2018 Nissan LEAF: Recipe For Success Or Disaster?

MAY 13 2018 BY CARLO OMBELLO 88

Is the all-new 2018 Nissan Leaf truly an amazing redesign, or headed down the road of epic failure?

The new Nissan Leaf was unveiled last September to great fanfare, as Nissan launched a months-long global marketing offensive to trumpet the arrival of its second generation mass-market electric car. A daunting task: replacing the World’s best selling EV, the 2011 Nissan Leaf, produced in around 300,000 units since it came to market.

*This article originally appeared on opportunity:energy. Author Carlo Ombello graciously shared it with InsideEVs.

Watch This: Video Review Of 2018 Nissan LEAF

Expectations were particularly high: Nissan was the first automaker to aggressively pursue the EV market, but had not followed up with a new product since. Meanwhile, progress in the field has been explosive and competition is finally raging. Would Nissan once again lead the way? That was the question.

Related: Nissan LEAF Sales Drop Down In U.S. In April

The Japanese car maker confidently hailed this new Leaf as the world’s most advanced mass-market electric vehicle and, since its September launch, media outlets have followed suit with rave reviews and generous awards (2018 World Green Car, Best Electric Car… you name it). New generation driving assistance systems such as Propilot and the e-Pedal got all the attention. Global sales to core markets started in January after an early opening in Japan and total orders have since surpassed 40,000 units with strong sales in all continents. But beyond the hype and good start, is the new Leaf living up to expectations?

More Information: New Nissan LEAF e-Pedal & ProPilot Overview- Fully Charged

The most obvious issue for any new electric car model is to address the age-old fear of “range anxiety”. With early EV models such as the first Leaf only managing about 100 miles (160 km) on a charge, this is easily the main factor preventing mass adoption of electric vehicles beyond enthusiasts and short-distance commuters. It’s true that most drivers statistically only require their car to make short trips on a daily basis, but for an EV to be the main or only car in the household, 100 miles simply won’t cut it.

That’s why, as rumors got confirmed about the 2018 Leaf’s 40 kWh new battery, excitement on the new model’s capacity faded quickly. With just over 150 miles (240 km) EPA range, the improvement over its predecessor is notable but not ground-breaking; the original Leaf had itself been improved to 30 kWh over time. While appealing to more customers, it falls short of catching up on market rivals, let alone leading the way. Which takes us to the second most important issue surrounding electric cars: charging.

The 2011 Leaf boasted 50 kW fast charging as standard, through its Japanese CHAdeMO plug, providing a good charging speed for its small battery pack. Since then, Tesla has led the way in ultra-fast charging via its 120 kW proprietary system, while most major car makers are now grouping up in support to the CCS system, which promises charging capacities of up to 150-350 kW (available this year).

The 2018 Nissan Leaf surprised us with… a 50 kW CHAdeMO plug. The complete lack of progress on this crucial aspect means the new battery may be charged to 80% in around 40 minutes, worse than its predecessor. It’s true that possibly up to 80-90% of charging will be done overnight (when speed doesn’t count as much), but the low spec puts another nail in the coffin for long distance travel with this car.

And it’s not the end of the bad news. Recent tests from early customers demonstrated that when fast charging multiple times over the same trip, the new Leaf will automatically slow down the rate of subsequent fast charges from the “full” 50 kW to much lower rates (about half speed).

Nissan has since confirmed this is a “feature” rather than a fault, to preserve battery life. A bit of an embarrassing justification for an unadvertised limit of the new product, promptly rebranded as #Rapidgate on social media, and whose consequences are yet to be seen. This flaw alone could quickly turn the narrative about the new Leaf to a completely different direction, as initial orders are fulfilled and new noteworthy competitors such as the Hyundai Kona Electric, Kia Niro EV and Tesla Model 3 become available.

With the first cracks in a so far idyllic picture starting to surface, it’s doubtful if Nissan will be able to continue its electric ride unscathed for much longer. They still may have a card up their sleeve: the long-range 2019 Nissan Leaf. Rumored to boast a 60 kWh battery for a 225+ miles range (over 360 km), 100 kW fast charging and liquid battery cooling, next year’s version could nip most of the nascent controversies in the bud. But until the upgraded model is unveiled, the New Leaf’s honeymoon with media and customers may soon prove to be short-lived.

Source: opportunity:energy

Nissan LEAF US

2018 Nissan LEAF
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88 Comments on "2018 Nissan LEAF: Recipe For Success Or Disaster?"

