Op-Ed: Renault-Nissan Alliance Is Coming Out Of Stealth Mode

10 months ago by Maarten Vinkhuyzen 62

Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn spoke at CES, confirmed a "new" LEAF was coming...but disappointed some in not showing it off.

Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn spoke at CES, confirmed a “new” LEAF was coming…but disappointed some in not showing it off.

On many leading Electric Vehicle(EV) and Renewable Energy websites, there has been a growing chorus of articles and comments that Nissan has lost its way. Nissan, and its Alliance partner Renault, were the first carmakers with fully electric vehicles at the beginning of this decade (post Mitsubishin i-MiEV in Japan). While being the bestselling EV carmaker on the planet, there was not much news from them in the past years. Many interpreted this time of silence as a series of missed opportunities or even a retreat from the frontline of the EV revolution.

Faraday Future's Jia Yeuting and Nick Sampson in front of FF 91

Faraday Future’s Jia Yeuting and Nick Sampson in front of FF 91

It was not only the hype from start-ups seeking the attention from investors, but even the slew of vaporware and concept cars from others that gave the impression that the new EV Champions were leaving Nissan behind.

Contrary to all those wannabee EV Champions, the Renault-Nissan Alliance did actually have a number of BEVs for sale. And as everyone who has heard about the Osborne Effect knows, you can not hype future improved products and expect your current products to keep selling.

In these last months there have been a number of developments that put the Renault-Nissan Alliance again squarely at the forefront of the EV revolution. Carlos Ghosn, CEO and President of both Nissan and Renault, gave a series of key-note speeches at the Paris Motor Show, the Las Vegas CES 2017 and the North American International Auto Show in Detroit. Combined with a number of product launches and initiatives this leads to a single conclusion. The Renault-Nissan Alliance has come out of stealth mode and is way ahead of the pack of legacy carmakers again.

Renault ZOE surprise

Longer range, 41 kWh Renault ZOE Recently Named Best Electric Car by What Car?

Longer range, 41 kWh Renault ZOE Recently Named Best Electric Car by What Car?

At the Paris Motor Show “Mondial de l’Automobile” Carlos Ghosn surprised the CEO of General motors Mary Barra with the first long-range affordable EV, the Renault Zoe ZE 40.

Renault gave its best-selling EV a twice as large battery and it was available for order the next day. Beating Mary Barra on the finish line in the race for the first long-range, affordable battery electric car in Europe. After a year of hype and marketing for the GM-Bolt, the Zoe stole that crown from her. This is marketing under the rules of the Osborne effect.

Just like Tesla with the AP2 sensor suite, first they started production and then after made the productannouncement. Early announcements are for the carmakers who do not have their own sales to watch, but like to slow the competitors sales.

Nissan LEAF soon with PRO PILOT

Nissan LEAF soon with Pro-Pilot

Silently introducing Pro-Pilot.

Pro-Pilot is available on the Nissan Serena minivan in Japan. The current capacities of this system are comparable with Tesla’s Traffic Aware Cruise Control with Autosteer and Nissan describes it as single lane autonomous driving. The way Carlos Ghosn talked about it, it seemed like Nissan was not sure if their customers would appreciate this. Even when 60% of their customers paid $1k in the first month for this option, their reaction was reserved; it was a new gadget and sales of the option would drop. However, the sales did not drop and the users are very enthusiastic about Pro-Pilot.

Pro-Pilot is the autonomous technology that will be used by all the members of the Alliance. It will be an option on the next models of the Leaf and Zoe. It is expected to evolve to multi-lane autonomous high-way driving in 2018 and for autonomous city driving by 2020.

Ghosn alludes to "new" LEAF in US in January

Ghosn alludes to “new” LEAF in US in January

Leaking the LEAF announcement at CES.

At the CES2017 in Las Vegas Carlos Ghosn mentioned that the next Leaf would have Pro-Pilot. Another Nissan manager confirmed that the range will be in the 200 miles category.

