Nissan CEO Sets U.S. LEAF Sales Target At 50,000 Annually


2015 Nissan LEAF

2015 Nissan LEAF

Obligatory CEO with Vehicle Image

Obligatory CEO with Vehicle Image

Automotive News spoke with Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn at the recent 2015 New York Auto Show. Most of Ghosn’s comments were related to electric cars.

Specifically, Ghosn was asked whether or not the volume of LEAF sales support Nissan’s massive investment in battery manufacturing in the U.S. Ghosn responded:

“The basic plan is based on 50,000 cars a year.

“Selling 50,000 EVs in North America should not be, in my opinion, a task which is beyond our capacity. I feel very good about the capacity we have today.”

If the plan calls for 50,000 annual LEAF sales in the U.S., then Nissan still has a ways to go.  In 2014, Nissan LEAF sales in the U.SA totaled 30,200 units.

According to Ghosn, the main roadblock for EVs is the U.S.’ lacking charging infrastructure:

“As long as you don’t have charging infrastructure, you know, we’re not going to see a very strong development of the electric car. And the countries which are going to have this charging infrastructure are going to see a very big burst of zero-emission vehicles.”

The infrastructure issue is problematic, mostly because it’s so time consuming to build it up:

“Unfortunately, it’s decisions made by government, and execution made by the states, the cities and the communities, which means that we’re going to have to be patient.”

Ghosn was questioned about the LEAFs range too. According to Ghosn, range is not the issue, but infrastructure certainly is:

“First car I bought — did I care about the range of the car? No, I didn’t care about the range. And you know why? Because we have a gasoline station every three, four miles, wherever I am.

“So I don’t care about the car driving 300 miles.  The main problem is the charging infrastructure, OK? The range is going to help, but it’s not going to solve.”

Source: Automotive News

Categories: Nissan

Tags: , ,

Leave a Reply

87 Comments on "Nissan CEO Sets U.S. LEAF Sales Target At 50,000 Annually"

newest oldest most voted

Anyone else read the quotes in Ghosn’s distinctive voice?

I wish they would do more about infrastructure in Australia. Sometimes it feels like they’re making no effort here, just enough to offload the remaining stock.

I wish more auto executives were more like Carlos Ghosn and Andy Palmer. Maybe we can build a factory in Australia to make more of them 😉

Apparently the aluminum casting facility in Geelong is going gang busters pumping parts out for the leaf.

I wish we’d actually realise that we could be part of the solution rather than the problem. It just beggars belief that we are importing oil and refined petroleum products when we have a massive surplus of base load electricity. I have no idea what the solution is but I wish we were the Norway of the Southern hemisphere.

I laughed out loud, yes, I did.

The in-town infrastructure problem almost ceases to exist when you have 200 mile range.

In between cities like Tesla, yes, someone has to build them. Why not make it a branding exercise, Nissan? Think about the the opportunity to show the world you are serious, and sell some gear at the same time.

Who ever drives more than 200 miles in town in a single day?

Ask a Tesla driver how often they charge away from home, other than a supercharger when on a trip.

Not very often.

If you only drive between the few hundred cities with SuperChargers between them and ignore the million other cities…

The issue is NOT with the 200 mile car driving in the home town (assuming, of course, I’m a rich guy with a home charging station, and not one of those poor apartment dwellers living without).

The issue is when an out-of-town driver comes to your home town. Where does he charge? Even if he’s a “rich” guy with (now depleted) 200 mile range?

Destination charging can be done literally anywhere there’s an electrical outlet. It may be less convenient to not have a dedicated Level 2 charger when you stop at a hotel or someone else’s house for the night, and it may well take longer to charge away from home. But anyone who says he can’t find a way to charge at a destination isn’t trying very hard.

What I don’t like about the eletric cars is they have this big bulky outer transformer thing that you have to hook up a regular plug to to hook it up to the EV/ They really should have it were the EV can have it’s own 120 volt outlet on it vs trying to use a J adapter. The reason is the big transformer thing on the cable makes it tempting to steal. While a standard extension cord would be useless in terms of stealing.

But it is not even a transformer. It is just a little box that does the J1772 protocol talk and a ground fault. They should be able to make them pretty small.

You can by the J1772 plug with everything integrated inside it from China. I have no idea what that big box does that a PCB the size of a cigarette package couldn’t do.

