GRA
Posts: 6760
Joined: Mon Sep 19, 2011 1:49 pm
Location: East side of San Francisco Bay

Re: Why is the LEAF pulling away from the Volt?

Wed May 10, 2017 5:55 pm

RegGuheert wrote:I find it "funny" that you trot out a "sub-$30K" category now that you can show PHEVs winning in that price range. You made no mention of that category for the past few years when it was dominated by BEVs.

But that's par for the course for someone who comes to a BEV forum daily to bash BEVs and promote all more-polluting alternatives.

Meanwhile, in the US as well as worldwide, BEVs are outselling PHEVs.

Reg, I made no mention of it because there were so few cars that qualified - from memory, it was the iMiEV and Spark EV [Edit: forgot the Smart ED. Given that it and the iMiEV only have 68 and 62 miles of range and sell in very small numbers, easy to do], and for a short time the LEAF S (although that had its MSRP boosted and no longer qualifies), so I didn't think it worth breaking out, especially as the iMiEV's range was so limited. In the sub-$40k market, the Volt has been winning for some time, so how has anything changed?

Now that the Prime and the Ionic BEV are both available, the Focus EV has dropped its price while increasing its range, and there's the prospect of more sub-$30k PEVs to come, I think it's worthwhile to separate them. Also, some years ago I stated that IMO the general public wouldn't start to consider BEVs until they could buy one with 150 miles of range for no more than $30k MSRP, and we are now approaching that point - we've got a 124 mile BEV (the Ionic) offered for a base MSRP of $29,500 - IDK whether that is enough to get past the tipping point, or whether my estimate of 150 miles will be. Judging by some of the comments in the LEAF 2 thread about 30 versus 40 versus 60kWh LEAFs, 150 miles at a lower price does seem to be a popular option.

Assuming that I'm still bothering to post then, once sub-$25k PEVs appear in substantial numbers I'll break them out as well; ditto for sub-$20k PEVs, as each $5k step down doubles the size of the potential market.

As to your persistent belief that I am somehow anti-BEV, I'm pro-facts, and am in favor of all reduced/non-fossil-fueled alternatives that have a reasonable chance of success. That you interpret this as bashing BEVs is your perception - I've been happy to recommend BEVs generally and/or particular models specifically when I believe they're a good fit for someone, just as I'm happy to recommend HEVs or PHEVs (even FCEVs for the tiny % of people I'd consider a good match now) if I think those are, but I do believe that people should understand their options as well as why they are making the decision (i.e. what their priorities are) - after that, it's up to them to choose. Now that longer-ranged BEVs are showing up at lower prices I'm willing to recommend them more often because IMO they are a good fit for more people, but I won't recommend something if I think long-term success would be questionable. My philosophy with new tech has always been what my sig used to say, "under-promise and over-deliver rather than the reverse"; I'd rather not recommend something new to someone if there's a more than minuscule chance that they'll be disappointed down the road, because dissatisfied customers make a lot more noise than happy ones, and are more likely to retard future growth than hasten it.
Last edited by GRA on Thu May 11, 2017 5:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Guy [I have lots of experience designing/selling off-grid AE systems, some using EVs but don't own one. Local trips are by foot, bike and/or rapid transit].

The 'best' is the enemy of 'good enough'. Copper shot, not Silver bullets.

rcm4453
Posts: 153
Joined: Thu Aug 13, 2015 5:35 pm
Leaf Number: 304133
Location: Wayzata, MN

Re: Why is the LEAF pulling away from the Volt?

Thu May 11, 2017 4:42 pm

GRA wrote:
RegGuheert wrote:I find it "funny" that you trot out a "sub-$30K" category now that you can show PHEVs winning in that price range. You made no mention of that category for the past few years when it was dominated by BEVs.

But that's par for the course for someone who comes to a BEV forum daily to bash BEVs and promote all more-polluting alternatives.

Meanwhile, in the US as well as worldwide, BEVs are outselling PHEVs.

Reg, I made no mention of it because there were so few cars that qualified - from memory, it was the iMiEV and Spark EV, and for a short time the LEAF S (although that had its MSRP boosted and no longer qualifies), so I didn't think it worth breaking out, especially as the iMiEV's range was so limited. In the sub-$40k market, the Volt has been winning for some time, so how has anything changed?

Now that the Prime and the Ionic BEV are both available, the Focus EV has dropped its price while increasing its range, and there's the prospect of more sub-$30k PEVs to come, I think it's worthwhile to separate them. Also, some years ago I stated that IMO the general public wouldn't start to consider BEVs until they could buy one with 150 miles of range for no more than $30k MSRP, and we are now approaching that point - we've got a 124 mile BEV (the Ionic) offered for a base MSRP of $29,500 - IDK whether that is enough to get past the tipping point, or whether my estimate of 150 miles will be. Judging by some of the comments in the LEAF 2 thread about 30 versus 40 versus 60kWh LEAFs, 150 miles at a lower price does seem to be a popular option.

Assuming that I'm still bothering to post then, once sub-$25k PEVs appear in substantial numbers I'll break them out as well; ditto for sub-$20k PEVs, as each $5k step down doubles the size of the potential market.

As to your persistent belief that I am somehow anti-BEV, I'm pro-facts, and am in favor of all reduced/non-fossil-fueled alternatives that have a reasonable chance of success. That you interpret this as bashing BEVs is your perception - I've been happy to recommend BEVs generally and/or particular models specifically when I believe they're a good fit for someone, just as I'm happy to recommend HEVs or PHEVs (even FCEVs for the tiny % of people I'd consider a good match now) if I think those are, but I do believe that people should understand their options as well as why they are making the decision (i.e. what their priorities are) - after that, it's up to them to choose. Now that longer-ranged BEVs are showing up at lower prices I'm willing to recommend them more often because IMO they are a good fit for more people, but I won't recommend something if I think long-term success would be questionable. My philosophy with new tech has always been what my sig used to say, "under-promise and over-deliver rather than the reverse"; I'd rather not recommend something new to someone if there's a more than minuscule chance that they'll be disappointed down the road, because dissatisfied customers make a lot more noise than happy ones, and are more likely to retard future growth than hasten it.



