Nissan’s Tesla Model 3 Response Shows Tesla/Nissan Imbalance

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There’s no denying that Nissan’s electric car leadership position has worn off quite sharply in the past year, and that seems to be directly due (in part) to expectations of coming long-range electric cars.

The launch of the Tesla Model 3 just thrashed any near-term hope Nissan may have had in this market. Unfortunately, it responded in a somewhat embarrassing way.

Below, you can see an email I received from Nissan on April 22. I thought I could sit on the story for a bit while I got to other urgent news, but the word has already been getting around, and Nissan has apparently even run the ad in major print newspapers. Here’s a portion of the email I received from Nissan:

Nissan LEAF ad

I love the Nissan LEAF, and so does our long-term reviewer of the car (my mom), but I don’t know anyone who would agree that “there’s no reason to wait” for the Model 3, especially with Tesla’s more aggressive production schedule (announced after these ads ran).

Now, if you need to get a new car between now and the time you can receive a Model 3, I agree the LEAF is a great option!

Or if Nissan was just saying that going with a LEAF for a couple years while the Model 3 is in development is better than living with a gas car, I again agree.

Here’s the print ad, by the way:


But this comes back to the big question: What will Nissan’s real response be? We may have gotten a small hint from Carlos Ghosn the other day:

“First obviously we have many products coming but we we’re not ready to talk about them because what we want today is to sell the products we have. If we start talking about the products coming in the future somehow it always handicaps the sales of today. Tesla has not this problem because they launched Tesla Model 3 which is a completely new car so even though they announce it today and it will be selling one year and a half down the road, it is not replacing any existing product so there is no impact on that, okay. We have to be more careful because today we are selling electric cars and even though we want to continue to promote these cars I don’t want you to think these are the only cars we are going to be launching on the market. There is going to be a lot of innovation coming from Nissan and Renault and we are intending to compete against all the other car makers on electric cars. So I don’t want you to think that what you are seeing today is everything you are going to see from us, we are watching competition, we are measuring what they will be coming with and we will be more than happy to show you the capability in terms of electric cars coming from both Nissan and Renault.”

Granted, that doesn’t really tell us anything we don’t know. In fact, Carlos previously told us that Nissan had a long-range electric car in the works, and there’s no way anyone half serious about this industry and their future in the auto world can’t have a long-range electric car in the works. The real questions are:

  • When will battery costs and scale for Nissan be at a place where it can compete with a Model 3 (at least, in theory)?
  • When will Nissans be able to use the Tesla Supercharger network or something akin to it? (Let’s hope we’re talking about the former, because if Nissan goes with the latter approach, it’s going to be many years before an electric Nissan is comparable with a Tesla for long-distance trips.)
  • Will Nissan’s competing offers be designed attractively enough to attract the masses (like the Model S, Model X, and Model 3 are)?

We’ll see. Unfortunately, for now, the LEAF ads at the top that tried to riff off of the Model 3 enthusiasm seemed to garner more laughs than thrills. But they are a good lead into a coming story/idea we are planning to run on CleanTechnica and EV Obsession.

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Zachary Shahan

Zach is tryin' to help society help itself one word at a time. He spends most of his time here on CleanTechnica as its director, chief editor, and CEO. Zach is recognized globally as an electric vehicle, solar energy, and energy storage expert. He has presented about cleantech at conferences in India, the UAE, Ukraine, Poland, Germany, the Netherlands, the USA, Canada, and Curaçao. Zach has long-term investments in Tesla [TSLA], NIO [NIO], Xpeng [XPEV], Ford [F], ChargePoint [CHPT], Amazon [AMZN], Piedmont Lithium [PLL], Lithium Americas [LAC], Albemarle Corporation [ALB], Nouveau Monde Graphite [NMGRF], Talon Metals [TLOFF], Arclight Clean Transition Corp [ACTC], and Starbucks [SBUX]. But he does not offer (explicitly or implicitly) investment advice of any sort.

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141 thoughts on “Nissan’s Tesla Model 3 Response Shows Tesla/Nissan Imbalance

  • Nissan! Hahahaha!!!

    • Love the LEAF.

      • Same here, but I don’t inhale.

    • Nissan screwed their customers by not offering upgraded longer range battery packs for their older models. there are 200,000 Leafs out there that have no upgrade path for improving the range. The sad part is they had 6 years head start on the other companies…poor management decisions; counting beans instead of innovating.

  • IMO, there’s a couple things Nissan should be focusing on in addition to long range.
    1) reducing battery degradation. They need to get chemistry in place allowing 10 years of battery use with minimal loss (5% or less).
    2) Minimizing temperature impacts on range. BEVs should be able to handle any weather condition, while keeping occupants comfortable, without losing more than 10% range.
    Customer confidence in BEVs will greatly improve when they address both issues. While Nissan is the only manufacturer to put a warranty around battery degradation, they have room to improve.

    • Battery degradation becomes less of an issue with increasing pack size, and is already quite good at least from 2013 models on.

      It works like this: the total energy consumed, and therefore cycled through the battery, is proportional to the number of miles driven. But the number of charge cycles for any given total energy is inversely proportional to the size of the pack. Where a 60 kWh pack is cycled once, a 24 kWh pack needs 2.33 cycles.

      So even though you do lose a percentage of the pack capacity per cycle, you lose a fixed amount of capacity per mile driven – determined by the chemistry and independent of pack size.

      Losing 25 miles of range is a huge problem if you started with 75. It’s a much more livable thing if you started with 220.

      In addition, degradation is worst if the battery is discharged to a very low state of charge or remains at a very high state of charge for much of the time. With a big pack, you can more often operate the car in he 20-80% window, or even 30-70%. And that means a smaller loss per cycle.

      So the reality may be that where the smaller pack would lose 25 miles, the larger pack only loses 20.

      Chemistry is also improving, but IMO the number of cycles isn’t necessarily the most important aspect to improve and should possibly be compromised (if this increases energy density or enables faster on the go charging, for example).

      • Yes. Add cycle life increases much faster than DoD decreases. Going from 100% discharge to 80% could double cycles. The total amount of energy stored or miles driven is increased dramatically. Another way larger pack pays off. A better way. That’s why tesla wins.

        • And Nissan uses an air cooled pack I believe. Lack of thermal control = bad for degradation. You can correct if I have this wrong.

          • You got it right.

    • Gas powered cars suffer from low range in winter weather conditions just like EV’s do. We traded in a gas SUV for our Tesla, and the SUV got 12L/100km in winter, and 9L/100lm in summer, similar highway driving conditions. That 25% loss of range in winter is similar to our Tesla on similar long drives in similar conditions, so I don’t see the problem.

      • Tesla’s do very well with cold weather. Unfortunately, most BEVs do not. 50% losses in 10 degrees F isn’t unheard of.

        • On a short drive, any EV is going to use 50% more energy than in temperate conditions, this is the nature of heating the cabin and battery pack, once up to temperature, the usage drops significantly. If all you do is short trips, then leave the car to cool down, then more short trips, then yes, energy usage will be much more than if you just get in the car and drive a long distance in one stretch. I blogged my range experiences in my Smart ED:

  • I think Nissan is at an embarrassing crossroads for the plug standard: is there any hope for Chademo to live in the generation of 60 and more kWh packs? Or should they switch? OTOG, I don’t understand why doesn’t Musk try to share the burden of the supercharger network.

    • It’s tricky for Tesla and the Superchargers. Right now they have a very satisfied customer base. If they open it up to other EVs, there will be conflict among all EVs wanting to charge. Tesla owners will believe they have prior rights, not without reason.

      The best solution might be to have ‘Tesla only’ stations, and other ‘shared’ stations, available to all, including Tesla. ‘Tesla only’ plugs would work only on Teslas, while the shared station plugs would be programmed to work on all EVs.

      Yes, this plan would not be ‘democratic’, and would probably be labeled as ‘elitist’ or other ways expressing that sentiment. However, Tesla is truly the king of EVs, and has earned a privileged position. Tesla deserves it, and needs it. Tesla has brought EVs to where we are. It has earned its leadership role, and we need it to stay above the fray well into the future until EVs are solidly established as the dominant form of transport.

