Nissan CEO Ghosn Welcomes Tesla Model 3 As “Good Competition”

APR 9 2016 BY MARK KANE 65

Ghosn From Detroit In January: No, I can't talk about the next gen LEAF. What is this huge picture behind me? Nothing.

Ghosn From Detroit In January: No, I can’t talk about the next gen LEAF. What is this huge picture behind me? Nothing at all.

Unlike Faraday Future, of whom we reported yesterday thinks the Model 3 “…is not our competition” , Nissan treats the inexpensive Tesla as a rival of sorts, specifically “good competition“.

It seems that Tesla’s hundreds of thousands of preorders are making a big impression on the Nissan CEO (~325,000 after the first week for the Model 3).

Especially considering those pre-orders are complete with ~$1,000 (USD) deposits, and with the cars still just in the “pre-production stage“, and  without the opportunity for hand-raisers to check them out, much less test drive them.

Carlos Ghson, CEO of the Renault-Nissan Alliance said:

“The fact that so many people are willing to pay a down payment to get this car which becomes available at the end of 2017 is a good sign. Finally, good competition for EVs is picking up.”

“We welcome competition because it can expand the market. It’s going to stimulate demand.”

Tesla has sold over 120,000 electric cars (since mid 2012), while Nissan and Renault are now well over 300,000 (since December 2010), of which more than 220,000 via the Nissan brand.  So these two EV companies are truly the two global super-brands.  Some 300,000 Tesla Model 3 pre-orders is a huge volume considering the limited scope of the for current EV market.

60 kWh lithium-ion battery for Nissan IDS concept

60 kWh lithium-ion battery for Nissan IDS concept

We are not sure whether Carlos Ghson realizes that despite corporate designs just for mass-market EV adoption for Nissan and Renault, in 2016 Tesla could sell significantly more electric cars (target of 80-90,000 cars) than the Alliance…in the premium end alone, before moving to the more affordable part in late 2017.

Our hope is that Tesla’s push will trigger Nissan to more rapidly advance into the next generation of its all-electric cars, after recently only increasing the LEAF’s range by about 25% 9up to 107 miles of real world driving) after around five years since introduction in 2010.

The much alluded to 60 kWh LEAF (or even adjusted higher) would be huge step in the right direction.

“He said new offerings from rivals such as Tesla will spur customer appreciation for electric vehicles and push Nissan to develop better cars of its own. Indeed, the Japanese carmaker is working to boost the range of its next-generation Leaf, cut EV costs and expand the recharging infrastructure.”

source: Automotive News

Categories: Nissan, Tesla

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65 Comments on "Nissan CEO Ghosn Welcomes Tesla Model 3 As “Good Competition”"

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I do hope Nissan will speed up their EV line development.

I do hope that one of the auto cartel member will panic and start building good BEVS soon.
Burning oil is criminal. Poison for our health, for the animals and plants, for the habitats and for the atmosphere.

I read a cradle to cradle lca, a Tesla in comparison to a premium sedan is better after 60000 miles. But what is bad about the EV market today some people switch from a small EV to a Tesla just for range and they never drive a big car before.
Every CO2 sheet of a car is influenced by many factors, lithium shiped from Bolivia, transported by trucks, cobalt from congo around the world to china, then to Japan and after that to Tesla. A heavy car is always worse than light small.
Its not so easy how Musk buy a Tesla and you are green…

LOL! What about the inherent pollution, dangers, congestions, road destructions, costs of the extraction, the shipping, the refinery processing, the distribution and the poisonous burning of every single gallon of oil that will never be replenished and must forever be replaced by another and another every single hour of use for months, years of the short life of an infernal explosion engine?

OEMs make money out of the fragility, complexity and the maintenances of those harmful cars at our expenses.

Time to move on.

Here’s my 2 cents about the entire “EV footprint” controversy, published on this site ~1.5 years ago.

In a nutshell, on this question almost everyone is making the error of not looking beyond their noses.

Modern mass-market EVs are still not through their 1st full generation, so

1. By definition, we don’t have a full grasp of their entire cradle->grave footprint
2. EV footprint of all stages is certain to come down considerably, as the tech matures,

and last but not least,
3. Production/demolition footprint aside, the key feature of EV in-use (or “well->wheels”) footprint is that it mostly depends on the grid. And guess what, we are already cleaning the grid, pretty fast in much of the world, and will continue to do so.

The key to EV footprint, is that it enables us to apply “keep it in the ground” to oil.

