Nissan CEO: Chevrolet Bolt “Not A Surprise” – Nissan Has Competing, Long-Range EV In Development

3 years ago by Eric Loveday 108

Chevrolet Bolt EV - Image Credit: Tom Moloughney/InsideEVs

Chevrolet Bolt EV – Image Credit: Tom Moloughney/InsideEVs

Next-Gen Nissan LEAF Is On Track For Early 2017 Launch

Next-Gen Nissan LEAF Is On Track For Early 2017 Launch

Nissan’s answer to the recently unveiled Chevrolet Bolt is under development right now and is up to a year ahead of the Bolt’s expected production launch.

Furthermore, Nissan’s answer will almost certainly be cheaper and seat 5.  So, Nissan continues to win the pure EV sales race, right?

As the Detroit Free Press states:

“Japanese automaker Nissan plans to introduce an electric vehicle with similar range to General Motors’ Chevrolet Bolt and Tesla Motors’ Model 3.”

Renault-Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn told reporters today at the Detroit auto show that Nissan is also planning an electric car with similar range as the Bolt concept’s 200 miles.”

“He said the introduction of the Bolt “was not a surprise.”

“Obviously we will be competing” with electric cars that get 200 miles on a battery charge, he said.”

Of course, Nissan will be competing with a proven electric car, the world’s #1 selling electric: the LEAF.  Well, the next-generation LEAF, to be precise.  The Nissan CEO already confirmed that the next generation of LEAF will have at least double the range of today’s LEAF – 84 miles on the US EPA scale.

Ghosn adds:

“We are the leaders and we frankly intend to continue to be the leaders.”

 “Generations of EVs coming are going to get better, less costly, lighter, more autonomous.”

The Bolt’s expected price of $37,500 (before federal tax credit) could be undercut by as much as $7,500 by the next-gen LEAF, which we expect to see enter production in Q1 of 2017 with an EPA range right in the ballpark of what we expect from the Bolt when it makes it to production: 170 – 200 miles.

But wait…there’s more.  The Detroit News reports that Ghosn stated this in regards to the next-gen LEAF’s range (in comparison to the Bolt):

“It may have even more range.”

Source: Detroit Free Press

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108 responses to "Nissan CEO: Chevrolet Bolt “Not A Surprise” – Nissan Has Competing, Long-Range EV In Development"

  1. Evil Attorney says:

    A 200 mile Leaf that is $7.5k less than the Bolt? Can you explain the math on that one? How would Nissan achieve a price that low with such a large battery pack?

    1. Anthony says:

      I don’t think it’ll be 200 miles. 160-180 more likely. 44kWh battery pack, with a finished pack cost around $12,000. A 32kWh pack with a range of 120 miles would also be available for $5,000 less.

      Once pack costs go below $200/kWh then we can see affordable 200 mile cars (50kWh pack).

      1. Just_Chris says:

        I agree with you, I always think we focus too heavily on the cost of the battery pack or rather the cells within the battery pack. Most of the cost, as I see it, is the rest of the car and we never factor in that Nissan will most likely get most of their batteries back for recycling or reusing.

        Nissan have also made a good dent in their upfront investment in electric cars, which will allow them to drop the price further than other manufacturers.

        The other thing that I am not all that sure about is the effect of doubling the battery size on range. Simple fag packet calculations (!political correctness alert! “fag” in this instance refers to cigarettes) suggest that you double the battery size you double the range but I think you may more than double the range because the regen can be more aggressive (i.e. with a 24kWh pack you might be able to regen at 30kW but a 48kW you may regen at 60kW) and you are not running the battery as hard which will reduce the temperature of the pack and increase the efficiency. Will these effects outweigh the increase weight? I am not sure but I think the “200” mile BEV could be a 44-48 kWh pack.

      2. Priusmaniac says:

        The pack cost of 12000 leave a box price of 18000, that is much more than the price of a similar sized petrol car sold complete. So, you can at least increase the pack cost to 15000 if not 20000. For 15000 you can get a 200 miles pack perhaps even a 300 miles one. For 20000 you could reach a 400 miles range by then.

    2. Lustuccc says:

      It seems that everyboby takes for granted that batteries are and will stay very expensive. Personally I am absolutely convinced that the price of a kilowatt/hour is far less than what is publicly announced. Some say that efficiency grows 7% a year (as volume and weight shrink). It’s been many years…

      And as we see with Tesla, mass production and economies of scale alone drive down the cost of batteries by 30% !

      Of course if an established carmaker does not want to destroy his ICEv business, it is in his favor to let float rumours of very high costs for the batteries, a very good way to keep the prices of BEVs high and not to sell them.

      Tesla’s CTO JB Straubel said this summer that 30% price decrease would be very easy with the Gigafactory and economy of scale from it. He added that with improved technology, it will be more likely 50%.

      Musk confirmed it on the Q3 conference call

      COST REDUCTION: “We felt comfortable with at least a 30 percent reduction in cost just based on the location and economies of scale. That’s without taking any technology improvement into account, and we’ll certainly do technology improvement. If we can’t get to 30 percent without technology improvements, someone should shoot us, because that would be in complete defiance of economies of scale and obvious cost savings.”