The AeroVironment TurboCord is very small, and it works on both 120 and 240 Volt outlets.


Ocean Railroader said: “What I don’t like about the eletric cars is they have this big bulky outer transformer thing that you have to hook up a regular plug to to hook it up to the EV…” Yeah, the EVSE. One problem is literally the plug… or rather, plugs. You’ve got your basic everyday 110/120 volt plug as in every American home; then the 220 plug that’s used for electric dryers and ovens (and their European versions, altho I guess that can be handled by an adapter); then the various EV charging formats. If your car would accept all types of plugs, that’s at least three different plug receptacles your EV would need under the little door for the plug, and perhaps more. (A Tesla Model S would need 4 to be able to use both the Supercharger and the CCS/CHAdeMO chargers, plus 110 and 220 plugs. Plus, from some comments on InsideEVs, I’m not sure the CCS and CHAdoMO chargers use compatible plugs, altho pictures of them look the same.) Not very practical. And it looks like it’s only going to get worse for the present, as different EV makers keep developing their own charging formats, and plugs, instead… Read more »

Out of towners have to sleep somewhere. That’s generally going to be a hotel, friends house, airbnb, or vacation rental.

Tesla is taking pretty good care of hoteliers who install the HPWC. Free gear. Hard to beat that deal.

Aerovironment has a very compact traveling charger that can tap either 120v or 240v.

I hear there’s a company in San Diego called Quick Charge Power that makes special EV extension cords and other EVSE gear to make opportunity charging more convenient.

Apartment dwellers will have their day. San Diego Gas & Electric and other utilities are spending a lot of energy getting MTDs to make charging infrastructure available.

+1 to “why not make it a branding exercise, Nissan?”

If Ghosn wants infrastructure, he should build it himself, starting with getting all the dealers on board, but also along highways and at malls, etc, etc. For Nissan to invest so heavily in EVs and then leave that investment to flap in the wind while waiting for somebody else to support it is just nucking futs.

Note on branding … while Nissan owns the brand, much around it is done via partnerships. The marketing of the brand via a PR firm, supply chains for parts, dealer networks for sales, etc.
Same reason they don’t own fossil fuel stations, or service centers. An auto manufactures focus is product development, logistics and brand management.

Hope this helps to explain why Nissan and other auto manufactures are interested in owning infrastructure.

A better question is …
“Why aren’t regional electric utility providers interested in supplying a rapidly growing market segment that complements their core business?”

You have a good point Brian, but Nissan does not have to own the hardware or the pad to put a really big “Nissan” sign up.

It would make sense if they made and sold the gear (which they do already).

It would make sense if they made the EVSE available at a really great price (which they do already)

But they could certainly take it past their dealers and follow Tesla’s lead, who has Tesla gear at very high visibility locations at malls all over the US.

If a bank can be in my grocery store, my automotive OEM can be in my parking lot.

Range and infrastructure go hand and hand. If an 80 mile range car, with be down to 60 miles when its a cold day and its 5 years old, and people want a 15 mile buffer, you only really have 45 miles and need more public charging than we have gas stations now. If its 200 mile range, and we are down to 140 miles on a very cold day on a 5 year old car, having charging every 50 miles on highways is probably good enough. It is a much less expensive and time consuming proposition.

I worry that the infrastructure as shaky as it is may end up in big oil’s hands and then we will be in trouble.

Infrastructure isn’t the problem… all of these cars can handle most people’s daily driving and in most cases are second or third vehicles in the household. Only the “nutty” early adopters will accept sitting around for 20 minutes on a DC fast charger, heaven forbid a L2.

If you want to grow market share you have to have more range Mr. Gohsn. Elon is spot on when he says a car has to have 200mi range before it can overcome the psychological roadblocks of the average consumer.

*Disclaimer: We own both a Tesla and a Leaf


The daily commute is the best use case for the Leaf.

Since most USA families have multiple cars, a Leaf for common commuting just plain works. I don’t have one but am eyeing the Bolt as a Volt replacement. We also have an ICE CUV and a couple other cars for long distance trips. I didn’t really need the Volt – but enjoyed the experience.

Well, thanks for calling us “nutty”. Could have called us “fruity” instead as while our EVs are charging we tend to occupy our time with more useful engagements than just sitting around.