None of the Nissan managers prodded about this at CES could confirm a timeframe for this, but the impression they left was that it is coming soon.

At the Detroit NAIAS 2017 Carlos Ghosn referred to these comments as the announcement of the next Leaf. This can explain the many large discounts now available on the current Leafs on the dealers’ lots. Knowing how careful Nissan handles the Osborne Effect, late in 2017-Q1 for the launch of the Leaf-II should not be a surprise.

Renault Kangoo battery upgrade.

Renault Kangoo Z.E. 33 (33 kWh) introduced in January

Renault Kangoo Z.E. 33 (33 kWh) introduced in January

At the 95th Motor Show Brussels, Belgium, the long awaited bigger battery for the Renault Kangoo was announced. To the disappointment of EV enthusiasts, it was only a 10kWh upgrade and not a bigger one like 20kWh. The Kangoo is a typical European small delivery van, it is the workhorse for the little man. There are probably more Kangoos driving less than 10 miles a day than Kangoos driving more than 50 miles a day.

Upgrading the Kangoo to a 30kWh battery instead of  to a 40kWh one is logical. The Kangoo is in the lowest price segment of commercial vehicles and a 40kWh battery is a few thousand euro extra on the price of the car. Without use cases to justify this extra expense, 30kWh is likely the wiser configuration.

Renault Master Z.E. with 30 kWh battery

Renault Master Z.E. – a larger, all-electric application for commercial businesses

Renault Master Z.E. urban transporter, the newest extension to the Z.E. line-up.

Another announcement in Brussels was the Renault Master Z.E. (details) Same battery as the Kangoo, same electric motor as the Zoe, same logic why 30kWh is the best fit and not 40kWh. These vans are sold even more by spreadsheet than by emotion than the Kangoo. For small businesses and fleet owners alike this can be a very attractive proposal.


What more to expect from the Alliance members.

  • Next generation platform.
New Renault offerings in the commercial space

New Renault offerings in the commercial space

The Alliance is developing a next generation EV platform. What this is, is unclear. In automobile manufacturing a platform can refer to a chassis with a fixed wheelbase on which a number of similar cars with different engines and body models can be made. However, it can also refer to an architecture and module set that allows a wide range of cars with far broader specs to use the same components. It will be used for the successors of the Nissan Leaf, Renault Zoe and Mitsubishi i-Miev.

  • The Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV technology will be used by Nissan, Renault and perhaps Infinity offerings.
  • There will be more e-Power offerings, as it is the perfect replacement for the small diesel offerings which were so popular in Europe.
  • Outlander coming to America at last.

With the assistance of the Nissan production capabilities the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV will see its debut on the North American market at last. The Outlander is the best sold plug-in in markets where SUVs are not very popular. If the North-American reaction is anything like the Dutch or British reaction to this vehicle, it can reach Model 3 like sales numbers.

  • And least but not last, no hyping or rumor mill fodder for new developments and models from this group of companies.

 

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62 responses to "Op-Ed: Renault-Nissan Alliance Is Coming Out Of Stealth Mode"

  1. William says:

    FFS, it’s about time these stalwarts throw us a crusty, dried up and bleached out, bone! Talk about foot dragging, I thought they were going to pull the plug, and let GM run the table with the Bolt, in what is left of the former good old U.S. of A!

  2. Alan says:

    With the utmost of respect, this article doesn’t tell us anything more than we already know ?

    1. Assaf says:

      +1.

      Also, note that this site’s HQ and (seemingly) the majority of its readers and writers live in the USA, where Renault, which did make some nice progress in recent months, doesn’t sell any of its EVs.

      It’s Nissan – the first out of the gate in the affordable and plausible mass-market BEV field, and now what? Number 3 or worse in terms of range offering? and still a single passenger model – that people have been losing patience with. So sugar-coating with Renault milestones is not very helpful.

