GRA
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Re: Open Letter from Nissan, September 22, 2012

Thu Nov 08, 2012 4:35 pm

Volusiano wrote:
dgpcolorado wrote:
Volusiano wrote:...3. Customers are now turning away from Nissan and Nissan is starting to lose EV market share, despite having a head-start against other companies. This is evident in their pitiful sales figure against their own projection, until they had a fire sale last month...
Really? So what do we have for the other EVs?

October sales numbers:

Tesla Model S: 290, some trouble ramping up production
FFE: 112, a half-hearted effort if ever there was one
Mitsubishi "i": 30, they never seem to get serious about ramping up production and sales
Rav 4EV: 47, CARB compliance car limited to a few hundred per year in very limited areas
Honda FitEV: 16, CARB compliance car limited to a few hundred per year in very limited areas, lease only
BMW ActiveE: test cars only

That's losing market share? I always assumed that other EVs were going to come to market eventually. But the other EVs have a long way to go before they have significant market share compared to the LEAF. And it remains to be seen what will happen once Tennessee production starts.

While I agree that Nissan hasn't handled the hot climate problem well and wish they would do better, I do want to cut them some slack for coming up with the first mass market EV. The LEAF is a car I very much enjoy driving and it seems to work fine for many owners/lessees thus far.

Which of the other EVs do you see supplanting the LEAF in the next couple of years? The extraordinarily expensive Model S? The FFE?
You're only looking at the narrow EV market. Don't forget to look at the PHEV market with the Volt, and the hybrid market with the Prius. I'm sure people turned off by Nissan don't just consider another EV only, when other semi-EV options are available like the Volt and the Prius. I'm sure there are a lot of people who consider the LEAF, learn about the battery issue and especially the way Nissan handles it, get turned off and decide to go the Volt route or Prius route for now because the other EV options are not viable right now.

Nobody is arguing that the Leaf is a not car most people enjoy driving and it works fine for many owners/leasees thus far. The point is that in light of Nissan's mishandling of the battery issue, potential owners and even current owners/leasees will prefer to go with a different option if viable options are available to them. Currently it's the Volt and Prius. But as more viable options are available, who do you think people will pick? Given 2 cars with similar pricing and options, one by a company with an already proven bad reputation for not backing up their customer, and one by a company whose reputation is unknown in terms of customer loyalty, who do think people are going to chose? I'd pick the car by the company with the unknown reputation, because it can't be worse than picking the one with an already known bad reputation.
+1. Ford is very serious about hybrids and PHEVs (cf. Fusion/C-Max), and if the FFE takes off as a result of the Leaf issues, will be happy to ramp up production.

Toyota remains big on hybrids, is moving towards PHEVs, has the only sub-$50k 100 mile BEV extant even if it's limited in both production volume and sales area, and has a generally excellent rep with customers. Honda has what IMO is the best combination of features/performance in any sub-$40k BEV, and even if it is a compliance car currently, it's a very good one. They also have what has been one of the top-selling cars for decades coming out in a PHEV version, and a customer service rep equal to Toyota's.

Added: That Honda, at least, feels that FCEVs are a better option than BEVs is true, and given the current glut of NG due to fracking they may well be right economically (leaving aside longer-term issues related to how we produce the hydrogen), but nevertheless they've put BEVs out there that are viable performance-wise, if no more affordable to the masses than the Leaf.

And GM is obviously in this in a big way, and has a powertrain that, while expensive, can be adopted painlessly by the masses and allow them to do the majority of their driving on the battery. The Spark is certainly a compliance car, but if they can bring it in much under $30k there may well be people who will opt for it. And unlike Nissan, GM has stood firmly behind their early adopter customers (who woulda thunk it?).

So, there are lots of options to the Leaf now: If the Leaf hadn't been on sale the early adopters would have bought themselves i's or Codas, and put up with their lower level of refinement.
It takes decades for a car company to live down a rep for bad treatment of its customers; just ask the people who've said that despite the Volt getting the highest ratings ever recorded for reliability and customer satisfaction, they wouldn't even consider one owing to past bad experiences with GM products and service.

Nissan's experience isn't going to be any different, and the damage to their reputation is entirely self-inflicted.
Last edited by GRA on Thu Nov 08, 2012 4:49 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].

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mwalsh
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Re: Open Letter from Nissan, September 22, 2012

Thu Nov 08, 2012 4:44 pm

GRA wrote:Ford is very serious about hybrids and PHEVs (cf. Fusion/C-Max), and if the FFE takes off as a result of the Leaf issues, will be happy to ramp up production.
Don't discount the fact that Ford has it's own share of technical issues with the FFE. They may be minor ones, or they may not, we don't know yet. But the ones we've seen exhibit themselves are every bit as disconcerting than any we've seen on the LEAF to date. In fact, I'd say the LEAF is STILL the best engineered of the current crop of EVs from the major players thus far.
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GRA
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Re: Open Letter from Nissan, September 22, 2012

Thu Nov 08, 2012 4:54 pm

mwalsh wrote:
GRA wrote:Ford is very serious about hybrids and PHEVs (cf. Fusion/C-Max), and if the FFE takes off as a result of the Leaf issues, will be happy to ramp up production.
Don't discount the fact that Ford has it's own share of technical issues with the FFE. They may be minor ones, or they may not, we don't know yet. But the ones we've seen exhibit themselves are every bit as disconcerting than any we've seen on the LEAF to date. In fact, I'd say the LEAF is STILL the best engineered of the current crop of EVs from the major players thus far.
Yeah, the Stop Safely Now warning is obviously an issue, although Ford seems to be doing a far better job of responding to it (and their customers) than Nissan has. At the moment it strikes me as more of a software teething problem than a major battery design/customer communication error, which is how I see the Leaf's battery issue. Ford's recent CR rating of 27th out of 28 in reliability is also worrying, although a lot of that seems to be related to the MyFordTouch/Sync system, which (given the choice) I'd prefer not to have.
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].