CO² wise here are the data :

A LOT greener with electrics!

That is not correct. The Union of Concerned Scientists 2015 report on Cradle to Grave CO2 emissions state that going from a full size ICE car to a full size BEV has a 53% reduction in CO2.

Plus adding in the massive CO2 emissions as a result of the Iraq/Afghanistan wars just to secure more oil is not factored into this.

you mean this report?
not 60,000 miles for a model S but 19,000 compared to a Leaf at 4,900 miles.
The model ≡ will be smaller and more efficient than the S with batteries made locally.
Of course for those that can add solar panels to the mix those numbers would be even better.

I agree with your argument but with not with your conclusion. There’s a HUGE difference between ICE and EV vehicles of any size. EVs are not dependent on any one energy source where as ICEs are dependent on oil.

My big thing is sustainability. Global warming and air pollution are very bad of course but they don’t even compare to the destruction of our societies that would be caused by loss of energy security. Luckily we are not faced with serious energy security problems right now but I’m actually thankful that global warming and air pollution are forcing adoption of alternative propulsion systems so energy security will never again be a serious concern.

Page 32 of the Cradle to Grave CO2 report from the Union of Concerned Scientists states that the Model S 85 emissions breakeven point on average is at 19K miles, not 60K miles.

Peter, if Tesla Model 3 is ICE instead of EV, would you buy it? It has 215 miles gas tank, but 0.21 drag coefficient and all the Tesla goodies. Most people would jump on it, and EV benefits are just bonus. All these talk of associating “green” with EV is irrelevant.

I don’t give rat’s tail about green house gas, and most people don’t; most people (by that, almost everyone) drive alone in their gas guzzlers stuck in traffic. They don’t even bother to get a hybrid.

Leaf with ICE at that price is very poor, even after subsidy. Carlos will get the message; no more excuses for poor value just because it’s EV. Swift kick in the nuts from Tesla as well as a jab from Chevy should wake them up. Next gen Nissan EV has to be better, “green” being irrelevant.


You might not give “a rat’s tail”, but without concerns about GHG and other environmental issues, governments wouldn’t give an ass’s **** about helping out EVs. So…

– Tesla wouldn’t get its Federal loan, and no one else would loan it $$ in the middle of the worst financial crash since 1929. Tesla bankrupt in 2008 or 2009.

– The Feds wouldn’t give $7500 for each EV. Imagine how many EVs would be sold in the US.

– California wouldn’t add $2500 on top of it. Re-calculate.

– CARB wouldn’t sit on automakers’ case, to make a quota of ZEVs. No SparkEVs.

Bottom line: Mr. SparkEV would need another car, likely ICE, and a completely different topic to post talkback comments about, because would likely also not exist.

But that’s ok, ignore this and continue to rat’s-tail away. It’s always entertaining.

Last I checked, this is insideevs, not insidegreenhyteria. To suggest EV would not exist without green hyteria is nonsense. GM got far bigger bailout than Tesla, and they didn’t make a single EV.

And so what those subsidies exist? Fact is, even with those subsidies, making low value EV didn’t do much, hovering under couple of percent (SparkEV is 20% of all Spark, but that’s different story). Talk all the greenness of EV until you turn blue, but that won’t do much for EV. Most people simply don’t care about “green” even when presented with $10,000 gift from the government.

But what will do hell of a lot for EV is making great cars. Model 3 even without subsidy will be a great car. Other carmakers should follow THAT model (making great cars, and EV are great as we all agree) rather than making excuses for poor value as being “green”.

Comment by Peter illustrates my point about green hysteria with EV. He can’t see the fact that Tesla makes great cars clouded by green haze. Take away the green haze (rat’s tail), and he wouldn’t have made such nonsensical comment.

scott franco (the evil EV owning republican)

I’d be far more impressed by $10,000 “gifts” from the government if they didn’t remove the money from my paycheck, then take their cut and give it back to me.

You do realize they’re not going to reduce garnishing your wage like they do with some criminal. Only way to get it back is through things like EV subsidy. If you give up that subsidy, they’re just going to find some other way to squander it rather than taking less from you.

Hello fellow conservative. My family is all conservatives and we all own electric cars. I have a Volt my son a Model X and my father and brother both have a Leaf. You don’t have to be a tree hugger to drive electric.

