Nissan LEAF Only True Tesla Model 3 Competitor

Tesla Model 3 Competitor

JUL 16 2017 BY EVANNEX 134

Tesla Model 3

Tesla Model 3


Tesla’s Model 3 is a groundbreaking vehicle in several ways. It will be the company’s first foray into the mid-price market, and it will expose Tesla to something it hasn’t had to face before: competition. Every vehicle Tesla has launched up until now – the Roadster and Models S and X – has been unique in its class.

There simply are no other pure electric roadsters, large sedans or SUVs on the market (Model S also happens to outsell gas-powered cars in its class, but that’s another story).

Nissan and Tesla will be facing off for the first time in a similar price category (InsideEVs/Darren T)

After months of anticipation, Nissan has confirmed that the new and improved LEAF will arrive on September 5th in Tokyo (technically making it the 6th in Japan).

The company isn’t releasing any details at this point, but the EV media is expecting a more stylish vehicle, perhaps based on the IDS Concept that Nissan displayed at the 2015 Tokyo Motor Show (see the most recent spyshots of the LEAF testing on the roads here). And of course, it’s expected that the new LEAF will have at least an option for 200+ miles of range.

The Model 3, on the other hand, already has one strong competitor (at least in the US) that offers a similar range at a similar price point – the Chevy Bolt EV, which has been earning rave reviews (including from this writer, who recently spent a week with one, and was very impressed). By the time deliveries of the new Tesla start cranking up in earnest, it will face another challenger – the next-generation Nissan LEAF.

*This article comes to us courtesy of EVANNEX (which also makes aftermarket Tesla accessories). Authored by Charles Morris.

Nissan IDS Concept foreshadows new 2018 LEAF

To be considered in the same league as Tesla however, Nissan will need to add autonomy capability, and it plans to do just that. The 2018 LEAF will include a new suite of features called ProPILOT Assist, which will allow it to drive autonomously on highways by keeping the car in a single lane and automatically braking to maintain its distance from cars ahead. ProPILOT first appeared last August, in Nissan’s Serena minivan, which is sold in Japan.

As Business Insider notes, the current version of ProPILOT is essentially adaptive cruise control, and doesn’t compare to Tesla’s Autopilot. However, Nissan plans to gradually upgrade ProPILOT, and says that it will support full Level 4 autonomous driving, which allows the car to drive itself without human intervention in most circumstances, by 2020.

Nissan ProPilot LEAF prototype at Ise-Shima G7 summit in Japan

“ProPILOT Assist supports drivers by helping control acceleration, braking and steering during single-lane driving on the highway,” said Nissan in a press release. “In the coming years, Nissan’s ProPILOT technology will offer increasing levels of autonomy, with the system eventually able to navigate city intersections.”

Nissan teased the new system in a short video:

Above: ProPILOT Assist technology will be standard equipment on the next-generation Nissan LEAF (Youtube: Nissan USA)

Of course, with seven model years under its belt and over 100,000 units sold in the US alone (almost 300,000 worldwide), it’s the LEAF that will be defending its title against the upstart Model 3, not vice versa. How does Nissan feel about the competition? Whereas BMW is presenting Elon Musk as a bogeyman to strike fear into its employees’ hearts, Nissan, or at least its CEO Carlos Ghosn, seems to have a more collegial attitude.

At a recent shareholders meeting, Ghosn had nothing but praise for Musk and Tesla (as reported by The Quebec Times).

“I have to pull my hat off to Elon Musk, who is a great salesman,” said Ghosn. “He is a very good person who sells very well the vision of his company. Good for him. We are not at all jealous – on the contrary, I consider that the more Tesla advances, the more Tesla develops, the more it helps us. No one denies that we are the biggest players in the field. In a way it helps us to market this technology and make it more desirable.”


Source: Business Insider, CleanTechnica, The Quebec Times

*Editor’s Note: EVANNEX, which also sells aftermarket gear for Teslas, has kindly allowed us to share some of its content with our readers. Our thanks go out to EVANNEX, Check out the site here.

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134 Comments on "Nissan LEAF Only True Tesla Model 3 Competitor"

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After reading I don’t understand why Bolt isn’t a true competitor as well.

I think it’s this statement that they are using to remove the Bolt from the list:
“To be considered in the same league as Tesla however, Nissan will need to add autonomy capability”

I would have expected them to rule it out due to its subcompact size vs the midsize of the 3 and the Leaf, as that’s how cars are normally put into classes. But, of course, due to our restricted EV choices at the moment that classification has been largely ignored and you have people comparing subcompacts with large premium sedans because there are no other long range EV options at the moment!

As of right now the Bolt is larger than the Model 3, unless the model 3 has more rear headroom and leg room than the Model S. If you mean in physical dimensions than the Bolt is smaller. But once again given the crash test the Bolt fairs better than the Model S.