Just a few years ago … smartphone users were called fruity. (Apple, Blackbery, Orange, etc)

EVs are a smartphone on wheels 😉

You could be right, Brian. But the addiction to the internet and staring at phones all day and constant texting – not sure that is really good for all of us.

Bingo! As I’ve been saying for years, look at the number of households in the US that [1] have more than one car, with at least one of them used for commuter/non-long distance duty, and [2] have a garage with an outlet that will support overnight L1 recharging, and [3] can afford a Leaf S after accounting for Federal and State tax incentives. That’s literally millions, likely tens of millions, of households that could benefit from buying an EV in terms of all the various ways people on this site can rattle off from memory. And that’s without any of those vehicles ever plugging into a public charging station. My household is one of those meeting my three criteria above, and my wife and I have loved our Leaf S for the 2 years we’ve had it so far. The primary problem with EV acceptance right now is market psychology. While increasing public charging infrastructure is certainly a major factor for some people with long commutes, for example, but by and large it’s a way to help people get over the mental hurdle of EV ownership. The biggest thing that will convert people from EV skeptics to fans is, indeed,… Read more »

While I don’t disagree with your points in general, I do disagree they are the biggest issues. The biggest is price. Once the price of the vehicle is competitive with ICE, only then will the mass market even start to think about these other issues.

It’s not price alone. It’s perceived value -for- the price paid. That’s why the Tesla Model S outsells nearly all other luxury cars in the North American market; because its perceived value is very high, even compared to its high price.

Most new car buyers aren’t willing to pay -more- for a short-range BEV than for a gas guzzler, when they perceive that the BEV offers -less- value, due to limited range and much longer “refueling” times. Significantly increase the range without increasing the price much, and you change the equation in the mind of the potential buyer.

Increase the perceived value without raising the price much, and more will buy the car. It’s that simple. And that’s why I think we will see a significant increase in sales when the nominally “200 mile” BEVs start selling in 2017… and no significant increase in non-Tesla sales until then.

Don’t worry. He knows that. But he’s got to say something to explain the low sales, so infrastructure is his story and he’s sticking to it till the new generation batteries are available in quantity.


I would take range over infrastructure, but both clinches it. I have a Leaf now as a stepping stone to the Tesla Model 3. I advise friends to the Kia Soul EV as its the best city range for a city price. I considered the BMW i3, but there are no fast chargers around for it, so holding out for the Tesla.

An EV is like a cell phone. You need enough battery to comfortably last the day. If you’re out traveling you can’t do without your charger. Same goes for an EV. Simple. To be sure, the Leaf does great most days, and I would recommend an EV to everyone for city use, but to replace my old Civic give me more range and chargers.

My family now has 2 Leafs in the garage. The Kia is a nice car… and does start with somewhat more range but I am not sure how much more when compared with the 2015 which has somewhat more capacity than our 2013… the Kia vs Nissan was EPA 9 miles… I’m not sure that Nissan didn;t quietly make that diff a little smaller. That plus the known quantity of our previous Leaf ( now with 20k miles) led us to another Leaf for the home fleet. Maybe a Tesla next… but the Leaf is a fine car for most folks.

Ghosn: Says range of current EVs is good enough and blames lack of infrastructure.

Musk: Recognizes that the psychological range barrier is the biggest obstacle to EV growth and builds an infrastructure instead of using the lack of one as an excuse.

Don’t be so harsh on Ghosn. Plenty of Leaf owners would be driving ICEs not Teslas, if it wasn’t for Ghosn.
Ghosn needs to tell a story to justify the relatively low sales of the Leaf while they work on the next generation battery production. He knows range is too low, but he can’t do anything about it till he has the new batteries, so he does his best pitch with what he’s got.
Musk’s 50K car is now a 75K car, and his Model III will be a 50K car on average. So his three step master plan really requires a fourth step.
Both Musk and Ghosn are doing an incredibble job, but neither has met the targets they set for themselves a few years ago. It turns out that this is not easy, who knew?
Both will get to the objective, the 200 mile mass-produced EV, coming from different ends of the market, by 2017 or 2018. It just takes time. Meanwhile, we should be happy about where we are. We had no options at all just five years ago.

Absolutely agree.


Alonso Perez said:

“Musk’s 50K car is now a 75K car, and his Model III will be a 50K car on average. So his three step master plan really requires a fourth step.”