      • I agree. Because just imagine driving your Model S into a formerly Tesla only level 3 charging station between, say, LA and Vegas, and having to wait behind half a dozen Leafs in line ahead of you.
        It’s like the restaurant with the $10 cup of coffee. It sure keeps the riff-raff out.

        • This seems to assume that Tesla wouldn’t take the extra money kicked in by Nissan and install a bunch more Superchargers.

          • Yeah I have a feeling the reason no other OEMs have gotten on board is that the terms are to pitch in enough cash to match the current amount of stations so its fair to Tesla owners who have technically paid for the current ones.

            Nissan and GM in that case prolly say F you we would just build our own if we were gonna do that.

            Of course, after that they just do nothing and this is where we end up.

      • You need to revisit the current service backlogs of Teslas right now and their current loaner cars. It’s becoming one of the worst compared to other luxury cars out there!

        • I’m not really worried – yet.

          Yes, there’s been a lot of things needing to be fixed. Maybe it’s to be expected given their inexperience, maybe not.

          But the thing that seems clear is that the owners are more satisfied than all other car owners. So either Tesla has fixed the problems or they weren’t that hard to live with.

          As long as this remains the case, I think bugs aren’t a reason to worry.

          But if Tesla has bought that satisfaction by absorbing huge costs fixing them it clearly isn’t sustainable for the Model 3. Even disregarding the financial side, it would become a logistical nightmare to service 40% of the cars to apply anything but minor fixes.

        • This came up in the earnings call. Teething problems with the X causing some overloading of service, and according to Elon, getting resolved. Elon does risky difficult things, and encounters problems doing them, and then works “super hard” to fix them, with much success.

      • Or other cos could make super chargers. Only nih is stopping them.

      • One solution is to add on to existing superchargers. Have Nissan partner with Tesla and add two “mixed use” bays to every supercharger location.

    • I know Tesla is going to need all the capital it can get in the coming years, and all. But I wonder if it is not better for Tesla to simply keep them separate. They have already built the system out. The convenience factor is an enormous advantage. When the Bolt starts hitting the road, the manual may actually say “Just do it at home because we don’t care enough to make Level 3 chargers available.” At least for the foreseeable future, this will be a big advantage for Tesla. Someone recently posted here that GM could quickly put up a system to match or surpass Tesla’s without much effort. I wonder if this is true or not. It seems like they should be working on it now, if the Bolts are going to start selling this year.

      • I’ve said that. Tesla has shown GM the route and GM has the engineering and capital. Apparently GM lacks the will….

        • They are trying not to kill the Volt. And Malibu hybrid. And since ford has such a weak EV effort, just throw a block at Tesla with the Bolt. Oops, 400k 3 orders. Back to the drawing board. New scheme…

        • But note that BMW tried to get a DC fast charging (note: not superfast charging) network going in much more of the US and got put ~1 year back on it because getting good sites was not as easy as anticipated. This is not fast & easy work. When I went to the Fastned offices, they noted that the most and longest work was getting the sites & permits. I don’t think anyone can do this quickly in the right spots.

          • Sounds like one more small advantage for Tesla. The best spots. I remember reading that Fastned had the same advantage in Europe. They picked off all of the most convenient spots along the highways before anyone else got serious.

    • Actually, Tesla did invite others to join them in building the superchargers. AFAIK the offer still stands. But Tesla requires a partner to share the cost of the network and to let users charge for free. That means giving EVs an advantage, which the incumbents aren’t interested in doing.

      I agree ChaDEmo should die. CCS is a also clumsy plug and monster cable, but it seems the only candidate at the moment to become a single standard. And for me, having a single standard is the most important bit – even more important than that standard being the best one.

    • Even Sony gave up on Betamax and went with VHS. ( maybe not many on this thread who even know what I’m talking about! :). )

  • I don’t get the snark. It looks the right business response: our model isn’t as good, but you can have it now.

    I’ve noted before that the marketing constraint of an existing product is a very real one. Apple releases no information at all about new iPhones before release. When Tesla gets round to replacing the S, it won’t telegraph changes in advance either. Nissan may surprise us with its next model, or it may not. Either way, it has no incentive to reveal its hand.

    • It’s not a model 3, therefore it is inadequate according to this forum.

      • Still riding around with that burr in your saddle, eh Steve?

        • I’m just noting the “snark” in the article.

          This is the right play for Nissan. “Excited about electric? You can buy one now!” is apparently laughable.

          • So you don’t think “there’s no reason to wait” is a somewhat ridiculous line in this case?

          • Not in the slightest.

            Sure, the Model 3 is fancy and fast, and all. But in Canada it’s going to cost an additional $10k after taxes and incentives in cdn dollars, compared to a base Leaf. The Leaf has also been very reliable, whereas Tesla hasn’t actually made a platform that doesn’t fail at a significantly higher rate than other options on the market yet. That may change over the years, but I don’t expect the first Model 3’s rolling off the line to be able to compete with a Leaf or a Volt reliability wise.

            This low reliability is compounded by the fact that the nearest Tesla dealership is over 100 km away from me.

            Add to that the fact that you have to put $1k down now, before you even know the feature list, or see the final interior to have a chance at getting one, and yes, I can see why someone would opt to buy a Leaf now instead of wait 18 months to buy a Model 3.

            My point, in it’s entirety, is that you can’t see that.

          • Distance from service centers is Tesla’s weak point. Period.

            Honestly, would you care about the reliability of Teslas if the service center were nearby? No, you wouldn’t. They’re not that unreliable.

          • Of course I would. They’re horribly unreliable. They’ve been compared unfavorably to early Jaguars in terms of build quality, which were jokingly said to not be reliable enough for the factory to drive them onto the delivery truck.

            They’re the most unreliable cars currently available for sale in North America, according to TrueDelta.

            You want to know another weak point? It’s still price. My lease will be up in another year on my current EV, and due to changing circumstances, a 70 mile EV won’t fit my lifestyle any more (I’m potentially moving further from work, and work is potentially moving further from me). And I just can’t justify the price of a 105 mile Leaf, or a 93 mile Soul, neither of which are available in the used market at all, even after rebates, both of which would barely get me to work in the winter, and would require me to run no heat at -25C to be able to round trip without plugging in at work.

            A Bolt or Model 3 would work well (assuming the Model 3 could keep itself together), but that cost is even higher, starting at over $46k + taxes before rebates. That’s BMW 3 series money. I’m just not that wealthy.

            The payback period between a 100 mile Leaf and a Mazda3 (or similar small fuel efficient car) is more than 12 years, because the purchase price increase between the two is 68%, for a car that is significantly more limited! ($22k for a Mazda3 GS, vs $37k + tax before rebates for a Leaf SV)

            I love EVs, and I’ve loved my Smart Electric, but there’s just no way I can ignore the financials and overpay that much for a worse car like that.

          • You know, I read through some of the TrueDelta stuff.

            A squeak here, a problem with a rear window there. Very few “real” problems, mostly little stuff.

            People can read the 2015 problems for themselves here. I see a single comment about a S not running due to 12v battery problems.


            Here’s the 2014 list –


            “They’re horribly unreliable.”

            I’m calling bullshit on that claim. Rattles and leaks are inconveniences. Unreliable cars leave one stranded on the side of the road.

          • It might seem that way at first blush Bob, but take a closer look, and put the data in context.

            Each 2015 Model S has a 54% chance of needing a repair during the year, and each repair has a 12% chance of being an engine / drivetrain related problem, so about 6.5% of cars need something that isn’t an inconvenience but something consequential repaired every year.

            For comparison, a Mazda3 of the same Model year has an 8% chance of needing a repair during the year, and a 4% chance of that repair being an engine / drivetrain issue, giving you a .32% chance of any given repair for an engine / drivetrain (not “Inconvenience issue). For those keeping track at home, the Mazda is 20 times more reliable by those stats.