Richard Hammond put it rather nicely when he was reviewing the CTS and said, “The Americans just don’t get luxury; to them, luxury is just making something bigger.” The whole size argument is basically irrelevant for much of Europe and, I’d assume, some bits of Asia. What really matters is the materials used in the interior, how the car drives, the technology and features. Yes, in Europe the cars are still classified by size to a degree, but most people recognise that you can spec a Fiesta to be more luxurious, and arguably better, than a base C-class. What will really matter is the content and quality of these cars. Yes, the Bolt/Ampera-e can compete with the TM3 on interior volume and range, but the Bolt is a fairly cheap feeling car with pretty basic tech. DCFC is only optional, and there’s not even adaptive cruise as I understand it. So we’ll have to see how the Tesla and the Leaf are spec’d, and how the interiors match up, in order to really judge them against one another, I think. From what I’ve read so far, the Bolt does seem to be in a lower league than the other two,… Read more »

None of the Bolt owners have reported that the Bolt performs or handles like a cheap car. None.

Maybe you’re referring to the interior materials not being expensive? That’s a fair criticism, but it doesn’t explain why the Bolt isn’t considered a M3 competitor. We have no idea what the new Leaf will be like, and Tesla have received significant criticism for the Model S interior feeling cheap compared to other cars in the same price range.

The fact that the Leaf doesn’t have active battery management to me means it is not in the same league as the Bolt EV and Model 3. I could care less about automated driving.

“To be considered in the same league as Tesla however, Nissan will need to add autonomy capability.”

I’m not buying that caveat. Dynamic cruise, auto braking and lane keeping are essential safety features but not full autonomous driving.

Range is key and Bolt sets the floor for that with 238 miles. Less than that on Leaf with options and it will not be competitor for either one.

Range is key for EV’s.

Range is a FACTOR… but I can tell you folks that after 4 years of driving a LEAF… the recharge speed is a factor also. BOLT apparently has a slow DC ‘fast’ charge rate. The LEAF currently can get to 80% in under 30 minutes… my suspicion is that Nissan is fully aware of this weakness in BOLT and strength in Model 3.

80% of a smaller number is still smaller than 40% of a much larger number…

Yeah, but we are comparing 200+mi EV’s, not the 24kWh Leaf. Bolt appears to have a slow DCCC,tapers quickly. If Model 3 is comparable to the other Tesla’s, then it should have fast DCFC. If Leaf performs similar to the current model then it is hopeful it will have a fast DCCC as well. On paper Bolt sounds good, but in reality it sounds not so good.

…but the Bolt EV was designed with full autonomy in mind. How could it not be a competitor due to lack of autonomy? The basis of that conclusion just doesn’t make sense to me.

I agree – this article is baffling.

because any Chevrolet bolt that you buy today will never ever be autonomous.

What we’re learned from the lackluster Bolt EV sales & the 400k-ish M3 reservations is that max range is an even less important metric than even the experts had anticipated…

Styling/badge/features are more important than we thought…

I’d say, regarding lackluster Bolt EV sales, that dealership interest and cooperation in sales, and promotion by both the auto maker and the dealers, are more important than we realized.

I think that’s right, though I’d also add the fact that GM hasn’t bothered to think about the supercharging network side is another major factor. I like the Bolt, but I’d never buy one unless and until I could use it on the road without depending on Level 2 chargers.

But I think the big problem for mainline carmakers is the dealership sales model, which will hobble them both in selling EVs, and in the coming transition to TaaS.

now add the fact that once you add some options on BoltEV it pencils out at like 42K. One guy I know bot one and his monthly payment was like 650$. Most people won’t go for that it’s just too much money.

I think GM will start offering some cheap leases though and that should perk up sales somewhat.

Well I just went to the dealership last week that I leased my Bolt from and they had OVER 100 Bolts on the lot!

I talked to my salesman while my Volt was getting its fluids changed and he said that without some serious price drops/incentives that they simply can’t move these cars quickly.

He said they move on average less then 10 a month compared to over 20-30 much better incentivized Volts/month.

So George, high prices and tricky dicky dealerships are really gumming up the sales/leases of Bolts in NorCal.

I would think asking close to $40k for a sub-compact hatch/wagon will be a challenge, no matter what the powertrain. Which is why I always thought the Bolt should have been an upgrade/EV version of the Volt.

But I don’t see but a few choosing a Leaf over the Model 3 if they are priced about the same. With more males buying the Model 3 vs more females buying the Bolt or Leaf.

Leaf and Bolt will be more likely competitors. Model 3 is a totally different form factor, sedan vs hatch. If Nissan can price Leaf at the lower end of the price range, and it has >200mi range, then I think it will kill Bolt. Leaf is like Prius, it’s been around for a long time and has proven reliable, so it will generate loyalty. Bolt is an unknown, and from what I read GM is generally considered a poor choice of manufacturer.
Model 3 has an awesome amount of interest and will do really well because Tesla has the reputation for tech and innovation. Leaf will do really well because it is getting a reputation for reliability. Neither Leaf or Bolt will do as well as Model 3, and that is mostly because the dealer network will continue to focus clients towards ICE. I really think ICE manufacturers should create an EV specific brand for their EV’s.

