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. [...]
Who has said that? I think you are still pretty far away from addressing the point. I won't say "my" point, because it is really Mr. Ghosn''s point. He is quoted as saying:
http://www.greencarcongress.com/2018/04 ... issan.html
Ghosn said the companies only recently determined that 300km was the key milestone, as car owners on average drive just around 50km a day. “You could not have guessed this [result] through studies,” he said. “You had to have 500,000 [electric] cars on the ground to understand that consumers do not put autonomy on top of their concerns any more when you cross 300km.”
So, the question isn't whether the Leaf could have been made affordably at or near this range sweet spot 8 years ago. The question is whether one might have known where the sweet spot was, at that time, and worked toward it with greater speed. Instead Nissan appeared to think, incorrectly, at least for the US, that they were close enough to the sweet spot.
They compounded the matter, in my view, by erring on the side of semi-in-house battery efforts, and by seemingly being quite stubborn about this for too many years. Further illustrating at the time that they were a bit removed from understanding that they needed to evolve more quickly away from 24 kWh, if memory serves they actually floated the idea of a luxury 24 kWh Infiniti. What were they thinking?
I think they had bought too much into the idea that 24 kWh was sufficient to get them to a higher volume market than they ultimately achieved, at least in the US. On that infiniti, to make matters worse, instead of recognizing the opportunity (how about a 50-60 kWh Infiniti for $20k-$30k more than the Leaf, and some improved battery tech with better life expectancy in all conditions?... might this not have offered an interesting competitive posture to the undeniable demand for the Model S?) their Infiniti management at the time ultimately did not seem to understand the value of going electric. Oh well.
Anyway, there were people around at the time who thought Nissan was mis-judging the market particularly in that they did not move quickly enough to offer significant improvements on their 24 kWh start. How about a 2013 or 2014 Leaf with 36 kWh, or a 36 kWh option for $10k more? How long did it take them? When was the first 30 kWh Leaf.... 2016? 5 years after the compromise? I guess they thought 24 kWh was good enough for awhile? Why not even try something like what Tesla was doing, by offering a larger battery for more money?
By the time Nissan reaches the US with a ~60 kWh 2019 Leaf, if they do, they will essentially have given Chevy and Tesla a 2 year and 1.5 year lead respectively. They seem to have lost at least some of their first mover advantage. Well, I think there will still be good value in the vehicle, if they address certain matters.
After years (decades I guess) of trying, we finally got a major auto company executive on the side of true progress and electric vehicles. He was not playing games, at least not to the degree of others. He would not only pursue BEVS, but he would do it with the idea of being responsive to market demand and trying to make a profit. However, I think the tragedy of the matter was that, having become convinced that there might be some good business in BEVS, he bought too much into certain arguments. I surmise that he bought overly much into the argument that commutes are only usually a short distance x, and so a BEV with range yx can be one where there will be demand in six figures per year. His multiplier was insufficient, IMO. He also seems to have been burdened with inferior battery technology (in terms of kWh, even though seemingly solid in safety).
I respect Mr. Ghosn. He is smart, decisive capable and many other things. A reason I leased a Leaf around 2012, even though I knew it was a bad compromise for me, and even though I suspected Mr. Ghosn was not understanding certain things, was that I guess I wanted to throw my hat in and say yes to the fact that Nissan was showing some leadership. However, this does not mean their understanding of the overall market was correct - I think at least some of us knew it was off.