- Tesla Model S is outselling all other cars in this country
- Nissan's plan to get an entire country to drive electric cars
- A low-cost vehicle that gets 84 miles per gallon
- A $26 billion lithium-ion battery market for EVs is coming soon
- Why the Chevy Volt should have been a truck
- Electric cars: Range plunges in heat and cold
Can free charging boost Nissan Leaf sales?
— By Tyler Falk on April 17, 2014, 9:50 AM PST
I hope some of my fellow posters are still following this thread as I have an observation to make. Please compare the posts on this thread to the posts on the Tesla "drive across the country"stunt.
In this thread we are discussing the Leaf and we have reasonable people having a reasoned discussion. In the previous Tesla thread we had Tesla fanboys making all sorts of unreasonable and unsupported claims despite the fact that the preponderance of evidence pointed to a different conclusion or conclusions.
It seems to me that Elon and Tesla are generating a near religious level of support, far beyond that allocated to other areas of the EV culture. I find it troubling that such a large and largely uninformed group has such a disproportionate voice.
SP does seem to be swept up in this hysteria, but to their credit the last article did bring some balance to the discussion.
On most of the other areas where I post there's the option to be updated by email when a new post is made. It's a very handy way to continue the discussion. SP may want to consider this option.
It's a fairly self evident question answer - will free XYZ increase sales - you would get a similar boost with free soda in McDonalds/KFC, for free milk in Walmart/Tesco or free crockery in Ikea.
The EV manufacturers need to start working together to boost common use charge points, as they are really competing against ICE, not each other. Tesla's go it alone approach is a road to ruin, even with a billionaire benefactor.
Tyler, I'd challenge your, and other SP eco-acolytes, as Tesla's Supercharger locator has not changed one bit since the turn of the year, despite stories saying they are adding 1 supercharger a week in Europe, and numerous others in the US. Still 14 Europe, 85 US as of today.
Perhaps SP can arrange a face to face interview with Tyler and his great deity Musk, and ask him why they are not delivering on their charger promises ?
The only reason the Nissan Leaf is being made, is because it helps to bring down the average MPGs for Nissan's models. The average MPGs is mandated by the federal government, otherwise, neither Nissan nor Ford nor any other maker, would bother with the burdens that those EVs are for the manufacturers. Those EVs are money losers for the makers, but they have to keep making them to appease the government regulators.
Once again, I have to point out that if most of your driving involves trips beyond the single-charge-round-trip range of the EV you're looking at, then this isn't the car for you. The nominal range of a Leaf under "standard" conditions is roughly 70 miles. So being conservative, if you need to drive more than 25 miles away on a typical day, this is not the car for you.
The obstacle to most productive people is not the cost of charging the car when out-and-about, but the time and inconvenience of locating a charging station, and then waiting for the car to recharge. It's not the couple of bucks that you'd otherwise have to pay. So "free" charging would not motivate me in the least. And, as I've said many times here before, schemes like this only remind people of the primary limitation of these cars, their very short range.
I test drove a Leaf last year. (along with the Ford Focus Electric) As an inner-city commuter car, it was quite nice and acceptable. The only reason that I did not proceed to lease one was because the some of the work my wife (who would have been the primary driver) would be doing would involve trips further than 25 miles away in a day. (Currently, she gets stressed when the computer on our SUV goes off and says that it has less that 50 miles of gas left in it) The only reason I would have leased the car is because the federal and state subsidies make owning one for 2 or 3 years practically free. (I'd never buy one of these things right now, because, as is pointed out here elsewhere, at this time the depreciation is somewhere between "unknown" and "horrendous")
Nissan has dropped the Leaf price here to $19,000, and still trying to sell them is like trying to sell a tumor. Additionally the Leaf has the worst depreciation of any car sold in the US. And my dears it is depreciation, NOT fuel costs, that is the largest percentage of vehicle ownership costs.
If this technology was truly "superior" would Nissan have to resort to freebies in order to move their clunkers? Incidentally, wouldn't "free" charging enable users to drive more miles thus generating more CO2 and earth damaging emissions? Shouldn't Nissan be handing out bicycles or planting trees with every leaf instead of giving free charges? Perhaps, Nissan would be better served designing a bicycle housing into the vehicle so that the owner can get somewhere when the clunker runs out of juice. Peace y'all!
@EVdeath Oh, and I also didn't intend to "diss" the Leaf either. All things considered, it's a decent car. In fact, I almost leased one. But again, it's only acceptable in the context that it's only practical use is for relatively short-distance commuting of less than 50 miles a day. As impractical as taking a road trip in a Tesla might be, attempting the same in a Leaf would be simply absurd. (You'd get there faster on Greyhound) The Leaf does have the advantage that it's affordable (if you consider $40,000 for an econobox "affordable") compared to a Tesla. But it's clearly not in the same class of either performance, style or comfort.
@EVdeath Personally, I'm a Elon Musk fan. For the most part, I like what he's trying to do. He represents much of what's great about America, and is a refreshing departure from too much of what we see from other got-rich-pretty-quick multi-millionaires and billionaires that the Progressive media usually prefers to profile. Instead of spending his fortune exclusively on mega-yachts and 8-figure wedding extravaganzas and other silliness, he's put his own money to work on interesting new ground-breaking technologies, including Tesla that ultimately will benefit mankind and the economy. (Ultimately, Musk will have created more jobs than Obama ever will have) Personally, I hope he's very successful.