      1. Marshal G says:

        I was thinking the same thing. Tesla gets all the press with the gigafactory, but I suspect the cost of the raw materials would be driven down by sheer volume worldwide the way silicon drops lowered the cost of solar panels. There’s also spare capacity at a lot of factories around the world, and China could gear up in a hurry. I’m thinking all this activity will in total drive down the cost of batteries for just about everybody. The gigafactory alone isn’t the answer but vertical integration would ensure Tesla’s profits and allow them to better manage their supply pipeline.

      2. DonC says:

        No speculation necessary. LG Chem has said that between 2010/2011 and 2016/2017 the price of its cells will have dropped by half. But note that with each halving of the cost the next reduction means fewer dollars.

        The idea that you can lower the price of battery cells by scaling is a joke. The BOM/COGS ratio is .8 or .9. Since raw materials accounts for so much of the costs, there isn’t a lot of cost savings available to be squeezed out.

        1. Rob Stark says:

          This post is a joke.

          You can absolutely lower cost of raw materials by scaling up and increasing your purchasing power.

          Skipping the Metals Exchanges and go directly to the mining companies and establish long term contracts.

        2. JakeY says:

          That’s the mistake most analysts make when looking at the gigafactory. The main point of the gigafactory isn’t simply economy of scale for the *cells* (it’s true that won’t result in 30%), it’s vertical integration of raw materials, cells, AND battery packs. Yes, raw materials already make up a bulk of cell cost, but what happens when the factory brings down raw material costs by using large contracts and reducing logistics costs? And given the overhead of Tesla’s small cell temperature controlled pack, there’s certainly volume cost savings there also, and vertical integration helps optimize the entire chain from raw material to finished pack.

          I remember how early on Panasonic said to Tesla that it was impossible to get 30% cost savings from volume. However, they were looking at it from the perspective of a cell manufacturer. It was after looking at Tesla’s plan that they decided it was viable.

        3. Lensman says:

          DonC said:

          “The idea that you can lower the price of battery cells by scaling is a joke… Since raw materials accounts for so much of the costs, there isn’t a lot of cost savings available to be squeezed out.”

          Ah, but you see, that’s a fallacy which has unfortunately been repeated in many articles about li-ion batteries. The actual cost of -raw- materials in li-ion batteries is quite low. It’s the cost of the -processed- materials that comprise most of the cost of a cell. For example, extracting lithium compounds from brine by evaporation is is pretty cheap per ton. But the processed solution containing refined lithium ions, used in li-ion batteries, is considerably more expensive.

          There is a lot of untapped potential there in bringing down the cost of turning raw materials into processed materials, using cheaper and more efficient processing techniques. And that, I think, is a large part of why Elon Musk claimed that a 30% cost reduction is actually a rather conservative goal.

          That said, it’s an oversimplification to say the GigaFactory will achieve a 30% cost reduction by scaling alone. That has been misreported; Tesla never said that. The 30% reduction will hopefully be achieved by a combination of reduced transportation costs, and more efficient processing techniques, in addition to scaling.

          As has been pointed out elsewhere in these comments, there is an industry-wide trend of reducing li-ion battery costs year-on-year. Tesla could reasonable expect perhaps a 15-20% cost reduction by the time the GigaFactory starts producing batteries, even with no other factors reducing cost.

          1. Lustuccc says:

            “That has been misreported; Tesla never said that”

            Elon Musk said exactly the phases I have quoted at his autumn adress the investors.

            I do not quote for fun.
            You may find the source on the TeslaMondo site. “Q3 CONFERENCE CALL EXCERPTS”

            As for the EV1, Did you even care to read the links I provided for you about the +120 miles range of the Nissan Altra, Toyota RAV4 and GM EV1 ?

    3. sven says:

      Nissan can’t make a 200-mile Leaf $7.5K cheaper than the Bolt, since LG Chem will be making the batteries for both vehicles. I highly doubt that Nissan has some “secret sauce” that will give Nissan a $7.5K price advantage over GM.

      http://insideevs.com/lg-chem-looks-clinch-battery-contract-next-gen-nissan-leaf/

      1. Jouni Valkonen says:

        Like I said below, the Chevy Bolt will be low volume car and significantly overpriced. However, the new Nissan Leaf will sell perhaps some 100 000 cars per year or about 10 times more than Chevy Bolt.

        The battery cost as such is insignificant. LG Chem probably sells batteries at 200 dollars per kWh or 50 kWh battery pack costs some 10 000 dollars. The rest of the small electric hatchback with decent options costs perhaps about 20 000 dollars, so there is your 30 000 dollars for 200 mile version of LEAF.

        1. kdawg says:

          Don’t forget GM is buying LG cells for the Volt, Spark EV, and ELR too.

          1. Rich says:

            Professor Jeff Dahn (Dalhousie University) who came up with an accurate way to compress the test phase of Li batteries, relayed that the Chevy Spark has A123 cells in them. He gave a talk, posted on youtube, “Why do Li-ion Batteries die ? and how to improve the situation?”