Thanks! This is the first time I’ve ever seen anyone make that point, at least on InsideEVs.

Of course, Tesla’s original three-step path to the “everyman” EV was the vision of founders Martin Eberhard and Marc Tarpenning, not Elon Musk. But yeah, as it’s developed, Tesla’s progression from the Roadster to the Model S to the Model ≡ (the Model X is merely a variation on the S), it will indeed require at least one more generation to reach the “everyman” price point. Maybe two more.

Or he will be satisfied with others filling in that gap and stay focused on the premium segment.

Musk has always stated that his primary goal was kick off the move towards electrification, whether by Tesla or others chiming in.

He has already succeeded in that goal imo. Not all by himself of course, but Tesla was and is an important factor and the ‘others chiming in’ are Nissan, GM, BMW and a few others.

Both Ryan and Alonso have good points.

I have uttered Ryan’s criticism more than once in general at the auto industry. The car manufacturers still seem to be stuck in the ‘we provide the wheels, others provide the energy’ type of thinking that is normal in ICE land. They seem unable to think outside of that box.

It took someone like Elon Musk to do that and realise the only pathway to success is the one that offers your customers a hassle-free and reliable experience.

The dip in Leaf sales really has more to do with the March 2500+ sales of i3, eGolf, 500e alone. More options and competitors offering better designs and their sales are increasing….without more public charging/gas stations.

Ghosn’s 50k plan was created before the competition showed up.

The EV sales winners will offer longest range and best design under $30k, that will virtually eliminate the implied need for public charging/fueling in a commuter car.

Once the EV can handle 5 days of commuting without needing charge(about 150 – 200 miles), similar to a weekly fill-up, we are there.

Ghosn hasen’t figured out that his blaming the lack of charging/gas stations, is what’s telling consumers his Leaf won’t work for them. Just the idea of a ‘required’ :30 minute charging stop away from home is a deal breaker, when the commute is drop the kids off at school/daycare, work, pick the kids up, food/shopping, home.

Desperated Ford agent is back with his FUD campaign.

Not if there is a DC CHAdeMO charger at the food shopping center… 20 minutes of shopping adds 60 miles of range… Need CHAdeMORE!

Just don’t put the parking spot(s) for CHAdeMO near the store door. How many times are they ICEd now… You cannot rely on public charging infrastructure – due to the public themselves.

I think Nissan/Renault, and Mr. Ghosn are to be commended for backing electric cars more than any other ICE makers. However, they have not delivered on their talk of a 100 mile range car, and fast charging at every Cracker Barrel, after five years. Tesla has come closest so far. If Nissan hopes to sell 50K Leafs a year, lets hope they don’t take another five years to deliver.

The “Cracker Barrel” were a regional deployment specific to Tennessee as part of “The EV Project” (.com) funded by the “Department of Energy”. Sole source contract, lack of oversight resulted in only 103 of a planned (and budgeted) 300 DCFC being installed across the USA. Since Blink/Ecotality went out of business, the DOE has gone quiet on DC QC infrastructure as number of EVs has grown from 30,000 to over 300,000 in the past 3 years. Currently only 68 of the original 103 Blink DCFC locations remain functional. Many only because of having dual connectors and displays where one side has failed, but the other is operational for now. Is sad that an investment of American tax dollars is being left to deteriorate just a couple years after the initial investment … no upkeep, or sustainability plan … very sad that DOE has walked away from maintaining infrastructure on US soil. (I will not comment on the hundreds of millions the DOE is investing in hydrogen research and infrastructure as it is not the topic of focus … details on for those curious) The “Cracker Barrel” were a regional deployment specific to Tennessee as part of “The EV Project”… Read more »

I’ve seen several comments saying Blink overcharged outrageously for a charge. Perhaps it’s best that the network was allowed to die. I agree that we do need governments (Federal, State, municipal) to step up and “prime the pump” of the EV revolution by installing publicly accessible EV chargers, until such time as there are enough EVs on the road to create enough demand for private industry to build them. But the overly expensive, pretty but fragile (and with all those lights, energy wasting) Blink chargers were a poor choice of equipment.

No one else is raising an eyebrow at the main headline – the sales target?

At this point in Leaf progress (22.6k in 2013, >30k last year, talk about a double-range Leaf and Chevy coming soon), 50k units/year is a disappointing goal.

