Posting in Energy
The Nissan Leaf is the world's best-selling EV, and yet less than 22,000 have been sold globally. What does that mean for the electric vehicle market?
Nissan's has announced its sales results for its all-electric Nissan Leaf. The good news? The Leaf is the world's best-selling electric car. The bad? Globally, the car has sold less than 22,000 units.
Since its U.S. debut in December 2010, Nissan has sold 9,674 units of the Leaf. In December 2011, less than 1,000 units were sold.
And yet, the Leaf is the world's best-selling electric car.
What's going on here? For all the hype surrounding EVs as a zero-emissions alternative, particularly for people whose daily commute does not exceed the EPA's official range of 73 miles, the Leaf is not a bad choice, if you can afford its hefty price tag (its suggested retail price is $35,200).
So why have sales been so low? To be sure, early adoption carries risks. Most parts of the country still lack EV charging infrastructure - though that is changing. (Thanks to some logistical imbalances, Tennessee can boast 500 charging stations for its 270 registered electric vehicles.)
But unfortunately, the Leaf's sales numbers seem to bear out the findings of a recent survey by Deloitte, which highlighted the disparity between consumer expectations for EVs and the kinds of cars currently on the market. While people around the world said they would be interested in buying an EV, their expectations for range, charging time, and price were significantly higher than the EVs currently on the market. Only two to four percent of the population in any of the countries surveyed would find that today's EV offerings met their expectations.
Over time, people's expectations may become more realistic as more EVs hit the market. But, for all the hype surrounding electric vehicles, it may take a while before we have a critical mass of them on our streets.
Jan 4, 2012
Until they make battery switching available , not charging stations.. these things will stay in the shadows..
A coworker just got delivery of his leaf that he had purchased (leased) over a year ago! Yeah, it took over a year to get him his car that he ordered! And he's on the edge of what is the acceptable range too! 22 miles each way to and from work doesn't give him much wiggle room....and when temps here drop below 30 degrees F, that range becomes more of problem than he realized. On a recent 19 degree F day, he got only 50 miles on a full charge. Then it takes 13 hours to charge it back up...yeah, he is getting a level 2 charger installed, but that's not cheap either! Electricians are seeing a cash-cow and are charging high prices to run the mains and install these charging systems...that you have to purchase separately from the car! So yeah...if he wants to drive back and forth to work, on a cold winter day, the leaf will do it for him...but not before it makes his @$$ hairs tingle as he's only got one bar of power left and the gauge shows zero miles left on his charge and he's still 5 miles away from home!...this is a stress I can do without!
Part of the strategy with the Leaf was to introduce it into selected areas over time. This is not to say 1000 in December isn't disappointing, but those areas might have hit their saturation point. There is also no reference made as to how many have been manufactured vs. sold. That would give needed perspective.
[i]"Leaf is not a bad choice, if you can afford its hefty price tag"[/i] That's a lot to spend to be "cutting edge" or to appear "ecologically correct". Relatively few people with median incomes can justify an entire year's after-tax income on such a statement. Even at $4/gallon, you'll never get that money back. It's definitely a toy for the 1%-ers.
When the fuel used to produce the fuel is coal. I'm not a scientist, but I do remember something about how much energy it takes to generate energy. Roughly the same amount of coal emmisions would be used to generate the electricity to prevent gasoline emmisions. Who doesn't get this? Am I that far off? EVs are still too expensive for the masses, the infrastructure for re-charging them is miniscule and the upkeep/repair charges are still not quantified by enough real world data.
People have figtured out that the hybrid package is suitable for working in congested downtown and living in suburbia.
Of the US population that would be in the market for this type of car (cheap looking, no comfort accessories), 40% are unemployed or under-employed, it was a stupid time to be pushing this automobile. If they want to sell a car like that, they need to raise the minimum wage to $15/hour. That is the only people who would be willing to drive it. GO CHEVY TAHOE!
Poor sales performance is probably because consumers are actually smarter than Nissan - and most of the makers jumping on this EV bandwagon - think they are. People just aren't falling for the latest cool or PC thing like they did in droves a couple years ago. Why? They don't have the money and they don't want the extra debt merely to show off. Been down that road, they have. It's the consumer reluctance wall all stores and manufacturers are hitting against.
So what you're saying is that sales of $500 million in the US and over a billion worldwide are disappointing?
It might have a lot to do with the fact that it is kinda ugly. Being BOTH ugly and pricey can't help.
All the articles and studies I've read state that the CO2 (and other pollutants) generated in the production of electricity is less than that produced by the cars that are replaced by EVs. Besides, here in Illinois 64% of our electricity are generated by nuclear plants. Not that that's a good thing, but it does create less pollution. So it is a net positive gain for EVs. But you are right in saying that EVs are still too expensive for the common man. I'd love to have one - being the ideal target - but I can't afford one. And there is what I call the catch 22 factor for EVs. You have to drive them a lot of miles a year to ever recover your investment but you can't drive them a lot of miles a year. Now if gas hits $6 or more a gallon, it may be feasible.
Internal combustion engine traditionally has been less than 40% efficient in using energy to move a vehicle. Electric motors are 90 to 98% efficient in using energy from the battery. Around here, natural gas and nuclear energy make a lot (about 40% ) of the electricity on the grid. Pollution could be reduced and better controlled when the sources are not moving around.