            It’s a little over an hour, but well worth the info.

            1. Kacey Green says:

              They switched to LG Chem for M.Y. 14 or 15

          2. Unplugged says:

            GM cannot afford to have a limited production of an EV. GM must produce at least 25,000 to 35,000 EV’s in 2018 according to CARB mandates. A small number of EVs is out of the question.

        2. sven says:

          Also don’t forget that GM is buying cells from LG Chem for the EVs it’s making for the burgeoning China EV market.

        3. FME III says:

          Keep in mind that the Leaf battery pack does not have a thermal management system, which is a big part of how Nissan got the price down. If their Leaf with double the range also has an air-cooled pack, then yes, they can bring it to market cheaper than the Bolt.

          But don’t expect me to buy it. For me, the Leaf’s lack of thermal management rules it out of consideration. Just ask the Leaf owners in Arizona how that air-cooled battery pack is working out.

          1. Murrysville EV says:

            Have you heard of the ‘lizard battery’? The Phoenix problem has supposedly been put to bed.

      2. Nix says:

        Different companies getting different prices based upon different guaranteed volumes happens all the time in the automotive industry. There is no such thing as a single list price for a part that everybody pays regardless of volume. Instead everything is contracted based upon negotiated price, and buyers who lock into more deliveries of more of the same product typically get a better price.

        If Nissan buys more batteries, with a longer contract, they will get a better price.

        1. sven says:

          The price Nissan gets won’t be $7,500 better than what GM gets.

          Don’t forget that in price negotiations GM can use as leverage the fact that it’s buying a large quantity of batteries cells from LG Chem for its two other EVs, the Volt, ELR, and Spark EV. What other EV does Nissan make besides the Leaf that it can use as leverage?

          Also, factor in that GM is selling very well in China and that country is pushing EVs and even mandating EV sales. Last I checked, Japanese car companies were on the outs with the Chinese government due to a little border dispute involving some uninhabited islands. Chinese citizens rioted and burned a bunch of Japanese cars and sales of Japanese cars plummeted. Meanwhile, GM cars, especially Buick, sold like hot cakes.

          1. Open-Mind says:

            It’s also worth noting that the Bolt is a decent looking car. Even if you shoved it off a giant cliff, after tumbling to the bottom it would still look better than a brand new Nissan Leaf.

            1. Colin Lee says:

              A completely irrelevant point. 2017 is a complete redesign and won’t look anything at all like the 2011-2016. They’ve already made announcements that it’ll have a less unusual appearance. In addition, the Infiniti LE will be coming out soon after and that design may compete with Teslas.

              http://www.greencarreports.com/news/1093578_infiniti-le-electric-luxury-sedan-to-be-built-after-all-with-higher-range

    4. Jouni Valkonen says:

      The announced price of Chevy Bolt is similarly overpriced as Caddy ELR and Chevy Volt in the beginning. That is GM does not intent to manufacture Bolt in large numbers that it is probably aimed only on US markets and perhaps in Norway. Where EV subsidies are considerable.

      The new Nissan LEAF however will be real deal and it will go miles ahead of bolt. Nissan LEAF already got profitable it is likely that they can again push the costs down.

      The cost of battery technology has gone down very rapidly. Today 200 mile EV battery costs less than 80 mile EV battery in 2011.

      Although Chevy Bolt seems pathetic bragging, however I am positively impressed the new Chevy Volt. It genuinely leaped forward. It is still overpriced, but significantly better than the old Volt.

      However, what I really looking forward is the new Nissan Infiniti LE. This and Tesla Model 3 will probably change the game in car business. Although premium car markets are small in numbers, they certainly are not small in profits. Premium car sales generates about half of all profits that Toyota is generating.

      1. MTN Ranger says:

        In what world is a $37,500 200 mile BEV “overpriced”?

        1. tedfredrick says:

          The world where you can get a new corrola for $17K which is $20K less. Don’t forget in CA the tax on the $37K car is over $3000. That is over a years worth of gas alone.

          1. Dan Hue says:

            But the EV offers you such a more refined ride that you really cannot compare them. I drove a well equipped friend’s Camry the other day, and it handled like an iron press compared to my Volt.

    5. Nix says:

      Until they actually publish either official EPA range ratings, or California CARB ZEV range ratings, the claimed numbers mean nothing.

      The next benchmark for EV makers to hit is the 200 mile range benchmark on the California CARB ZEV test. That scores them 1 more ZEV credit that is worth up to $5000 per car to them. This is the old EPA test cycle which is very different than the new EPA test cycle. This is the same as about 150-170 miles of range in the current EPA test. I can’t see any car makers bothering to make a major jump in range where they don’t at least exceed this number.

      Which test cycle each company is talking about is impossible to know until they publish official numbers.