The Volt costs significantly less (it will be cheaper even with fewer incentives). It has a gas engine, thus providing effectively unlimited range, while still having 3/4ths the electric range of a first gen EV. Of course it’s selling better.

This should not be news to anyone. The Bolt is just too expensive right now. That could very well end up being a problem for the Model 3 as well.

TESLA 3 WILL NOT HAVE A “TRUE” COMPETITOR FOR SOME TIME TO COME..You guys are itching to make comparisons and comparing apples to oranges here . The only “True” competitors TO EACH OTHER here is the Nissan leaf & Chevy Bolt…TESLA 3 DOESN’T HAVE A MID SIZED COMPETITOR CAR WITH A SUPERCHARGER NETWORK THAT CAN COMPETE AGAINST IT, AS OF YET..

Who cares about fast charging network except 2.5 Tesla owners, who don’t have money for airplane tickets after paying for the car loan.
By the way, you have a problem with your keyboard…

Wow, that is a lot of Tesla owner hoops, (assumptions) you just jumped through, to arrive at you auspicious claim.

You need to get some Tesla driving buddies, and get a better demographic of their car owning/leasing lifestyles. Then, check back in here with your newly found assertions.

I have enough friends with Model S, even a neighbor with the license plate “PV EV” ;). Problem is I see a lot of fanboys who’s only viable argument left is “What about fast charging network”… What about charging port in front of the car? The charging port in the back gives me way hassle then the slightly lower speed of charge on CHAdeMO charger, which I used maybe 10 times over 5 years I owned Leaf.

You must have a very difficult time believing the fact that the S, X and very soon Model 3 are very competitive in their respective price segments. Difficult to explain isn’t it?

Plane Tickets? Money? I have some 300,000 Aeroplan Miles collected, even after dumping a bunch on a couple Tickets in a rush to get to a Funeral in Western Canada last July, from Toronto to Vancouver! The 4 day car rental of a simple VW Beetle cost as much as a single regular Plane Ticket! And I was Lucky to get that!

(Came back to Toronto on a new Dreamliner – Boeing 787, cabin walkway in the aisles has a ceiling so high, I can barely reach it with my hand, and I am 6’3″ or 191 cm! Nice plane, but truly, Airport Terminals are a big hassle, that’s why I have a job, employed making big buck Business Jets for folks who can buy there way around that!)

It’s not the cost of flying, it’s the Airport and Car Rental hassles these days!

For the short range flight the CHAdeMO coverage is good enough in the most areas. For the long rang… are you sure the 5 hour flight plus all TSA headache is worth then 4 days drive?

Not sure it’s the keyboard. This might be a classic case of PEBKAC 😉

I guess interstate driving down exist

You are guessing wrong. It exists and everybody are crossing country cost-to-cost every week.

everybody is crossing cost to cost? I must be the only one not doing that. BTW what is the cost of a cost to cost trip?

James P Heartney said:

“I think… the fact that GM hasn’t bothered to think about the supercharging network side is another major factor.”

While I sympathize with your position, I think that’s unfair to GM. Whether GM has thought about it a little or a lot, they’re going to come to the same conclusion: That spending money to build out a DCFC network to rival Tesla’s isn’t going to benefit them.

From GM’s viewpoint, what a continent-wide DCFC network would do is make PEVs more competitive against gasmobiles. But GM does not want PEVs (Plug-in EVs) to be more competitive against its gasmobiles! From GM’s viewpoint, spending money on that would be counter-productive.

If and when GM starts making more profit on the average PEV than it makes on an average gasmobile… then perhaps GM will seriously consider following Tesla in building out an extensive DCFC network.

But I think I’m safe in saying that GM would much rather demand for for-profit DCFC stations to arise naturally, from increasing sales of PEVs. The Ford Motor Co. didn’t have to build gas stations to promote sales of the Model T, and I suspect all legacy auto makers have the same opinion regarding public EV charging stations.

The end result of that attitude is that GM’s BEV’s are much less compelling than their competitors’ at Tesla. Meaning they are wasting their time producing them.

This is a built-in problem for a large legacy company of any type: transforming a product line may cannibalize sales of existing products. Yet, if the industry as a whole is going with the transformation, then sticking to the previous products may leave the legacy company stranded with an obsolete product line.

GM needs to decide if they think the future is EVs or not. If it is, they need to do what’s necessary to live in that future, even if it means dropping their ICE lines, their dealerships, and their notion that they don’t need to take responsibility for seeing that the charging side works.

This is probably impossible from their point of view; but if they don’t they don’t do it, they’re running a big risk. Right now, GM, Honda and Toyota are betting their analysts are right and EVs will experience slow steady growth rather than quick disruptive growth. If they are right, they’ll be OK. If not, they’ll be gone by 2030.

