf with a newly replaced long range battery might be worth consideration. While a used Leaf with the current battery installed is a risk.

My God !!! are you kidding me, 5k more to get 150 miles… I would get a LEAF and replace my 2012 PRIUS without any hesitation…

Nissan are you listening !!!, please give us a 150+ LEAF asap. We are all waiting for it to jump on the EV bandwagon..

Or Nissan, why not leave the same battery range and add a small gasoline engine (option) like the BMW i3 !!. You already have this small, light and powerful engine (see below).

This engine would serve as a range extender and provide longer range when needed. There is enough room to put this small engine in the back under floor. Make this an option for 3.5k to 5k and the LEAF will be a top seller..

Nissan LEAF with a range extended at a decent price would be a game changer..

Watch out Toyota, if this comes, the PRIUS family is dead!!

Nissan’s Crazy-Powerful New Engine Weighs Just 88 Pounds

A leaf with Rex means booming sales and the end of the Prius.


I would buy a 70mi leaf with a rang extender at a 5k premium today if they offered it. Any links to the survey? I just went onto the nissan website and did not see it. I would like to fill one out.

I can top that. How about $10,000 more for a 300+ range Basic Nissan Leaf. The 3.3 kw charger is still ok, but please leave the 6.6 Kw charger as an optional extra because a 300+ mile range car needs 6.6 kw usually. Or be really generous and throw it in with the deal.

If I knew a place where I could plug in in albany, then after a 12 hour lay over, I could get back home to buffalo. Sweet!

We northerners can relax because now we can have HEAT in our electric vehicles if our round trip is say only 150 miles. No more shivering.

So Carlos come up with a 300+ mile vehicle soon!

Is it a no brainer to want a 2016 Leaf for $34,000 to go 150 miles? By about 2017, Tesla will be offering a $35,000 sedan that will go 200 miles. Now what is your decision?

and by 2020 some compony will offer 250 range for 30K… You can’t wait forever in fast evloving market like EV. You buy whats best option when you need…

One year later and $1000 more, the Tesla GenIII will get you 200 miles, free supercharging and a much better looking car. I’ll wait thank you very much.

A 100 miles Tesla with a Rex able to give 400 miles overall.

I think that Nissan should make the 2015 models with a 150 mile range and find a way to absorb the cost. The more attractive the car is, the more units that will be sold. I think that the only way they will get that extra range is to add fifty percent more batteries. If that is what it takes then I feel they should be able to do that for two to three thousand and that is what I would expect to see as an optional extra, yes I would love to see that option.

Yes , as a volt driver , the 150 mph for about the same price would have made the sale . Would cover 95% of all our driving with an ICE vehicle for the limited # of longer road trips . Not enough rapdi chargers in north central Pa to do without the ICE or Volt

70 miles of EV range would cover most of my driving (it would be my sweet spot for daily driving), but 150 isn’t quite enough for all of my driving. I’d still need to own 2 cars. So I wouldn’t pay much more for the range. 250 would work though, But until then, I”ll stick with my Volt.

Why not use a rental or car swap for the 0.5% of trips that are over 150 miles?

Speaking of the Volt, I think the LEAF should have a range extender option too. That’s worth more to me (and, IMO, to most people) than 60 miles more electric range. Renault-Nissan is developing a 800cc engine for the India market. They gotta get that into an EREV ASAP.

Performance is the other option I want. It’s a mass-produced electric motor. It should cost Nissan peanuts to increase the power to 120kW at least.

We have 800 CC (Suzuki) & 624 CC (Tata Nano) engine available 🙂

In order to have a motor that powerful, you need enough juice to run it…will be a function of battery pack design…

Well, I have a nissan Leaf 2011, And love it, but I traded it for one that go 250 mile more any days! Because there Not enough Charging Stations out there, and I live in CA.
I also want to thanks Nissan for taking the first step, and not letting those greedy Oil Companies, bulling them around, advancement can not be stop, and, it is time electric cars to take the lead, because they be saving life and at the same time they be saving the environment from pollution’s, and let us not forget That Greed can catch up with those people, who live in the name of it, think about all those bankers that have die, in the name off it.

Yours Truly
Clodomiro Giraud Jr

Yes , as a volt driver , the 150 mile range for about the same price would have made the sale . Would cover 95% of all our driving with an Volt or ICE vehicle for the limited # of longer road trips . Not enough rapid chargers in north central Pa to do without the ICE or Volt

The question is how much will an old used one cost? I suspect that if they introduce a 150 mile Leaf then the price of a used 84 mile will be so very attractive even for me here in Egypt!
84 miles is more than I need per day. And we have 3000 sun hours per year. So without even trying to do the maths $2000 worth of solar panels will make me drive this used Leaf for free for ever round Cairo. Huraaaa

i envy your climat, i am instaling solar on my house in sweden now, but i will only gett sligtly less than 1000 kWh / year for every kW of solar i install.

Kalle I am sorry to tell you that you have a bigger problem in Sweden than just the long and dark winter up there. Even though 50%or more of your electricty comes from reactors the biggest problem is the state! You pay at least 300% tax of fuel. That is a lot of money for the state. Most of this money goes to unwedded mothers and poeple living off the state. Sweden will have to another way to get this money if it goes to electrifying cars. Next to you in Norway and maybe in some parts of Sweden you have water falls that can produce some electricty. Not so much wind or sun either. What you can do is try and find a way to store energy say in cheap batteries so that when you produce electricty then you can use it in the winter. Similar to the fish that you fish in the summer and eat 6 months latter!

Sweden already has close to 100% clean electricity so no problem there. Sweden has untouched rivers that could be used to increase the hydroelectric power but that would have a great negative impact on the environment and even some existing hydroelectric plants might get removed so that the nature can be restored. But taxation will be a problem since about 60% of the gas price is tax (about 1/3 energy tax, 1/3 carbon tax, 1/3 VAT). That’s a lot of money going to the state, about $8 billion every year.

Even though that kind of money will slow down the governments rate of change and enthusiasm for biofuels and electrification the level of commitment is still high, from politicians and regular people. So the change is inevitable.

“…unwedded mothers….” Boy, that came out of left field.

where do youthe the $8 BILLION goes to?

My guess would have been abortions and/or gay weddings.

I got the survey. I said $3000 (premium for a 150 range), or $50 more on a lease. Really worth it? Yes, if the charging infrastructure also gets better. Otherwise what is the use of a long range without on the road charging?

Let’s do the math:

150 range
2+ hours at 65 MPH
120 range on a fast charge (%80).
15 minutes to charge (yes, Nissan said that in the survey).
just under 2 hours at that range.

San Jose to Los angeles, 2 stops (150, 120, 120). 5.7 hours including stops.

I call that a workable long distance vehicle as long as there were fast chargers at Harris ranch and about bakersfield (oh wait, there already are… they are just Tesla stations).

Yeah, the Leaf would certainly take more time to do the trip but it would be very do able. However, in reality I suspect you would need one more stop and another 1.5 hours or so because at freeway speeds you would not get the full 150 (100% charge) or 120 (80% charge) miles.

Its 338 miles from San Jose to LA (choosen because I live in the former and occasionally to the latter). There is 52 miles left over after the two charges, so that covers any extra.

Google maps has that at 5 hours, which gives 67 miles per hour, which isn’t going to include stops. Unless you really move it at the filling station, you’re not going to do much better than 15 minutes.

So I stick with my math.

I’ve heard that the Harris Ranch had Level 2 chargers for some time…Tesla people used them before the superchargers existed.