Nissan sells almost 1.5 million vehicles /year in North America.

Are they planning to make the Leaf a major brand volume-wise, and transition a broader market to electric – or not?

Well, I hope Ghosn is just hedging. The heady unrealistic optimism of 2008-2011 is still fairly fresh in his mind I guess. So he aims a target he knows he can beat?

I had a similar thought … isn’t 50k/year something they had hoped would happen in 2013? On a related note, I think low EV numbers get squished into market that is a bit too green to be accepted by more conservative minded individuals and a little too consumerist to be accepted by environmentalists. I tend to lean green, so have always wanted better explanations about how EV batteries will be recycled. I’m not comforted by the non nonchalant proposals that they will be used as stationary storage for a long time after EVs burn them out. Really? I mean, how useful is a worn out lithium battery in that application? It’s conceivable that grid-tied systems would require better reliability, consistency and longevity than that … and the lower cost might not offset the higher risk of failures. Moving and replacing batteries is not trivial if you do have problems. So, if we have 1m (or 5m) + vehicles in 2030 that have dead lithium batteries … how do we take care of them? Do they go into landfill? What is the energy required to disassemble and recycle those? (I know lead acid batteries just get ground up and separated …… Read more »

Anticipate seeing the post on “100,000 LEAF in US” between Oct & Dec 31. 😉

Infrastructure is broken here in the states. When someone can make money setting up a charge station and charging $15 per charge, then maybe it will work. Until then a nation wide scale infrastructure like gas stations isn’t going to happen, even if electric car sales take off.

In the early days of the motorcar, there were no gas stations. Motorcar enthusiasts had to buy gasoline in a can at the drug store.

When there are enough Plug-in EVs driving around to create sufficient demand for for-profit fast-charge or super-fast-charge stations, then they will be built. Just like gas stations in a previous disruptive tech revolution.

Ghosn is not counting that Atlanta sales/leases of LEAF’s will be 0 after July 1st when the new law eliminating the $5,000 state tax credit is in place. If Atlanta accounted for 30% of all monthly LEAF’s, then his estimate will be wrong – should be about 39,250 ~ 40,000 unless everyone in Atlanta rushes to get a LEAF by June 30th – and that could double or triple the number of LEAF’s sales count for 2015.

I agree. If this is a 2016 projection, it will be tough. If they’re at about 30,000 now and will pretty much lose the GA market. That means going from about 20k to 50k a year. That will take a lot more than charging infrastructure deployment.

Atlanta is (thru June) one of their top markets, but no way it’s 30-40% of the national total. Each of the West Coast metropolitan areas alone, sells Leafs roughly on par with Atlanta.

Not according to InsideEvs “That means that more than one-third of all the LEAFs sold in the US in December were sold in one US city – Atlanta.”

When the Leaf has 150+ mile range, a more robust battery and styling equivalent to say, Ford Focus, it will fly off the lots, 50k a year easy.

Nissan’s EV sales plan should not depend on someone else building infrastructure.

200 mile battery. Supercharger network. Problem solved. That experiment has already been run, with a positive outcome.

Ford and e-Golf are such ugly p of s.

You certainly have a right to your opinion, but you’re out of sync with popular opinion. Focus is one of the best selling cars in America, Golf is one of the best selling cars in the world. They both get pretty high praise for being good looking from most folks.

More range and I will buy another leaf.

As it is, I can hardly wait for the Tesla Model 3 to come out so that I can dump my Leaf and get a real car. The leaf is a nice toy for the city, but nothing more. With the heat on in cold weather and and hitting a few hills my range drops to about 50 miles.

The hard truth for Mr. Ghosn is that people drive a Leaf because there is nothing else that is electric and seats 5, not because it is a great car. Once there is serious competition from Model 3 and from the Bolt, Leaf sales will drop like a lead weight in water.

I would have gone for a leaf but simply have too many journeys of around 80-120 miles round trip, have a home charge unit to charge up overnight but there isn’t an affordable EV car on the market with a minimum 160 mile.

Hence, the Outlander PHEV is arriving next Thursday and not the leaf.

I can’t be that much different to the masses and a lot of people simply don’t trust the charging infrastructure here in the UK to make the change with such limited battery range. Not to mention the inconvenience.