Few companies ever want to eat their own profitable lines… but if they don’t then competitors will. IBM once had a selectric typewriter that was beloved by the best touch typists… when computers came along the company wouldn’t make a selectric style keyboard to sell with their computers… but others did.

CCS is building out nicely. From the articles it appears the Bolt tapers at a low SoC, something like 60%. With thermal management it seems strange that Bolt doesn’t charge at high power right up to 80% or higher. The spec indicates it can charge at 80kW. Model 3 is unknown, we’ll have to wait and see.

GM just doesn’t understand style. They can do sporty (make it look macho mean with lots of tacky spoilers, ground effects, and non-functional vents), they can do luxury (BIG with aggro ostentatious styling), but they cannot do sophisticated sporty.

Worse, they don’t even understand the role of style and emotion in a car. It’s all market research to them. Find out the tangible things people want and add them. That approach is fine for family appliance cars but totally useless for anything upscale.

GM don’t want Real EV’s .GM builds Compliance cars out of necessity for Carbon Credits, so they can build more Gas Guzzling, 0il burning Goofy Looking, Big Polluting Monster trucks, That take up Multiple Parking spots..

Sadly that seems to be the case for GM management. But despite it’s lack of style the Bolt is an exceptional engineering achievment. Same with the Volt, though I think they mostly nailed the styling on the gen2 Volt.


I’m just never going to by a GM badged car ever, made that mistake once. Tesla’s dumb touchscreen is an absolute no-no too, so that really leaves Japanese or Korean EV options.

The Bolt is a bit overpriced and also is almost certainly suffering from anticipation of the TM3 and new Leaf. People are waiting to compare the three before making a final decision. Of course, the Bolt also isn’t even available nationwide yet either.

To Me , The Model 3 is clearly the only Real Car of the Three , A No Brainer! I will wait the duration , But, I will not Pay more and settle for the Lesser other two!


To be considered a real competitor, the cars would need to sell in similar volumes. Nissan’s history has shown it is making a serious attempt at producing and selling the Leaf in volume, but GM is losing money on every Bolt, so only intends to deliver enough to maximize zero emission credits, or about 30,000 annually. Tesla hopes to produce 20,000 this December alone. So no competition.

There is no proof whatsoever to suggest GM is losing money on each Bolt. To the contrary, a recent article here showed they have positive margin on every one.

The “loss” estimated was in stating that they are not planning enough volume of sales to pay for all their fixed/initial R&D costs. That assumption is just that: an assumption. Only in hindsight will we know if their costs are recouped.

By the way, using the same rationale, Tesla has lost money on every sale too, since they too have not recouped the money they have invested.

They just get those loss numbers by failing to amortize development costs over the model’s life. We heard the same nonsense about the Volt. It’s anti-EV propaganda.

I think it’s that GM does not appear interested in selling large numbers of Bolts, and will sell in far fewer countries than either the Leaf or Model 3. Also, no left hand drive version, so nothing for Japan, UK, Australia, New Zealand, India, Indonesia, South Africa, etc.

Single market, deliberately constrained supply.
The rest of the world doesn’t consider Bolt a viable competitor to the model 3 because as far as they are concerned it might as well not exist.

Volume BEV specifications all boil down to two. Because the volume buyers will have one car that has to take care of most needs.

1. Price
2. Range with DC charging.

On the other hand NEV size class will grow faster now. Due to price going down and performance up.

Only ~45kwh of charging. This makes it unusable for long distances. Anything longer than 300 miles and you are as fast as an old Leaf.
Even the IONIQ is a far more usable car than the Bolt! Battery size is not the only important characteristic of an EV and the Bolt sucks big time at everything except the battery….

Exactly right about charging speed. The old LEAF did ok with 40kW chargers as its battery is only 24-30kW. With 60kw batteries the DC ‘quick’ charge time is much more of a factor.

“The Model 3…already has one strong competitor…the Chevy Bolt EV…”

“To be considered in the same league as Tesla however, Nissan will need to add autonomy capability, and it plans to do just that.”

Wow that’s interesting. I didn’t know Nissan will have auto steer in Leaf II. It doesn’t sound quite as advanced as Tesla though because I don’t think it can make lane changes…well at least they didn’t mention it in the video. Way to go Nissan. You one upped GM on that one.

However my guess is GM will still have the superior power train over Nissan. However we need more details on Gen 2 Leaf’s battery thermal management system first.

Apart from the environmental impact and much lower running costs (at least for those countries with high fuel costs), it almost feels surreal that you can buy a car and two years later it actually has new features on it which will make the car feel newer.

I wonder if this might help mitigate some of the depreciation on BEV’s.

Great news all round.

I know that this applies to Tesla. Have you heard any word that it will apply to the Nissan leaf?

I really don’t get all the hype over self driving cars that can’t actually self drive.