      1. Maarten Vinkhuyzen says:

        The Renault-Nissan Alliance is more than just Nissan-USA. While the Detroit big-three and the German carmakers are monitored at Cooperation level, in the eyes of many, Nissan is just Nissan-USA.

        I thought an article about the bigger picture would be nice to some of the readers.

      2. cros13 says:

        ….and a lot of readers are not in the US.

        Renault-Nissan makes up 90% of the BEV market in my country and with the addition of Mitsubishi adds a big portion of the PHEV market. Tesla only entered the market here last month.

        Remember, the Leaf has been the world’s best selling EV every year since it’s launch. And Renault’s Zoe was the best selling EV in Europe the in 2015 The alliance has 36% of the european EV/PHEV market. And we’re a bigger market than the US.

    2. Maarten Vinkhuyzen says:

      If this article has no new information or perspective for you, I am glad interest in all things EV and this article is clearly not for you.

      1. Alan says:

        Hi Maarten,

        There is nothing wrong with the article per se, it’s just not new news, most on here have their finger in the pulse when it comes to EV news, 24 hrs is a long time news wise !

        Don’t be put off trying again though.

      2. DonC says:

        If you’re going to write articles for internet forums you’ll need a thick skin. You can’t please everyone. The article is fine.

    3. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

      Alan said:

      “With the utmost of respect, this article doesn’t tell us anything more than we already know ?”

      Indeed.

      At least one InsideEVs editor has been suggesting for some time now that Nissan has just been sitting on the Leaf 2.0 because of the Osborne Effect, and that it’s coming along soon. The problem with this, if I recall correctly, is that “soon” has been well over a year now.

      In other words, it looks to me like Nissan is merely hinting broadly at a significantly improved BEV coming soon, but this is just hype intended to mask how very far Nissan has fallen behind in the EV revolution.

      I’m sure that eventually, Nissan will produce a new BEV that will sell in North America, one which will be something closer to the Volt or the Model ≡ than is the Leaf 1.0, whether that is a Leaf 2.0 or some other model.

      Unfortunately, all the reports to date indicate that Nissan has no intention of adding a robust TMS (Thermal Management System” to the Leaf’s battery pack. At last report, they were talking about air cooling. Even if that’s forced air cooling, it’s still not gonna help much to stop the battery from overheating during fast charging. In other words, that will limit the hypothetical Leaf 2.0’s fast charging capacity, meaning the car will not be competitive with the Bolt, the Model ≡, or other BEVs of the current or next generation.

      Of course, I hope that much or most of what I’ve posted here is wrong. I hope that Nissan surprises us very, very soon with a new BEV that has 200+ miles of range, and has a liquid-cooled battery pack. But while I hope for that, I’m not holding my breath.

  3. Kalle says:

    Bad logic for the vans, i know ppl who want an electric van with decent range, but the existing ones with the tiny batteries will not work with their driving patterns. So they are stuck with disel ones.

    1. Alan says:

      +1

      They are barely enough for city deliveries, they will need 60-100 kWh batteries for regional deliveries for a day before charging overnight.

      Looks like 2020 before this happens when batteries will be cheap enough.

      1. stewil says:

        I think the most logical approach to commercial vehicles would be to offer a variety of battery sizes so that each can buy exactly what will be most cost-efficient versus their very predicable needs.

        Oh and make them available in North America!!!!

        1. Assaf says:

          Nothing is preventing them from offering a larger battery later on if customers clamor for them.

          But here I actually beg to differ with you and Alan, and agree with the author: 33 kWh is plenty enough for most Old World businesses who deploy such vans, and for most of those businesses cost is king.

          Regarding bringing it over to the US, nice idea but I think the light-commercial market segment here is far smaller than it is over there, and like you wrote, 33 kWh might not quite cut it here (and surely not 22-24kWh), surely not in customers’ minds.

  4. Rich says:

    A Nissan PHEV Rogue would be very interesting, especially with thermally managed batteries providing Chevy Volt like range of 50 all electric miles. Hopefully Nissan is providing a purpose built PHEV architecture vs. stuffing batteries into the ICE framework resulting in reduced cargo capacity.