The Leaf is getting a bit long in the tooth. Nissan changed to a more heat resistant chemistry, but didn’t dramatically change range since it’s been introduced.

They haven’t made a big effort to restyle it for mainstream acceptance, and they haven’t really added many new onboard features since the vehicle was first introduced.

Given the tiny updates over time, I don’t see how Carlos thinks he can move this many units with an older EV that’s screaming for more (double?) range / updated features / restyling. And certainly not when there are now other EV choices that are similar (e-Golf) for a little bit more.

I think Ghosn needs to “pull an Elon”, and offer a more dense battery for the current car, NOW. And while he’s at it, slap on a less polarizing front end with more normal looking headlights– which should also help reduce drag. Then, offer it as a kit for current Leaf Owners (EVERYWHERE not just Japan), so they can update their cars, and their Dealers can make some money on EV sales, too.

I’ve been saying for a while that they need to come out with a LEAF SE-R. Bigger pack, more powerful inverter, etc. It needs to best all other FWD hot hatches in 0-60 and skid pad. Limit the quantity to whatever they need to and charge whatever they can get.
The idea is get people into the showroom to drive an EV that normally wouldn’t. We all know that experience is infectious, use that to your advantage.

Yup. No one is doing Leaf 0 – 60 videos… All the media attention and consumer enthusiasm this vehicle had, has moved on.

Innovate; evolve the product, or die in the marketplace. I’m worried Nissan might be waiting a tad too long to inject some life back into the Leaf, while the EV competition increases globally.

The companies couldn’t be more different in this regard. Tesla keeps improving the cars people can buy and even the one’s they’ve already bought. Tesla shows that electrics have inherent advantages, Nissan pitches that they’re workable. Tesla dares you to take a road trip by building the charge network and giving the electricity away. Nissan basically says, “Look at your life, it happens within a 40 mile radius of your garage, embrace your monotony”.

“Embrace your monotony”…

Wow. Ouch. Burn.

But so perfectly descriptive. 🙁

Dr. Miguelito Loveless

I really don’t care about the styling, but if they will sell me upgraded batteries for 100-125 miles, I am golden.

With an 80 mile (highway) car, you can’t go faster than 45mph on a trip. Drive for an hour, stop for 40 minutes. That kind of sucks. I’ve done it. That’s the *best possible* scenario on a LEAF road trip.

I own a LEAF. The best possible outcome of any road trip is “kind of sucky.” Don’t tell me I don’t need more range. For a road trip, I do.

You make a valid point, but why ruin it with far-out numbers?

If you drive 45mph, you’ll get >100 miles out of your Leaf, so you’ll drive >2 hours and then charge for ~30 minutes, not 1 hour vs. 40 minutes as you write.

If you drive 55-60 MPH, you’ll get 80-100 miles so you’ll drive ~1.5 hours between charges.

If the chargers are unevenly spaced, so you need to stop earlier or more often, the stops will be for only 10-20 minutes including overhead. Not ideal, but not as ridiculous as you make it to be.

And yes, I too am clamouring for Nissan to get off its ass and offer longer range this coming model year.

Assaf said: “If you drive 55-60 MPH, you’ll get 80-100 miles so you’ll drive ~1.5 hours between charges.” How are you achieving that? Driving down a mountain? Driving with a strong steady tailwind? “Drafting”, which means tailgating a semi truck on the highway, with the AC off? And then limping into the next charge station in “turtle” mode because you ran the battery almost empty? One thing’s for sure: It ain’t by driving like most people drive. “An average speed of 55 miles per hour on a 95 degree day with the air conditioning on gives us an expected range of 70 miles.” source: To be fair, that was based on the original 2011 Leaf’s range, and it’s been upped a bit since; 15% according to that article. But that extra 15% is no more than the average driver would want for a safety buffer, when planning stops along the planned route. * * * * * Anderlan wasn’t talking about driving at 45 MPH; he was pointing out that you can only -average- about 45 MPH if you drive at normal highway speed and stop to recharge when necessary. Bottom line: Anderlan’s post reflects the reality of real-world… Read more »

Now let me ask you – did you buy your LEAF as a road trip car, not knowing its capability, or did you WANT to use your LEAF as a road trip car, even knowing its capability?

Nissan advertised the LEAF (initially, not sure about now) as a 2nd vehicle of the family, rather than the sole and do-it-all vehicle.