            And I’m not cherry picking there. A Honda Civic is even more reliable, with no engine / drivetrain repairs reported yet in 2015 or 2014 model years, despite a significant number more entries. For a Toyota Corolla, I have to go back three years to 2013 to find my first engine / drivetrain issue.

            The situation is similar with the Ford Focus, the Kia Forte, and Hyundai Elantra, with all numbers being comparable to the Mazda, or better. In fact, most are better. The only car I can find that’s even remotely similar in this $20k car bracket is the Chevy Cruze, which has both a high rate of reported repairs, and a high percentage of repairs being drivetrain related.

            The Models S is roughly an order of magnitude more unreliable, in consequential drivetrain type repairs compared to the industry average among 2015 small econo-boxes.

            Is that enough data to back up my claim? Or are you still calling bullshit Bob?

          • “Each 2015 Model S has a 54% chance of needing a repair during the year, and each repair has a 12% chance of being an engine / drivetrain related problem, so about 6.5% of cars need something that isn’t an inconvenience but something consequential repaired every year.”

            How do you get from a handful (21) of owner reports to 54% of all 2015 Model S EVs needing a repair? Tesla sold about 50,000 Mod Ss in 2015. That’s 0.04% of all owners reporting a problem.

            And how do you turn 21 problem reports into meaningful data? Are you not familiar with “Stuck pigs squeal”?

            Let’s look at the “engine” problems

            1) Bad connection inside the HV battery pack. Caused car to shut down after a software install.

            Received various “car needs service” and “car will not start” errors. Was determined it was the wire harness between the battery pack and the front motor. From the invoice, “HV Harness – Front Drive Unit to HVJB (1050805-10-C)

            2) Charger port had to be replaced. Car would not charge at normal charge rate using 240V plug.

            3) Car jolts after being stopped. Issue send to engineering, no repair made at the moment.

            4) Saw error:”12V battery power low, car may shut down unexpectedly.” Removed and installed HV battery pack for power switch replacement.

            Four owners out of 21 reported problems that the site called engine problems. None of them are electric motor related. It looks like one of the four might have caused the car to not run.

            Two percent has ‘drivetrain and transmission’ problems. The single car owner reported –

            “Some slight grease leaks in front axles. They replaced the relevant seals and parts.”

            Here’s the single brake problem reported

            “Brake pedal rattles when released. Problem acknowledged, but no action taken. ”

            Two owners reported “suspension and steering” problems.

            1) Clicking noise came through the steering column when turning the wheel. Shims had to be installed. No more noise.

            Steering wheel makes a faint but noticeable creaking noise when turned at parking speeds. Repair attempted, partly helped, but noise is still there. Will wait to see if it gets worse before re-submitting for repair.

            2) They eventually found and fixed the real issue that made the steering creak (insufficient lubricant).

            If others want to they can read the rest of the “extensive” problems that have put you in high dudgeon.

            A car you have declared “unreliable” has a single report of not starting after a software update.

            Here’s what the site says –

            “TrueDelta’s car reliability survey only collects data on car problems and repairs that occur after people join the panel.”

            In other words, this is not a survey but a bitch board.

            And then they state –

            “Repair descriptions won’t tell you how many repairs you might face, but they can tell you the kinds of problems you might have.”

            But you’ve taken their sketchy data and made definite reliability statements out of a tiny data set. A data set that was not objectively gathered.

            Don’t you smell something barnyardy?

          • There are two datasets. One for problems reported, And one for repair descriptions. I’m combining the two. The first, and main source is the chart that lists all the model years and their repair rates per hundred cars per year.

            Yes, Self reporting and small sample sizes aren’t ideal, however all the effects that would impact the Tesla also impact every other car I mentioned. The site collection method does try to remove the ‘I don’t like my car’ effect by collecting on a look ahead basis only. You aren’t supposed to submit historical repairs.

            The categories are assigned by the user who submits the issue,. Not the site.

            And in any case all those other cars i listed have a massively lower repair rate. Even if the stats aren’t perfect, They’re still suggestive. You can’t look at that data and think that a Model S is anywhere near as reliable as a Kia, even if you think the impact isn’t 10x.

          • “repair rates per hundred cars per year.”

            Where do you find that the number of owners reporting? I can find no basis for “hundreds of cars”. I see only a handful of people who have reported (mostly very minor) problems.

            I find no explanation of how they calculate their stats. The site has only 105,500 members. How could they possibly have “hundreds” of Tesla owners and “hundreds” of owners of all the other cars they cover? That make sense to you?

            “Yes, Self reporting and small sample sizes aren’t ideal,”

            It’s a rotten way to collect data.

            “however all the effects that would impact the Tesla also impact every other car I mentioned”

            I’m not comparing the Tesla to the other cars on the site. I don’t think the data is valid, so no comparison is possible.

            ” You can’t look at that data and think that a Model S is anywhere near as reliable as a Kia,”

            I can’t look at the data on that site and think anything other than the data is largely unusable. For all the cars listed.

            The only value I could see would be if there were lots of complaints about the “passenger window gets stuck” or “the rear view mirror falls off”. Then I might have some sense as to what the weak point of the car (any car) might be. But I’d have no idea how significant that problem might be. Would my odds be 1%, 99% or something in between?

          • To address the sample size, if you look at all the Tesla reports,. You can get a 10% confidence interval, 95% of time time.

            Which means the data is more than good enough to get a reasonable approximation.

            Tesla’s are unreliable.

            You may now proceed to move the goal posts in the face of actual data, such that you don’t have to alter your worldview.

          • First, you have to have good data. A very small percentage of owners self-reporting does not give one usable data.

            No damn way can one calculate a meaningful statistic on that small an amount of data. And if there was enough data it would say nothing about the greater universe of any brand/model of car because it is not objectively collected data. It’s a highly biased database. And that applies to every brand and model covered.

            “Tesla’s are unreliable.”

            Unreliable def. not reliable; not to be relied or depended on

            You’re just making shit up, Steve. Even in the largely useless database you’re using there are almost no reports of a Mod S either not starting or quitting on the driver while on the road. I recall only one time at which one S had to be serviced after a software update left it unable to run. There were two times (IIRC) that the driver got a message to pull off the road and wait for a service vehicle.

            Is that it? Out of tens of thousands of Model Ss on the highway? Do you see reports of Teslas that won’t get out of their garage in the morning or are broken down along the highway?

            What has happened to you Steve? You used to be a valuable commentor on the site, I seem to remember. Now you’ve gone off on this Tesla-hate tangent. Why?

            Are Teslas too expensive for you to afford? (They’re out of my price range too, but that doesn’t make me hate them.)

            Is it that your EV (forgot what you drive) isn’t progressing? Don’t see why that should make you pissed off at Tesla. Get pissed at the manufacturer for not doing enough.

            Think your brand ought to get more attention on the site? It probably would if the company did something interesting. The league leaders get talked about a lot more than the teams in last place.

          • “A very small percentage owners self reporting does not give one usable data”

            Wrong. We can calculate the confidence interval given a sample size, and a population. I stated the confidence interval above. Feel free to go learn the math to back it up if you’d like.

            It means that the reported repair rate will be within 10% of the actual repair rate for the population, had we queried everyone, 95% of the time.

            I’m not making this up. The data isn’t perfect, but it’s pretty good. And sure, you can’t think of a guy that got stranded, but they’re out there. They’re definitely not coming to report it on a forum where anyone who says anything Tesla gets verbally destroyed by you Bob. You’re a great enforcer, and you toe the party line.

            I’ve just pointed you at a giant pile of pretty useful data, pointing out something that your readers may want to know, namely, that Tesla require very frequent repair, in fact, more frequent repair than any other car brand on the TrueDelta site. And look what happened? I get you in here swinging full force, trying to defend religious views in an absence of better data.

            I’ve got real data here Bob. And you’ve tried to point out flaws in said data with great zeal, but you’ve mostly pointed out the fact that there isn’t better data, and that you probably want to go take a stats course at the university level before you continue this conversation.