Heck, I’d happily pay $5,000 more for 150 miles of range. But Nissan would need to have that car available in summer of 2015 when my lease runs out.

The longest car trip I have made in the past 5 years is about 250 miles. This car could make the trip with a single stop. If that stop was at a Quick Charger, it would take more time for me to get the kids out of the car, use the restrooms, and get them buckled up again than it would for an 80% charge! I’m more than happy to make that tradeoff to completely rid myself of gasoline.

I, too, need 150 miles by the summer of 2015. I am reluctant to lease again for 2 years and miss the longer range version if it comes out in 2016. There is some company in Albany, Oregon that claims a battery breakthrough using, as I recall, “hard carbon and silicone”. But these tech breakthroughs never seem to pan out.

That would be cool, but I think it would also put pressure on Tesla to move their E version earlier. $35k for 150miles or $60k for 208miles ? Yes the Tesla is a more premium product, but with the range that close it requires Tesla to up-sell the premium and really push the Supercharger network benefit.

At 150 miles range, I wouldn’t consider a Leaf a touring car, but it would allow travel around town with zero range anxiety, and the occasional trip to the edge if the metro area.

I do believe that a 150 mile leaf could gain widespread acceptance.

I also hope that Nissan produces a variant that has more conventional styling. The combination would be hugely popular.

+1 on the mainstream styling refresh. The LEAF looks kind of quirky or bug-eyed and the bulbous rear-end is especially hideous. Nissan did a great job tuning up the cheap-looking Versa into the Versa Note. They should do the same for the LEAF.

I don’t own one, but I hope they leave the power port where the grill should be. That’s iconic. It’s convenient and perfect advertising and a reminder of the mission of the brand.


With the inferior temp management, an EPA range of 150 would be very comfortable for driving around even large cities without needing to charge at your destination…would have tons of power left for heat, A/C, etc.

As a current Leaf driver I will not buy another Leaf as happy as I am with the product unless range is improved. My lease is up Feb 2015 , I doubt a gen 2 100125 plus mile Leaf will be avail then , but if it is I would be very likely to buy one.

My main beef with the LEAF is that my battery is down almost 20% capacity after 2.5 years despite living in southern California near the coast and only using “long-life” mode 80% charging 98% of the time. I didn’t expect to be here for another 2-3 years at least!

In terms of usability for longer trips, I would look for two things (not necessarily and either/or situation, but probably a combination):

1. More reliable DCQC infrastructure – the current practice of placing a single QC at a location sucks, especially given that they are so unreliable. Tesla has it right here by placing 4-8 plugs on 2-4 independent charging stations per location.
2. Longer range so that 200 mile trips can be taken with relative ease and that shorter trips can be taken without needing to quick charge.

I was thinking $7500, so for $5000? Most definitely!

Dr. Kenneth Noisewater

For a 40kWh-usable Nissan I’d probably go as high $55k.

But it’d have to be a 5-passenger CUV and have active thermal management for the battery, and do 0-60 in less than 7 seconds with RWD or AWD.

Remember the 40 kWh Model S was listed at $49,900 MSRP after $7,500 credit, and 60 kWh Model S was $59,900 in 2013. This is a difference of ~$10,000 for 20 kWh capacity. By 2016, 20 kWh should be $5,000-$7,500 … giving a battery cost savings of $5,000-$10,000 for 40 kWh Model S. (est. $39,900-$44,900 Model S)

A LEAF, and Model E will be smaller than a Model S (less metal & materials). Additionally, both E and LEAF will have lower power motor and power electronics. Combined cost difference would remove further $5000-$7500. Thus $34,900-$39,900 for mid-range motor performance (120 kW motor) and $32,400-$37,400 for LEAF-class (80 kW motor) performance.

*note: this includes 10-20 kW onboard charging options (6.6-10 kW charging shoud further lower pricing); a 60 kW (40+20) should only be $7,500 more option (greater than 60 kWh battery will not likely in smaller EV due to larger weight and volume limitation)

Sounds like a Rav4EV to me.

Dr. Kenneth Noisewater


Too bad Toyota hates them, and only sells them for CARB credits :/

How ’bout that blue velour?

The Rav4EV has a 50Kw battery (41.8Kw usable) and cannot go 150 miles without driving sustained at 55mph. Of course its a much bigger and less aerodynamic vehicle. Price wise they sell for $50K before incentives, but Toyota seems to provide $6500 in incentives in addition to the govnt $7500. So this is $36K for a vehicle with an EPA range of 113miles with a full charge but its only 78mpg equivalent compared to 102 highway for the Leaf.

Only thing missing on RAV4 EV is faster charging.

20 kW AC Level2, or DC Fast Charge option would make the RAV4 EV a very desirable EV.

There is an independent team working on a CHAdeMO bolt-on for the RAV4 EV. Very interesting project.

Yes, we are actively working on the “JdeMO” project for the Rav4 EV.

We recently added a new 2014 Rav4 EV that is dedicated solely to that project. We hope for an August 2014 release.


+ $3500. The additional range would finally provide the necessary ‘peace of mind’ for this BEV, especially in cold climates (i.e. North-East USA and Canada)

From a future Volt OR Leaf owner.

I would pay $5k more for the 150 EPA range battery, in a heartbeat, this June when my lease expires. That is assuming there is some solution to the hot weather degradation.

Sadly MY ’16 will be too late for me…

I read that, figured that 10 grand would be more than fair (puts it just over $400/kWh), then saw I could only go up to $5000! I’m glad I’m leasing right now because I’d pay $5000 extra in a heart beat for a 150-mile Leaf in a year and a half!

Here’s a guess: whatever people answer, eventually Nissan will try to double that at least when rolling out their price.

Instead of stupid questions, I’d rather have timelines from them.

The Leaf has been around for enough years with the exact same battery-pack. That’s not the rate of improvement expected from an emerging technology. They need to be more definite about when the longer range Leaf becomes a reality rather than a survey question.

If Nissan provided an exact launch date for the longer range LEAF, then what do you think would happen to sales of the current LEAF?

I can see the headlines now. “Nissan LEAF Sales Tank”

Which would then lead to all sorts of disruption as Nissan still is the one that is looked upon to make the first move in the affordable, long-range EV segment.

I assure you it’s coming (the longer range LEAF) and assume my Model Year 2016 guess is accurate.

I understand the rationale full well, but I think they got it backwards. IMHO if it’s model year 2016, then they will lose a lot of momentum. It means they’re banking on a far broader segment of the population getting used to a 70-80 mile range BEV as a normal reality for quite a few years (which we’re personally living right now). In other words, a collective range-anxiety weaning for hundreds of thousands of people. Which overall is good but for their range-extension plan is actually detrimental. Because if they succeed in that -i.e., continue to increase sales with 80-mile 2014 and 2015 models – they’ll get to charge far less premium for the 150-mile version. People will realize that 99% of the days they don’t even need 100 miles. People will do the cold $$ calculation: 10 days/year that I can rent/borrow an ICE vehicle on, or pay $5k-$10k more and have it with me all the time… doesn’t quite pan out. Plus, by 2016 they’ll be squeezed by the forthcoming Tesla Gen E, BMW i3, and quite possibly other makers. If they delay longer range, they are doing the same mistake they did in 2011-12. Why is Tesla… Read more »

Or, my rejoinder to you in 1 sentence, using your own words:

When you spearhead a disruptive technology, you DON’T plan your strategy around trying to calm the waters and minimize “all sorts of disruption”.