      Here are all the different ways I’ve seen of car makers making claims prior to EPA official numbers being released:

      1) Range at a constant 60 mph
      2) Range based on the CARB test cycle with the vehicle in an “extended range” charge mode.
      3) Range based on the EPA test cycle with the vehicle in “extended range” charge mode.
      4) Range estimated based on manufacturer’s test fleet data.
      5) Range estimated based on manufacturer’s test fleet data of a similar drivetrain in a different body/chassis.

      All of these will produce very different range numbers than numbers based on the current EPA test, with the results of standard mode and any “extended range” charging mode being averaged together. That’s what the window stickers will say.

      So far not a single EV has been released with window stickers that match the car maker’s pre-production statements about range.

      1. taser54 says:

        The Focus group for the bolt were quoted 205 miles on EPA cycle for the Bolt

    6. DaveinOlyWA says:

      Nissan does not have a choice due to the poorly written parameters of the regs concerning the EV tax laws.

      By 2017, Nissan will likely see a degrading tax rate to 50% then to 25% 6 months later to nothing. GM will have barely touched their 200,000 unit allowance. This law needs to be changed

      1. Nix says:

        Dave – I agree completely. The law punishes leaders in the EV industry, and rewards laggards who put out only the minimum number of compliance cars. Two things should be done:

        1) Extend the ramp-down phase to reduce at a much slower rate. 80/60/40/20 is a much more reasonable ramp-down.

        2) Put a cut-off where all companies go into the ramp-down phase regardless of whether they have individually sold 200K units. This cut-off should be based upon something like a total number of EV’s being sold in the US, like 1 million or something. 1 million would basically be the first 4-5 leading companies all reaching the ramp-down phase.

        That would be great legislation that would make perfect sense. And nothing like it will ever even see the light of day in the Republican-led US Congress. In fact, my money is on the entire federal tax incentive being killed in 2017 by a Rep. President/Rep. House/Rep. Senate.

    7. MrEnergyCzar says:

      and Toyota is playing the hydrogen sham game, not real plug-ins….

    8. If they lower the Cd of the car, then it will go significantly farther on a given pack size. We know that EV’s can consume 130-160Wh per mile (at 45-55MPH) which is significantly lower than the 250-290Wh / mile that the current Leaf.

      So this adds at least 40-60 miles on the current pack, and it could come close to doubling it. With the same pack as today.

      So, that doesn’t add anything to the cost, and if they have a bigger pack, then they hit a range that is higher than the Bolt.

  2. ClarksonCote says:

    Isn’t Ghosn talking about the 150 mile Nissan Leaf? (I’m not sure where 170 comes from, a Leaf friend of mine said 150 yesterday I thought) I don’t know if I’d call that similar range, though it’s certainly closer in range than the 85 mile Leaf Nissan has available today.

    If there is yet ANOTHER vehicle in development by Nissan, then color me intrigued. Otherwise it seems like this is just a standard response to try and do damage control.

    1. Jay Cole says:

      Just for reference, I added in the link (here) where Ghosn says (this past November) the next gen LEAF will be at least double the current gen.

      1. ClarksonCote says:

        Ah, thanks Jay! Way to get all fancy with “actual” references. Back in my college years, hearsay was all the rage. 😉

        1. Jay Cole says:

          …if we could just get people to stop asking for references it would be a lot easier to make stuff up, (=

    2. Sublime says:

      There’s also the Infiniti LE that is supposedly back in the pipeline.

    3. Alonso Perez says:

      Could be that they intend to offer two battery sizes. That starts to make sense if your top size approaches 200 miles. Not everybody needs 200 miles. A lot of people, myself included, are happy with 120 to 140 miles.

      I basically never go on road trips over 100 miles. A lot of people don’t. Perhaps 30% of cars never make a road trip.

      1. DaveinOlyWA says:

        3 sizes would be the way to go with the current 85 mile range (ya, it still fits the needs of a huge percentage of the driving population) for $2500 less, the “standard” pack at current pricing that does 115-125 miles and then the “deluxe” pack that would do the 65-175 miles for say $2500 more than current pricing.

        ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
        pure speculation but still a good idea

    4. scott franco says:

      If Nissan were to put the Leaf on a weight diet, 200 would be possible with 44kwh.

      1. It will require significantly lower aero drag, even more than lower weight. A lower loss charger and drivetrain would also be helpful.

        1. Dave K. says:

          Neil’s right, especially at highway speeds drag is the dominant factor. In city driving weight is more important but regen allows you to recover some of it. So bottom line drag is a really big deal, but there is a limit to what people will accept, a car that looks like a tadpole just won’t sell in large numbers (Aptera)…

        2. Murrysville EV says:

          The Leaf’s Cd is already 0.28, which is pretty good. Lowering it won’t help a lot.

          Contrary to popular opinion, weight is a very big issue at highway speeds, as anyone who tows a trailer can tell you. The added bearing friction, road friction make a difference, and the motor still has to haul the weight up grades at high speeds. The definition for horsepower includes weight and elevation and speed.

          1. Lowering the Cd to 0.20-0.22 would add a lot of range. Even lowering it to 0.24 (like the Tesla Model S) would also be quite helpful.

            At just 30MPH, aero drag accounts for about HALF the load on the drivetrain.