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William
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William

The New 2018 Leaf is going through a bit of a rough patch, with its short lived honeymoon here in the US.

EV buyers and Leasers, who can wait a little bit longer, for more compelling EV choices, coming soon from at least a few legacy OEMs, are going to find it was probably worth the decision to hold off a bit longer.

The 2019 Leaf, being among one of the many better choices, coming in the next 6-9 months.

Assaf
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Assaf
March 2018, the latest month with global numbers available, was certainly not a “rough patch”. Leaf sales broke the brand’s all-time monthly record with >11k sales, making the Leaf only the second plug-in car to cross 10k in a single month (the first was the BAIC EC-series late last year). http://ev-sales.blogspot.com/2018/04/global-top-10-march-2018.html We don’t have full April numbers yet. Sales were a bit soft in Japan, where April is the weakeast auto sales month (start of fiscal year). But Europe which provided 6k of the 11k listed above, is still reporting, and currently-available country-level numbers there look pretty good. Regarding the US, the 2018 Leaf has yet to have a “honeymoon” here. Sales are nothing like the old Leaf got in 2013-2014. Too early to tell whether it’s supply (the US plant always seems the weakest of the 3), or demand, with all the “150 miles is too short” vibe around here. But according to a story posted here, Nissan is planning to massively market this one across Latin America, where almost no old Leafs were sold. Seems like many people have their hatchets ready for the Leaf, and are all too happy to prematurely declare its death. Sad and even… Read more »
William
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William

North American Leaf sales last month were pretty lack luster, to say the least. The “rough patch”, referring to the US Leaf 4/18 monthly sales numbers is, just stating the stats with some hope they can get closer to Bolt monthly sales numbers.

Nissan has yet to surpass the Bolt here in the US, with its New 2018 Leaf Sales Numbers. Maybe this month or next, we will see the Leaf lead in sales over the Chevy Bolt ?

Also, the rest of The Nissan 4/18 ICE sales numbers were significantly down, and way off the mark, for last month.

WadeTyhon
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WadeTyhon

So far, the numbers are favoring the Bolt this month despite the fact that Leaf inventory is significantly stronger. But I’m seeing a less than 100 unit sales spread between them at the moment.

Globally it is no contest, the Leaf will continue to far outsell the Bolt. But the Leaf and Bolt are pretty evenly matched at the moment in the US…

Of course neither car is meeting its potential.

The Leaf I still believe is being hurt by the knowledge that the longer range version is right around the corner. I know if I were interested in buying the Leaf this year, I would be waiting. The long range Leaf should do great things for sales in the US!

Meanwhile, Bolt sales are being hampered by exports and low inventories while they sure up the battery supply situation. Earlier this month Jim Cain, a GM spokesman, cited the 42% sales increase for Q1 and limited battery supply for the dip in sales this quarter. He also reiterated that production will be increased later this year.

Assaf
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Assaf

…and right on cue we have Norway’s April numbers. http://ev-sales.blogspot.com/2018/05/norway-april-2018.html

1k 2018 Leaf deliveries. It’s not the >2k of March which was an all-time record for any plug-in, and the first full month of the new model, but still enough to be by far the best-selling car (of any technology) for April.

Excellent results from the other main Continental markets reporting April thus far: Sweden, Netherlands, France. So in Europe, its main market thus far, the new Leaf isn’t showing any sign of slowing down.

I know this blog is US-based, but the discussions are global and the Leaf is a global car, arguably the only main EV to be genuinely global (something, btw, which is completely missing from the author’s hatchet job). The US had ceased being the dominant Leaf market at some point in 2015.

WadeTyhon
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WadeTyhon

Yep, the Leaf isn’t always the top seller in markets it competes in… but it is *one* of the top sellers in pretty much *every* market it competes in. That is not the case for most EVs.

So collectively, Leaf sales put most competition to shame.

Timmy
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Timmy

Hatchets, or lead blowers and flame throwers?!

ModernMarvelFan
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ModernMarvelFan

LEAF is only doing well in other markets because of weak or lack of competition from Bolt EV and Model 3.

Troy
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Troy

My 2015 is coming off-lease this year and while the +16kWh upgrade is significant in relative terms, 40kWh is only 120 miles of highway range and paying $6000 – $10,000 more for that is not economic vs. just renting an ICE for my occasional intercity trips ( I live 150+ miles from everywhere interesting).

I also dislike 4-doors. Nissan should EV their entire line and let me pick the best fit. And bring back the 300ZX while they’re at it.