            As for what happened to me? Well, I generally started disliking all the Tesla fanboy~ism, and the more I looked into it, the more I realized there were issues. Issues which I certainly couldn’t expect a forum such as this one to look into at all.

            The funny thing is that I put more time, thought, and research into my posts here now, then I ever did before. You just think it’s unvaluable because you disagree with me now.

            That really tells me all I need to know.

            I’m not even trying necessarily to dissuade people from buying a Tesla. Go forth! Go do it. I understand it’s a fun car to drive. It’ll reduce the pollution my children have to contend with. I just want people going into it to understand what they’re getting into, that it will be a car that they need to take to the dealership 4x to 5x more often than a $20k econo-box, which is information they definitely will not get from this site.

          • You’re going to do a meaningful statistical analysis based on 34 pieces of data?

            Lordy, lordy. That’s some powerful calculator you’ve got in your pocket. Did you get it from the Magic Numbers company?

            “I’m not making this up. The data isn’t perfect, but it’s pretty good.”
            Yes you are. No it’s not.

            “I’ve just pointed you at a giant pile of pretty useful data”

            No, Steve. You pointed out data for far less than 1% of all Tesla Ss sold. And you’re trying to make something out of it. I don’t think you understand how valid research is done.

            Now, does Tesla have more “rattle and leak” problems than other cars? We don’t know. At least we can’t tell based on what one finds at Truedelta. I don’t recall what Consumers Report had to say, but at least they understand data collection.

            Are Tesla Ss unreliable? If one uses the normal definition of reliable then there is no indication either in the Truedelta or media that supports that assumption.

            Come on, Steve. Find your inner objectivity.

          • There are over 100 cars reporting across all three models years that have been reporting for a combined 2.2 million kms. That’s enough to give the confidence interval stated. Please go learn what a confidence interval is before you continue to mock valid data. I’ll even link the right Wikipedia page for you.


            And here, so that you don’t have to break out your calculator, here’s an online calculator…


            The values are 118 for the sample size, 54 for the observed mean, and 95% confidence. You can punch in the numbers the same as I.

            You are saying I’m making this up, but I’m clearly not. I’ve presented valid data, and you are saying that because it’s not perfect it should be thrown out because it disagrees with your worldview. This data stands, unless you can present better. This is purely objective, and based on numbers that I have no control over whatsoever.

            How can I be more objective here? Honestly? I’ve got a relatively unbiased information source, of owners self-reporting repair rates over a period of up to several years, and I’ve got enough samples to make some conclusions, with a known, and calculable set of error bars. Those error bars are significantly smaller than the concluded difference. We know the result to be 54% repair rate per year +/- ~10% with 95% confidence. This is known. This is not up for debate. This is how math works. This is how statistics works. We don’t need to ask everyone in America to get an idea as to what the population thinks, we can ask 1000 people, and given the sample size, and the population size, we can know an expected result, and a set of error bars.

            For those following along at home, the Mazda3 repair rate is 8%. You’ll not how incredibly lower this is to the Model S, and how far outside the error bars this is.

            The Model S requires a significantly higher repair rate than the industry standard $20k economy box, for sale in North America.

            At this point, it’s pretty clear that either A) You don’t know how to do the math, and are unwilling to learn or B) There is nothing that can be said to shake your faith in Tesla.

            I’m leaning B. Which is it Bob?

            Edit: Linked wrong calculator.

          • Steve, I taught statistics at the university level. One does not take 118 self-reported data samples and say anything about the greater population. The 118 self-reports are a biased sample, not randomly selected.

            How can you be more objective? Start by ignoring the Truedelta stuff. It is not a representative sample. And try to figure out why you’ve become so bitter toward Tesla. (At least you seem bitter to me.)

            “The Model S requires a significantly higher repair rate than the industry standard $20k economy box, for sale in North America.”

            That may or may not be true, Steve. The thing you need to realize is that you do not have data to prove the point one way or the other.

            ” There is nothing that can be said to shake your faith in Tesla.”

            I don’t have “faith” in Tesla, Steve. I look at what Tesla has achieved and I look at what all the other car manufacturers have accomplished in bringing EVs to market.

            I see some companies that have produced low range EVs. I see no other car that has yet to market an EV with over a 200 mile range.

            I see one other company, Nissan (Renault), that seems to have made an honest effort at building and selling EVs. But lower range EVs and they’ve not done much with setting up a rapid charging network. Nissan started to build batteries but gave up on that effort.

            Now, that’s what I see. I see GM about to start selling a longer range EV but they’ve done nothing to date about a charging system.

            Tesla is way out in front of every other car company in all possible ways. Except, rattles and leaks.

            Sorry if I admire a winner. Especially if the winner is accomplishing something very important for our fight against climate change.

            I didn’t even mention autopilot, over the air updates, exceptional customer service, and the other stuff Tesla has been pushing forward.

          • I suspect bullshit on the very late appeal to authority, but whatever.

            I acknowledged the self-selection issue right up front. It’s still among the best stats we have. They also attempt to mitigate the self-selection method by not allowing you to report historical issues. You sign up, and then report issues going forward. Since you don’t know what’s going to happen to the car going forward, you get a lot closer to random selection.

            But fine, you dislike those stats? Let’s look at some one else then…

            Consumer reports sampled 1400 Model S’s and predicted worse than average reliability.


            That good enough for you? Or are you going to weasel out of that one too? Perhaps you think the psuedo-random generator they used wasn’t random enough for your liking this time?

            It’s not Tesla I dislike. I wish them all the best.

            It just seems like I’m the only one to be willing to acknowledge that everything isn’t roses and sunshine, that they have screwed up in the past with missed launch dates, and lower than normal gasmobile reliability. A lot of the other crap the EVs are supposed to tout are also not true of Teslas, since maintenance costs and repair costs are astronomical ($6k brake job anyone)

            You guys are apologists for everything Tesla does, every mistake they make, every missed launch date, while thinking that everything they do is *so* much better. It’s annoying. It’s sickening, and to be perfectly honest, it’s a bit of a toxic community. You’re pretty much not allowed to point out a flaw in Tesla without getting jumped all over, including when you come presenting actual data.

            See above.

            Why I keep responding? It’s not clear. I’m not going to convert anyone in the cult. I guess I just want to provide a bit of the counter-point for the people who go through and read, but don’t comment.

            Buyer beware: Tesla reliability considered “Dodgy”.

          • Actually, Steve, Tesla’s problems have been widely discussed here.

            “Overall, squeaks and rattles appear to be the most prevalent complaint. But as one respondent commented, “The car is so very silent when driving that minor squeaks and rattles that you wouldn’t be able to hear in a gasoline engine car become very annoying.””

            Squeaks, rattles and leaks.

            Two battery fires before the titanium shield was installed.

            Problems with door handles and the workaround.

            The need to rebuild several drive trains due to “noise”.

            Some 12 volt battery problems.

            These are things that have been discussed here. I’ve seen no one say that they should be ignored because it’s Tesla.

            When the Consumers Report came out it was well discussed. It wasn’t dismissed.

            You’re just making stuff up Steve.

            “You guys are apologists for everything Tesla does, every mistake they make, every missed launch date, while thinking that everything they do is *so* much better.”

            The first part. Untrue. Something you’ve made up.

            The last part. Well, what EV maker is doing better and in what categories? Range, safety, acceleration, charging infrastructure, customer service, what?

            What do you want, that people should fawn over inadequate compliance car EVs that are only good for driving around the neighborhood? Want us to give your favorite brand a great big gold star for participating?

            ” It’s annoying. It’s sickening, and to be perfectly honest, it’s a bit of a toxic community. You’re pretty much not allowed to point out a flaw in Tesla without getting jumped all over, including when you come presenting actual data.”

            Well here’s a solution for you Steve. Just go away and don’t upset yourself by exposing yourself to opinions that bother you.

            Don’t let the door hit you in the ass….

      • Hmm, did you see my line here: “I love the Nissan LEAF, and so does our long-term reviewer of the car (my mom),” and plenty of previous articles expounding on that?

        I love the LEAF, but claiming “there’s no reason to wait” is a bit disingenuous. There are several reasons for many people to wait.