    5. Brian says:

      Lots of numbers fly around when they talk about future range. I believe, like Jay pointed out, that the official word is “double” the range.

      In Japan, today’s Leaf is rated at 200km. Double that is 400km, or 250 miles. Again, that’s on Japan’s test cycle. But you occasionally see that 250 miles quoted in US media.

      In the US, today’s Leaf gets 84 miles on the EPA cycle. Double that is 168 miles. This is probably where the 170 miles comes from.

      The 150 miles number comes out of a survey that was distributed to current Nissan Leaf drivers. It specifically asked what price premium you would be willing to pay for a Leaf that gets 150 miles on the EPA cycle. The interesting point was that the highest option given (it was multiple choice) was $5k. People have then extrapolated any number of things, including that Leaf 2.0 will travel 150 miles on the EPA cycle.

      1. Lensman says:

        Keep in mind that Nissan touted the Leaf, from the beginning, as a “100 mile EV”. I saw a report within the past year that they still are touting that number at auto shows.

        So a claimed “200 mile range” would, with real-world driving, perhaps be close to a 150 mile average.

        But let’s not single out Nissan for the blame. -Every- EV maker does that. Tesla touted the Model S as a 300 mile car.

        1. Brian says:

          Good point. Basically, in addition to the EPA and Japanese standards I already mentioned, there is the LA4 standard. This is the one which CARB uses to distribute credits. On this cycle, the 2015 Leaf DOES get 100 miles. And so doubling the range would mean 200 miles on the LA4 cycle.

          And there are different standards for Europe and China, just to add into the confusion.

          For me, in the US, it’s the EPA sticker range that matters. This seems to most closely match my real-world experience.

        2. Kacey Green says:

          Chevy was targeting 40 miles too, everyone seems to have been off by a percentage

    6. Rich says:

      Ghosn says “yah, us too”. I might have missed the article(s) on Nissan’s new stuff for 2016. Was there any?

  3. Lou Grinzo says:

    My guess is we’ll see in early 2017:

    – Bolt, 200 miles, $37,5K (pre tax break)

    – Leaf 2.0, 150 miles, $30K (pre tax break)

    This is actually a good thing, as it gives consumers at least some finer granularity in their options. (I keep hoping GM or Nissan will offer a choice of battery size for a given model, but that doesn’t seem to be in the works.) For me, the Leaf would be the clear winner, as I get along with a 2013 Leaf now very happily. If I could buy a 150-mile Leaf S (which during non-HVAC season would be nearly 200 miles, based on my experience) for the price of a current Leaf S, I’d be one happy camper.

    1. Tech01x says:

      I suspect that when both GM and Nissan are talking about 200 miles, they don’t mean 200 EPA mile range that would show up on the Monroney sticker. Instead, it’s 200 miles of range driven at a steady mph at city speeds… like 30-40 mph.

      So somewhere around 140-170 miles of EPA range. I do wish the various journalists would try to pin them down on the mileage claims.

      1. Taser54 says:

        GM is referring to EPA range. It was stated as 205 EPA miles in the focus group.

        1. Lensman says:

          If GM told a focus group the Bolt will have 205 miles of EPA range, they were almost certainly lying. I’d bet on it. Something in the range of 140-160 miles can be expected, and I’d be very surprised if the EPA rating is as high as 175 miles.

          EV makers -always- tout a higher range than the actual EPA range rating.

          1. taser54 says:

            No support for your assertion wrt GM. Spark EV proves that GM knows what to claim when introducing a product. It claimaed to have “expected to have among the best EV range in the segment”. And EPA range was rated at 82 miles, while real-world testing indicated 97.8 miles at a constant 62 MPH. http://insideevs.com/real-world-test-shows-chevy-spark-ev-has-substainally-more-range-than-nissan-leaf-62-mph-wvideo/

            IF GM says 205 miles EPA, it actually means it, and more in the real world.

      2. Murrysville EV says:

        Whatever Nissan claims, I’ll need to somehow learn if they’re being more honest than with Leaf 1.0.

        My ’12 Leaf is getting HALF of the stated range in the winter, even if driven in Eco mode. This means I have about 25-30 effective miles. Yes, only 25-30. This summer will improve things once again, so maybe I’ll see upwards of 50-60 under ideal conditions. This is a battery that’s garage-kept and has scored well in Nissan’s annual battery checks.

        So when people talk about EV range, the only claims I believe any more are Tesla’s.

        1. You are using a lot of heat, then.

          My spouse and I have a ’15 Leaf S and I can manage to get the EPA range, driving it here in MA in cold weather. The heated seats and the heated steering wheel hardly affect the range at all.

          It is when it is snowing or raining, when you have to use the defroster – then the range does come down. I think the worst we have seen is ~62-64 miles.

          If the Bolt and the 2nd gen Leaf have direct heating windshield defrosters, then the winter range will be within 5-10% of the summer range – if you can avoid using the cabin heat.