I can honestly say that if the Model 3 was pure ICE I would be completely and utterly uninterested in it.
If it was a very efficient hybrid I would be vaguely interested simply because it would be another hybrid that might eventually fall into my affordability band.
The ONLY thing making the model 3 magical for most people is that it is an EV, there are a gazzilion good looking ICE vehicles to choose from already.

scott franco (the evil EV owning republican)

The attacks against EVs are getting so rote that you could read them from a list:

1. Comparing “cradle to grave” emissions of EVs to cars by leaving most or all of the similar emissions out of the ICE side.

2. Comparing ICE to EV emissions using calculations from the worst coal generating state.

3. Ignoring refinery emissions.


Its wrong, its tiring. Even to a GWD like me.

European point of view

Half of the electricity produced in the US by burning fossil materials .
EV are not green arround the power plants .

Ghosn is F O S !…But nissan sold more cars , Teslas Are 4 times the car that Ugly Bug Eyed Fancy Golf cart the Leaf is…..He is scared Sh*tless of Tesla & doesn’t like Tesla Leading forcing him to Go EV…..It’s all B S….how many Reserves does he Have..l o l…..He’ll have a problem selling the Spec Cars he has in stock…Tesla’s cars are all SOLD in advance !..Give me a Break Carlos !

Give ME a break. I’m not a big fan of the Leaf but I really get sick of this Tesla fan boy stuff.

You just don’t care for EV’s ., Because you are a BIG Fan of the TEXAS TEA that “Black gold” Purcoulating out of the ground (((((BTW.. I had 0il wells too & gave them Up))) Appears to me,that You are the “0RIGINAL” True Blue 0ilman.. ..0k, No hard feelings , just having some fun here debating, nothing personal , A little debate is always interesting & keeps my mind going in my 0ld age.. Cheers
………….. Jed Clampet lol

I’m with you. On the Fan boy stuff. I have two friends with Teslas that both needed a complete drive line replacement. Teslas are one of the most unreliable cars on the road. They have a long way to go to reach the Volts and Leafs level of reliability.

Nissan has been up front with Tesla leading the BEV revolution. Carlos Ghson is fearless and a visionary. I’m with everyone else, I look forward to hearing what new BEV offerings Nissan will offer. Hopefully, Nissan will announce what these new offerings will be and when they’ll release to market before the Chevy Bolt hits the market.

I am waiting for Nissan before making a decision about the model 3. I really want another Leaf. Nissan has an opportunity to pull off a marketing coue like Tesla if they have anybody in marketing with a brain

What Tesla Has done …will Not happen again for Lifetims To Come & Carlos will never come close to musk …Musk is Hands on Physicist Not just A CE0….MUSK is a visionary Invents ,Makes Break threws, & Knows how things work . while Carlos just relays what his engineers tell him….BIG DIFFERENCE !

Drinking much Tesla cool-aid eh?

He’s a capable man, no question, but you are just selling everyone else too short.

Elon and company just landed a freakin rocketship on a tiny barge in the middle of the ocean! Tesla is a part time job for Elon.

So yes – it is easy to drink the Koolaid. Me and 350,000 others.

Ofcourse I only had to pay 1000 Canadian dollars (750 US)! Thanks Elon – a fellow Canadian EH…

That guy is a bit of a fanboy but Tesla is doing and everyone else is scrambling.

Thank you jelloslug , Just stating the Facts, Right?! The Well informed do agree with me. ..Because I speak ,,THE TRUTH !

You Guys Just DON”T GET It…This is History in the Making .I NEVER HEARD OF PEOPLE RESERVING 325,000 cars PLUS & COUNTING EVER! in 0ne week!! SOME 115,000 orders were sight unseen in the 1st 15Minutes ! UNSEEN!!!!..No One Else HAS EVER & Would have ever done this …Musk is waking them UP! they are not doing EV’s By Choice , Because they ” NOW” Have N0 CHOICE!!..They kept saying EV’s could N0T Be done & found every EXCUSE under the sun, to avoid Building EV’s ., Until MUSK SHOWED THEM HOW!!Because they are in LOVE with 0il , are in Bed With BIG 0il & make More Money On ICE cars..& that is all they care about..$$$$$$ Not U 0r Me Or the AIR Quality etc:::::

Forgot your pill?

Just saying.

Me too… hoping for a great Leaf update. Ok, the original Leaf wasn’t my favorite style, but its been rock solid (- some battery loss) and that counts for a lot. Living somewhere that you can’t actually buy a Leaf or a Tesla, I’m glad I have a Leaf, not having to repair it is key.