        And for other situations, I agree, go electric and enjoy your ride now!

        “Now, if you need to get a new car between now and the time you can receive a Model 3, I agree the LEAF is a great option!

        “Or if Nissan was just saying that going with a LEAF for a couple years while the Model 3 is in development is better than living with a gas car, I again agree.”

        But let’s be realistic in comparisons of the LEAF & Model 3.

      • The Leaf is a perfectly acceptable car if you are ok with the all weather electric range. Steve, our Smart ED’s go about the same distance, and I know you aren’t satisfied with the winter range of the Smart ED, so what are you saying?

        • This forum can’t see that pissing on other electric cars in favor of the Holy One does more harm than good. They don’t talk up electric cars in general, they talk up ‘The One True Electric, hallowed be it’s missing grill’.

          • Steve, we get criticized a lot for talking up other EVs by Tesla fans and EV critics who say we’re overly positive about their shorter range and capabilities. We get hit on both sides by the critics. 😀

      • A bit too extreme, IMO. There is Leaf love here. I don’t think you can beat a used one. That alone makes them special. And as the first truly affordable mass market EV, they have special status. Let’s not forget the iMieV, either. Many have taken advantage of the low cost and maintenance, and city driving advantages of these two.
        I think of it more as a dilemma of many choices. A good one to have.

    • I disagree. How would you feel if you bought a car, and then the company you bought from announces a much better car and a steep price drop on the one you bought the week after?

      Apple doesn’t disclose information about its new iphone until the reveal. But it’s well known roughly when that will be and everyone knows there’s a new one every year. The price range of the product is $199 to $399, so even if somehow you didn’t know a new model was coming, or when, your purchase decision isn’t going to change your financial situation over years and you can undo a regrettable transaction without breaking your back.

      In short, it’s really not comparable at all.

      I think what he says amounts to “if I told you what I know you wouldn’t buy the car”. He might as well say “you really shouldn’t buy the car”. It’s a very odd way to sell if you ask me.

      • The basic iPhone 6 costs a minimum of $549 untied from Apple, and you can’t get much better deals from others. The 6+ with 64 GB goes for $749. Not many people can pay this out of pocket change.

        The situation you describe in new cars happens all the time IIRC. Caveat emptor.

      • Osborne phenomenon seems applicable here.

    • Understand Nissan’s ad and thir need to keep selling as many of the. Current leafs as they can. What is fun is knowing that Nissan will have to up their game eventually to compete with the model 3. And I believe that they do intend to do so. I at least hope that they do.

      The whole EV revolution will not happen with TESLA alone. So I hope Nissan he best and that they keep selling as many Leafs as possible.

    • I was just thinking how this ad would work a lot better if the thing wasn’t so terrible looking

  • What most people don’t understand is that Nissan & Tesla are both on the same side. The real competition is the pure ICE cars. Its the crowd who thrive on fat tailpipes and engine noise. Its the generation that never grows up beyond the last century. Its time journalists also acknowledge this and go after the real villains.

      ALLIANCE SELLS 8.5 MILLION VEHICLES IN 2015 – See more at: jjayyzz, Almost all Nissan/Renault cars are ICE cars. It is true that Nissan has made a solid commitment to EVs, which is great, but they are still effectively and ICE car company. They sold 8.5 million cars in 2015, while the Leaf just hit the 200,000 cars sold milestone for its lifetime (since Dec. 2010).

      • Yes Nissan-Renault is primarily an ICE vehicle manufacturer. But you cannot hold that against it. The transition from the ICE to the electric motors in cars is going to be gradual and, in my opinion, driven mostly by the market itself. Eventually, EV will become even more convenient and cheaper so that the ICE will die a natural death.

        Until then, Nissan-Renault owes it to its shareholders to continue to make a profit by developing its core business. It also has a responsibility towards its thousand of employees to stay in the profitable and pay them a wage. Nissan Renault is diverting some of those profits to conduct R&D into batteries and autonomous driving. And that is what is necessary.

        Time will tell and I would be very disappointed if Nissan gave up trying to compete with Tesla on the EV front. I believe that we need Nissan to come out with a product competitive to the Model 3, GM has great success with the Bolt, that BMW sells a boatload of I3s and that other manufactures make a profit selling electric vehicles. Having only Tesla succeed will make EVs nothing more than a niche product rather than a universally accepted alternative to the ICE car.

      • I agree with Eric Wadge and my point is that at least Nissan is trying and also aiming at the mass market, that is where the real challenge is – both in engineering and economics.

        IMO it is less of a challenge to do a Porsche E at 200K rather than a Model 3 at 35k and those who try are all good and in the same camp and fighting amongst and ridiculing each other will do no good although healthy competition in terms of trying to achieve a well engineered product that sells is always good.

  • Let’s consider the Nissan ad before concluding that it has no merit. I think maybe it does, and it is worth considering what they are offering here.
    While Nissan seems to be in a very tough spot, I don’t expect them to simply wither and die. I agree that this ad may not ultimately be very effective. But, let’s drill down. That extra $4,000 Nissan money is a pretty big chunk o’ change, and a step in the right direction. They did just knocked about 15% off of the actual purchase price of the car, over night. This is not insignificant. I think $6,000 would have been better, but…
    In states with their own state discounts or rebates, the value proposition is very much worth considering. The 2016 Leaf has these discounts:

    Leaf Price: SV $35,500 SL $39,500
    Dealer Discount $2,100-$2,500 depending on trim level.
    Fed Discount $ 7,500
    Calif Discount $ 2,500
    Nissan Discount $ 4,000
    Total Discounts $ 16,100 – $ 16,500

    Net Price: Leaf SV $19,400. Leaf SL $23,000
    Now, is that a buy? Even with a 107 mile range, ( it says 124 on the dealer site) because it’s available now, I think it is close. At least in California (not so much in Kansas, where I live). Because you can always drive a Leaf for 2 years while waiting for your new 3 (as you mentioned) and then sell it for around, say, $13,000, and not get hurt. I do think that this is a better option than going with the Bolt temporarily, because the Bolt is still almost a year away, (my guess) and the similarly equipped Bolt will be about $10,000 more than the Leaf. I’m figuring no $4k back from GM, and the loaded version of the Bolt being around $45,000. I would prefer to tie up less money in a car that is available now, vs more money for less time with a car that the 3 will probably make me become instantly dissatisfied with.
    Finally, I don’t feel joy of any kind while watching Nissan struggle. They were the first of the big guys in the fight, and I want them to succeed in the EV space. We all win if there are several successful players in the space, and not just Tesla.

    • As someone whose family just got a great deal on a Nissan Leaf SV two weeks ago, I think Nissan does indeed offer good value for those who can’t afford pay that much over $30,000 (we decided it was too risky to play the lottery of seeing if we could get a Model 3 with the tax credit).

      One thing that is not mentioned here is that, at least until the beginning of May, Nissan was also offering, zero-down, 0% financing on six year loans for brand new Leafs. Between the NMAC cashback and the price drop the dealership gave us, we got a 107 mile range EV that could fast charge to 80% in 30 minutes for about $29,000 (not counting the extra money we opted to pay for the warrenty extension), for zero money down and no interest for the entire life of the loan! And once you take into account the tax credit, that price goes down to about $21,500.

      Of course, living in New Hampshire, instead of having state EV rebates, you actually have to pay the state about $2,000 for “registering” your new vehicle (this is because New Hampshire does not believe in income taxes and thus has to find other ways to fund the state). So that really made the total price more like $23,500, but that’s not Nissan’s fault, and we would have had to pay that for the Model 3 as well.

      The Model 3 is definitely going to be a better car, and Nissan seems to have realized they could not compete against at its own price. Thus, I think they did a really sensible thing by offering people the opportunity to get a EV sooner than the Model 3, at a much lower price (especially when you factor in how iffy it is that someone not living in California, and who has not brought a Tesla in the past, will be able to get the full tax credit).

      • Thanks for the info on the zero percent. It’s still going on in May.
        I think you made a good choice buying the Leaf.