Ziv
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Ziv

The 370z kicks the 300zx to the curb. Heck, even my old 350z beats the tar out of a 300zx. But it would be cool to see a z with a stout pack, decent brake pads, good rubber and a thermal management system for the pack.

John Doe
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John Doe
If they had the car ready 2 years ago – they would be in heaven. No real competition in the near future, and a competitive offering. Now, they will still sell a tonn of cars – but will soon meet competition from known EV brands, and others. For us, the customers – this will be good, as it gives us more choises AND competition will for sure give us more for the money. Some EV models are still only available in certain areas, and in very limmited numbers. This is one of the reason Nissan will sell a lot of cars. They have multiple factories, and a car they can sell with at least some kind of profit. We also know they, and others are working on new EVs all the time. During this, and next year – the real first generation of larger EV vans will be for sale. Hopefully they will stop with their “inner city” range with speed restrictions and what not, and finally add a proper battery at a competitive price. I’m afraid it will take another 3-5 years before that happen. I have some hope for the e-Crafter with the largest battery pack – that… Read more »
Chris O
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Chris O

Agreed that new Leaf’s stats are anything but impressive, however it does seem to be selling pretty well in some markets. I think a $35K version of Model 3 will stop it in its tracks though, even (or maybe especially, since it will probably cost the same)the 60KWh version. Well, except for the discounts and lease deals that will be thrown in to restore value parity.

kimmi
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kimmi

Currently it’s the Best Selling EV in the world, so i would say it’s a success.

EVShopper
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EVShopper

Perhaps. But the Model 3 is going to blow it out of the water this year, if (and it’s a big if) Tesla can properly ramp up.

Roy_H
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Roy_H

The only thing I have against the LEAF is Nissan’s stubborn commitment to the outmoded CHAdeMO charging standard. It is an excellent car and will sell very well.

Senna
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Senna

Plus the stupid and ugly analog speedometer..

Anton
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Anton

Pre-2017 had a digital speedometer. I have no idea why they changed it (presumably some focus group preferred it). You can still enable a digital readout in the 2018 model, but then you have to lose some other useful information on that screen.

Geefish
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Geefish

At release Nissan said a study showed it was easier to get information quickly from an analogue needle sweep type gauge then a digital read out. I once read a report in a science journal along similar lines about the use of clocks.

eject
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eject

Mercedes is displaying needles for the same reason. You don’t actually need to know how fast you are going, the needle just needs to be around a certain position. Who cares about minor deviations. Not even speed cameras.

Nonbiker
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Nonbiker

I WANT to know exactly how fast I’m going. There are no downsides in the digital reading.

Lamata
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Lamata

When I was a kid & my speedo broke I’d go by the RPM’s & the gear I was engaged in & had a pretty close Idea of my speed within 5mph & that Was Close enough…It’s Not Rocket Science..

Scramjett
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Scramjett

Hah! That reminds me of a similar situation with my parents Chevy Vega. The speedometer broke so they would go off of the tachometer and flow of traffic.

Ed
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Ed

I bet you think that a thermometer in a building is always correct, don’t you?
My 2015 Leaf was off by about 5 mph at highways speeds. You really can’t ever trust a standard car speedometer.

Asak
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Asak

It’s hard for me to believe that, but furthermore does it even matter? A speedometer is a linear gauge which should reflect pretty smooth changes as you accelerate and decelerate. It’s not something where there should be fast, erratic changes that you should have to respond to quickly.

Nonbiker
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Nonbiker

That’s completely false. I never look at my analog speedo anymore after getting used to the digital reading.

Scramjett
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Scramjett

That’s interesting. Is there a link to the study or is it easy to find online? I’d be curious to see that.

Rick
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Rick

Today’s kids can’t read an analogue clock so digitals clocks are in classrooms, Sad.

Timmy
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Timmy

I might buy it solely for the analog speedometer. Thank you, Nissan!

Scramjett
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Scramjett

Digital speedometers have been around for awhile. When I was a kid, I remember a Chrysler my grandparents had with a digital speedometer. Most kids my age were probably thinking of kitt from knight rider when seeing these (I know I was). Obviously, it never took. Even Tesla, with its LCD dashboard still uses analog gauges on the S & X.

I think most mainstream car buyers prefer the traditional analog gauges: speedometer and tachometer, even when the dashboard is an LCD display. I think most people feel like it (falsely) gives people wiggle room when getting pulled over: “I’m siting you for going 70 in a 55 zone.” “But officer, I swear I thought the needle was on the mark between the 40 & 60!”