And I think the Tesla is a great car. If I was worth 3 or 4 million, I'd probably own one myself. But since I'm not a 1%-er, I won't be buying one, (I don't believe in investing that much of my net worth into such a quickly depreciating assert, such as a car) and I am offended that my tax dollars go to subsidize those who can. (But that's a different subject altogether)
All that said, it doesn't mean that I'm willing or able to ignore the limitations of the Tesla. As cool as it is, it still can only go a couple of hundred miles. That's great for around town, but useless on the open road, no matter how many "supercharger" stations they build.
But the fact remains that only a very elite few will ever get to own a Tesla, at least for the foreseeable future. What amuses me is that when the "fanboys" evangelize about EVs in general, they cite the performance potential of the Tesla. And yet the reality is that 99% of those fanboys will never be worth enough to justify owning a Tesla. If they're lucky, they might be able to afford leasing a Leaf. But the Leaf certainly isn't a Tesla, in neither style or performance. So instead, they seemingly immerse themselves in a world of fantasy, and get offended by anyone who dares puncture that bubble.
It's a bit disingenuous, to included non-fuel cars in this set of states - do you have any citation on this ?? Can you include a lump or two of coal in this calculation for the originating Electricity ?
... wonder do Peugeot of France make bicycles and mopeds for the same reason.
Aston Martin do a Cygnet to frig EU emissions rules in a similar manner - a rebadged Toyota IQ
Yes exactly, that and the moronic Zero Emissions Vehicle (ZEV) regulations being implemented by the California Air Resources Board and adopted in part by 9 other nanny states.
The EV is a regulatory push product, not a market pull product. Absent government intervention in the markets EVs would not exist. Each OEM loses thousands on every EV sold. Consider them just another tax on success.
I'd take a Leaf to and from work, but unfortunately my nearest charger point is 5 miles away from work, and my Smart Eco building has acres of un-openable glass, so I can't even pop a mains extension reel out of the window.
@JohnMcGrew See what happens when one is stuck in traffic in cold weather. Battery life drops to nearly zero with the heater on. There were dozens of leafs (or should I say leaves) on the side of the road with the drivers standing out waving their hands in the cold.
@EVdeath I think that Nissan is missing the proverbial "boat" here. Instead of promising free charges, they should provide free "Fitbits" and promote the health benefits of pushing a 2000 lb piece of junk to the curb.
@Neil Postlethwaite Your post is a bit cryptic, and, why is it being directed at me? And why are you linking to an advertisement from Aston Martin?
@JohnMcGrew @Neil Postlethwaite@adornoe Thanks for helping clarify my arguments. I didn't think I would need to be detailed with my comments, but, I wasn't considering that there are readers in other countries that aren't aware about all the regulations which automakers who sell in the U.S., have to comply with.
Cheers for the clarification and context Adornoe lacked in his comment. There is little point in people descrying SP for varying journalistic competence/willful agenda setting, whilst not filling out their own argument.
Actually Neil Adornoe is correct at least within the United States. As of two years ago alternate fueled vehicles and especially ZEVs do count against CAFE regulations. This strategy is especially critical for companies like Nissan, Toyota and Honda as the increase in CAFE was a uniform
percentage increase, punishing unfairly, at least in my mind, those OEMs that already had good corporate FE.
The EPA does assign a gallons of gasoline equivalent GGe to ZEVs. And yes it's as arbitrary as you'd expect.
I wouldn't classify a limited run of vehicles where there's no hope of profit to be mis-using the technology. The OEMs have an obligation to their shareholders to be as profitable as possible. This includes, where possible reducing the cost of compliance.
As for the Ka and the Pixo imports those are both non-starters. The Leaf is rated at about 120 GGe I believe, more than double what you can expect from the KA or the Pixo. Additional, and just as, or perhaps more important, neither the Ka nor the Pixo are zero emissions vehicles and thus have no value in the ZEV compliance states. From a corporate cost point of view ZEV compliance is as or more expensive than CAFE.
@Neil Postlethwaite @adornoe I think he meant "bring up the CAFE (corprorate average fuel economy) mileage" for Nissan. For every truck, large car or SUV they want to sell, they need to sell so many EVs, or buy credits from Tesla.
It's also fun to note that if it weren't for the imposition of the CAFE standards back in the late '70s, we probably wouldn't have had the SUV boom of the late '80s and '90s.
It's not cryptic at all.
1. Asking you to cite where Nissan (and Ford?) are (wilfully) mis-using EV's to reduce average MPG. They have no gallon's, so it seems pretty anal for any regulator/organisation to allow them to be included
2. Given an EU example where there is some MPG legislation, and how Aston Martin are reducing there's by rebadging a Toyota IQ as an very efficient ICE in Aston Martin's range. This is frigging average MPG for a manufacturer.
Ford/Nissan could easily do the same by North American selling the European models Ford Ka or Nissan Micra/Pixo models, as both are very fuel efficient, and would give the same MPG reducing effect and not bother with the cost, engineering, design and development headaches of EV's