Now if I could get in and tell it to take me somewhere and fall asleep hell ya but we are a ways off from that yet.

Is that really how we are measuring cars these days? Whether they can kind of drive themselves or not?

“I really don’t get all the hype over self driving cars that can’t actually self drive.”


I hear that all the time. Have you tried auto steer?

My guess is you haven’t but your sure you don’t need or want it.

I remember when the first HP35 came out and I was using a slide rule and I said:

“I don’t need a calculator my slide rule works just fine.”


“I don’t understand all the hype about cruise control”

Silly attitude IMO.

Cruise control on gassers are lousy; hills make the car go too fast, so you have to disengage the cruise control often. I think this is why many (most?) drivers don’t use cruise control.

Cruise control only work well in EV; it’s “set it and forget it!”

“Cruise control on gassers are lousy”


Works fine in my 89 Ford Van and my 2008 Prius.

Been happily using cruise control on gassers for years. Even my old manual Civic had it, and it was great on longer trips.

LOL to funny

keep in mine he is a Chevy owner.

Maybe this is only noticed with the best damn cruise control in SparkEV since EV you drive with crappy cruise control would also speed up on hills along with other gassers.

What is a ‘Crappy Cruise Control’?

My 2005 Chevy Optra Wagon didn’t do that like you describe!

My 2008 Dodge Dakota didn’t have that problem!

My 2010 Kia Soul 2U doesn’t have that problem!

The used 2004 Prius I bought in late 2012, did not have that problem! (It did crank up the revs of the Gas Engine a lot going up hills, but also could drive on all electric mode for a while at 60 Mph going down hill of even on the level, but the speed control was pretty tight!)

There are lots of place in So Cal where the slope is too steep for engine braking alone to slow down the car. Most cruise control do not apply the brakes, so the car speeds up.

Now if an EV cannot slow down on down hills due to too weak regen, that’s crappy cruise control.

I believe he is referring to the tendency for traditional cars with cruise control to actually speed up when going downhill.

So you may set it to 50, but it will end up going 55 on a steep decent because the car has no control over the brakes. It has been a while since I have driven a non-EV but I only found it a minor annoyance when I did. Terrain is pretty flat around here.

Although I assume Adaptive Cruise Control corrects this.

That’s less of a problem in manual transmission vehicles and I’m pretty sure newer vehicles will actually downshift if necessary to keep engine resistance up. Of course, the difference with EVs is that they just use regenerative braking.

I’m going to agree with DJ here. These are not self driving cars and by the time true self driving comes around they will likely be obsolete for some other reason. Also with the pace of technology, they probably aren’t physically equipped for true self driving. No one truly knows what self driving will look like or what the regulations will be.

I bought my first HD TV in 1997 because the salesman convinced me it would be future proof. Wrong! It is a 32″ tube TV with coax, composite and s-video inputs only. It is functionally obsolete. It also weighs a ton.

I’d be happy with adaptive cruise control — I don’t understand why every car doesn’t have it already.

As for being competitive with the Model 3, LEAF II needs to be very different than the plasticy, rattly mess that LEAF I is. Volkswagen knows how to build nice interiors even in their lower-priced cars, but not Nissan. Too bad the e-Golf isn’t there first with a 200-mile version.

I would love to test drive a E-Golf even with a 125 mile battery because of the built quality on the inside but there are no E-Golfs in FL and that’s a shame.

I can attest to this. My Leaf feels very cheap inside in comparison to my e-Golf. Former Honda Civic also felt similarly cheap. It’s not a deal breaker by any means but VW definitely has nicer interiors.

Excuse me? I have owned a lot of cars – Fiats, Ford’s, Chevys, Hondas, Toyotas, Mercedes, Porsches and many more and my 2012 Leaf is very well put together. I assure you nothing rattles and it has been exceptionally reliable battery degredation aside.

You sure don’t own or have drive a Leaf.
It’s well finished and rattle free.
I sat in an e-Golf in a showroom, and I didn’t feel to be any better.
I haven’t drive it, but still.

It is a VERY big deal on roadtrips and makes for a much more relaxing drive. It is also a huge deal in stop and go traffic. Some are pointing out it is a major reason they are buying a Tesla. I don’t think I would consider another car without it. The TACC (aka adaptive cruse control) part of it are huge. Apparently challenging as well because could not put it initially on the 2nd gen Volt (like my wifes but has short commute) or the 1st gen Bolt.

After driving a Tesla, the self driving feature is more hype than any practical use.
Yes there are lots of features on the Tesla i like adaptive cruise control, self dimming high beam but not self driving because its not self driving.
The day when self driving becomes a reality i will happily be the first to acknowledge there can be useful applications like long distance trucking,

I’d argue that the most usable and important feature of the tesla “autopilot” or as it called active cruise control in other cars is collision prevention. TACC did stop my car when I was blinded by the sun and about to hit the car in front of me once.
Problem is, tesla’s “autopilot” has a relatively poor record in collision prevention 🙂

“Problem is, tesla’s ‘autopilot’ has a relatively poor record in collision prevention”

No, I think we can state as fact the reverse is true. You’re giving way, way too much weight to a very, very few anecdotal reports, and ignoring all the lives that Autopilot has saved and is saving.