    1. Rich, Get a crashed Volt, that can still run, a Rogue, and do a floor pan and Drivetrain transplant! Voila! You have your eRogue!

      It would be interesting to see a Table showing BEV & PHEV wheelbase comparisons to other new and old ICE vehicles, as an inspiration for such projects!

      For example, if you have a number of ICE vehicles that match the Wheelbase of the Volt, any of them might suitable patients for a Organ Donation, of a whole Floor Pan Swap, putting the Volt Drive and Seats under the existing ICE!

      Might not be something you would want a High School Auto Shop class to do, but a performance shop could probably swallow such projects, without too much failure rate!

      Might even be a whole new Business opportunity here!

      The first EV Conversion Shop that figues out how to take the Drivetrain from two different vehicles, and make an AWD or 4WD BEV or even PHEV, will be OK!

      1. Rich says:

        Rob,
        I would love to have the time to do something like this. I’ve rebuilt a couple engines in my day. If I was retired, I would probably already be in the middle of doing something similar. However, if I’m going to convert a SUV it wouldn’t be a Rogue and it wouldn’t be a PHEV. I’d be trying to get a wrecked Model S 90D battery pack and drivetrain integrated into an older Durango or Tahoe roller.

  5. Pete says:

    They sold 400000 EVs without talking, Ghosn is a doer and this year will be great for Renault. Nissan depends on the timing but sales are always better than competition which sells in low numbers their grren fleet cars…

  6. So, unless I skimmed by this story too fast and missed it, still no mention of a 24 kWh or 30 kWh eNV200 or eNV300 for the USA? Or for Canada, yet, either!

    Was there not also some talk of Renault Returning to North America? Having a 40 kWh Zoe to compete against the 60 kWh Bolt EV would be an interesting Market choice!

    When Tesla first offered a 40 kWh Model S, and then dropped the idea, it might have been interesting if they had said, from the start: “Any of our smaller batteries can be later upgraded to a larger battery, simply for a fee that accounts for energy cost differences, labor, and shipping!”

    Of course, most of the regular readers hear know they created the first ‘Software Upgradable’ Battery to satisfyingly deliver the fewer cars at the price and available energy as agreed upon, with the bonus of the higher capacities specs for acceleration, and a simple Credit Card option to unlock an extra block of energy to tap later, as well as upgrade to Supercharger Access!

    Of course, now that the smallest Physical Battery Capacity they ship is the one rated as 75 kWh, and the 60 kWh is a similar Software reduced battery capacity, one might wonder if they could make another offer at the 40 kWh level, that could later be opened up to access 60 kWh, and/or, straight to the 75 kWh level?

    Has anyone else spoken of such future possibility?

    1. Alan says:

      Yeah, put a credit card swipe in the dash, swipe $150 for each additional kWh,

      Pay as you go !

    2. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

      Robert Weekley said:

      “…now that the smallest Physical Battery Capacity they ship is the one rated as 75 kWh, and the 60 kWh is a similar Software reduced battery capacity, one might wonder if they could make another offer at the 40 kWh level, that could later be opened up to access 60 kWh, and/or, straight to the 75 kWh level?”

      Tesla cancelled the 40 kWh version because less than 2% of customers ordered it. Is there some reason why demand would have increased since 2012 for a Model S with a small battery pack?

      The only good reason for a small pack (small in actual capacity, not because it’s electronically limited) is that it’s cheaper. In every other respect, from longevity to charging rate to resale value to range to environmental impact*, larger is better.

      The trend in BEVs is toward larger battery packs, not smaller ones!

      *Because if you have to replace, say, a 30 kWh battery pack once during the lifetime of the car, then that wastes more resources than if you had put a 60 kWh battery pack in the car in the first place. If you have to replace it more than once, because the pack was too small and got cycled too often, then that makes the environmental impact considerably worse.