    2. wavelet says:

      I’d surprised if the next-gen BEVs don’t get a choice of battery sizes, as long as the engineering allows for it, which I think it does, now that energy density is improving somewhat and the manufacturers have been gaining more experience on battery size/shape/weight/location tradeoffs.

      Once the market is large enough, economies of scale csn better justify multiple sizes (maybe just 2 per vehicle). There are after all different driving patterns, and I certainly see different use cases for 100-120mi EV vs. a 180-200mi EV. There will be fleet deployments — I think 200mi is already sufficient for urban taxis (they don’t travel at highway speeds, which improves economy), assuming depots with DC fast charging.

      Also, AFAIK, all car vendors make most of their money by upselling options (and always for a huge mnarkup vs. their cost — there are very few 3d-party sources for most of those options), and a bigger battery is a very obvious upsell: Bring the buyer to the showroom with a lower base price, and then convince him/her to get the larger battery.

  4. Whether it’s 150 or 200, in daily use it’s the same (when was the last time you really put 200 miles on your car *in town*?

    If the use case is a road trip, you need to have Superchargers – 120-135kWh *located at the right places between cities*

    50kW at a dealer, way off your route, is just not going to cut it.

    1. scottf200 says:

      These aren’t winter miles where you want to keep just as warm as you did in your ICE car (i.e. what masses want). Nor do they count degradation which has been pretty fast in the non-liquid cooled LEAF battery.

      1. pk says:

        +1
        There should be a winter mile/km range. Today was around -18 c and my 2015 Leaf is not going to see those 83 miles. More like 55-60 miles.

        1. Murrysville EV says:

          See above ^^ for how my ’12 Leaf is doing this winter. I’m down to about 25-30 actual miles on an 80% charge.

      2. alohart says:

        I don’t understand why auto manufacturers don’t offer a hydrocarbon-fueled interior heater as an option. Not needing to use a resistance or even heat pump heater during cold weather would increase the already reduced EV winter range considerably and would increase comfort and EV acceptance yet wouldn’t produce much CO2 in the grand scheme of things.

    2. DNAinaGoodWay says:

      Good point. But probably SCs still exclusive in 2017. If Tesla does roll out the three in 2017, SC access would be a big selling point, but I’ll be pleasantly surprised if they can.

    3. mustang_sallad says:

      I don’t think the road trip issue is as black and white as you suggest. It’s not like the supercharger network makes road tripping just as convenient as gas. There are still compromises – you have an impressive but still limited number of route choices, and you have to stop for 30 minutes every 2 to 3 hours, which may be acceptable to some people most of the time, most people some of the time, a lot of people maybe half the time… A 200 mile EV with 75kW DC charging would be less acceptable, but still a big improvement for going on a road trip if adequate charging infrastructure is deployed – stop 45 minutes ever 1.5 to 2 hours of driving maybe? And then a 150-mile Leaf would be a bit worse than that. My point is that there are currently Leaf drivers that go on occasional road trips, and put up with 30 minute stops every 1 hour of driving, and there’s room to make gradual improvement on that scenario, not necessarily an all-or-nothing, 120kW or bust situation.

    4. scott franco says:

      Double the battery size, double the charger. Currently Chademo is about 50KW, which is why it can charge a leaf in about 30 minutes. 100KW is doable, and would maintain that charge ratio.

      Did I do ok with the KW/KWH police here?

      1. Aaron says:

        You did! If we’re really picky, the “k” and “h” should be lower case. 😉

  5. DNAinaGoodWay says:

    If a 170-200 mile LEAF is $30k, will they still offer an 84 mile LEAF for less? Maybe even $20k before credits? But then, they won’t have credits for long after 2017.

    1. Sublime says:

      When you’re talking about batteries that make a 170-200 mile LEAF cost $30k, the savings to make an 84 mile one might not be marketable.
      If a 200 mile LEAF was $30k, how well would a 100 mile LEAF sell at $25k?

    2. Alonso Perez says:

      I doubt it. I think at some point not too far off, anything less than about 120 miles EPA will not sell well.

  6. Anon says:

    Would it be weird, if Telsa offered a SuperCharger retrofit for the Bolt? Or other large battery format EVs? Say, 3k to 4k for parts, installation and Super Charger Access…

    1. Sublime says:

      A retrofit would void your battery warranty. Tesla would have to assume the battery warranty to offer something like that.

      1. Stimpacker says:

        Don’t forget the technical aspect – smaller batter packs just cannot be SuperCharged at 100kW.

    2. Robert says:

      Anon, or GM could ask Tesla nicely, How many Superchargers would we have to install, to have you let us use the Tesla Charge port on our Bolt? In other words – either supplement the cars J1772/CCS ports with Supercharging, as an extra cost option, like on the 60 kWh Model S, or totally supplant their baby – CCS?

      Would they? Unlikely! Too proud!
      Could they? Any time they wanted to make that call, Tesla is open to them!

      A aftermarket retrofit? Odds are slim to none, since GM likes CCS, and Tesla said they won’t be making an adapter for that product for Model S owners! So, Not too likely.