From Bloomberg: “Tesla’s Autopilot Vindicated With 40% Drop in Crashes”

Agreed. Full autonomy as defined by Tesla’s current autopilot is not even remotely interesting to me.

Augmented driving is great, things like lane departure warnings, blind spot warnings, collision avoidance. But until I can go to sleep have the car drive me I want to drive the freakin’ car. If I have to babysit an autopilot then I just shut it off and drive.


Good to know that Nissan will be adding driver assist features to the Leaf, altho asserting that they’ll achieve Level 4 autonomy by 2020 hardly makes it a true competitor with the Tesla Model 3. As I recall, Elon said Tesla’s goal is to achieve Level 4 autonomy sometime next year. The next time someone complains about Evannex being merely a Tesla stock pumping site, we can simply point to this article as a very clear counter-example. Claiming the Leaf 2.0 can be a true competitor for the Model 3 is vastly overstating the case! Even if the Leaf is upgraded to have an active thermal battery management system — and the consensus seems to be they won’t, altho I’m hoping against hope otherwise — that still ignores the elephant in the room: Tesla and BYD are the only auto makers with access to enough kWh of batteries to make even one model of PEV (Plug-in EV) in numbers to rival just one of the more popular gasmobiles. The Leaf’s global annual sales maxed out at about 60,000, and sales in more recent years have been lower. Contrariwise, as a gentle reminder to InsideEVs readers, Tesla plans to ramp up… Read more »

Pretty much every maker but Tesla has been hedging their bets, afraid to make the big investments in battery production capacity that’ll be crucial once the tipping point hits. I’m going to enjoy watching them scramble as the truth dawns on them.

“Nissan has retreated from making its own batteries”


From an article 2 months ago”

“Now the Japanese automaker is close to selling its AESC (Automotive Energy Supply Corp.) manufacturing business based out of Japan to Chinese private equity firm GSR Capital.

2013 Nissan LEAF Battery Pack

The $1 billion deal is currently being finalized and expected to signed within two weeks.”

Have you heard any follow up on this? If the Gen2 Leaf is an LG chem pack then I would think it will have a decent thermal management system. That will make Gen2 Leaf much much improved.

Hmmm, maybe what I thought was “widely reported” is just rumor. You were right to question this, georgeS. I guess Nissan still isn’t spilling the beans.

A rumor to the contrary was posted to the GM-Volt forum about a month ago:

While there’s been talk of Nissan getting out of the battery making business, it’s reported Nissan didn’t seal a supply agreement deal with LG Chem and it will for the time being keep the AESC battery cell production. As such, the batteries for the U.S. Leaf are supposed to come from Nissan’s plant in Tennessee, and the European Leaf’s are to come from Sunderland England. (source below)

But I don’t regard that as definitive, either.


If the Leaf 2.0 used LG Chem then most likely it will have thermal management, that is most likely a condition for LG Chem warranty. Also, if the Bolt low SoC taper for DCFC is an aspect of LG Chem, that would not bode well for Leaf 2.0
I hope Nissan has kept their battery business and made significant improvements in the chemistry.

I dozed off reading about “autonomy capability.” 🙂

We will be getting a Bolt next week. We specifically looked for one without the “driver confidence package.” Five years down the line, the software glitches, and camera/sensor repairs on any of these cars will be a rear pain in the behind.

If you find driving that boring, you should consider public transit.

You definitely need autonomous driving. I dozed off, too!

The only time I ever found driving anything but a huge imposition, was in my teens,and early twenties, when I drove like a mad man, endangering myself, and everyone else on the road.

My solution, to driving long distance, is letting my wife do the driving. Has worked fine for decades.

If I want to enjoy travel, I ride my bike. 🙂

Some of us age in spirit faster than others. I’m in my 40s and still love to drive fast. The difference from my teens is that now I only do so when it’s relatively safe and I don’t endanger others, and I’ve learned to avoid tickets by speeding only in remote areas where I know all the speed traps.

If I ever age to the point that I hate driving then I hope I have the sense to put myself out of my misery.

Awesome, you should have no problem getting at least $5K off!

Only in California, with its command economy. Out in the hinterlands, they don’t need to sell EVs, nobody wants EVs, nobody has an EV, and they are all just fine with that.

I fit that hinterland locality category and it appears to be true that there is no demand. The other side of that is the lack of dealers willing to put an EV on their lot (my local Chevy dealer does not even stock a hybrid Malibu, much less a Volt or Bolt). There is almost no automotive advertising for domestic vehicles in NE Alabama except for pickup trucks and SUVs.