In fact, if everyone use the current batch of EVs ~90 mi range as commute vehicles, and leave what they have for the long trip, our air would have been much cleaner, pollution would have been much less, and dependency on gasoline would be close to non-existence (for personal use). For people without any home/work charging alternative, hybrids should be their primary choice of vehicle. Caveat being if the vehicle is needed for big family or family & work vehicle together.

Classic case of what we know something will do, and want it to do more, except that someone else will not provide solution a such demand, and we blame that someone else.

Range is the issue. As soon as a competitor comes out with a 150-200 mile range EV for under $40K, Mr. Ghosn will realize this. Or maybe he already does and is just shifting blame.

Infrastructure is also the issue. You need both. Specifically, you need faster charging between cities. This, combined with more range, at a price the middle class can afford, and EV sales will take off. The only maker that has done a good job with both range and infrastructure so far is Tesla.

To be fair, the official Nissan ppl are saying they will have precisely such a BEV out in 2017 MY (Gen 2 Leaf). Which is as early as any competitor.

Question is, whether it’s early enough to avoid a prolonged dip/stall in Gen 1 Leaf sales. Seems like not, surely not in the US.

Don’t think we need to wait for an 150-200 mile BEV for more people to become interested.

Think a significant starter is when a BEV with 120-150 practical EV miles reaches the general market. (at under $45,000) This means 200-300 miles possible with a 30 – 40 min stop. ie: 30-40 min added on to a 3-5 hour drive. Most driver only go this far a few Times per year … most days being under 100 miles range.

Carlos Ghosn was quoted as saying: “As long as you don’t have charging infrastructure, you know, we’re not going to see a very strong development of the electric car.” Well, certainly the -home- charging infrastructure is important. But the public infrastructure isn’t. Plenty of potential EV buyers have pointed out that those who have curbside parking don’t currently have any practical method of charging at home, and for apartment dwellers with parking lots, there can be formidable or impossible barriers to getting a usable EV charge point installed in a reserved parking stall. Of course all that will change in the future. In an earlier era, as cities changed from the horse-and-buggy era to the motorcar era, hitching posts disappeared, and paved roads and parking lots appeared. Similarly, as the EV revolution progresses, we’ll see cities install curbside slow EV chargers in most public parking spots, including areas with residential curbside parking. But if Ghosn is talking about -public- EV charging infrastructure, then that’s cabbage, and I’m pretty sure he knows it. Surveys and forum posts make it very clear that very few potential EV buyers concern themselves with the availability of public EV chargers before they buy an EV.… Read more »

When/if 200 mile range EVs hit the market, in two years, there will be 100K Leafs going begging for $5K apiece.

There is no way Nissan will sell 50,000 Leafs per year in North American until the car gets significantly longer range. Period. If there was a Level 3 DC charger at every mile post on every highway and every major road, they still wouldn’t sell 50,000 per year. The limitation to demand of current BEVs isn’t availability of charge points. It’s lack of range and the time it takes if you need to charge en route… which is just another way of saying BEVs need longer range. As has been said: It’s not -charge- time that’s the problem; it’s -wait- time. You don’t have to wait while your car charges overnight. But if you want to drive your BEV beyond its normal range, then you do have to wait while it recharges en route. Sure, there are many EV enthusiasts willing to wait extended times for the car to charge during a long trip. But that group is a very small percentage of potential new car buyers. The -majority- of new car buyers won’t put up with that. Until BEV range goes up significantly and/or recharge time goes down significantly, the EV revolution will remain stuck in the early adopter… Read more »

We need both. Ghosn should make CHAdeMO standard on all models… and add CCS to Jplug… and keep working hard to add more DC chargers to those shopping centers and other useful destinations.

with one to 3 hop trips being about all most would endure… the 1.0 Leaf will not be a long haul highway car… wasn’t ever meant to be. but if DC charging was ubiquitous and the car could do 70 to 150 miles per charge… apartment dwellers and homeowners alike would find it very useful.

Leaf 2.0 with over 150 t0 200 rated miles would use the highway and metro located DCs to be useful to apartment dwellers with no home chargers.

We need both… it isn’t an excuse… it is rational.

The LEAF is not for “the minority of new car buyers”.