*Side note: I found tachometers useful when driving a stick shift, but mostly unnecessary in anything else. These days, there is no point to it, especially in EVs. Power meters are more useful for tracking efficiency.

Zappi Benelux
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Zappi Benelux

In the Netherlands, Nissan said to me they have chosen for CHAdeMO because of the V2X system which would only be possible with CHAdeMO. They say that CCS does not (yet) provide a protocol to deliver power back to the grid. That’s why they’ve chosen CHAdeMO. Is it true ?

Nonbiker
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Nonbiker

Also Japan is already covered with CHAdeMO. They are not going to change that anytime soon.

Leafchik
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Leafchik

Support of V2G by Chademo and lack of support by CCS – true.
The reason….. I’d say just one of them 😉

sola
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sola

The lack of thermal management on the battery is a big minus too.

Given the high rate of degradation on the 30 kWh published recently, the lack of TMS is a big deterrent.

SJC
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SJC

Packs that last…success, if not then failure.

Mark.ca
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Mark.ca

How many of the old leaf version they sold? Yeah, the best sold ev is a failure…go to sleep.

SJC
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SJC

That must be why you can buy used Leaf so cheap.
Shove it.

Nonbiker
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Nonbiker

In my country they are not cheap.

Alexander
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Alexander

150 miles is enough for many people, in particular in Europe. Such people will prefer it to more expensive cars with better range. It is worth trying to see whether there is a sweet spot at 150 miles and 30,000 dollars.

David Murray
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David Murray

I’m still holding out hope that the 200+ mile version will have thermal management… and then I can actually start recommending the car to people again.

Senna
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Senna

I think Nissan has already confirmed that

Pushmi-Pullyu
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Pushmi-Pullyu

I’d love to see a citation for that! So far as I know, Nissan has not confirmed it, but I’d love to be proven wrong!

Geefish
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Geefish

I recall seeing a Nissan engineer being interviewed and confirming the battery thermal management system. I’ll see if I can find it. It may have been during a one on one Q and A interview by Bjorn Nyland.

WadeTyhon
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WadeTyhon

Someone else said the same thing, but upon review of their source, it was a speculative article. There was no actual confirmation of anything from Nissan (that I have seen at least!)

Please post if you have actual confirmation because that would be a huge deal! 😀

Ned Funnell
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Ned Funnell

See my comment above – it’s semi-confirmed.

Ned Funnell
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Ned Funnell

I went to a ride-n-drive at the NRECA Connect Conference last week. Nissan had 3 vehicles there and I got to speak with Valerie Kornahrens of Nissan. She is in charge of EVs for the Southwest USA. I asked why active thermal management of the battery was missing on the new Leaf, and she said it was skipped on the 40kWh but will exist for the 60kWh Leaf, which will have the same body. She shared this as ‘officially unofficial’ information- I trust it, though. Nissan is switching battery suppliers from AESC to LG Chem for 2019, and the changes are going to be significant.

https://electrek.co/2018/01/04/nissan-leaf-2019-specs-range-charging/

Lamata
Guest
Lamata

It will have a 225 mile range & Thermal management Definitely . A Battery of that size cannot Function Properly or Last any reasonable period of time , without Thermal Management . Plus the Fast Charging Issues will Be Non Existent With this New Technology …A Nissan Dealership Confirmed it to me as a “For Sure”… So There will be Huge Improvements..

Gabriel
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Gabriel

Hey 8-bit Guy! For matter of fact, I have a 2011 Chevrolet Volt, which has active battery thermal management, with 170k miles and it gets the full range since new of 35 miles. I can actually make past 40 miles easily by driving it economically.

Alex
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Alex

After a Test drive true city i can say the Leaf 2018 is a nice car. Comfort, acceleration, fun factor is very high. Compared to model 3 what i cant buy because not available, bad long drive comfort and cost over 50000$ the Leaf is the right choice.

Tesla pays a lot of money to make bad publicity for non Tesla cars.

Even the so called rapidgate is a problem the most leaf owners dosen´t will have because there have some other driving profile.

its funny to see the insideev dosen´t own a private Nissan leaf 2018 but make always bad comments over it.

Next year i decide to keep my new 2016 BMW Series 3 Sedan one more year or lease a Nissan Leaf. Without my BMW i would directly order the Leaf.

Nix
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Nix

“Tesla pays a lot of money to make bad publicity for non Tesla cars.”