    3. Nix says:

      Elon has already publicly offered to work with other companies to cooperate on access to the Supercharger network. If GM wants to build cars with enough range, and help pay to build out and maintain charging stations, from what I understand Tesla is more than willing to work with anybody.

  7. Doug B says:

    Would think that Nissan would be able to package that up in the current Leaf long before 2017. Had hoped that Nissans retort would be, 180miles next year.

  8. DonC says:

    Until Nissan announces that the Leaf will have a TMS the Leaf won’t be a player to any informed consumer. Battery fade on the Leaf is so bad that it’s a serious defect.

    The EPA should force companies to use an AER after three years on the sticker. That might force some changes.

    1. Marshal G says:

      It depends on where you live. Here in the PNW we have no battery issues (except when a shady dealer resets the bars before reselling it). As for range after 3 years, it really depends on where you live, how many miles you put on it, how often you cycle the battery and how deeply, what temperature extremes you subject it to etc.

      1. Dave K. says:

        I would add that Nissan fixed that with the “Lizard” battery, and at the rate energy density is improving it’s unlikely most people will still want their current battery in 5 years. I own a 2011 Leaf and I’m planning to upgrade ~2017.

    2. evnow says:

      This “uninformed” customer is willing to lease non-TMS Leaf. YMMV.

    3. Murrysville EV says:

      @DonC – My Leaf’s battery has faded, but not due to overheating. Last summer in the Pittsburgh area, we never even hit 90 F.

      My battery’s temperature has never exceeded 7 bars, but it has been as low as 0 or 1 bar.

      The problem I have is that the reported range is always 1.5-2x higher than reality. I’ve learned to divide the reported range by 4 to know how far my destination can safely be.

      My understanding is that Tesla’s gas gauge is fairly accurate. But until Nissan fixes theirs, and/or adds more real mileage to the car, I won’t be getting another Leaf.

  9. no comment says:

    i tend to agree that the profile of the Bolt is more like that of the Nissan Leaf and BMW i3. the difference is that the Bolt is a much better looking car: which is proof that the Leaf and i3 didn’t have to be ugly cars.

    1. Lensman says:

      The only Bolts we’ve seen so far are computer renderings and concept cars. The actual production Bolt might look rather different, as the actual production Volt looks quite a bit different from the Volt concept car.

      1. no comment says:

        the more recent history is that the ELR looks very much like the converj concept car. i would expect the Bolt production vehicle to look much like the concept as there isn’t anything particularly way out about the design.

  10. Bill Howland says:

    This is all very healthy for GM if Nissan releases an OVER 200 mile range vehicle which beats the BOLT.

    Keeps GM’s engineers from getting too arrogant, although back when the LEAF and VOLT were new, Nissan’s engineers were bragging about how the Leaf’s battery was so much better a value than the Volts.

    Ask anyone who lives in Tucson.

  11. Nix says:

    I’m actually surprised that both GM and Nissan are talking about their future longer range BEV’s when they are still trying to sell their short range BEV’s.

    We already saw how much all the talk about the next gen Volt cut into the last year’s worth of Volt sales, and the improvements weren’t even in the 2X scale. With 2X improvements being promised if we just wait, this is going to cut into existing GM and Nissan BEV sales.

    Actually, it isn’t that surprising for GM, since their pure BEV lags far behind in sales vs. Nissan. A “don’t buy now, wait for tomorrow” message from GM is the exact kind of thing a lagging company releases in order to cut into a market leader’s momentum. And I suppose that Nissan now has little choice but to respond. But still, they both are cutting into their current BEV sales by announcing these things too early.

    I’m getting a pretty clear message from Tesla, GM, and now Nissan. The message is to wait on buying a pure BEV.

    1. no comment says:

      everybody knows that EVs are far from a mature technology, so it goes without saying that range will increase. the real issue with EVs is getting beyond niche market status. that will require more than increases in range because that is an attribute that is of most concerns to EV enthusiasts. the trick is in introducing EV technology that is least intrusive to the way that people currently interact with their automobiles. in other words, the road to EV adoption will be an evolutionary one and not a revolutionary one.

      1. Lensman says:

        Nope. The early horseless carriages were indeed as close as you could get to looking and working like a horse-drawn buggy, but the automobile didn’t really become popular until it was quite different from the horse-and-buggy. The Model T had an engine in front, a steering wheel instead of a tiller, a windshield, and pneumatic tires… none of which were to be found on early horseless carriages.

        The breakthru “everyman” EV won’t be one that has the look and feel of a gas guzzler. It will be one that dares to be different; dares to be bold and take advantage of the ways in which an EV is -better- than a gas guzzler.

        A lot of people think the BMW i3 is too strange-looking (or “ugly”) to ever be a popular car. Perhaps the problem isn’t that BMW went too far, but that they didn’t go far enough.