Disruption is the name of the game. Now, go out there and play it to win.

If Nissan comes out with a 150 mile Leaf in 2016/17 their sales will tank anyways if they are competing against a $35k Tesla with 200 mile range.

Like the Tesla Model S, they were advertising two things, but not together.

The early advertising for Model S was $49k and 300 mile range. What they didn’t advertise was the “fast refueling capability” that they would be receiving 7 CARB-ZEV credits per car.

Of course, the Model S would never do those both together. I suspect that Model E will be the same; 200 mile range won’t be at $35k.

Nissan said 2015 for an approximate doubling of battery capacity using their NMC technology in their production models, way back in 2009.
At that time they had already done the fundamental development work.

It looks to me as though they are bang on schedule, and since they have already released the 2014 model, I would expect the high capacity option for the 2015 model year.

See my post with references downthread.

I expect 2015, also, even if it’s late spring 2015. One thing to be careful about is what range Nissan may be talking about. Here the LEAF official government rated range worldwide: 124 miles = 200km Japan “EPA” rating for 2011-2012 142 miles = 228km Japan “EPA” for 2013 109 miles = 175km UK / Euro 2011-2013 73 miles = EPA-USA 2011-2012 75 miles = EPA-USA 2013 with 66 EPA miles for 80% and 84 EPA miles for 100% 84 miles = EPA-USA 2014 I prefer that they offer a 48kWh battery that they used here: “In one of the quieter examples of a car’s powertrain getting souped up, Nissan has doubled the size of the battery pack in an all-electric Leaf to better compete in Spain’s ECOseries driving competition recently conducted by the Catalan Automobile Federation (FCA) at the Barcelona Technical Centre.” “Nissan stuffed a 48-kWh lithium-ion battery pack in a Leaf in order to run against a Mercedes-Benz A-Class E-Cell hydrogen fuel-cell electric vehicle. And while the Benz won the category, the Leaf was quicker than the Mercedes-Benz and its range was boosted. The ECOseries was first held in 2010 and awards points for driving efficiency and… Read more »

Nissan is selling an electric tank? Wow, that is news….

Would pay 6500 € more if I consider the 24 kWh version will be 4000 € cheaper in 2 years from todays price points.

So it’s more like 2500 € which is around 135$/kWh. Pretty low, but should be possible by 2018/2019.

Only some parts of a price reduction would be related to the battery. Other parts, like power electronics, electric motor (due to higher production volume), infotainment electronics ect. will become cheaper too.

So everybody would likely pay more. Then the more interesting question is when? I want it know! hahah. Agree that CUV or SUV would be better. Nissan when you are going to offer a 6 seater electric?

With increase power Nissan has the ability to improve the Leaf performance. I wonder if the $5K includes that. 120mph top speed?

Do you really need 120 MPH? Heck, even 90 MPH should be plenty for everyone. Not to mention aerodynamic losses at those speeds are tremendous — there goes your extra range!

If it takes Nissan two years to offer a 150 mile range Leaf, they will be very close to the time frame of the Tesla’s Model E introduction. Then they are competing with a 200 mile range Tesla, and a $5k upcharge to get to 150 miles rated range Leaf is not going to look that attractive.

I disagree. A 150 mile Leaf starting at $33,980 would certainly compete against a 200 mile Tesla starting at $47,450. There will be plenty of room in the market for both of them.

Totally agree.

I would choose neither. Both sound like a disappointment, honestly. Maybe Not now, but by the time I’m in the market again.

Model E could be that much, it could also be a lot closer to the target.

Brian – $47,450 price for a Tesla Model E has never been mentioned. However, $35k for a Model E has been mentioned several times. I wouldn’t bet against Elon Musk.

Musk has repeatedly delivered cars behind schedule and over price. He also says that it will be $35k in 2012 dollars. If inflation is 3%/year, that brings us to $40,575 in 2017. I gave him the benefit of the doubt that he would hit <$40k after tax credit, which is why I picked that number. But I would not be surprised at all to see the price in the mid- to high-40s.

I mostly agree.

Another way to look at it is this: After tax credit, the Model E will be no cheaper than a 328i, which is the benchmark for the class and currently $37k. No doubt that the Model E will match/exceed it in performance and get close enough in handling, interior, etc.

They may even price it higher, making the argument that you save $2000/yr in gasoline.

+1, I think Brian has it right. What Tesla has done is an empirical observation. That they would do it again wouldn’t be a lie because they’ve given themselves room, mostly. A model E price of ~45k, or higher, before the 7.5k credit is practically expected. His last words, I believe, were 300km range, which would duck 200 miles (187.5). I don’t think Tesla wants to be at the Leaf’s price point, any more than Nissan wants a Leaf that would be the 10k that would push it up into Model E territory.

Musk said in 2H 2013, that the price of Gen III would be without tax credits. He expects Tesla will have burnt through them all before it gets to market.

He has also firmly stated multiple times that 200 mile range and SuperCharging is a minimum for the Tesla vehicle. If he said 300 km, it was him doing bad math in his head.

They have built the SuperCharging network around the 200 mile range battery pack, as a minimum.

How is Tesla going to sell over 200,000 vehicles in the US before the 2017 model year?!? That is the only way the credits will run out for Tesla…or, maybe he expects that the laws will change by then…

People kept threatening to get rid of the tax credits for EVs, but that never happened. Toyota, Honda and Ford, in that order, ran through their 200,000 vehicles, and continued to the point where their credits ran out on sales. Toyota wound down to 0 credit by Oct.1st, 2007. Honda did the same as of Jan.1st, 2009, and Ford did as of April 1st, 2010. I bought my Mariner hybrid in March of that year – got the phase-out 25% ($750) of the vehicle’s credit of $3k.

I meant “for hybrids” not “for EVs”…

+1 Mark…I just posted the same thing above…sorry didn’t see your post until now. Great minds think alike.

Given how conservative Nissan has been with their electric offerings, they must have the 150 miles range product in hand right now. So will they increase the production to meet the increased demand for this product, or will they continue production at the rates announced last year? I think the fleet sales would be very strong for a product with the 150 mile range.

As for the pricing, I thought the 84 mile version of the 2014 leaf should have had another price drop rather than the slight increase that was announced. Now Nissan can have it both ways, with a $1500 drop on the price of the 84 mile LEAF, and a $2500 price increase for the 150 mile LEAF. That puts $4000 of difference between them and two very competitive offerings.

I’m a Volt owner, but I think $2500-5000 is a reasonable premium. Depends on what compromises they make in terms of things like cargo space and performance. If they have to dramatically reduce cargo space (looking at you, plug-in Fords) then I wouldn’t pay a large premium (or one at all). If they can engineer in into a new chassis for the next-gen Leaf that can accommodate a larger pack and well as improve the battery’s volumetric energy density (so they can fit more energy in to the same volume of space) then I’d pay more. That said, there are other parts of the car that would need to be improved as well for a larger 150 mile range battery: * 6.6kW charging standard (would recharge pack fully in 8 hours), optional 10kW L2 charging (for 5 hour recharging) * CCS and Chademo charging for fast-charging on the go from 20% to 80% in 20 minutes – this would be used typically for when you need that extra 30-50 miles (10-15kWh) to finish up errands, less likely for driving between metro areas * Better performance (faster 0-60 times) * Better cooling and battery life (though battery life in terms of… Read more »


Unless you live in a super-sprawled city like Phoenix, the 80-mile Leaf is plenty more than enough for any around-town driving. That’s why the 2013 has been selling so well. Add a respectable QC network to that (already available in many regions), and the Leaf is *already* a worry-free around-town BEV, even in regions like Phoenix.