    • If you want to drive a Leaf for two years, be rational and get a used one for eight grand. Depreciation for the $23k new car will be at least $10k in those two years, so you’re ahead even if you give away the used car after the two years. Very likely a 2012 LEAF will still be worth at least $4k in 2018.

      The 200+ mile cars cost less than the current Leaf at intro and cheaper options will arrive. They will also sell in bigger volumes, so by 2018 some of them will also be available on the used market. If a one year old Bolt can be had for $20k, what will a two year old LEAF fetch by then?

      The only exception is if you need the extra range in a newer Leaf. Otherwise the older Leafs are at least as good. Not all of the 2013 model year “improvements” were desirable. For example, to reduce weight the seats got much thinner.

      • Better.

    • Good.

  • I drove the leaf for 2 years and had no problems until I got hit with the 490 dollar end of lease payment couldn’t remember anyone mentioning that. And had to pay 150 bucks for a toll charge back east some where Nissan didn’t feel like paying. But here’s the thing with the leaf, within 2 years they are losing 75% of their value and they’ve known that the model 3 was in the works for years but instead of being prepared they have been sitting on their hands. Doing what adding 30 miles of range so maybe 20 in real world driving or less. And saying why wait when you can buy our great car now. Fun yes, great not quite and the lack of real improvement makes me wonder about their commitment to electric cars

  • I think the better argument would be “Nissan Leaf – basically half the price of a Model 3” with all the crazy discounts they offer.

    If it’s your second/city car, it’s still a pretty great value. It’s just hard to make it your primary car like the Model 3 will be.

    • I think the Leaf could be an excellent car for many multiple car households. For most it would cover the longer daily commute, not that many people commute more than 35 miles one way.

      An ICEV, or better a hybrid, for the shorter commute and long trips would fill out the needs. While the world waits for affordable 200+ mile range EVs.

    • But it’s not. The model 3 starts at 35k and gets most of the same discounts – namely the 7.5k fed and 2.5k state rebates.

      So you can get a Lesf for perhaps as little as 23k. Or a M3 for 25k. That’s not half the price.

      • Uh, did you just look at the Leaf MSRP and call it a day? Remind me not to go car shopping with you.

        I see you are factoring in a 2500 state incentive too – I assume you’re in California. Great! Me too. So let’s do some California car shopping.

        If I go to Truecar right now and price a base model Leaf, it comes back with a “Great” price of $25,773. But wait, there’s more! If you click the “incentives” tab, you’ll see they are offering $4000 “captive cash” for financing with them – which is what I meant when I said “crazy discounts” above. There’s even more savings if you are in the military or a recent college grad, but let’s focus just on stuff that your average buyer deciding between a Model 3and a Leaf could obtain. So now we’re down to $21,773.

        Take off $7500 federal and $2500 state, and your Leaf costs $11,773. What do you know?! That’s 47% the cost of a base Model S with the same tax credits.

        And that’s not even acknowledging that a person putting down a deposit on a Model S today would likely not get the full $7500 federal credit because Tesla will almost definitely be in the phase-out period by the time they get their car. They’ll probably get $3750, which makes the Leaf only 41% of the cost. (11773/28750)

        So yeah. A Leaf today is less than half of a Tesla in 2 years.

        • I agree with your calculation and it’s amusing, and there is no way an 84 mile range Leaf compares to a 210 mile 3. You are also forgetting tax that you have to pay before rebates.
          Not even counting range you would have to go up to a 33k or 35k Leaf to get equivalent equipment.
          If cost was the only measure, no one would plunk down 1k for a 3 sight unseen.

          • Never said they were comparable vehicles, just pointing out that one is half the price than the other (or less).

          • Yep. It’s true. Heckuva deal with rebates. Do include the tax tho so folks don’t get a surprise when they buy, ; ) Nice job on the numbers.

  • I am a big fan of Electric Vehicles and someday will have one. Well I will if I win the lottery or live long enough, ha ha. It seems to me that all of the other manufacturers are missing what Tesla seems to have mastered. A Tesla vehicle just looks awesome. And the rest of the Tesla vehicle – well it has the technology to back up the looks. It not just a tablet patched onto a dashboard look.

    Aerodynamics and efficiency are like candy to many people and eye candy to me really counts. Just park ANY other EV next to a Tesla and try to convince anyone that it looks better than the Tesla. Here we are some 50 years after Popular Science magazine started putting the pictures of awesome looking aerodynamic smooth vehicles on their front cover and STILL most manufacturers today just don’t get it. I believe the Bolt has the potential to be a very good EV but it looks like a 2005 hatchback econobox. That in my opinion is not going to cut it in today’s economy.

    These are just a couple of reasons why Tesla gets 400,000 reservations and other manufacturers get only a few hundred if any.

    • You hardly need to win the lottery to afford an EV. If you do the math on total cost of ownership you’ll find a used Leaf may well be cheaper than your current wheels. The very low running costs and reduced maintenance cost, especially compared to an older ICEV, may more than offset the cost of financing.

      Depreciation has been the factor making EVs expensive for early adopters. And this will likely continue for a long time, because the cars are getting better and prices are coming down quickly.

      But the flip side is that used cars are bargains. They’ll also depreciate of course, but from a low base. At the end of the day it doesn’t matter if you lose 70% or 15% but whether that’s $12000 or $2500…

      Check out used Leaf prices. Then see what ICEVs are available at that price point. Then estimate the running and maintenance costs for each. Then check out the safety ratings of the cars at EURO NCAP and the NHTSA. I think you’ll agree with me that if you can live with the range, a used Leaf is a very attractive choice all things considered.

      • Smart smart man. Luckily there are so few I can still buy a used Leaf cheap.

  • The Chevy Bolt will be here before the end of the year. Only the unpatriotic traitors will still buy the Nissan Leaf. There is no reason but treason why they would go with the trash quality Nissan Leaf compared to the Superior Chevy Bolt if they can’t wait for the ultra superior Tesla Model 3 for the same price range!

    • Yep, unpatriotic traitors will buy the US made Nissan Leaf from the Franklin, Tennessee plant.

      True patriotic ‘mericans will buy the GM Bolt whose entire running gear – batteries, motor, electronics – comes out of a factory in South Korea.

      • Hilarious and true, Bob!

      • I’m Swiss.

    • That’s the part I don’t get about ‘muricans.. wrongly placed patriotism.

      Btw, thanks for beating that sh*tt out of most of the Germans after WW2, made the world a better place for a short time.

      • But she’s rhyming so well. Reason but treason…
        Go over and look up ” I’m Swiss” bill maher and watch it. Then you can be cleansed of your utter pain and embarrassment of your fellow muricans childish behavior.
        I just assume she will say something like that. I love her anyway and I don’t know why. Sometimes she says something good.

  • The most important questions are:

    Does the car allow me turn on the heater from 10 miles away using a smartphone app.

    Does the car allow me to unlock the frunk from 10,000 miles away using an app.

    Or even unlock the car using an app in case you lose your keys.

    There are horror stories of people paying a 100s of $ because both of their Land Rover keys got stolen/damaged.

    • No, you have to pay your parking ticket. Then the traffic police will unlock the boot.

      I suppose you could pay your parking ticket by smartphone, but you’d want someone to move your car for you to keep you from getting rebooted….

  • Instead of putting out desperate, snarky adds, Nissan should try making a BEV that is actually competitive but clearly they can’t come close to catching Tesla because they are so far behind.

    • Nissan could easily make a model-s competitor but they know that few people could afford one. The leaf sells because it offers a good range for the price. Within the next couple of years the leaf will likely have 150 miles and would be a lot cheaper than the model 3. Few people need a range over 150 miles. Most electric cars lose 75% of their value within 2yrs so buying a 150 mile range leaf will be great value, the model 3 likely won’t lose as much due to fanboys and marketing.

      • A model 3 competitor is in the 50k$ price range and needs good looks + 200 miles in one years time.
        Today I would say it needs 150 miles at that price point and also good looks.