So, if there are almost none available, and the dealer sales staff ridicules your interest in them when you ask about them, is it completely fair to say there is no interest? Maybe, maybe not.

Absolutely. We are being manipulated, and we are foolish. But that is how we ended up with cars in the first place. 🙂

The Leaf is a true competitor to the Bolt now that it will have decent range.

The only hint of a true competitor to the Model 3 comes from BMW (3ev) and AUDI (eTron).

Neither of those cars actually exist though

That’s why he used the word hint, I suspect, as in a whiff, a chance, a possibility of competition down the road.

Not yet it isn’t. The Leaf we can now buy is a POS city car with a poorly designed battery TMS that results in significant range degradation in only a few years.

…yes is still a decent alternative to the Bolt since Nissan is putting $10k on the hood through utilities.

Try the Nissan Leaf 2016-17 with their 30 kWh battery. My build date for Leaf SV (30 kWh) is 10/15. Coming up on 2 full years, in 90 days, and absolutely NO range loss, and still at 28 kWh useable juice (Leaf Spy Pro), at 100% full charge.

So your “significant range degradation” argument is without merit on 2015-17 Nissan Leafs with 30 kWh packs and “Lizard Chemistry”.

30 KWh isn’t enough range or performance for me.

Air-cooled Li-ion battery degradation will depend on your local climate and driving habits, of course. But no air cooled Li-ion battery EV will last as long as a liquid cooled battery.

Maybe in the virtual reality. Grand Turismo video game…

Bolt sales have been running at less than one thousand a month and next year they are aiming for 25K to 30K for the WHOLE YEAR. And you think that they are a real competitor? GM produces the car as a compliance car, its dealers hate it, because they make more money servicing ICE cars than they do selling, and LG produces the batteries and most of the electronics and can’t produce more than 50K batteries per year

In June the Bolt sold over 1600 in the US. And several hundred internationally. And by August it will be available for the first time in the remaining US states. By next year it will also be more widely available in Europe.

Dealers do not hate it. If a dealer does not want to sell you a Bolt, go to a dealer that does. It’s very simple.

Stop spouting the “compliance” car line. Yes, it is not going to sell anywhere near as much as the Model 3. But so what? Tesla needs a high volume, more affordable vehicle.

The Bolt is the best selling (Non-Tesla) BEV in the US for 2017. If you want EVs to succeed, you should be trying to get more people to buy one. Not trying to kill the best one available from a traditional car maker.

Thank you. I have a Model 3 reservation but have many miles in my friend’s Bolt. It is actually a fine car. It isn’t a large car, it isn’t a full sized SUV and it isn’t a Ferrari. It is a very nice car though. It is a BEV that is quite nice. We would probably get one if it were just a bit larger. We want to be able to carry our dog’s crates and it is just a little small for that. We are hoping that the Model Y will be larger to satisfy our needs. In the mean time I think the Bolt is a fine car and I don’t understand the animosity towards it.

I don’t have any animosity towards the Chevrolet bolt. My problem, is that it does not seem to be competitive with other hatchbacks (ICE). It is way too expensive. And, as you say it is too small to be competitive against SUVs.

I think out to prove that they a compelling ev too, that was reasonably priced, and they succeeded. They producing the car in low numbers by design.

So while it has elements of a so called compliance car, low volume, limited availability, (CARB) states first, it is not typical in other areas, of a compliance vehicle, as it well designed has received a number of prestigious awards.

I would call it a horse of a different color, you’ve heard tell about:

Also, it is making its way slowly-but-surely to the entire country while true compliance cars (i.e. 500e, e-Golf) are only available in CA, OR, and maybe MA. Once GM lowers MSRP, sales will increase.

I suspect they are waiting on the full rollout and actual competition before lowering the price. Right now they don’t have any real competition. The Bolt is the only long range EV that you can walk into a dealership and buy today.

They don’t have any competition if you are in the tiny niche market for a 200 mile range 40k EV. The problem is their ICE competition.

They need to ramp up production just like everyone else. And LG can extend the facility any time if the market demands it.
On the other hand, GM is not actually All In about the EV game.

The Bolt is rebadged and sold as Ampera-e in Europe. But you can’t get one in Germany or Austria until End 2018. Germany will get under 100 vehicles until End 2017. This is a true compliance car. The simply don’t want it to be successful.

How is it a compliance car? What regulation does it comply to?

While I absolutely do not agree with calling the Bolt EV a “compliance car”, at the same time, Elon Musk (obviously not a neutral observer) claims that GM will be making the Bolt EV primarily to satisfy ZEV requirements. He claims this is why GM has targeted 30,000 as the production number.

It seems unwise to accept Elon’s disparaging statements about a competitor uncritically, but there may be some truth to it.