If you are referring to building superior EV’s that put ICE car makers in a position where they have to compete or look bad, then yes you are right. Tesla is definitely raising the bar for traditional ICE car makers who were content with their sub-100 mile range EV’s just a few years ago while they dreamed about Tesla going out of business, and lobbied to gut CAFE and CARB regulations pushing them to sell more EV’s.

Pushmi-Pullyu
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Pushmi-Pullyu

Indeed! If Tesla is making “bad publicity for non Tesla cars”, it’s only because they look bad by comparison!

Lamata
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Lamata

Yea, They Look Bad & Cheaper than Tesla ,in every way ! They should wake Up & stop Building Cartoonish Looking Cars ! They are Ok for Young Kids, But Grown Ups Don’t Find them appealing .

Paul
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Paul

The issue with the Leaf is visibility, both through the front and back windows.

Michael
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Michael

Again a Range is everything Cowboy making lot of noice. 2nd Quarter salenumbers in Europe will determine if it really means anything for the general customer. The Hyundai Kona might have longer range – but it is made of low quality materials.

James
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James

I think the new Leaf is a great car for the money. They wisely balanced price/range and gave current Leaf owners a good upgrade path. I stopped and drove one and was surprised by how much I liked it. That said, I will still wait for my Model 3 AWD.

ffbj
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ffbj

I don’t recommend the 2018 Leaf for the simple reason that the battery is a fail. Nissan has dropped the ball, repeatedly in that respect. it’s a car with a solid skeleton but a bad heart and no soul.
The 2019 will address the drawbacks of the current battery system.

Assaf
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Assaf
Writer mansplainin’ much? And being ridiculously partisan. I don’t see the point in posting partisan hatchet jobs here. This is not Jets vs. Sharks. “…but for an EV to be the main or only car in the household, 100 miles simply won’t cut it…” Well, our 5-person household (3 drivers) has had a Leaf as its *only* car for 3.5 years and counting, the first 2.5 years with the 84-mile version. Over that time, we needed to rent an ICE exactly twice, once for 4 days and once for 1 day. And we’re not alone, not by a long shot. Perhaps we’re less common in the US, but I suspect that a good chunk of the ~200,000 Leafs in the Old World are their households’ only car. Also… what’s the deal with “main” car? That’s ignorant anti-EV talk. Which is your main car? The smooth, efficient one you drive every day, or the large gas-guzzling one you take out of town once a month or so? It’s like saying your rucksack that sits in the attic most of the time is your “main bag” because it’s bigger. As to the Leaf 2018, year-to-date in 2018 it’s been outselling any other… Read more »
DS
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DS

I second everything you said

Carlo Ombello
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Carlo Ombello
Hi Assaf, I am an Italian, UK based environmental engineer and write independently of this website. I wish Nissan every success and loved the 2011 Leaf but am very surprised at the underwhelming progress they made with this model, 8 years on from the first. I’m clearly hoping that the 2019 long range model will fix this. That said, even for Europe, unless you live in a small country such as Netherlands or Belgium, or you always, only travel short distances within a city or town, you will tend to need a longer range car. I live in London where I need no car, none at all. I use public transport within the city, and trains when I go out for weekends, I’ve tried to avoid the need for a car altogether! When I am back home in Italy or abroad, I do need a car for travel. I currently have a Fiat 500 diesel (!) in my garage, that will allow me to cheaply travel 600+ km before refueling. Typically, I’d need at least 300km range as I basically only need the car for proper trips. Most people I know will do the same, public transport (be it London… Read more »
Terawatt
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Terawatt
It’s fine that you don’t like it, but then you should just say so. I think this reads as a very unfair hit piece. For instance, while I too think 50 kW CHAdeMO is less than forward-thinking just as faster chargers are coming, it is misleading to pretend the new car has “actually worse” charging performance than the old one – except in rare, rate-limiting circumstances. The new car replenishes range at a higher rate than the old. And the “rapidgate” thing… don’t even get me started. It’s an interesting phenomenon and it was a surprise for me, and I think “everyone”. But there are a LOT of people who won’t ever experience the rate being limited, and would probably be rather puzzled by your characterization of the car as simply unfit for longer trips. I can recall driving more than 500 km in a day only on two days in more than two decades, and 700 km was the longest. It may be an issue for some people, but I really don’t think they are many. And some people would rather pay a lot less or choose the comfort, practicality and reliability of the LEAF instead of eliminating a… Read more »
Carlo Ombello
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Carlo Ombello

Hi Terawatt,

Thanks for your long comment. I’m with you, but I also think my article couldn’t be clearer! Of course I don’t like this car much, for the technical reasons I explain. And of course I also know the 2018 model will still cater pretty well for a lot customers with limited needs, for the very price point and range reasons you make.