  7. Josh Bryant says:

    I think we all understand the Osborne Effect. The issue was expectations of a January release with Ghosn scheduled for back to back keynote speaches.

    That is what marketing does for a big launch. Since there was no announcement, I take that as another delay. Unfortunately we are used to them in the plug-in world.

    Hopefully Nissan can get it out before fall of 2017. Otherwise GM will be eating their lunch with the Bolt available nationwide.

    1. Alan says:

      Nissan are probably waiting for LG Chemical to churn out enough batteries to satisfy demand before making any announcement on Leaf 2.0 !

      It sounds like they have thrown in the towel on building their own batteries if Forbes article is correct.

      1. Josh Bryant says:

        Very possible, but delay is a delay.

        No reason to book the CEO for keynote of CES and keynote of electric mobility at Detroit auto show if you don’t think there will be a LEAF reveal.

        So I think whatever delay happened unexpectedly and recently.

        1. Josh Bryant says:

          Terrible phone typing on that last sentence…

    2. Maarten Vinkhuyzen says:

      After the Zoe announcement in Paris I expected the Leaf II in November in L.A.

      That CES and Detroit were all about Pro-Pilot is not so strange. It is the product Nissan has been hyping all year long.
      But this is the first time Nissan has said something they consider an announcement with a timeframe other than ‘not for a while’.

  8. Alex says:

    Ghosn is a shark, I hope he has some aces up his sleeve. I expect this year a second generation Leaf, a electric Micra with Zoe technology. And for 2018 they should build an electric Juke and electric Scenic with the 41 kWh Zoe battery, that would be awesome and they would sell half a millions EVs in one year.

    1. Kieran Mullen says:

      Too many felt burned by Nissan by not having a good battery upgrade path. 20 to 30? Give me a break.

  9. Joe says:

    All I can say is they better get their next gen leaf out very soon. After Tesla reveals the production version of the Model 3 nobody is going to care what Nissan is doing with the Leaf.

    1. Josh Bryant says:

      Agreed.

      What is missed here is LEAF is already being Osborned by Bolt and Model 3. Should just show the LEAF, but announce it with a high price to differentiate. 200 AER for 40k with Pro-Pilot would make it competitive.

      Can always lower the price or offer lower trims later. Same as with the original LEAF.

      1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

        “What is missed here is LEAF is already being Osborned by Bolt and Model 3.”

        That’s not the Osborne Effect; it’s just good old-fashioned competition.

        The Osborne Effect applies only to poor sales of a current product due to anticipated release of a better version of the same product.

  10. EV4Life says:

    Sorry but I don’t agree with the point of this article at all.
    The LEAF is ancient in terms of EVs now and all its had is color, trim and simple option tweaks in its time since release.
    GM have successfully released a new Volt and the Bolt
    Comparing the Bolt to the Zoe is hilarious. One does 230 real world miles, the other 120.
    Nissan were supposed to be leading the field, but are currently lagging so far behind its not funny.
    They could have released other EVs that wouldn’t impact LEAF sales, but didn’t.
    They could have replaced the LEAF just like GM managed with the Volt, but Nissan didn’t
    Renault managed to cram an extra 20kW into the Zoe battery – but the best Nissan can manage is an extra 6kW.
    In the time the LEAF has been on sale Nissan have modified and upgraded most of their ICE engines that power the rest of their range while the LEAF powertrain has remained untouched.
    They have squandered their lead through rampant neglect.

    Leadership is through demonstration, not talk.
    I can’t believe I’m saying it, but GM have demonstrated their ability to execute where Nissan have failed miserably.

    1. poupou33 says:

      For your knowledge zoe is more like a 180 real world miles… considering the price difference between those cars, it seems pretty legit to compare them.