I’m still waiting for a Megane Z.E. with at least the range and motor power of the Model 3 – with a normal suspension and a battery to buy, of course (and at least 44kW AC charging or 22kW AC charging and CCS with >=50kW charging power).

Hope my 1.6 16V will make it until then…


You ha just managed to redefine a word “inexpensive” …. I guess you are talking how it’s perceived by te deep pocketed Tesla model S returning customers.

I get where you are going with this, but let’s be real pls.

Nissan really needs to get a move on! If the 200 mile Nissan LEAF was here now, or at least beginning production now, they would have a good window to sell a lot of cars. The LEAF is a well made car overall except for the range, I’m sure many would buy it – now. Once Tesla starts delivering the model 3, even just before that, it will be lot more difficult to sell the LEAF.

You cannot rush things beyond what they take.

Nissan is the only one outside of China, to sell an affordable >100 mile BEV.

Tesla hasn’t built a single production Model 3 yet. It has just sold a bunch of IOU’s. I applaud what they’re doing, but let’s stick with reality.

The smart money is on both Nissan *and* GM churning out 200-ish mile range production BEVs before the Model 3 reaches Customer 1.

In my books, a 180-mile Gen 2 Leaf (at least for the base model) will do perfectly fine. The average number of days in a year on which we will actually need 180 miles without charging, is less than 1.

This “I never drive 180 miles anyway” argument is a terrible argument. Fresh out of the factory it probably is 180 miles to a full charge, but 6 years down the line, charging it to 80% as usual and driving home on a cold winter night with a car pileup it is _far_ less than 180 miles. The car needs to handle all situations, not just sunny Sunday drives the first year.

Range reliability and battery longevity are constantly improving, especially for the Leaf. Again, look beyond the end of your nose. EV performance is not defined by what happened to 2011-2012 Leafs in Arizona.

Besides, 180 miles EPA range means at least 120 miles under the very worst conditions. Now, during a blizzard night with near-certain highway pileups, you specifically might be embarking on a longer road trip than 120 miles, but most sane people would not.

Even ICE vehicles would run out of gas on heating while stuck behind the pileup, before 120 miles in this situation, while you might actually be ok with your seat and steering-wheel heaters.

I’m not saying 180 miles is the end-all be-all. The tech will continue improving and before you know it we’ll have 300-mile minivans.

But 180 miles are certainly good enough for EV Gen 2. Heck, even 120-150 miles are great for a cheap Gen 2 starter subcompact that will totally undercut the price of ICE cars.

In the same vein, charging to 80% is not “as usual”. Nissan stopped that with the 2014 Leaf. Since then, all Leafs charge to 100%, unless the timer’s end time is triggered.
But there’s no charge-level trigger, and 80% is not a recommended, or even an available, setting.

You can thank the EPA for that. They penalize your range numbers for offering the option.

but not, I gather, Tesla, which I believe offers several charge level options. I really need not to be full, as the first three miles from home involves a 1500 ft decent, and when I charge to 100% I have no regen…. very hard on the brakes. If I am at 80%, I get to nearly 85% by the foot of the hill. Still, when I have a 60KWA battery it will be easier to keep it part full. 😉

Even worse, I have heard of people dying of CO poisoning from idling in a snow storm and their exhaust pipe being blocked.

I hope that Nissan and Tesla end up adopting CCS, at least in the Americas and Europe, so we have just one charging standard everyone can use.

Once there is one standard EV owners win. Hope they sort it out.

For everybody to come out ahead, CCS and Nissan should adopt the Tesla standard.

Well, all hand-wringing about the Leaf aside, Ghosn is a very good sport, and as usual sees the big picture.

It also sounds (between the lines) as if he’s confident about the Gen 2.

Speaking of which: Mark, you are totally downplaying the Gen 1’s improvements from model year 1 to 6. Here’s the headline list:

– Range up from 73 to 107 miles, which is 47% not 25%. The fact that a good chunk of the improvement is in efficiency rather than battery size, is IMHO a plus not a minus, both for the environment and for Nissan’s bottom line.
– L2 charge rate nearly doubled from 3.6kW to 6.6kW.
– Battery depletion, originally a huge problem in hot climates, has improved enough to enable Nissan to go from no warranty in 2011, to an 8-year, 100k-mile >70% capacity warranty in 2016
– Likewise, efficient heating/AC has reduced weather-related range variability

If you think that’s not impressive, just hope across the aisle and see what Toyota has achieved with the Prius in >15 years, not to mention what non-hybrid ICE has achieved.