However, I very much doubt the model as it is will be a continued success, and am happy to be proven wrong as months go by, that’s all. I think that the limiting factors I have listed will reduce the customer base and only the 2019 version will allow Nissan EV sales to pick up steam again. Reading through the comments here I do see mixed opinions, which is very telling. I will probably write another article to try and forecast Leaf’s sales for the year (best guess so far is 120k). Always happy to acknowledge it didn’t go the way I thought. 🙂

Assaf
Guest
Assaf
Carlo hi, Thank you for engaging. I did see that you are a London-based Italian. Your automotive use case can be pretty common, but not representative of the broader auto market. In fact, one could argue that the most cost-effective use case for your segment is owning no car, and renting for trips. Apparently you do very well as an engineer, if you can afford to have a car sitting back in Italy and waiting for the occasional times you visit! If you look at a household with kids, the use case becomes completely different. In North America and much of the Old World (alas), one needs a car on a daily basis. We commute to work and school by bus, but still just the errands and evening activities require a car, because despite having a decent bus system Seattle is not London or Paris transit-wise (and also not cost-of-living wise yet!). As Terawatt wrote, households like ours need to drive daily, but don’t just go out on a 600km trip on a whim. When we do, it requires planning. And planning for QC stops just becomes another part – and usually not the most difficult part – of the… Read more »
Carlo Ombello
Guest
Carlo Ombello

I agree with you, there is a choice. Lower range EV with occasional car hire, or EV use only. I suspect that, whether dictated by real needs or simply based on sentiment, most people are holding out till 2-300 mile EVs come out.

We shall see in a few months, I believe a combination of exhausted pre-orders of 2018 Leaf plus the much better features of the 2019 model will reduce sales of the low range version from Autumn onwards. Next year will be a great year for the Leaf as a combination of two models (but more for the long range one, I reckon). I’m planning to write about this in the near future.

Mark.ca
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Mark.ca

Well said, Assaf! More proof of just how irrational car buying is.

Klaus
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Klaus

After my prior gen Leaf experience, I wont own another that doen’t have active battery management and at least 200mi range. Europe is welcome to as many of the 2018 model as they want and I thank them for choosing a BEV.

Assaf
Guest
Assaf

Yeah, upstate NY (or is it rural New England? I forget) can be an unforgiving place for a Gen 1 Leaf that needs frequent long-distance trips.

Greater Tokyo or even England, otoh…

Derps
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Derps

F150 has been the best selling vehicle in America for 40 years, that still fails to convince me that I should buy one. People still buy Toyota or Nissan if they want reliability and resale over most murican. It’s the same with my decision to buy a bolt which is the best car for me despite not being the most sold. I also know that losing range as fast as the leafs do would ruin my driving experience within a couple years. I can’t ignore that.

Pushmi-Pullyu
Guest
Pushmi-Pullyu
Is the 2018 Nissan Leaf a “Recipe For Success Or Disaster?” YMMV: Your Mileage May Vary. That applies to a lot of things, even for cars powered by electricity rather than gasoline. I’m sure many buyers of the 2018 Leaf will be happy with their purchase. 151 EPA rated miles of range will certainly take them a lot farther that older Leafs, without needing a recharge along the way. But the stubborn refusal of Nissan to put a cooling system in the battery pack, coupled with disturbing reports of premature battery fading with more recent Leafs, strongly suggest that Nissan is trying to build a second story onto a house built on a bed of sand. The lack of any cooling system will limit use of the car even in cooler climates. On an extended trip, one single DCFC session will likely heat the battery to such a temperature that any further DCFC sessions will have to be at reduced power, taking considerably longer to charge. There are going to be some Leaf buyers who won’t care about the limitations of the Leaf’s inferior battery pack; those who live in climates where the temperature never gets above 90° F, who… Read more »
EVShopper
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EVShopper

It will do relatively well in markets without much competition.

James P Heartney
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James P Heartney

I’d like to see how the 2018 version’s battery pack holds up over time. The crippled fast charging is supposedly the price you’ll pay for not overstressing the battery system (thanks to its lack of active thermal management). I’d like to see if it works, and 2018 Leafs don’t experience the same battery degradation as some earlier Leafs.