      1. Cody ozz says:

        I agree with EV4Life. You nailed it!!
        And for your knowledge poupou33, the Zoe has a 40kw battery so REALISTIC Miles would translate to about 4mi/kWh.. which would translate to 160 miles. Do the same math on any other car, except Tesla which manages a little less, and you get 240 for Bolt, and 80-100 for LEAF.

  11. Yogurt says:

    “Contrary to all those wannabee EV Champions” “the pack of legacy carmakers again”
    “the slew of vaporware and concept cars from others”
    You sound like a totaly slanted commentor not an actual writer…
    While I also beleive Nissan probably has stuff up there sleve this article actualy says nothing we dont already know…
    I hope this is not a new InsideEVs writing style between you and Tesla mondo…

    1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

      The article is clearly labeled “op-ed”, and as such, we should give more leeway to opinions rather than facts.

      I don’t think the comments you have quoted were out of line. Between Faraday Future, Lucid, and Karma, and likely at least a couple I’ve forgotten, there have recently been a lot of claims from wannabe EV makers.

      And Volkswagen is constantly embarrassing itself by claiming that they’ll put a concept EV into production, even when it’s painfully obvious they won’t. If that’s not vaporware, then I don’t know what is!

  12. Another (Euro) industrial point of view says:

    Regarding Nissan Leaf 2, I would not be surprised that the 238 miles range of the GM Bold took everyone by surprise including Tesla and Nissan and triggered a thorough re-design of cars that were otherwise at a “pencil down” stage with 55Kwh’ish batteries & barely 200 miles ranges. Mary Barra & their team are very good chess players as GM do not mind issuing a large battery on a car that will be sold in rather small quantities as opposed to the Nissan Leaf and Model 3 that will be sold in the hundred of thousands, thus can’t sold at a loss. If the GM Bolt was only 200 miles, maybe the Nissan Leaf 2 would already be into production.

    1. Foob says:

      Right, if even 55kwh. Since the new Renault has 41kwh, and the old one had the same 24kwh pack as the Leaf, I wondered whether Nissan had designed a 41kwh Leaf around the same pack, then went back to the drawing board when the Bolt showed up.

  13. Kieran Mullen says:

    Renault at least offered customers and upgrade path. Nissan gave the best selling EV Leaf… Nothing.

  14. Bill Howland says:

    Yeah this article is too complementary of Nissan’s strategy.

    GM is just copying Tesla – with the additional issue of coming out with SOME of the new BOLTS initially.

    And people are far more critical of GM than Nissan.

    If you want fast charging on a leaf, it was a $1850 option package. Yes you went from 3.6 to 6.6 kw on the ‘slow charger’ but some fast charger buyers may not have cared about that. I’m one of the few who complained about the price.

    But now, GM wants $750 for the fast charge jack, same as the option on the sparkEV.

    Then so many people say its too expensive – sounds like a double standard.

    Nissan can save themselves if they can quickly release a superior product to the BOlT at a lower price point.

    Somehow I wouldn’t bet on it.

    1. Cody Ozz says:

      A couple sentences into this article I realize how Nissan-Sentric it was going to be. Funny I realized how close that is the Nissan Sentra. Lol

      But the author tries to make a point by telling people that Renault also has vans for sale and that’s one reason they are a market leader. It’s not a point well taken when small delivery EV vans have such a small market in this world.

      And as someone with the last name Osborne, I kind of take offense to the idea that this is the only way to sell cars in the GM is stupid for trying to hype their cars before release. To some extent it’s true that GM and other manufacturers do overhype their cars a bit early, but it can also be said that announcing a car and selling it the next day really screws up the sales and delivery chain. Consider that in marketing you need to reach customer 6 to 7 times before they’re ready to buy you can’t just expect decent sales out of the box when you don’t share any information or any hype on your product prior to launch.

      Virtually NO ONE in business operates like this. And to somehow argue that you would be poaching existing leaf sales by announcing an upcoming product, I actually don’t think it would affect sales very much at all because the people that are buying the leaf right now are people that don’t care about additional range and other things like that. If they did care they would’ve been saving their dollars for a future leaf or a future Chevy or Tesla or something else.