        1. no comment says:

          i think that you misunderstand how market adoption works: people don’t just adopt new technologies for the heck of it, or because they seem cool, those are characteristics of early adopters: the general public looks at new technologies with respect to how those technologies fit in with their habits and life patterns.

          people get into cars to get from point_a to point_b, whether you are driving an ICE or an EV, that fundamental objective doesn’t change. furthermore, people don’t want to have to think about the characteristics of the car while they are trying to get to their destinations. so to get the general public to adopt EVs, you have to convince them that they are more convenient than the ICEs with which they are familiar. in that regard, long charging times in BEVs (compared to refill times in ICEs) don’t work in the favor of BEVs in the minds of the general public.

        2. MTN Ranger says:

          As a corollary, look at the development of the digital camera market in the 90s. The first digital cameras were wildly styled with unusual shapes. However over time, the old fashioned shapes prevailed. Look at any recent DSLR and you see a similar design dating back to the 1950s. Not everything has to be wild and different.

          1. Brian says:

            I like this analogy. The digital cameras tried to be different in ways that they can be. And in the case of point-and-click, they succeeded (good luck integrating a film camera into your iPhone).

            In the case of DSLR, physics ultimately won out. The reason the cameras look like that is to optimize the optics of the lenses.

            Back in the EV world, physics is still king. Aerodynamics still rules the flow of the outside shape of cars. But some things will change. For example, EVs don’t need grills for large amounts of cooling or air intake.

    2. Lindsay Patten says:

      That’s pretty much my thinking. The possible effect on current sales of 80 mile range EVs is probably much more significant than the effect on Tesla’s Model 3.

      The big risk for Tesla is that LG Chem’s new tech costs less than what Tesla’s will, even with the gigafactory.

      1. pjwood says:

        +1 Even though I’d say 80 mile EVs are a known quantity, that didn’t have demand in the first place. They will suffer more than Leaf, or Bolt, will do damage to Model 3.

        Same for LG Chem / Tesla. LG Chem could standardize the large-format cell. They have enough of the market to tell customers what they’ll get, and keep finding the economies of making 10 cells per kwh, versus having to make/buy ~100.

  12. Warren says:

    Unfortunately, the laws of physics have something to say about all this.

    If the next generation Leaf is going to match the price and range of the smaller Bolt, the car, minus battery, is going to have to be lighter than the current one…more expensive to build. Second, and harder to sell, is that it will need to be much more aerodynamic than currently. This flies in the face of the public’s insistence on SUV/crossover boxes.

  13. mhpr262 says:

    Nissan, please make a ligtweight, affordable sports car the size of the Tesla Roadster with a 200 mile range and dual LEAF motors with 250hp.

  14. vdiv says:

    In other news sales of the existing sub 100-mile BEVs just hit bare bottom.

  15. Chris O says:

    That’s all great but imagine what mk1 Leaf sales would have been if it had looked like the Bolt.

    Don’t forget to get the styling right next time around Nissan!

    1. evnow says:

      A 4 seater Leaf would have sold MUCH less.

  16. Tesla Fan says:

    car has to look good

    otherwise i dont car

  17. P0litik@llyInkorrect.ru says:

    Nissan should tier the batteries to 220miles and 150miles.

    They’ll sell much more and cover more of the customers in different socioeconomic stature.

  18. pjwood says:

    “Generations of EVs coming are going to get better, less costly, lighter, more autonomous.”

    I hate the shot-gun marriage of EVs and autonomous driving, m’kay. As much as it makes sense, it embodies everything so many car enthusiasts hate.

    Ghosn doesn’t know how many people think responsible, fun, driving is about to be ripped from their hands.

    1. Warren says:

      In fifty years of driving, the only times I ever found it to be fun was when I was being irresponsible. And then only in cars that jarred your teeth at 50 mph, and required constant stirring of the shifter. Modern cars are coma inducing. Self-driving can’t come soon enough!

      1. Warren says:

        Like I said, coma inducing!

  19. ModernMarvelFan says:

    But it will still be slower in 0-60mph than the Bolt and can’t handle the heat with continous DCFC due to poor battery management system… LOL.

    BTW, if Nissan is “ahead” of the GM in this development, we are only 2 years away, then show the concept…

    1. Brian says:

      GM doesn’t have as much to lose by showing a concept. Their BEV is only sold in small numbers in two states. Nissan’s BEV is sold worldwide, and is the best selling BEV ever made. I don’t blame Nissan for not showing a concept yet. Besides, it’s not like they have never alluded to working on a longer range Leaf.

      As for slower in 0-60 and less heat tolerant, you’re probably right. I’m also guessing it will be a few thousand dollars cheaper then the Bolt. This seems like a fair compromise.

  20. The other way to gain more range is to make the car itself more efficient. Lowering the Cd can greatly increase the range of any given battery – and going farther on a smaller battery pack is less expensive.

    We know that an EV can go 220+ miles on a 33kWh pack – because the Illuminati Motor Works ‘Seven’ does this. Even driven at 60-70MPH. With a Cd less than 0.23, and a very efficient drivetrain, it achieves ~130Wh/mile.

    Which is roughly half the consumption of a typical EV. Even at just 28-30MPH, typical cars use a bit more than half of the energy to overcome aerodynamic drag.

    So, more energy dense batteries will be great, but all the companies building these EV’s will do well to build low drag cars.