No, 150 miles is intended to catch those people who do a lot of out-of-town, or place out-of-town capabilities high on their priority list, or enable people to feel more comfortable with having a Leaf as their *only* car.

Sort of…. we live in San Francisco (the Peninsula) and got a Volt in the end, because we can’t go to the city and back reliably. And I think that stat that shows Volt drivers, even with a shorter EV range, drive MORE electric miles than Leaf owners on average speaks to that: you need that extra _comfort_ range, whether utilized or not, to drive the distances. A 150 mile Leaf may not be technically needed to drive 65 miles, but emotionally it is.

We live in Mountain View and go to San Fran without issue. Drive carefully and can get 94 mile range. Same with Santa Cruz. With 150 mile leaf I wouldn’t have a problem going to Napa Valley.

The Volt and Leaf are two different markets for two different needs. Still good to see Nissan projecting a 150 mile BEV option. $3,500-$5000 sounds right.
80 mile BEV
150 mile BEV
50 mile EREV
80 mile EREV
For a two car family, I say ditch the ICE and move toward one BEV and one EREV that best fits your lifestyle. This does not fit everyone but I am aiming at the meat of the bell curve.

They’re two different markets with respect to your last point, but “people who don’t want to get stuck” are one.

There have been several days in the last 6 months where I’ve driven 100 miles or so around Las Vegas. And my Volt’s MPG has suffered – from 384 MPG after one year, now down to 195MPG 10 months into the second year. It’s really about driving patterns, and everyone’s is different. I’m hoping my driving pattern changes again real soon so I can go back to getting excellent fuel economy and using only 2-3 gallons of gas a month.

The Leaf is a good car, but in Wisconsin in the winter, it’s a 45 mile BEV with the heater turned on. That’s still good enough for most of my commutes, but doesn’t leave a lot of room to spare. 150 mile EPA would make this an 88 mile car in the winter, and that makes it much more practical! I realize that Wisconsin isn’t on a lot of peoples’ radars (which is good, because it’s nice having a little space to yourself), but unless you want it to remain a coastal niche car, you’ve got to consider areas with less agreeable weather.

Nice write-up, but I do take issue with your last statement. The Leaf is larger than the Volt in pretty much every way. So why is it that you wouldn’t trade the Volt for a Leaf unless the Leaf was even bigger?

You may be right that the Leaf is larger, I’m thinking of cargo space. And I’ve been driving around with my back seats down for about 2 months moving stuff so maybe that’s why I’m off on which one is bigger.

Anthony hints at the unmentioned question. Can Nissan get the added capacity into the same volume, or will the greater capacity take up storage or passenger space?

They only need to hit around the same energy density as is already in the Tesla S battery pack to get the range they are talking about.
No need to repackage, and it is doubtful if they would even consider it if it was, as redesigning the body is expensive.

Ford are doing something quite different, and simply shoehorning batteries and the rest into a petrol car body.

Nissan already have their purpose built one, and aren’t going to change.

The Ford Hybrid, Energi and EV first gen models are ‘retrofits’. This initial ‘retrofitting’ enabled Ford to offer hybrid and plug-in drivetrains in more vehicle models to meet the needs of different consumers, many that would normally not have chosen a plug-in vehicle. Just think about it, in the US Ford sold 6,011 plug in vehicles for 4th quarter 2013, compared with Nissan at 6,534. And the more sporty 25EV(Fusion/C-MAX Energi should also get a 4EV mile increase, Focus Electric should get an 8-10 EV mile increase for 2015) mile 2015 ‘retrofit’ Focus Energi plug-in coming this year, at about $27k should do even better than the C-MAX Energi Wagon. But the next gen models scheduled for MY2017/18 with a new body style Fusion, C-MAX, Focus and Fiesta, along with the next gen 2015 Edge/MKX are designed for ICE and battery storage without impacting the cargo area. Along with longer EV range and better mpg with the use of light weight aluminum bodies, that becomes viable due to the extensive use of aluminum in the high volume F-150(which is also expected to see a plug-in model soon). A plug-in F-150 not only offers the ability to drive in EV mode,… Read more »

Too little, too late. Ford is not in the BEV game – they have even said so themselves. Ford wants to sell PHEVs. Which is fine – there is and will continue to be a market for them too. But re-positioning the Focus EV’s battery out of the cargo area is not going to be anywhere near enough to compete with a Leaf with almost twice the range!

I didn’t know that Ford are now redesigning the bodies to take batteries properly.
They were not intending to in the last statements I read.

I think that is a game changer, as if they have any sense at all they will do what VW have done, and make them capable of taking either PHEV or BEV drivetrains, so it is not either/or.

In the present generation of battery cars we have seen that energy densities have hovered around the 80Wh/kg at the pack level for most manufacturers.
This is because that is the level of the technology at present.

The exception is of course the Tesla, which uses 18650 commodity cells, which are the cells where new technology is developed.

I think in the coming generation of prismatic batteries we are going to hit the same level of energy density as the Tesla ones, and Nissan and VW have already made noises to that effect.

Perhaps with some delay I think Ford will also have access to that technology, so they will be back in the game, although certainly not leaders as they claim.

We’re now getting to the part of this little drama where things get… interesting. If Nissan releases the Leaf 2.0 w/150 mile range at a “bargain” price, they’ll be swamped with news stories about the dismal resale value of the Leaf 1.0. (And if you follow the trend of battery prices, a cheaper price is entirely possible. Remember that cheaper batteries don’t just mean the increase in battery size is cheaper, but the base portion of the battery size, i.e. what they’re shipping in cars now, also gets cheaper.) If they try to jack up the price for the utility of the larger pack, sales will suffer as people will buy other EVs or PHEVs or even [shudder] ICEs. How to transition the product line to disruptively cheaper batteries is, I think, one of the things that’s holding Toyota and Honda back from bringing out a full EV. They’re waiting until the rate of battery cost reductions slows, which it has to, eventually. This is why I still think that Nissan is going to do something unusual with leases late this year or next, and give people a sweetheart deal to extend their lease for 1 or 2 years, or… Read more »

Don’t think resale value of 1st Gen LEAF will suffer dramatically with intro of 2nd Gen. Drivetrain electronics and motor will last 200-500,000 miles. By time 2nd Gen, there will be replacement batteries (at lower prices vs. today). And, by 2016 there will be over 300,000 LEAFs on the road … enough for a healthy secondary market and parts.

eg: Replacing 24 kWh battery with newer battery cells beyond 2016 will increase range beyond the original range as newer cells will be lighter and smaller.

Car co’s know it’s their responsibility to protect loyalty. Technology, while not necessarily the case with BEV/PHEV, tends to be released in incremental ways that preserve it, yet offers “just a little bit more”. Anything else would anger the shareholders by inordinately raising input costs. We aren’t buying these cars to get trashed in the used market. But, equivocating once again, the unit sales are so low that the net blow to the bottom line gives many room to do whatever they want. The “Halo” treatment.

I got the survey this morning too. I’m kind of in a place where it is hard to answer. I drive a Leaf every day right now, but my commute is so short I’ve really never needed all of the range I have now. So I’d be hard pressed to pay more. But I went ahead and said $4,000 based on the many conversations I’ve had with people and how much extra range they would need.