      One major point the author does not point out is that Nissan started designing the leaf in 2007 and released the car in 2011. The development of the car is done long before the release so that would mean 6 to 7 years ago the development team finished the leaf and could start working on the next generation car. What have they been working on??

      Again no one in the market operates like this in super competitive segments.

      Nissan has been sitting on their hands having overspent on opening three factories for the Nissan leaf. I believe they made a major error in judgment and that they decided to wait for years before starting development of the GEN 2 Nissan Leaf.

      1. Maarten Vinkhuyzen says:

        IMHO.
        I think Nissan greatly misjudged the market potential of the Leaf, as did GM with the Volt and Renault with their complete 4-car Z.E. lineup.

        The key to mass-market penetration occurred to be battery-size > ~55kWh and battery-price < ~$200.

        GM and Nissan and Tesla and everybody else did have to wait.

        What explains EV enthousiasts frustration with the long wait and the number of cars launched this and coming years.

  15. kubel says:

    Nissan had a 2016 LEAF SV at the NAIAS, tucked away in the back as usual. Yawn.

  16. wavelet says:

    Question to Jay:
    Who is Maarten Vinkhuyzen?
    He’s not listed on the Staff page, and not recognizing the name, I clicked on it in the article header tag; it seems this is the only article he’s written for InsideEVs.
    Esp. with an op-ed article (and this one is about as partisan as they come), I’d appreciate either the standard blurb if Maarten’s a staff member, or, if he’s a guest writer, a couple of sentences at the beginning of the article like InsideEVs usually has.

    1. Maarten Vinkhuyzen says:

      I did not provide Jay with a background on me. I wrote this article because I had a feeling the bigger picture about the Renault-Nissan Alliance’s activities in EV and RE were missing.

      I am a software developer / architect and data analyst. Background in finance, logistics, reporting and (energy)retail.

      I live in the Netherlands and decided that I wanted an EV when a former client bought two lotus electric cars to convince the The Hague (Dutch Government) that EVs were the way to go.

      Due to age and a declining health I have a lot of time to spent on all things EV.

      1. wavelet says:

        Maarten, thanks! Greatly appreciated.

        Hmmm… Maybe I do recognize the name (-:
        Do you usually comment here as “MaartenV-nl”?

        1. Maarten Vinkhuyzen says:

          That is someone wearing a different hat, more emotional and less thoughtful.

          1. Jay Cole says:

            We consider ourselves mostly an open outlet for those who have something to say on EVs, and have a articulate/engaging way to say it.

            As Maarten has not wrote before (as you mention), and we don’t have an extended history, he obviously is not on the staff, and (at least for now) is tagged as Op-Ed…that way people do have a heads-up and can get a feel for his writing as a fresh face.

  17. wavelet says:

    A small correction: The first commercial EV wasn’t the LEAF, it was the i-MiEV.

    1. Maarten Vinkhuyzen says:

      I stand corrected.

    2. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

      Does the Tesla Roadster not count as a “commercial” vehicle in the context here?

      The Roadster was released in 2008; the i-MiEV in 2009.

      1. Maarten Vinkhuyzen says:

        The roadster is somewhere between ‘commercial’ and ‘experimental and for sale in limited numbers’ in my view.
        But my intention was for sale on the market for normal people with a normal job and a normal income.
        And there was a buzz of a lot of carmakers intending to launch such a car, view delivered.

      2. wavelet says:

        I mis-remembered the roadster’s launch by a year, so if it’s considered mass-production, you’re right (-:

        1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

          We can certainly point out that the Roadster was partially hand-built, and therefore doesn’t fully qualify as mass produced.

          I found Maarten’s use of the term “commercial” here confusing; I guess he meant what in American English is called “mass produced”. But I don’t want to criticize, because I suspect English is not his first language.