FYI: 53% of vehicles purchased in March were Trucks & SUVs.

With over 75,000 LEAFs purchased, the LEAF is moving beyond the early adopter phase … as there will over 100,000 LEAF’s on US roads before y
the 2016 new year!

Total Plug-in EV sales comprise only 1% of all “light vehicle” sales (cars and light trucks) in the U.S. …and even less in most other countries.

I don’t know where you personally, Brian, would draw the line at a technology moving out of the early adopter phase into the mainstream, but certainly that can’t be considered to happen until at least 5% of sales are EVs. Personally, I look at the rate of growth, which currently is almost stagnant. The EV revolution will kick into high gear and move into the mainstream only when sales are growing exponentially year after year after year; growth which will continue until the great majority of all car (and light truck) sales are plug-in EVs.

I don’t see the relevance of part of your post. You say 53% of new “car” sales in the U.S. last month were actually light trucks. So what’s your point?

Oh, nevermind… I see now you wrote “minority” when you meant “majority”.

They’re getting a bit ahead of themselves, IMO. Infrastructure only trumps range when we reach the point that charging only takes a few minutes (or less). It won’t matter if there a charging station on every block if the vehicle range stays small. You may not need to worry about running out of charge, but you’ll need to spend every spare moment charging since the tiny battery will be constantly depleted.

I say higher range first, then build up infrastructure.

Infrastructure is already built. How many 100V plugs you need if you charge every night at home? If the commute is within range- there is only occasional need at a quick DC station for it to make sense. People who mention lack of infrastructure seem to never had their butts in any EV car. It is a paradigm shift never to thin about gas, gas stations and infrastructure outside the home.

Spoken like a city person where everything is close by. Infrastructure is nowhere near acceptable. Aside from the EVSE in my garage, the next closest one is over 400km away! Winter travel is out of the question.

I realize that I’m in a minority, but what about people who don’t have a dedicated plug at home? Have you ever tried getting a plug installed for an apartment or condo? Sometimes this is easy, others it is next to impossible.

Ghosn is right, more public DC fast chargers are needed.

Even for people that don’t need them, if they see them everywhere it will give them the confidence to buy and drive electric.

Also, they really will be used for those days you need to do some extra driving, or when you visit a nearby town and charge there for your return trip. For this the DC fast chargers *must* also be *reliable.*


Ghosn is right about the need of proper charging infrastructure. Sure, plugs are everywhere (buildings, light post, etc.), but that not the same as you can just plug your vehicle in any socket (or face angry building owners or law enforcement officers). The only place you can plug without any issue is when EVSE is present. Accessible EVSE charging units are necessary too! What good does it do when a unit is located within a gated garage, but for “everyone” (with the correct membership card) to use? And who will take care of broken units asap, instead of waiting for the next-very-unhappy-EV-owner to report the failure? Last but definitely most important most important, a standardized payment system. The current EZ-charge system (NOT actually by Nissan) is utterly going the wrong way. The way gasoline stations work – you don’t need a membership card from Shell, and another one from 76, etc. The stations don’t care what credit card you are using to make payment either. Thus, WHY WOULD EACH PROVIDER NEEDS TO ESTABLISH ITS OWN ACCOUNT? AND WHY EVEN A SINGLE CARD IS NECESSARY to access all these stations (there should be 0 card)? Just go up to a charging… Read more »

Anyone else concerned that Ghosn doesn’t seem to understand the actual, practical needs of EVs and is still operating under a paradigm similar to those of ICE vehicles? No, we don’t need more public charging along the lines of having a gas station on every corner. We need enough range to cover our daily driving needs (including situations where it is extremely cold or hot and for reasonable freeway driving, not slow lane hugging) plus some extra to overcome some psychological barriers, a place to charge at night, and practical rapid chargers to extend range for road trips. Educate potential consumers by emphasizing the advantages of EVs and get them to understand the time it takes to charge means absolutely nothing in day to day driving with a place to charge at night: your car spends the night parked and idled anyways, so the real time cost of overnight charging is 10 seconds total to plug in when you get home and remove the plug when you leave in the morning.

Well said.

Sufficient range is necessary for EVs to catch on too, not just infrastructure.

Each model should have several range options (like most ICEs have with engine size). This would serve both the city dwellers who don’t need that much range on a daily basis AND the rural people who must travel further to do the same.