I would really like to see us get away from these 80 mile EVs that everyone is making. I think we should be looking at a future with these minimum ranges:

Battery Electric Vehicle:
100 Miles – low end
150 Miles – Medium price
300+ Miles – High end.

Plug in Hybrids:
20 Miles – Low End
40 Miles – Medium price
80 Miles – High End.

And out of these ranges, I would expect the most popular EV will be the 150 miles and the most popular PHEV probably the 20 miles.

Great list David. +1!

Indeed, I agree that 150 miles is a sweet price/performance spot for BEV range.

Coupled with vehicle-to-grid systems, 150 miles will also allow utilities to tap into the EV batteries during ordinary-workday morning and evening peak demand (just before and after the commutes), because most BEVs will be nowhere near depleted on ordinary workdays. BEV owners will like the small change they can make from selling the grid some juice at peak rates…

Oh, and as soon as affordable 150-mile BEVs become ubiquitous (with 3+ major makers offering them in large quantities), PHEVs will turn into niche products. Or rather, they will remain a niche product while BEVs expand to replace ICE.

Nothing personal against PHEVs, that’s just their historical role.

I disagree.. I am still predicting the PHEV to outsell the BEV 3 to 1 over the next few years. The reason has to do with two things. First, is cost. Ford and Toyota are able to produce their PHEVs for just a little more than the cost of the hybrid they were already producing. I think it will be many years before a 150 mile BEV will be able to compete cost-wise with a 20-mile PHEV.

The second reason is simple – range. While 150 miles ought to be enough for everyone, you’ll still find tons of people who just can’t make that leap to an all-electric without that comfort zone of the ICE.

Good points.

I’ve yet to meet any 2 (or 2+) car families that have an EV only fleet. Range will need to be more than 150 before that will be the ubiquitous. Seems like there are a decent amount on the gmvolt forum that either have 2 Volts, or a Volt & Model S or a a Volt/Leaf combo.

Oh, there were a couple of families like that posting stories right here on this site… in particular, Steve Coram who lives way out in an exurb and his family has 2 Leafs now.

Personally, with 120-mile range we can easily be a 1-car family again, like we’d been for 10 years till we got our Leaf. Even now we behave like a 1-car family, with our old ICE in insurance storage which requires a phone call to the insurance co. to get lifted.

I disagree too. 150 miles is comfortable for folks like us in Portland and Seattle but needs are different in other regions.

Also, excluding something over $70k from Tesla, what do you think is more likely to happen first, a 150 mile EV that is a 3 row suv or minivan or a PHEV with 20 mile EV range? Until you have something in that configuration I think you’re still viewed as niche status vehicles that don’t work for what U.S. consumers want. I wish it weren’t the case, but it probably will be unless gas prices were to just about double.

Last year Ford added real inventory and incentives to the plug in market in the form of a regular sized passenger car and C-Max. Sure, they weren’t introduced last year but they got serious about getting them out. I think the last new EV to be pushed out to all 50 states was the tiny SMART. Seems like we are closer to having something like an Explorer or Hylander PHEV than the same thing in EV form.

The Outlander PHEV SUV is already a hit in Holland…

Right, I like that Outlander PHEV. I wish it weren’t the case but Mitsu’s U.S. presence is questionable. That’s why I think Ford, GM or Toyota would be more likely to be around to offer something like that in the U.S.

Short range BEVs life the Leaf will be also be historical footnotes. Short range BEVs and PHEVs are both bridging the gap between ICE and fully practical electric cars. Comments like yours cause needless infighting among the EV enthusiast crowd. Stop it.

Well said.

To add to that, I don’t understand this EREV vs. PHEV debate, with the former supposedly being a “real” EV. All that matters is using grid energy to drastically reduce gas consumption, and all the benefits we get from that.

I can explain the EREV vs PHEV fight. We have a Prius plug-in. In the summer, we do about 80% electric driving. In the winter, we do about 30% electric. We almost never actually use up our electric range in the winter. This is because the defroster turns on the engine for heat, and while it is heating up the car it is also moving the car. About 2/3 of our trips are less than 5m miles long. The engine normally hasn’t finished warming up by the time we get where we are going, so we effectively have a regular hybrid whenever it is below about 40F. If we had the option of using electricity for heat, we would normally have enough energy to still do trips in all-electric mode. But a PHEV does not have an electric heater. So there is a big difference between an EREV and a PHEV if you live somewhere that gets below freezing for more than a few days a year.

The BEV range looks good. But for Plug-in hybrids, 40 miles would be the new bottom range. What this would do is help eliminate the need for daily remote/workplace charging for the up to 20 mile one way(40 mile round trip) work trip. Only having 20 EV miles would just be annoying, when 40 is available at minimal additional cost. And for the manufacturer, it would be more cost effective to move the majority of consumers up to the mid range. It’s also Remote/Workplace charging that the 100 – 150 mile BEV won’t need much either, where most all daily charging can happen at home, at night when the grid has the lowest demand and rates are lowest. This also eliminates the need for so much charging infrastructure at the workplace and in public as plug-in adoption continues it’s rapid growth. Once you unplug your fully charged plug-in vehicle at home, it should be able to take you on your daily commute, and bring you home, without the need to look for another plug. If that is not the case, you did not pick the right ‘size’ range/battery for the plug-in vehicle. The less a plug-in vehicle owner needs a… Read more »

Unfortunately a near doubling of energy density for BEV batteries does not necessarily mean that the same can be done for a PHEV.

The batteries in those work a lot harder, as they have to get more power out of a smaller pack for acceleration and so on that the big boys in a BEV, and on top of that since most of the mileage is still done on the battery with gasoline use relatively rare for most people, the cycle life gets a real work out.

Hopefully the batteries for PHEVs will increase in energy density at some point, but it is not simply a case of sticking the new batteries for BEVs in, as they need different, much more robust chemistry.

Well said bloggin. I really like idea of a 150 mile LEAF and a 50 mile Volt. Some have really made the push for public charging. I have pushed myself for workplace charging. You make a very strong case for home-off-peak charging. I just passed 20,000 miles on my Volt with 75% of those being electric miles charged from my garage on a 110 outlet and the rest from the range extender for long distance trips.
IMO, Nissan and GM calculated 80 and 40 miles respectively without consideration to cold weather. 50 mile AER will fix that for a Volt. The 150 miles will be a game changer for the LEAF.

I figure about 150$/kwh so 3500$.

This question is Not a good indicator for battery improvements or the expansion of EV market share. I think I recall all the experts foretelling that batteries would be much cheaper by now and have a lot more range. If the US keeps finding more billions of barrels of oil( the experts said that was impossible, the science was settled) then gasoline prices will eventually see a decline as has NG.

How is it not a good indicator?

<$5k to nearly double the range of the LEAF tells you that its battery cost isn't very high, and 40-mile PHEVs probably only need $3k batteries. It confirms what most of us already know: batteries are around $200/kWh. That's a far cry from the $10-15k cost being thrown around for the battery pack of the Volt and LEAF a few years ago.

Low EV cost is really just about scale now. If the automakers can sell entire cars for $12k, and EVs eliminate the combustion engine and transmission while adding only $6k in battery cost, then a $20k LEAF *before* tax credit is doable already. But we need that 100k+/yr volume to spread out the engineering and tooling costs.

How would it be Nissan to deliver a 150 mile Leaf at a lower price?!? This is the “AGILE” principle, deliver more value to the customer at a lower price and you will have a very happy customer.. a happy customer is a devoted one… a devoted customer is a paying customer that brings other customers…. Not asking them how mach are you wiling to pay for something that is important to you… Follow this methodology (principles) and the money will fallow… take a look at Tesla, they are not able to deliver as fast as the orders are coming in or at the BMW customers that are one of the most devoted customers.

