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Transportation Power

Will the Nissan Leaf Take On the Tesla Model S At Half the Price? 398

Posted by timothy
from the need-more-juice dept.
cartechboy (2660665) writes "Ask most people why they won't consider an electric car, and they talk about range anxiety. And I can easily imagine why 84 miles of range isn't enough. Now it sounds like Nissan is listening, as well as watching Tesla's success. The company plans to boost the Leaf electric car's driving range with options for larger battery packs. Not long ago Nissan surveyed Tesla Model S owners, and they probably heard loud and clear that longer driving range is very, very important. So it looks like the Leaf might get up to 150 miles of range, possibly by the 2016 model year. The range increase will come from a larger battery pack, possibly 36 or 42 kWh, and more energy-dense cells. Either way, clearly Nissan is looking to expand the appeal of the world's best-selling electric car, and increasing its driving range is pretty clearly a key to doing so. I just wish Nissan would ditch the weird styling while they're at it."
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Will the Nissan Leaf Take On the Tesla Model S At Half the Price?

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 22, 2014 @11:18AM (#46815853)

    Where X miles is some unit that has no relationship to the actual amount of driving you do.

    Sure, if you're an Australian Cattle Rancher crossing the route from Perth to Adelaide, maybe you care about having range.

    Grandma who never drives outside of town? What is she worrying about?

  • Class difference (Score:3, Insightful)

    by SirJorgelOfBorgel (897488) on Tuesday April 22, 2014 @11:26AM (#46815921)

    As usual with a Slashdot article title ending with a question mark, the answer is no?

    These are not the same class of vehicle. Around these parts there are quite a number of Tesla Model S's - in fact I would have gotten one myself if it had been possible to get it delivered before January 1 (long story, tax breaks) - and all the owners I know of are small to medium business owners with money to spare. Had they not gone for the Model S, they would have gotten one of the bigger models Audi, BMW, or Mercedes - electric or not. I can't see a single one of these folks getting a Leaf instead, not even at half the price.

    Then again, maybe the target demographic for the Model S is different on your side of the pond ...

  • by Ralph Wiggam (22354) on Tuesday April 22, 2014 @11:27AM (#46815933) Homepage

    The Leaf's battery is warrantied for 10 years. Most people don't own a car for 10 years.

    The overall maintenance schedule is ridiculously light. No $600/year checkup. No oil changes. It's pretty much just cabin air filters and brakes.

  • No (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Nidi62 (1525137) on Tuesday April 22, 2014 @11:35AM (#46816011)
    The summary answers itself:

    I just wish Nissan would ditch the weird styling while they're at it.

    This is why Tesla is getting so much public attention: the cars they make look like cars people actually want to drive. Stop making every electric car look like a midget minivan (a miniminivan?) and more people would actually buy them.

  • by repetty (260322) on Tuesday April 22, 2014 @11:42AM (#46816067) Homepage

    The overall maintenance schedule is ridiculously light. No $600/year checkup. No oil changes. It's pretty much just cabin air filters and brakes.

    Which is why dealerships in the various U.S. states have been fighting Telsa so vigorously. The Leaf doesn't scare them... yet.

    There's a lot of money to be lost in empty service bays.

  • Re:Mass transit (Score:4, Insightful)

    by bobbied (2522392) on Tuesday April 22, 2014 @11:49AM (#46816133)

    In the USA? Shesh, you do realize how that's not going to happen right?

    Where I'm all for mass transit (mostly in the form of buses) in urban areas, it is totally out of step with your average citizen's attitudes about how and when they go places. Folks in the USA want to go, when they want to go. They will gladly take the bus, if it's going where they want, when they want and they are assured they can get back when they want, but if any of these requirements are not met, they will take a car.

    Problem for mass transit is two fold. First, by financial necessity, it only runs during and close to peak usage times. Weekdays are great, but middle of the night on the weekends it doesn't make sense because there are not enough riders. If they do run off-peak times, it is usually at a reduced schedule and convenience. Secondly, some kind of transport is necessary in the USA because walking is not possible due to the large distances involved, even in our urban areas. Citizens will feel it necessary to maintain cars in all but the largest urban areas and once they HAVE a car, they will use it because it is simply faster and more convenient than mass transit can ever be.

    So, until we can do away with suburbia, the automobile is here to stay, at least in the USA.

  • by amiga3D (567632) on Tuesday April 22, 2014 @12:00PM (#46816217)

    2 miles? I walk that from the parking lot to the hangar where I work. Why would you need a vehicle? Maybe a bycycle.

  • by macpacheco (1764378) on Tuesday April 22, 2014 @12:13PM (#46816371)

    The LEAF doesn't scare them, because they control LEAF sales. Have you ever seen a Nissan dealership actively offering a LEAF, or they just have them in case you already made up your mind ?
    BTW. When I lived in the USA I owned a Eagle Talon (the Mitsubishi Eclipse). Even though I drove it 150k miles over 7 years, I only gave it a single trip to the dealership, right before I sold it, just replaced fluids and tires. Replaced the battery once. There are many IC cars out there that can be driven for 200k miles with perhaps 3 trips to the dealerships.
    It's the sucker idiots that insist on buying a crappy Detroit car that is built to break down every couple of years.
    Unless forced to, I'll never buy an american designed car, except for a Tesla, ever again. Japanese/German cars rule.

  • by Amazing Proton Boy (2005) on Tuesday April 22, 2014 @12:41PM (#46816635) Homepage

    The average walking speed is 3.1 miles per hour. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/W... [wikipedia.org]

    A leisurely pace might be closer to 2 miles per hour. So a one hour walk, not 15 minutes.

  • by CohibaVancouver (864662) on Tuesday April 22, 2014 @02:12PM (#46817409)

    Where X miles is some unit that has no relationship to the actual amount of driving you do.

    Yeah, but this is Slashdot, where perfect is the enemy of good, and the edge use-case wins every time.

  • by Ravaldy (2621787) on Tuesday April 22, 2014 @03:36PM (#46818125)

    I love your positive view of the electric car. I think more people need to start having a positive outlook on this.

    My personal concern with this is that I know Hybrid owners who saved $6000 in fuel and then got shafted for a replacement battery at $6000. At the end of the day the user didn't save money but paid a large sum for a fancy vehicle. I understand that in the near future batteries will have a much lower cost per KW but until then only those willing to take a risk will join the EV clan.

    Car companies need to make the battery cost more manageable for users. The ability to swap batteries such as suggested by Tesla is a great idea. Basically, make it so the owner of the car doesn't own the battery. This will create a renewable battery industry and will allow existing structures to remain. The dream of charging at home is one that needs to be pushed aside for now.

"It's when they say 2 + 2 = 5 that I begin to argue." -- Eric Pepke

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