In fact, Nissan’s within-Gen-1 improvements are on par with GM’s improvements from Gen 1 to Gen2 Volt. And I like what GM has done.

I think Ghosn gets it more than any of the other major car company CEOs, and by a wide margin. I’m watching Nissan for the next gen Leaf, Chevy for the Bolt, and Tesla for the 3 (put in a deposit) all very closely. But I have to say, if Nissan doesn’t have any active thermal management for their battery in the next gen there is no way I am buying from them. That is the single greatest engineering weak spot for the current Leaf, and if they aren’t serious enough to fix it they won’t be getting my money.

+1 on all counts.

And by what knowledge do you pledge that all upcoming battery chemistry will need such?

I would like thermal management for helping keep the occupant cozy, but if the battery doesn’t need any, why bother.

Nissan doesn’t need to bring out new type vehicles, just clone your most popular cars and SUV’s into EV’s and sell them along side the original. Was the LEAF a fluke or can they produce another EV? Tesla has produced and sold 3 types of EVs with another on the way. Nissan, where is your second EV?

Tesla is a “PURE BEV” car maker , All These other JOKERS are merely do EV conversions…For carbon credits only , So that they can build MORE GAS GUZZLERS …&..They’re hoping to put 0ff the inevitable…

More Tesla fan boy dribble ?


Excuse me, Nissan has done a very good job

Cool, so Nissan, Audi and Porsche seem to get it. At least some manufacturers get it. Give them some time, I’m sure they’ll come with decent EVs eventually. Tesla is well ahead though. Hopefully they’ll keep improving quality as well.

scott franco (the evil EV owning republican)

“The fact that so many people are willing to pay a down payment to get this car which becomes available at the end of 2017 is a good sign. Finally, good competition for EVs is picking up.”

Sorry, but that is kind of a dumb statement. THese are not EVers who suddenly were born. This is pent up demand for a product that was not available before.

It seems more and more Carlos is fine with changing their position on EVs to bring up the rear. He talks about other cars being the money makers for nissan, and how ev sales are not what they expected.

My leaf lease ends in 2 months. Seems like the end for me and Nissan.

Murrysville EV (another EV-owning Republican)

Agreed. Nissan may end up #6 in US EV sales this year. Even the Model X outsold the Leaf in March.

I enjoyed my 12 Leaf, but its deficiencies, poor dealer support, and horrendous depreciation mean my next EV won’t be a Nissan product.

I’m driving a paid-for minivan until my Model 3 is ready.

I read “Finally, good competition for EVs is picking up” as “now we’re going to get off our ass and make something nice”, not that demand suddenly appeared. I’m a fan of Carlos, not for Leaf, but his past business acumen at Nissan. He will bring something nice to the market, and competition will be fierce. We certainly live in interesting times, and it’s just begun!

And for Murrysville EV, consider leasing a SparkEV while waiting? There are some great deals. See ev-vin’s blog page.

I turned my Nissan leaf back in and I’m leasing a pathfinder until the next GEN of electric cars is available also

300,000 preorders is what it takes to convince a conservative board to move more aggressively. You can bet that the boards of Nissan, BMW, Daimler, VW group, GM and Kia are, as we speak, are authorizing skunkworks, rush EV projects.

“We welcome competition because it can expand the market. It’s going to stimulate demand.”

That’s right kids, *expand* the market. The Model 3 won’t kill Nissan’s EVs because the people buying a Model 3 aren’t quite the same market as those buying a hatchback. For some people, the fact that the M3 isn’t a hatchback (or a CUV, or an SUV, or a truck) is a deal killer. Forget the rest of the technological advancements of the car, it’s just the wrong format.

You’ll also notice that Nissan is competing with other companies in a very mature market. It’s not like they don’t know how to do this.

My wife told me yesterday to get my Model 3 deposit back because it doesn’t have a hatch!!

Ghosn says good competition, but not very good :-).

I was one of the first 2011 Leaf owners in Sn Franciscpo. Loved the car, until after only 32,000 miles, the range ,dropped from 80K to 60K, without and loss of ´bars´. After an all day check at the dealership, I was told this was the result of normal usage. The following week, I was driving RAV 4 electric. 110 mile range, comfortable, and what it is really is a TESLA disguised as Toyota. In other words, it has plenty of zip. Nevertheless, I´m in line for the TESLA 3, with which I hope to live happily ever after.