  18. Kevin C. says:

    Thanks Maarten.
    I look forward to more articles from you.
    Although I may never forgive Nissan for not bringing the eNV200 to the US.

  19. Anon says:

    Hear no New Leaf.

    See no New Leaf.

    Buy no New Leaf.

  20. Attesa says:

    Seems to be a whole lot of Monday morning quarterbacks here acting like they know what is good for Nissan. Ghosn knows what is good for Nissan, not you naysayers.

  21. DonC says:

    It will be interesting to see if Nissan is now using LG Chem cells. If so, then the transition may explain some delays. (Renault has used LG Chem cells so no transition for it.)

  22. Mist says:

    Hi Maarten,

    Thanks for a good article. Great to have a non US-centric view for a change. It’s also good to have reminder that it was actually Carlos Ghosn who was the first leader of a mainstream car company to realise that electrics were the future. I wouldn’t be in the least suprised if they do very, very well during the next year. The Renault Zoe will definitely sell very well and so may the Kangoo and Master vans.

    Note: There are a lot of people on this site who will “shout” at anybody who doesn’t share their view that all electric vehicles have to have a at least a 320 km range and be set-up for American road trips. Don’t let these bullies get to you!

  23. evnow says:

    “Knowing how careful Nissan handles the Osborne Effect, late in 2017-Q1 for the launch of the Leaf-II should not be a surprise.”

    I disagree. First, Nissan botched the 30kWh Leaf announcement with multiple leaks months before official statement.

    Second, people waiting for Leaf 2 are now buying Bolt. The only way to stop them is to announce Leaf 2 “now”. The fact that there is no announcement shows Nissan doesn’t have anything up their sleeves at the moment or they are mismanaging their Bolt response. I vote for the former.

  24. Matthew Johnson says:

    Nissan will likely sit back 2 more years, continuing development of the Leaf 2. This makes perfect sense. Nissan will be gauging how successful the Tesla Model 3 is, and adjust the Leaf 2 to what customers want. Keep in mind how much cheaper batteries will be in 2 years, which will make it much easier to produce an EV with a better profit margin.
    Chevy Bolt is 1st to market, but keep in mind that ATM it is not a profitable product, losing Chevy around $7000-$8000 per sale. Its simply a compliance car EV, albeit a very good one, until batteries become cheaper.

    1. Robert Middleswarth says:

      IF at this is a big IF the $7,000 to $8,000 figure is true it will have included all the R&D cost of developing their first long range EV and the number will go down with greater sales not reduced sales. If the number is to be believed Chevy would want to sell more cars to make back the R&D cost. Kinda like Tesla. They make money on each Model S sold but outside of maybe 1 odd quarter Telsa has lost money because of R&D, New Equipment, and other production costs.

  25. Ron says:

    When thinking of Nissan, I am still more inclined to think of Commodore computer- left in the dust by the Wintel and Apples.
    Waiting and waiting gives me no concrete evidence that there is something wonderful about to come on stage.
    I looked in Wikipedia to find the name of the wonderful Osborne computer, and found that many insiders blame Osborne’s demise on the superior Kaypro machine, rather than too-early advertising of the “Osborne Executive” and “Osborne Vixen”.
    . . . . . . . . . . . .
    From Wikipedia “Osborne Effect”
    “Interviews with former employees cast doubt on the idea that Osborne’s downfall was caused solely by announcement ahead of availability.After renewed discussion of the Osborne Effect in 2005, columnist Robert X. Cringely interviewed ex-Osborne employee Mike McCarthy and clarified the story behind the “Osborne effect”. Purportedly, the new Executive model from Osborne Computer was priced at US$2,195 and came with a 7-inch (178 mm) screen, while competitor Kaypro produced a computer with a 9-inch (229 mm) screen for US$400 less, which had already begun to cut into sales of the Osborne 1 (a computer with a 5-inch (127 mm) screen for US$1,995), but inventories of the Osborne 1 cleared out, and customers switched almost entirely to the Kaypro.”