I still say a lot of the reason PHEVs outsell BEVs is because they make the PHEVs available nationwide plus they make most of them look like normal, mainstream cars that people aren't turned off by.

Look at how nice the gen 2 Volt looks and how dorky the Bolt EV looks! It's like they go out of their way to make BEVs very undesirable. Chevy should have put the Bolt EV drivetrain into one of their more popular selling vehicles. Even the Cruze would look a lot better as an EV version then the dorky Bolt! Same goes for the LEAF, they should have made an EV version of the Altima, WAY better looking! More people would buy it!

Ford Fusion is another example, very nice looking car yet they don't offer it in a BEV format, only hybrid & PHEV. We get the ugly Focus EV instead? Why is that?

Then you have the IONIQ, another nice, normal looking car. Not ugly or dorky at all. Same problem! They only offer the hybrid version nationwide and soon the PHEV version. But OH NO you can only get the BEV version in California right now.

They don't want BEVs to succeed it's quite obvious because they are doing it all wrong. The only company doing it right is Tesla, they know the right formula to get people to buy BEVs. Style, performance, range and utility are crucial factors in getting consumers interested in BEVs. No reason the other automakers can't produce a compelling BEV, they just don't want to, they would rather sell you an F-150 pickup truck!

GRA
Posts: 6760
Joined: Mon Sep 19, 2011 1:49 pm
Location: East side of San Francisco Bay

Re: Why is the LEAF pulling away from the Volt?

Thu May 11, 2017 5:33 pm

rcm4453 wrote:I still say a lot of the reason PHEVs outsell BEVs is because they make the PHEVs available nationwide plus they make most of them look like normal, mainstream cars that people aren't turned off by.

Look at how nice the gen 2 Volt looks and how dorky the Bolt EV looks! It's like they go out of their way to make BEVs very undesirable. Chevy should have put the Bolt EV drivetrain into one of their more popular selling vehicles. Even the Cruze would look a lot better as an EV version then the dorky Bolt! Same goes for the LEAF, they should have made an EV version of the Altima, WAY better looking! More people would buy it!

Ford Fusion is another example, very nice looking car yet they don't offer it in a BEV format, only hybrid & PHEV. We get the ugly Focus EV instead? Why is that?

Then you have the IONIQ, another nice, normal looking car. Not ugly or dorky at all. Same problem! They only offer the hybrid version nationwide and soon the PHEV version. But OH NO you can only get the BEV version in California right now.

They don't want BEVs to succeed it's quite obvious because they are doing it all wrong. The only company doing it right is Tesla, they know the right formula to get people to buy BEVs. Style, performance, range and utility are crucial factors in getting consumers interested in BEVs. No reason the other automakers can't produce a compelling BEV, they just don't want to, they would rather sell you an F-150 pickup truck!
Looks are of course subjective. I personally like the Bolt, and think its looks match well with its intended function. I rate the Focus EV tops in looks for a hatchback (its biggest drawback is the battery eating up most of the cargo area, plus the until recent low range and lack of QC) - I put the 500e and Model S about equal for looks, with the 500e winning by pulling off an almost impossible task of looking both aggressive and cute, without being saccharine. They sell quite well (for a BEV) here in the Bay Area.

I grant you that the LEAF looks dorky to many people, although for sheer dorkiness or maybe weirdness the current Prius (all versions, with the Prime looking slightly less weird) handily beats the LEAF IMO. I think the Smart and iMiEV look cute and so meek as to be almost invisible, respectively. But the Focus EV, e-Golf, Spark EV, 500e all look as normal as their gas versions, so I don't think we can chalk up their relatively low sales (compared to ICEs) to looks. As for the Fusion, which I agree is a very nice albeit quite conventional-looking sedan (the Model S is in the same category, although it's actually a hatch), I see lots of ICE/HEV/PHEV versions every day, and I'd say the ratio runs about 7/3/1 in that order. The higher price plus the big hit on trunk space is the major reason why I think the PHEV doesn't sell as well as the others, but even so it's quite popular among PEVs here, with the HOV lane stickers undoubtedly contributing a lot to its popularity (as they did with the PiP, a car which I and many others felt had little to recommend it otherwise). And although the C-Max Energi sells relatively well here, I'm sure its sales are retarded by the same problem it shares with the Focus and Fusion - the battery in the cargo area. Absent that drawback, given its price and the popularity of CUVs now I suspect its sales would likely be at least double what they are.

The Mirai and to a slightly lesser extent the Clarity' sales prospects certainly aren't helped by their weirdness/ugliness, which are limited enough as it is; only the Tucson looks normal among current FCEVs.

Bottom line, with California making up somewhere between 40-50% of all PEV sales, and the other CARB states plus a few liberal enclaves like Austin, Minneapolis/St. Paul, Madison, Denver etc. taking up most of the rest, BEVs simply haven't demonstrated much ability to sell beyond them, so I think it's entirely reasonable for manufacturers to concentrate on the markets where they have the best chance. For the rest of the country and the general public, PHEVs are a much easier step than a BEV is.
Guy [I have lots of experience designing/selling off-grid AE systems, some using EVs but don't own one. Local trips are by foot, bike and/or rapid transit].

The 'best' is the enemy of 'good enough'. Copper shot, not Silver bullets.

Return to “News & Main LEAF Discussion”