Leaf Awesome
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Leaf Awesome

Really disaster??? Clearly everyone drives 500+ miles every day, right?
So you choose to ignore data, real facts and actual stats about daily driving needs of 90% of humans on planet earth for whom this is a perfect solid car.

Clearly there is no other choice for drivers who drive much more. Nope. No choice but Leaf.

Very disappointed with this article.

jelloslug
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jelloslug

The current Leaf should have come out as a 2015 model to remain competitive.

Assaf
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Assaf

Huh? The only comparable BEV available outside of China for an affordable price in 2015 was the 93-mile Soul EV, produced in limited quantities by design.

bro1999
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bro1999

I am awaiting the road trip horror stories of ’18 Leaf owners that think they can do a single day, multi-DCFC road trip in the heat of the summer. Those should be a good read.

bro1999
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bro1999

Nissan corporate issued an official statement saying they do not advise more than 2 DCFC sessions a day, as charging may be neutered after the 2nd DCFC. Though there have already been reports of DCFC neutering during the first DCFC!
What a train wreck. Nissan had to have known about this issue, but tried to sweep it under the rug. Now it’s all blowing up in their face (not quite as bad as a Tesla battery catching fire, but close 😉 )
https://speakev.com/threads/rapidgate-response-from-nissan-not-good.113385/

Breezy
Guest
Breezy

Success. I’m seeing them all over. More than enough range many uses, affordable and roomier inside than either the Bolt or Model 3.

Dudamus
Guest
Dudamus
Great cars they will love them. Buyers need to make sure the car suites their needs. We drove 200 miles Sunday in our 2016 LEAF for Mothers day. We do not go out of town very often We had 31 miles before quick charging at our destination in the morning. We had about 24 miles when we arrived home in the afternoon. The difference being we used the AC on the route home and it was 90F+ outside. We really enjoy or 2016 LEAF and we consistently can get 125 miles per full charge. We only have to charge it every other day for our normal driving. We try to limit charging to about 80-90% charge to increase battery longevity. We can override that and charge to 100% if we need a few extra miles. Maybe some day EVs will be a lot less expensive and the ranges will increase. My bigget compaint about the LEAF would be that it is too expensive. However, I still cannot believe we can put a terrabyte on a postage stamp now. I hope the same thing happens for EVs. But in the meantime there has never been a better time to buy a… Read more »
Dudamus
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Dudamus

I will be happy when every manufacturer is selling 25K EVs each month. Brand loyalty is very important for car consumers. Just look at all the people that have been waiting for Honda and Toyota to make an EV like car. I hope Honda and Toyota will add new models.

Dudamus
Guest
Dudamus
The new LEAF is a great car, just make sure it suits your needs, If you go out of town be prepared to adjust your lifestyle some and find charge points at Nissan dealers or on PlugShare dot com. I wish they had just continued with the older model but a lot cheaper and called this a new model or something. According to the battery university you can increase your battery longevity with any EV by limiting your battery charge to 80%, especially in high ambient tempos do let your car sit at100% charge Tesla has has different settings selectable to improve your battery longevity. With the LEAF you have to get a Juicebox pro (?) or guesstimate your start and stop charging times. I wish all the cars all had 70%, 80%, etc selectable charge settings. I see a lot of animosity towards CHAdeMo chargers but they do still outumber CCS by 5% to 30% depending on your region. I used a CHSAdemo this weekend, very nice. I got 96% in 30 minutes with a 30kWh LEAF that still had 31 miles left when we arrived. Maybe 80% in 20 minutes. We had fun looking at the new LEafs… Read more »
Gator
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Gator

Am I one of the few hoping this current 2018 Leaf drops in price when the new 2019 comes out so that I can purchase it? Wonder if Nissan will continue to build both lines or will abandon the 2018 altogether…

Lawrence
Guest
Lawrence

It’s a great value right now but it is a miss in terms of a strategy. I leased one and think it’s a great car and will be for the next few years. We just got our Model 3, so we didn’t want two of the same car and could use something with a hatch instead of a trunk. It’s a great car for commuting with ProPilot and with reasonable enough range. Aside from the still non-existent Base Model 3, it’s a compelling car. The space and size is just right for me. Comfort is good.

Nissan however missed because they could have had a great car, but decided to use the same mediocre platform. They didn’t progress but instead improved on the same old platform. They should plan the end of life for this car at 3 years. They need to start afresh to have a platform and design for the next decade or it will become irrelevant.