        Normal people run their ICE cars fo the next 5-10 years. Wealthy people will be able to afford good looking pricey toys that drive far.. even today and are willing to pay for it.
        That Nissan isn’t offering anything to them (good looking, 150 miles) is the fault of their ICE department and company politics.
        Easy is something else and a strawman of yours.

        • Just me, but I believe tesla set the bar. Anyone with 35 k that spent it on something else is wondering if they could a had a 3. I would.

      • Wrong. NIssan is too far behind in tech to make a car that can compete with the Model 3 in looks or tech.

        The Leaf range has always been too small for it to compete against gasoline cars in its class and even 150 miles won’t change that.

        People want to be able to take trips in their cars and the Leaf completely fails at this and will continue to fail at this for a long time to come.

        Low range BEVs lose their value because so few people want a low range car plus Nissan has very poor battery management that leads to early range loss.

        Teslas, on the other hand actually hold their value better than gasoline cars.

        And you are also wrong about it being because of ‘fanboys’. Tesla specs are superior and Teslas offer a vastly superior driving experience.

        Nissan had its place years ago but its cars are now hopelessly out of date which is why Tesla outsells the Leaf by about 2 to 1 even though the Tesla sells for more than 3 times as much.

        • All it takes is the right battery and aerodynamics. Tesla hatters say it’s easy. Leaf and others prove its hard.

          • There’s a weird sense in which it’s easy but only if you have the right *attitude*, which Tesla has and the other automakers do not have.

            They could blatantly clone the Model S, making only enough changes to avoid trademark infringement. And probably simplifying some of the wiring nest and manufacturing it more cheaply. But they won’t!

    • Yes. I mean the adds backfire. Rebates and no reservations scream nobody wants me. Do you expect the best restaurants to have reservations and waiting lines? I think its ok to say we are here now, buy us until later.

  • Frankly put, those question you put are a bit absurd. I’m a huge fan of everything renewable, but let’s face the facts:
    Tesla unveiled a car that it will launch in a year and a half, and we’re asking Nissan for an answer to that?!
    Point is that yes, Nissan should be hard at work on an answer, but it’s in no way obliged to tell us about it two years in advance. And I would rather have it keep it a secret and tell the world a few months in advance, and not make us wait for two years before deliveries. By the same token, we could well be asking now what is Samsung’s answer to the iPhone 8, when the iPhone 7 is not out yet.

    • I would rather have them tell us now and tell us that it’ll be in the shops this fall.

      IDK what Nissan should do for 2017 if the new Leaf doesn’t arrive until 2018. It’s closest competitor, the e-Golf, got boosted from 190 to 300 km NEDC, which is more than 50%. And the Bolt – even though only the US gets it before 2017 – has taken things to a whole other level.

      Nissan needs at least another 25% range increase for 2017, or a steep price drop, to have something to sell next year. Unless of course the second-gen car with a 100% increase really does arrive as a 2017 model.

      • And throw in a roadmap for DCFC buildout and a battery upgrade program.

    • It’s called a technology roadmap and upgrade plan and guarantee. Even phone cos use it. Everything becomes obsolete after a while. Not Nissans obligation, but what can a Leaf owner expect for the future? Nissan could do a better job of assuring customers that they are keeping up and Nissan is caring for them, battery upgrades and the lack of decent DCFC infrastructure are two areas Nissan needs improvement.

  • The Tesla hype is often embarrassing.

  • I like Mr. Goshn but find his reasons for not disclosing future product information rather weak. Maybe Nissan has much stronger brand loyalty than I imagine, but even so, potential customers don’t live in a vacuum where the only car they’ll ever consider is a Nissan. If sales of the LEAF would plummet if we knew about LEAF 2 in more detail (say, capacity and when it’ll be here) then it seems completely unrealistic to think sales won’t suffer if we know about the Bolt and the Model 3. Or about the 2017 BMW i3 getting 50% more range from July. Or about the 2017 e-Golf getting slightly more than a 50% boost, on sale this autumn.

    It isn’t without cost to keep silent either. Among the early adopters and the people who are most interested in BEVs, the kind of people who read sites like this, Nissans image is suffering. We know they probably have things in the pipeline. But we dislike business tactics and would love to see a more open and honest Nissan.

    There’s something despicable about selling people a car only to shortly after announce a new one that makes the first a really bad purchase. Yet this seems to be what Nissan plans to do. That is not what placing the customer’s interests first should look like. Obviously no company REALLY does that – they exist to make money for their owners after all. But some companies manage to give a plausible impression that they really do believe always treating their customers well is in fact in their own best interest in the long run.

    Rather than screw their own customers Nissan should choose to be open and transparent about what’s coming. Reducing production and sales of the current LEAF might be less expensive in the long run than selling cars people wouldn’t buy if they knew what Nissan itself knows. And that’s really what his reasons boil down to – he’s saying “people won’t buy the Leaf if we tell them what’s coming next”.

    As a Leaf owner I can say I really like the car. But because of things like this, I’m not sure I like the company. And if Nissan had played their cards right I should love them with the intensity of any Tesla fanboi! They have done so much to bring EVs forward. Goshn has been crystal clear for a decade on EV technology being the best way to reduce the environmental impact of driving. Unlike every other incumbent, Nissan has not, to the best of my knowledge, engaged in lobbying against EVs or attempted to retard progress. It deserves huge credit for this, but is squandering the opportunity to be viewed as a “special” company that’s kind of morally superior to the others. All the stuff they’ve messed up is to do with how they deal with their own customers! Nissan could have chosen to take more responsibility and help those who had battery problems with early LEAFs in hot climates. At this early stage of the game they are few. But instead Nissan gave the minimum they could under warranty and have gained a small army of angry owners who routinely write negatively about the Leaf in the very foras people who research EVs will visit – and eventually have to replace most of those batteries anyway. Similarly, no upgrade path is offered for those who are willing to pay for a new battery – even though the 2016 battery will fit in a 2010 car without replacing more than the bracket.

    In short, it seems like Nissan is playing the game with the same strategy you’d use for an established product. Each car model is its own economy and has to be profitable in its own right. This is a mistake, because the EV market will be 100 times bigger globally by 2025 or so than it was in 2015 (0.1% global share). Hence, absorbing the cost of mistakes and making sure customers aren’t left with any problems is relatively cheap today and would deliver large benefits down the line.

    • Yes. Nissan doesn’t seem to understand how to raise customer battery performance expectations in an acceptable way. Notice Teslas approach is much like the software industry. People get that and are used to it. Auto execs seem to be using Wordstar on an IBM PC with a floppy drive.

  • I will not even consider the LEAF until they change the styling. Someone pointed out the front looks a lot like Jar Jar Binks; once you have seen it in your mind it cannot be unseen.

    • Oh my, now I’m stung… Curious if I will be able to look at this LEAF without this imagery now!

    • The front is not even ugly for my personal tastes (even with JarJar there), but the butt is.
      I can’t stand it.

      If I had the option to buy an EV it would probably be a LEAF, but I don’t.
      My circumstances don’t allow it.
      And I would try even harder than I already did – to try to find some after market spoiler/tuning kit that converts that ugly butt into something less shitty.

    • I thought it looked like a frog but then I’ve driven toyotas and all kinds of things that could knock you unconscious with their beige blandness, so I can clearly tolerate compromised aesthetics for function.

      • Knocked unconscious eh? Maybe that explains why I can never find it in a parking lot. Note to EV designers. It’s ok to make it look different like an EV and get rid of the front grille if it’s radical and different and sexy. No need to be boring and same. At least for me.

        I don’t need fake plastic grilles and exhausts to make feel like I’m sexy and look good. Oops, I revealed something. That’s ok, somebody probably already figured out I like EVs.

        • we belong in the early adopter camp Nissan & BMW were targeting 😀

          • And Prius too had a very distinctive look and strong early-adopter, environmental consciousness among purchasers early on. Then later people figured out the lower TCO.

            To address climate change, EVs need to address all demographics and emotional purchase segments. Tesla has done a spectacular job of EVs in a completely different emotional segment that really matters for EV credibility.