It’s completely irrelevant what Musk thinks about a competing product

Bolt used to be compliance car, but now it’s not. GM sells Bolt across all 50 states in USA as of August 2017:

I guess the Model 3 is a compliance car by your definition. Limited sales to select people in a state. At least in Ohio I can order a Bolt and get it in a month or two. We still don’t know the price or options for a Model 3, yet the first one has been delivered.

>yet the first one has been delivered
I heard it’s not street-legal yet because the certification process is not complete 🙂

The Bolt and the Leaf are both hatchbacks; not direct competition for the Model 3. It is a sedan coming into a shrinking market.

Took the words right out of my keyboard.

Excellent point! I’ve owned both sedans and hatchbacks and much prefer the latter.

Bolt is the only one with a IHSA Top Safety Pick Plus. Tesla is a good tech company but the Model 3 will also probable not ace the IHSA just like the rest of Teslas to date. For that reason alone Tesla isn’t ready to be compared to the Bolt. I have a Bolt for 4 months. I still have a deposit on the Model 3 but needed a new car this year. If the Model 3 and Model Y (I’d prefer the small SUV) also isn’t up to snuff with IHSA testing I’m getting my deposit back. Might settle for a plugin hybrid Subaru that should be just about out when I’d likely get the Model Y anyways.


The only advantage Nissan has is they know how to produce cheap cars; The Leaf is their low-end Versa chassis and suspension with a front drive motor in place of a 4 pot gasser… The car is a $15k car at best, not even close to being a $30k car.

I own a 2011 Leaf and have enjoyed driving it except for the lousy battery performance; but, I have nothing good to say about a car company whose management works so hard to create policies that send their customers away cursing their themselves for making the decision to buy Nissan.

It is my understanding that the current Leaf is a unique platform. I know for a fact that it shares suspension components with the Juke. I don’t know about the Versa.

I can totally understand your frustrations with Nissan as it hasn’t always been positive for me either. One thing I will say is that they really seem to be trying harder on the customer service front as of late.

Even if the Leaf 2 debuts with 60 kWh, like Bolt, it has no SC access, so at a disadvantage.

That should be changing soon, with VW charger network buildout. VW is investing lot more than Tesla in charging network thanks to the court settlement:

BEV range is NOT the only thing that matters because it wholly depends on what daily usage the BEV will be for. If it’s an only driver in the household then range is paramount. However if it’s a second car then it’s a matter of it being relegated as a go-to-work or go-getter status & definitely nothing fancy for any long weekend drives let alone any fake or imaginary cross country trips. For me the best deal is the Ioniq EV with its 125mile range for $29950 which comes out to $19GRAND with incentives. The car comes standard with all the extras including DCFC!! Only problem is I can’t find one to buy in California – all the Hyundai dealers have is a hybrid & have no idea when the BEVs are available. Anyone know?


Ahem… what separates a car from one class to the next is not based on features like that type you described in the article.

Hatchback vs. Sedan. That is a class separation worth writing about.

You’re article should really be talking about the next gen Leaf vs. Bolt.

But I guess in this world of so called journalism, it’s not about the quality of the article but the number of clicks.


“Nissan LEAF Only True Tesla Model 3 Competitor”

Troll article be trolling. We barely have any idea what the Leaf even *is*. You can’t extrapolate competition from that, and the M3 promises to sell quite a lot more than the Leaf just based on preorders.

Personally though, I’m going for one of either the Bolt or the Leaf, because I need a hatchback, and the M3, as awesome as it may be, isn’t any of that. I can’t ever see myself going camping in a car like that.

Why would you think most people would opt for Model 3 instead of much more practical Bolt or Leaf 2018? After all, vast number of Model 3 reservists put made their reservation on assumption that they could get Model 3 for $35K (before any rebates). I have a friend who put a reservation for Model 3, and he was taken back when I told him it might cost him significantly more than $35K. So many people will realize 1_ Model 3 will cost a lot more than expected and 2) Model 3 will take a long time for delivery. Lots of people will be canceling Model 3 orders after they get tired of waiting for promised $35K base model

Man, it isn’t even April 1st. I expect the BOLT ev to have at least the equivalent room to a model 3, as it seems to have the equivalent of an “S” right now. There was just an article last week that showed the BOLT OUTPERFORMED A N Y Tesla a few years old, and also any current product that wasn’t over $100,000. The bolt has Korean-esque styling it is true, but I find most people find the car’s styling more attractive than I do. So its tolerable. People were clamoring for years for chevy to make an ev or phev cross over, so I find it somewhat ungrateful that there is no thanks that Chevy delivered on the request. I didn’t need a CUV, but I bought the car on its fantastic range/low price combination. Its the cheapest car on the market by far for a car that can do what it does. It remains to be seen what competition this car will ultimately have, since little is known about the ‘3’ and less than than about the new Leaf. One final thing…. It is idiotic for any American to say GM doesn’t want to build electric cars. Another… Read more »

“No one denies that we are the biggest players in the field.”

What an arrogant assclown, definitely jealous of Elon.