CarGuy
Guest
CarGuy

Can’t wait for the LEAF in the US to get out of production hell and start ramping production.
Then I Can’t wait for them to be liquid cooled.
Then Can’t wait for a 200 mile range.
Then, if affordable i might buy one.

Ed
Guest
Ed
I had a 2015 Leaf on lease and I turned it in a little bit ago for the 2018 Leaf. I don’t regret it one bit! The 2015 Leaf worked. It provided solid transportation for well over 95% of my trips. It provided transportation at a very cost competitive price, and it just worked. Oh, and I’m in Atlanta, so not all my trips are short. The 2018 Leaf is a great car. We’ve got the red one and lots of folks are stopping us, asking about it. It doesn’t look like a specialty EV anymore and in many aspects, has a lot better styling than many of the vehicles in the parking lots. We went all out, including the ProPlus. While doesn’t work on 100% of the roads, it works awesome on a lot of them. The adaptive Cruise Control is great, and keeping it between the lines is a bonus. It can change a challenging commute into just about a pleasurable experience. The battery indeed moves it from 95% trip coverage to essentially 100%. The wife recently took it on a 200 mile (one-way) trip, it needed some charging, but she also needed to get out and take… Read more »
bjrosen
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bjrosen

What’s good enough for Japan or Europe isn’t good enough for America. You could almost use a rubber band and build a car with enough range for Japan. Japan’s population is concentrated in a few incredibly dense cities which are connected by bullet trains. America is connected by highways not trains and I suspect that Japanese engineers don’t understand that. If I want to go to Portland, ME or Newport, RI, one of which is 100 miles N of me and the other is 100 miles S, I’m going to drive, a train is not an option and even if it was I wouldn’t take it because it would be so much less convenient.

Lou
Guest
Lou
I recently stopped at our local Nissan dealer to see if they had any LEAFs. Turns out I counted 8, which really surprised me, as I have not yet seen even one on the road(so I assumed that there was a shortage of LEAFs—obviously not). Looking at the car, it has some compelling features, and the SV model sticker was $34,000. That seems notably lower than the Gen I version’s price range. 155 miles for me would suffice 99% of the time(maybe even 100%). We don’t do a lot of long distance driving and on the East Coast we seem to have a fair amount of Chademo stations. But, I would still agree that this iteration(40 KW battery) is not going to be a big seller in the US. Fact is we like the bigger battery/longer range and with the “issues” related to battery thermal management, buyers will probably wait. Leasing this car is probably an excellent choice, as in 3 years you can get the larger battery model and all that goes with it. I wonder, though, if the Federal Tax rebate going away will lead Nissan to lower the price of that 60 KW model? Pulling for Nissan… Read more »
Don Zenga
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Don Zenga

First add AWD version by installing a small motor in rear axle and classify Leaf as Crossover, then it will sell like hotcakes.

Leaf is marching with a sales of 320,000 +. Because sales fell in April, there is a speculation about its future. In April, Nissan stopped fleet sales and all its models fell in sales, still Leaf managed a big YoY increase.

So lets hope its sales increase in other markets and also in the near future.

Anyway if Model-3 sales increase, Nissan will be forced to pursue all options.
And note that many electric vehicles fell by the wayside: RAV-4, Fit, iMiev, B250e and recently Focus.

Murrysville EV
Guest
Murrysville EV

I’d give a liquid-cooled Leaf a chance, but not the current 18 air-cooled Leaf. My 12 Leaf degraded a lot, and I’m ready for an affordable EV with some decent range (that’s not a compliance car) with normal controls (looking at you, Model 3).

Nissan: Hurry up!

jim stack
Guest
jim stack

The lack of battery Temperature Management is also a factor. People are learning that vehicles with Liquid cooling have battery packs good for the life of the car 20+ years. They lose less than 1% a year. It seems like a miracle after owning a LEAF like I did.
The new 60 kWh LEAF is said to have liquid cooling and of course over 200 mile range. So that maybe the Miracle car similar to the model S for Tesla. Now if Nissan and Electrify America get the Nationwide Fast charging in and working there could be some real competition for Tesla. But it will take some time.

EvFan
Guest
EvFan

I had the 2013 Leaf / Lease – Nissan included the $7500 tax credit for cap reduction. I priced the new leaf lease and the $7500 cap reduction is not being applied. This makes it $200 more a month for lease cost compared to my 2013 and has taken me out of the market.