+1. Just what I said above 🙂

150 miles without changing its interior space? If they did that and also reduced power consumption of necessities like wipers, headlights and signal lights as well as enhanced battery power retention in cold weather. I’d buy one for $4,000 more.


Wipers, headlights, and signal lights already use a negligible amount of power. I’m not even sure it is possible to measure the difference in range that these devices use. If it were possible, it would probably be measured in feet, not miles. The only accessories that use a meaningful amount of power are the heater and air conditioner.

Why are you all mumbeling about no improvement in battery. Nissan changed the battery the last two years. Leaf Version 2014 has a termal improved battery chemistry. I know that they didn’t increase the kWh, but the Chemicals where changed. And due to the new design of the Leaf in 2013 the Leaf got an 199km Range instead of 174km (Europe).

But anyway, hey it’s great that Nissan finally is going to offer a bigger battery and maybe you can decice which size you want to buy. That would be perfect!

All LEAFs will drive about 80-ish miles of REAL WORLD range when at 62mph (100km) ground speed on a level, no wind, hard surface roadway with no heater and a new condition battery at 70F/20C or above temperature. Here the LEAF official government rated range worldwide: 124 miles = 200km Japan “EPA” rating for 2011-2012 142 miles = 228km Japan “EPA” for 2013 109 miles = 175km UK / Euro 2011-2012 124 miles = 199km UK / Euro 2013-2014 73 miles = EPA-USA 2011-2012 75 miles = EPA-USA 2013 with 66 EPA miles for 80% and 84 EPA miles for 100% 84 miles = EPA-USA 2014 Nissan has been throwing out numbers like a bingo parlor for some time; with the impending release of the 2013, they were suggesting to the press that a 2013 LEAF might go 250km (155 miles). Of course, the press just lap that up, as do EV advocates and EV consumers sometimes! The reality is that any model year LEAF will drive about 80-ish miles of range autonomy at 100km (62mph) on a dry, level, hard surface road with no wind or climate control, and without cabin climate control. The most important detail is the… Read more »

I’m thrilled how long it will take until i can replace my one classic car with an electric one and it’s possible to drive the 160 miles i need a few times (~ 10) a year. And yeah i know i could buy a tesla, but my old car price sticker was more like 20k$ and im not going to pay something around 80k$. But 30k$ might be possible in two years…

I don’t know about the premium, but I would hope the a Gen II 150 mile Leaf would cost the same as a Gen I.

150 miles would require 20 kWh extra battery capacity. An oft heard price for automotive li ion batteries is $ 250/kWh. So $ 5000 makes sense.

Perhaps we need to ask:

How many current LEAF owners would buy a car with a 60 mile range? One
with perhaps 40-45 miles of AER in freezing weather conditions?

If QC opportunities were commonplace – the answer could be surprising. These
are city cars – plain and simple. 150 mile range does not a cross-country car make.
You’d pay more and still lack the practicality of a 200-250 mile car like Tesla
which can recharge in 30 minutes.

So my answer to your posed question would be – no more than what they cost
today – it would still be a city car and limited. Drop the price to $20,000 before
tax refund and I’d go out and buy a LEAF with 60 mile range today. The tasks
it would perform – commute to work or grocery-getter in town would remain the same.

There’s a broad universe between “city car” and “cross country”, that you are completely missing.

For example, at least in the West Coast and Mountain areas, people often embark on a hiking/skiing day trip that’s 60-100 miles each way. A 80-mile Leaf cannot do those reliably, esp. if it involved hills and bad weather.

A 120-150 mile Leaf can do most, and with adequate QC infrastructure it can do all of them in reasonable comfort (in terms of time spent charging; only 1 stop for the entire day).

Likewise, a weekend trip to a destination some 200-400 miles away. With an 80-mile Leaf, you have to be very patient and have a dense QC network to do it. With a 120-150 mile Leaf, you’ll stop for QC at just about the time you’ll be dying to get out of the car and stretch anyway.

For your 3000-mile once-in-a-few-years road trip… doable, but you can also rent a longer-range vehicle of whatever flavor (ICE/EREV/Tesla).

Tesla’s Model E could throw Nissan’s EV efforts way out of whack.

Imagine a 200 mile BEV for $35,000. Who’se gonna buy a similarly-priced
Nissan ( or Infinity ) with a 50 mile penalty for range?

Seems Nissan needs a Model E rival, not a 150 mile BEV.

I don’t believe that the Tesla Model E will be the same price as the larger battery Leaf. It could easily be $5000 more for the Tesla, maybe even $10,000. Now if Nissan offers you the bump from 80 miles to 150 for $5000, is it really worth another $5000 to bump it to 200? The answer will depend on your situation.

The real Ace in the hole is the supercharger network. If Nissan had a good CHAdeMO network, a 150 mile Leaf would be great for longer trips. Without it, the extra range just serves to reduce/eliminate range anxiety.


I’d pay the extra for the Model E if it could use the supercharger network. With a 200 mile range, even if I had to drive 65 mph on a 70 mph interstate highway, I’d be the guy in the slow lane @ 65 mph happy as a clam to make the annual 760 mile (one-way) road trip to visit my daughter without having to budget any fuel cost into the trip.

Even if the CHAdeMO network is built out, they aren’t giving the electrons away. In places with time of use rates and me travelling in the daytime, it could cost as much or more than gasoline to make a trip on any quick charge network besides Tesla’s superchargers.

There would be other factors that could account for the price difference besides range. For example, if the next LEAF still has a 4 star crash test rating, I’d be willing to pay more for a car that was higher rated. After safety, utility, comfort and style would be some other factors.

A base Model E for ~$35,000 will likely have ~40 kWh battery capacity. For ~$3,500-$7,500 more 50 kWh, or 60 kWh will be an optional upgrade. (Above 60 kWh not an option due to weight & volume. See my comment above for price breakdown)

Both NextGen LEAF and Model E will have similar battery options due to physical size of vehicles. Model E will have some weight advantage using lighter aluminum, vs. steel used in current generation LEAF (meaning 5-10 kWh less battery for similar gross vehicle weight)

Likely range options:
1. 40 kWh – 150 mile range, ideal (120 mile practical in hot/cold weather)
2. 50 kWh – 180 mile range, ideal (150 mile practical range)
3. 60 kWh – 210 mile range, ideal (180 mile practical range)

The 18650 format Tesla uses are likely to have moved on to the next generation by then, indeed Musk has surely based his project for the E on the assumption that they will be ready.

Presumably they should be a lot lighter than those used to double the Leaf range, as that is only matching the energy density in the Tesla S in a prismatic format.

18650 tend to be cutting edge, but no one except Tesla fancies wiring them together.