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Re: Open Letter from Nissan, September 22, 2012

Thu Nov 08, 2012 7:04 pm

I am going to walk-back my statement a little bit, and point out that I was very impressed with the RAV4EV, even though my seat-time in it has been very limited. Plus we have to see what comes of it's engineering in both the short and long term (I have a feeling Tony W. will be helpful with that). And it has that Musky smell about it, which I don't care for very much. And it doesn't compare with the LEAF when you factor in price. And it may well only be a CARB play. But, otherwise, it's a great entry into the market.
2011 Blue Ocean SL with 84,000 miles
2015 pack on 12/30/15
Tinted windows
Bosch AGM 12v
Ecopia 422+ tires
L1 EVSE upgrade
FIAMM horns
Superbright LED lighting
2013 sun visors
LED shifter
Heated seats
GT-R map lamp lenses
Altima illuminated door switches

TEG
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Re: Open Letter from Nissan, September 22, 2012

Thu Nov 08, 2012 7:10 pm

As much as I would love to have the improved range and performance of the RAV4EV, I am glad Nissan did what it did to keep the LEAF costs down...

DaveinOlyWA
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Re: Open Letter from Nissan, September 22, 2012

Thu Nov 08, 2012 7:21 pm

TEG wrote:As much as I would love to have the improved range and performance of the RAV4EV, I am glad Nissan did what it did to keep the LEAF costs down...
+1 on that. Nissan is reputedly going a step further by dumbing down the current LEAF for a lower priced entry for 2013 MY. this is a good thing. I personally like the features my LEAF has but if push comes to shove, i could do without some of the bling. the Homelink, NAV, solar panel :? , center display, etc.

only thing i really want to keep is the 5 seats, the current range and quick charge
2011 SL; 44,598 mi, 87% SOH. 2013 S; 44,840 mi, 91% SOH. 2016 S30; 29,413 mi, 99% SOH. 2018 S; 25,185 mi, SOH 92.23%. 2019 S Plus; 412 mi, 99.72% SOH
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TEG
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Re: Open Letter from Nissan, September 22, 2012

Thu Nov 08, 2012 8:27 pm

For the new lower end model, I wonder if they will still have Blutooth hands free audio and USB memory stick MP3 playback? Those sorts of features are becoming commonplace even on entry level cars.

DaveinOlyWA
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Re: Open Letter from Nissan, September 22, 2012

Thu Nov 08, 2012 9:04 pm

TEG wrote:For the new lower end model, I wonder if they will still have Blutooth hands free audio and USB memory stick MP3 playback? Those sorts of features are becoming commonplace even on entry level cars.
i live in a handsfree state so guessing Bluetooth for phone will remain. the other stuff like USB interface to the stereo is a pretty cheap addition is it not?
2011 SL; 44,598 mi, 87% SOH. 2013 S; 44,840 mi, 91% SOH. 2016 S30; 29,413 mi, 99% SOH. 2018 S; 25,185 mi, SOH 92.23%. 2019 S Plus; 412 mi, 99.72% SOH
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Re: Open Letter from Nissan, September 22, 2012

Fri Nov 09, 2012 1:43 am

DaveinOlyWA wrote: ** I also think consumers are really unaware of how cheap an EV really is to operate.
It's because not all of us live in areas where EVs ARE cheap to operate or where there aren't complicated rate structures. It's hard to express cost for PG&E when we have 5 tiers and multiple rate schedules. The rates themselves are moving targets too. Once you throw in a TOU schedule in an attempt to keep costs down, it makes the answer of how much it costs to "fuel" an EV even harder to answer.

See http://www.mynissanleaf.com/viewtopic.php?f=30&t=10543" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false; about the cost to run his diesel BMW vs. the Leaf. Madbrain's bill (because he has solar, net metering and is on a TOU plan) is insane: https://docs.google.com/open?id=0B1eSSO ... ER2bEtqcGs" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;. It's from http://www.mynissanleaf.com/viewtopic.p ... 77#p235977" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;.

At least someone on Tivocommunity made me aware of http://www.pge.com/cgi-bin/pevcalculator/PEV" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false; recently.... That at least simplifies estimating.

See statements at http://www.mynissanleaf.com/viewtopic.p ... 77#p241477" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false; and examples of pricing from last year at http://www.mynissanleaf.com/viewtopic.p ... 19#p155519" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;.

If one's already in a high rate tier, it might be actually cheaper to fuel a Prius.

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