          • That’s what my mother called me when I began oration at age 3. An early adopter.

    • Paint it in zebra stripes, or add tin foil like a parade float. Or add a car cover with cutouts for the Windows. Maybe that will work, but I’m no stylist. Actually, I can deal with it. As long as it doesn’t look like a Pontiac Aztec or AMC Pacer.

  • When the original Leaf hit the road it was an innovation that has revolutionized the auto industry. The Leaf was the first affordable mass market electric car for everyday driving. Then, nothing. Crickets. Lawsuits drove the change to the ‘Lizard’ battery in 2013, which I understand is the same chemistry as Tesla’s batteries. Then again, nothing until every other car company announcements of longer range vehicles. Nissan has since, seemingly grudgingly, announced a minor range improvement that can’t compete with what’s coming in 2017 from Ford & Chevy, forget about Tesla, BMW, etc..

    Nissan makes at least style & usability changes to every car in it’s fleet almost every year. Except the Leaf. No Nissan, software updates don’t count. Nissan floods the media with advertising for their cars. Except the Leaf. These ads mocking Tesla are the first I’ve seen since the Lance Armstrong ads in 2011. Want to buy or lease one? Good luck. Even if the dealership has more than one or two, evidence suggests they will do everything possible to sell you an ICE car instead.

    I love my Leaf. My wife and I had one of the very first ones. We will be getting a 2016 SL by the end of the year. Our current Leaf is our only car, yes, it’s a very practical car. We are committed to driving electric from now on. Not because we’re tree huggers, although a smaller carbon footprint is a nice bonus. We drive electric because it’s fun. I can outrun 8 of 10 sports cars traffic light to traffic light and every SUV & Bubba truck that’s ever challenged my ‘golfcart’. I’ve never found anyone that could hang with me on our twisting rural roads. The Leaf’s low CG flattens out curves, and yes it can be pushed to drift nicely. We also drive electric because it’s cheap. Our Leaf only uses an average of about $40/month for electricity.

    We are very happy with our Leaf, but listen up Nissan: If you can’t get your act together soon and get seriously back in the game, you are going to lose even your most devoted fans (like us).

    • Nissan really needs to make a strategic decision in the next 12 months. There are really only two levers that matter: 1) Price ($18,995 would do the trick. $20k something won’t) or 2) range of 200 miles. Otherwise leaf fades from first-mover and innovator to market share mediocrity. IMHO. Save the advertising budget – it costs money and is eroding credibility.

      • I agree, Nissan is about to become an irrelevant footnote in the revolution they started. I’m afraid it’s going to be some time though before sub $30k EVs are common. I tell people don’t buy, lease. You can lease a Leaf for about what an Altima leases for. If you must buy, get a used one. They are all low mileage. Most people discover pretty quickly whether or not electric is for them. Used EVs truly are affordable. I disagree about advertising. Obviously it worked. It took some daily media focus away from what Mr. Musk had for breakfast and got people talking about the Leaf again.

        • Smart move. Many are leasing a Leaf or Bolt. The used Leaf market is another.

    • They need range. And real Superchargers. You need to talk to a certain someone I know with initials PV who thinks Tesla batteries are too big. Just kidding. People like that are a waste of time.

      Nissans first and second generation batteries are different. Both differ from the Tesla battery which is NCA.

      They seem to be suffering from wrong battery choices.

      • Thanks, good to know on the Tesla battery comparison. The post 2013 Leaf battery pack & software are MUCH better than before. I think part of the range issue is the car is too heavy. It needs less steel and more aluminum, and/or composite, and/or fiberglass. The car is already very slick aerodynamically (I call it ugly with a purpose – Think A10 Warthog) and the special EV tires supposedly help it roll better. The range isn’t bad for what it is now. We travel all over the Middle Tennessee area with very few issues and rarely NEED to charge while out, but sometimes do if the opportunity presents itself. Like I said in my original post, it’s time for Nissan to get serious about putting more Leafs on the road and quit treating it like a hobby.

        • The Leaf unfortunately suffers from ordinary aerodynamics despite its “butt”. A Cd of about 0.3 when introduced compared to Tesla 0.23 and even has greater frontal area. Not good.
          Their first battery was LiMo by the way.
          All that and I still love it. It’s still way nicer to roll in a smooth quiet EV than an ICE. More should get this. Better than the most luxuriously quiet and vibration free ICE you ever experienced. That means stress free driving that leaves you refreshed like a massage and a sauna by comparison.

  • Went to the local Nissan dealership recently here in Nelspruit, South Africa.

    On the plus side, they had heard of the Leaf.

    That’s it.

    • Take advantage of a used one. Are they just as cheap where you live? US is 10k, a fraction of new. Great deal. Don’t tell anyone. I don’t want the price to go up. 🙂

      • Unfortunately not.
        They’re still quite rare. I’ve tracked one down in Johannesburg, 3-4 hours’ drive away. 2013 model. Old battery. Not cheap. Low mileage, but still, about $20k for a car that will only just cover my typical daily needs.
        And how the $#%@ do I get it home?

          • They have my money.
            (From what I can work out I was probably about #3 in South Africa.)
            Let’s see how long it takes to get here…

  • Nissan could easily create excitement by showing a next generation product that is not a Leaf replacement, but rather, an actually compelling electric car with 200+ miles of EPA range, luxury appointments, and of course, earth scorching performance. Why wait, get the buzz now, a car like that wouldn’t be considered a Leaf replacement, but a car that would sell today. Tesla seems to own the premium electric performance category today, so is Nissan with their GTR and other products not able to compete? The answer is obvious to me. Leaf doesn’t need a next generation, Nissan needs another electric car in their brand that is worthy of taking on Tesla if they want good press like Tesla gets!

  • I wouldn’t own a Leaf simply because it’s butt ugly, let alone the poor range compared to the Model 3. Seriously – I know Nissan is Japanese and makes funky looking vehicles in general, but the Leaf is the ugliest of all the Nissans. Why couldn’t they make something more like an electric Altima?

    • What is it? Is my butt too big? Interesting choice of words.

  • Used Leaf prices are scattered. Look at Silicon Valley. I get ads for 7k.

    • I just looked on CL San Francisco. There is nothing of the kind listed that you are talking about. I just looked at 50 of them. At any rate, the point is that the going rate for 2013 Leafs, now three model years old, is around $10k-$13k, with a very few lower than $10k.

    • I’ve seen cheaper in upstate NY. The fact that they’re a pain in the neck to transport due to low range means that used Leafs are much cheaper in “poor markets” than in “good markets”.

  • This turnaround from Nissan makes me want to face palm. They released the 107 mile range LEAF with practically zero publicity and sales have been horrible. Then Tesla comes along and oh my god 400,000 people suddenly want EVs so Nissan finally starts running ads! I don’t think they quite comprehend that 400,000 people want EVs with twice the range of the LEAF at the same price, and nationwide supercharging routes instead of a smattering of CHAdeMO chargers that are down too often, all in use (because there’s rarely more than one or two!), or closed after business hours.

    Nissan was an EV leader, then they sat on their ass for five years wishing sales were better but doing nothing about it. Argh. They seriously need to step it up. In the short term, drop the LEAF price 25-50%. Very few will continue to pay the current price for a LEAF instead of waiting ~7 months for a Bolt with almost twice the range at the same price.

    At least they’ve put a 2016 LEAF video in the first slot on the LEAF section of their video page instead of in the last slot. BUT it only has 3,295 views in 2 weeks so they aren’t advertising it anywhere. Again. They still aren’t serious about EVs in America.

    • Yes. Right now their immediate problem is the suck out in the market from the 400,000 orders for the 3. Every single mode of transport will feel this from roller skates and hover boards to Winnebagos. 🙂
      The Bolt sales could be dampened by it. Chevy and Nissan are trying to figure out how to get a shadow boost, but both lack the charging infrastructure, tho Chevy has range.
      Neither has range at a price that matches 3. We are just not used to such price performance mismatches. It’s as if someone offered a super car at ordinary Camry prices.

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