Elon said over 200 miles, that’s what it will be (at 55 mph). I would expect a bare-minimum EPA-certified range of about 187 miles or more. Given the pattern with Model S pricing, the Model E will almost have to end up over $40k before incentives. Tesla has been using a modified 3.3Ah 18650 from Panasonic in the Model S platform. They had a brief press release, with a picture of a Panasonic exec handing a cell over to Straubel, back in 2009, I think it was. Within the last couple of years, Panasonic has been producing a 4.1Ah 18650. It is widely assumed that a modified version of these will be going into the Model E platform, and then into an S/X platform refresh after that. That is how they will get 200 miles into a sedan that is 20% shorter than the Model S. And, that is also how they will be able to boost the range of the Model S so that the two do not overlap in performance. I’m not a company exec or any kind of industry insider…but I have been following Tesla ever since the Roadster went on sale back in the Fall of… Read more »
Two issues seem to be rather mixed up in the minds of people responding. The first is how much a future base level Leaf can be sold for in future, which is a race between the expiry of subsidies and drops in battery prices mainly, but also a lot of the other equipment such as the electric motor as volume increases, which reduces production costs. My guess for that would be that assuming present battery costs in the region of $400kwh, then their dropping to perhaps $200kwh which seems perfectly possible would knock around $5,000 off the costs, and reductions in other costs due to higher volume and so on should pretty well cover the other $2,500 of the rebate. I would not expect much more than that, and it would mean that the price of a 24kwh Leaf would be much the same, although folk who aren’t eligible for the full rebate would find the car more affordable. If those assumptions are in the right area, then they generate the price Nissan would have to look for for a 48kwh Leaf, which would be around $5k extra over the standard one, and over present prices. So the survey is… Read more »

Some different math. 84 mile range and 24 kWh is 3.5 miles per kWh. Therefore, an additional 64 miles range is 64/3.5= 18.3 additional kWh at $5,000, which means possibly that Nissan is paying $5,000/18.3= $273/kWh. This assumes the 5K is all for battery and no other modification. I think this is significant in that we have an idea of just about where their price is on batteries. Now, that said, that means there current battery (assuming my assumptions are correct) cost about $6500, and then the Leaf minus the battery cost is about 22K for the rest. This makes me think the price should be coming down relatively quickly. I’ll grant that they have overhead and development cost, but they have that for all their other vehicles too.

Good point that the range on the 2014 Leaf is 84 miles – I forgot that.

That is interesting, as going to 150 miles is an 80% increase, which is exactly the same improvement as Audi gave as the reason why they have re-scheduled the Audi R8 E-tron for production!

It is also about the same difference that Panasonic already gets at the pack level in the Tesla S over the battery pack in the Leaf using their commodity 18650 cells.

It sure looks as though this is about the level of energy density that prismatic cells are going to reach in the new generation.

Does this explain why the Nissan LEAF USA product page still shows the 2013 LEAF even though they have been making the 2014 LEAF for a month now? When they show the real 2014 LEAF, is it going to show the battery option? This would make a lot more sense than continuing with a website that lets you continue to build the options for the 2013 model year that is no longer in production. It does not even have the right paint colors for the 2014 model year. (You can download the 2014 owners manual from the website still showing the 2013 LEAF model year.) Nissan is really making a mess of this. Maybe Carlos Ghosn should stop taking rides in autonomous drive vehicles of the future long enough to straighten out this mess with the Nissan LEAF now.

I always irritates me when people talk about EV’s like they are buying only the batteries and that all the cost is the batteries. For the record I think that Nissan (or anyone else selling reasonably priced cars) should be selling to 2 trims the 20ish kWh small cheap cars, 40-50ish kWh mid range family cars. This will not service the whole market but the plugin hybrids and diesels can fill the gaps for the longer range until something cleaner and more affordable comes along. Lets assume 24 kWh cheap small car and 48 kWh mid range family car at $300/kWh the battery would be $7200 and $14400 respectively. A new Corolla starts at around $17k so Nissan should sell the Leaf starting at around $24k with the fully loaded 150 mile Leaf at about $30k. IMO that fully loaded version should be AWD and have about twice the power of the low trim Leaf as it has twice the battery (i.e. twice the peak power output) and an extra motor would not cost all that much. Before everyone jumps on me for the comparing the base Corolla with a top spec leaf that comes with alloy wheels, satnav and… Read more »

I respect your points. My only suggestion is to focus on TCO on not price alone. The flaw with only looking at price, or looking at ‘payback time’ (focused on only price difference -fuel cost difference) is the complete lack of acknowledgement that cars have any residual value, and there are differences in ownership costs besides fuel. For my zip (which happens to be one with NO state tax incentives), the TCO on the Volt and Leaf beat out the econo cars like the Versa or Cruz.

That said, it is hard to beat a well maintained used car or a the bus for TCO:)

Back in 2009 Nissan were saying:

‘The Nikkei reports that Nissan Motor Co. has nearly completed development of a lithium-ion battery using a lithium nickel manganese cobalt oxide cathode (NMC). The new system, which will reportedly offer almost double the capacity of Nissan/AESC’s current manganese spinel cell, is supposedly slated for deployment in electric vehicles in 2015.

Nissan is raising capacity by improving the positive electrode, specifically, using nickel and cobalt, not only manganese. The new battery can store about twice as much electricity as batteries with positive electrodes made only from manganese. It is robust enough for practical use, able to withstand 1,000 or so charge cycles.

Nissan estimates that the battery will cost about the same as conventional lithium ion ones to produce, as it contains only a small amount of cobalt, a relatively expensive metal.’

They were pretty much spot on, it seems!

1,000 cycles at 150 miles/cycle comes to a very adequate 150,000 miles, so solving one of Nissan’s problems at the moment.

That should help a lot with residuals too.
The upgrade is a pretty good way to spend $5,000, I reckon.

With the 150 mile range, I could make it to the airport and back, where as my little i-MiEV can’t without recharging.

What else would I do with the extra range? Go even more days between charges! In the summer, I can go 3-4 days without recharging my i-MiEV. I could go almost two weeks without recharging a 150 mile LEAF.

Some other considerations on a 150 mile battery.

The cycle life can be half the current cycle life since it will be cycled half as often.

Capacity degradation is less of an issue because 70% of 150 miles is still 105 miles, a very usable car. But 70% of 76 miles is like 53.

As such, I would predict 150 mile battery would last longer overall.

See my link above about the NMC batteries Nissan has developed since 2009 for 2015. They have a 1,000 cycle life, ie at least as good as the current generation, and so should be good for around 150,000 miles. There is also another factor besides the reduced wear due to less cycling you mention. Most people have a range that they need a car to be capable of. Assuming that Nissan’s cycle life is based on 80% capacity remaining, then the present battery would reach that after, say, 1,000 cycles, and from 84miles on the EPA would be down to 67 miles. In ballpark terms, then you might have gone 84,000 miles ( a bit less actually, as the number of miles per cycle decreases with use, but that is not going to affect things enough to make it worth getting into more precise calculations ( For the new battery, you might have gone 150,000 miles down to 80% But that would leave you with 150*0.8 miles of range = 120 miles. So assuming that the present Leaf was usable down to 67 miles, then to get down to a similar range on the new battery will take ages –… Read more »

They should offer the bottom tier with 100 miles (28kwh) and the same price as the 24kwh ($28k).
They can offer the 150 mile (45kwh?) unit at $10k more, all other things being equal.

Nissan would be first to market with a (for realsies) 100 mile car, and also with a 150 mile car. They could charge more than Tesla is promising for their 200 mile car, because the Tesla WON’T BE OUT YET.

Assuming a more or less direct relationship between battery size and available power, the 100 mile unit will offer 125hp and the 150 mile car will offer 200hp.

The last 2 paragraphs are all gigantic marketing wins for Nissan. And they can do it, they just have to execute.

Also, I was just asking myself and the group this the other day and I whipped together this LEAF v2 Prognostication spreadsheet. I also tweeted it to @Nissan and @NissanUSA. I’m telling myself they listened to little old me and I’m claiming all the credit 😉

My tweets:

If you up the power, you decrease the range, or at least the official range figures, for any given battery size.

