Joe6pack wrote:This is revisionist history. To say that the LEAF could have had a 150 mile range and be affordable 8 years ago simply isn't true. This is an evolution, not a revolution. Folks on these boards like to throw around the word "disappointed", and we can all look back and say woulda, coulda, shoulda, but someone had to greenlight a billion dollar decision with the best available information. I'm not saying Ghosn called it perfectly, but I do think he did the best he could with what he had available at the time. He built what he thought the market wanted (and could afford to actually purchase). Now, we've moved on to the next phase - the next step up.
You know, I was driving my 2012 LEAF yesterday and the thought occurred to me: Why doesn't Nissan continue to offer a 24kWh LEAF? What would its price point be? Regardless of how much range we all "think" we need or "feel" we need, 72-84 miles is more than adequate for daily use - even in the US - as a commuter car. Most of us are going to have multi-car households anyway. I guess Nissan does not feel that this market exists.
Many of the early Leaf adopters wanted a revolution, and expected a ideal wonder car that could cause one.
The Leaf couldn't, didn't and doesn't live up to the expectation of a revolution. That doesn't make the best selling electric car in history a failure. It is a reasonable commuter car. It is very reliable. It is quiet and smooth. It is responsive. It is, frankly, a little boring. In a good way.
Most real change is evolutionary, not revolutionary.
I just wanted a realistic electric car. One that might start the evolution of a change from ICE to electric transportation. I could live with a shorter range. I could live with higher cost. I could live with shorter life. All within limits, of course. Commuting hit my expectations, but I had been driving an electric before I bought the Leaf. Longer trips are easier than I expected. Depending on future gasoline prices, I might even have lower cost than buying a gasoline car even without the subsidies. Battery life in a cool climate is better than I hoped for.
I have been impressed with several things I wasn't expecting about the Leaf. The largest is the joy of never needing to stop for gasoline while commuting. 10 seconds per day to plug in and unplug in the comfort of my garage is so much nicer than minutes spent at a gas station once per week. Especially when the temperature is near freezing and the rain is falling horizontally due to the wind.
I expect a lot of evolution with electric cars over the next decade. Lots of changes. The Leaf might continue to be successful or not. All electric cars today need some combination of the following: lower cost, more range, more reliable, safer, ... in short, electric cars need to evolve.
Lower cost might mean longer battery life and/or lower cost batteries. Lower cost might well compensate for shorter life.