That is because the authorities assume that if you have better acceleration, you will use it, which takes more power.

Aha, so you set the ‘default’ software configuration to lower power in order to get the good EPA, and quote the max horsepower from your ‘turbo’ software setting!

Absolutely not true. The EPA drive cycles describe a very specific set of speed-time (hence, acceleration) profiles, and the technicians in the dynos have to follow them within very tight tolerances or the run is ruled invalid.

Thanks for the info.
Presumably they are set in reference to a low powered car then, as they would have trouble performing the test if they were based on speedy, fast accelerating ones!

If they offer a 150 mile Leaf for $40K, they are gonna make the i3 look bad. Hey look, you can drive 150 miles with an i3 if you add $4K to the already high price and it requires a stinky gas engine when you could just drive 150 miles on pure electricity with the Leaf.

I know right! It’s a total win for them. They need to offer this. I think they should also bump the base model up to 100 real miles (28kwh) while there at it and offer it at the same price as the 84 mile now. They should also continue working on the QC rollout, with more ports per station than just 1 or occaisionally 2. 4-8, like Tesla. All this will give Tesla something to work toward. I mean, Tesla is going to kick major butt, but the distance between them and everyone else is so wide, there’s no reason the race shouldn’t be closer.

That is only true if BMW stands still in battery capacity.
My guess is that as well as conforming to the Californian regulations for RE’s, the other reason BMW did not go for a larger petrol tank and maybe a more Volt-like engine is that they their battery technology has advanced to the point where they reckon they will be able to get a similar range increase in a BEV.

Lets face it, this is only to around the same energy density as the Tesla S already has, so there is no ground breaking technology involved.

They can hardly say that they hope relatively shortly to greatly increase their range, or bang go sales as people wait.

Yes yes yes yes, heavens yes! 150 mile is worth *MORE* than a $5k premium.

SO many advantages to going up in battery size (probably why Tesla dropped their 40kwh):

More capacity means fewer cycles per mile means longer battery lifetime!
More range means fewer QCs on long trips means every QC install serves more customers!
More capacity means more peak power–out AND in–for better acceleration (when needed) and for more miles per hour of charging–which means faster road trips.

Absolutely. The supercharger wasn’t even an option on the 40kWh Model S, and although you can’t get a straight answer sometimes, it is assumed that the 40kWh pack couldn’t take the charge rate.

$5k for 150mile range would be awesome no brainer. We could take trips! No range anxiety around town. This would be a game changer for us. We do some trips in the state that 150 mile range would accommodate. Its only once a year that we do a longer trip. We often do 60-100 mile days which sometime incite some range anxiety.

Asking for market input on a 150 mile price version two years before launch is just market prep. Most responses are based on today’s battery prices and competition. The 2016 model year should be a very interesting one for BEVs. Nissan may not even be able to sell a 70-80 mile BEV in 2016, and the 150 mile BEV may look meager if Chevy and Tesla and Ford and others roll out 200 mile BEVs at $35k. Maybe Nissan is a year to late with this upgrade to be the leader they want to be. Still, Nissan will compete with whatever is out there. They have had an extra year or two to write down the R&D investments.

Pay more? No.

Battery tech advances should make it the same price. Just wait for the new tech to afford double density.

They just dropped the price by several thousand dollars last year. If they increase the price by 5k, then you’re back at the original price, with double the battery. That seems to fit your bill.

Many are assuming the question is “how much more would you pay for 150 miles than you are paying now.” My thinking is they will offer the 150 for the same price at the 2013 model, so the question is really “how much should we drop the price of the 80 mile car going forward?”

I really think they should phase out the 80 mile car and at least replace it with a 150 mile car in that battery tech has had four years of progress and billions of dollars spent on it that at least a 150 mile range car should be out out by now.

It’s kind of like how four years ago a two to eight GB memory stick was the largest you could buy. But now they don’t make two GB’s memory sticks anymore and eight is the new two GB. While now they are coming out 64 GB’s and 128GB’s and there is even a one terabit memory stick hitting the upper markets now.

If they keep a lower range car, I say make it 100 mile (28kwh)) as a nice round number and easy marketing.

150 miles range would be the difference between the Leaf making it on my short list of possible cars to buy to fit my personal needs, and the current Leaf not being on my short list. Or even my long list.

I suspect I’m not alone. If Nissan built a 150 mile range Leaf and found a whole lot more buyers, I would expect the price increase to be minimal due to the effects of mass production keeping down the overall price, despite higher battery costs.

But a future 2017 Leaf has a bigger price problem to worry about. The gap they need to worry about isn’t the price between a 150 mile Leaf and a 85 mile Leaf. They need to be worrying more about the gap between a 150 mile Leaf, and a 200 mile GEN III Tesla.

I think it would depend on what Tesla wants to do in that a $35,000 200 mile range Tesla compared to a $23,000 150 mile range leaf is a whole different story in that the leaf has a $9000 to $10,000 barrier protecting it from Tesla. But if say Tesla came out with a 300 mile $35,000 dollar Tesla it might add more weight in that they would have a 150 mile range difference compared to a 50 mile range difference.

Such as a extra $10,000 dollars for a 50 mile raise in range.

Or a 150 mile raise in range for a extra $10,000.

300 miles in a $35k Tesla is not in the cards for the Model E…it might be an upgrade, but it’ll most likely be a $10k upgrade that will include supercharger access.

The Leaf might be pretty close to running out of federal tax credits by 2017/2018. While Tesla will likely still have credits available.

The Leaf has already sold 42K cars, and with just 5K increase in sales each year, would run out of credits by the end of 2017.

The price delta you talk about could be nearly wiped out by the difference in tax credits soon after that.

If this ever happened it would open up 90% of my area to EV’s if they came out with a 150 mile range one and I would go running down to the dealer to get one. The reason why I saw this is I have done some mental traveling in a EV on Google street view in my area using the existing system of EV chargers. And even did some trips to some of my favorite locations. If I had a 80 to 60 mile range EV now I could most likely use it for local driving expect on a few days in winter. Also I would get kind of harry if say I wanted to drive to the beach or from Central Virginia 250 to Pennsylvania or Northern Virginia. I would have my biggest problems between Central Virginia and Northern Virginia with no DC chargers. But with a 150 mile range EV I could bypass the great gaps and reach the growing DC charger system of Washington DC. As for driving to the beach I would need about at least three stops for the EV in a area that has very little DC fast chargers. But with a 150… Read more »

Any Leaf refresh still needs to look aesthetically pleasing to compete against a lower cost gen III Tesla product, larger battery or not.

I for one like the LEAF’s looks. You’re all a bunch of silly shallow bastards. The back end could be changed, but the front is fine. It’s a car. It’s supposed to cut the air. If it does that without making you barf to look at it, that’s all that matters. If you barf when looking at the LEAF, you need to readjust.

The readjustment would be to purchase the better looking product…

Agreed, I think the Leaf is attractive looking, but I’ll admit the back is the least attractive part. I do like the front and the bizarre headlights.

So I’m looking online and lightly used RAV4 EVs (90-140 miles) are around $32k. Woot! But they have no DC quick charging method to speak of. Boo! What’s the point? Super long commute? Yes. Road tripping? No, constrained to L2s.

The point, just like the similarly outfitted Mercedes B-Class ED with Tesla drivetrain, is compliance with California Air Resources Board mandates so that they can sell oodles of oil cars.