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evnow
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Economics of long range Leaf

Sat Sep 20, 2014 10:54 pm

The recent leaks give us some basis to speculate about the economics of a long range Leaf.

The main number is $200/kWh.

For a 150 mile Leaf, we need 45 kWh battery, which would cost $9k. For a 200 mile Infiniti, we need 60 kWh battery, which would cost $12k.

Then the question becomes, can Nissan build rest of the Leaf for $20k or rest of Infiniti for $23k - So that they can be priced at $30k and $35k, respectively.

For that matter, can GM build rest of the 200 mile Sonic EV for $18k, for a rumored price of 30k.
1st Leaf : 2/28/2011 to 5/6/2013
2nd Leaf : 5/4/2013 to 3/21/2017
Volt : 3/25/2017 to 5/25/2018
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TonyWilliams
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Re: Economics of long range Leaf

Sun Sep 21, 2014 7:27 am

Sure, why not? Honestly, they would have to make some serious missteps not to.

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dgpcolorado
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Re: Economics of long range Leaf

Sun Sep 21, 2014 7:52 am

Those numbers include margins as well as construction cost. But, battery aside, there are some cost savings to building an EV versus building an ICE car. My guess is that a motor, reduction gear drive, BMS and associated electronics, and a relatively low temperature cooling system are somewhat cheaper to design and build than engine, transmission, exhaust system, and gas tank/fuel system.

So, yes, it should be pretty easy to hit those targets.
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minispeed
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Re: Economics of long range Leaf

Sun Sep 21, 2014 10:42 am

There is also a lot that can be done with aerodynamics and weight to get the range up vs just putting in 45 and 60 kwhr battieres.

.22cd can be done on a production car and if they wanted to I think they could easily shed 3-400lbs out of a leaf.

Your numbers suggest a 3.63-3.66 miles/kwhr. Right now for an EPA 84miles the leaf (using 22kwhr) gets 3.82. Unless the cars get much bigger they should be looking at improving that. If they were just making a larger heavier car with current leaf parts it would probably go down to 3.33 but there should be improvments to be made in every area with a full 2nd gen.

If they could improve it by 10% for 150 miles they would need 35.70 usable kwhr so probably a 39kwhr pack. For 200 (lets say an 8% improvement because it will be heavier) 48.48 usable, 53kwhr pack likely. That's $1200 to $1400 less at $200/kwhr.

Hey a 4600lb model S can get 208 EPA miles, if they use the same % of the battery as the leaf (.91) they get 3.809 with 1300lbs more!!!
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evnow
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Re: Economics of long range Leaf

Sun Sep 21, 2014 3:33 pm

minispeed wrote:.22cd can be done on a production car and if they wanted to I think they could easily shed 3-400lbs out of a leaf.
If they could have easily reduced weight or improved cd, they'd have.

They are not going to do anything that will make Leaf look weird - they have already talked about making it look mainstream. You can't easily get better aero in a mainstream looking car with good interior space.

Neither can they shed 3-400 lb without using more expensive material.

BMW used much lighter CF - and yet hardly got any benefit in terms of reduced battery. Reducing weight is not an inexpensive way to reduce battery size - it is cheaper to put a higher capacity battery. BMW gets 3 miles less EPA miles for some 3 kWh less of battery - in a smaller sized car. Even if we ignore the lesser EPA range and smaller size, BMW only would have saved $600 by putting a battery smaller by 3 kWh. I bet they spent more on carbon-fiber.
1st Leaf : 2/28/2011 to 5/6/2013
2nd Leaf : 5/4/2013 to 3/21/2017
Volt : 3/25/2017 to 5/25/2018
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minispeed
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Re: Economics of long range Leaf

Sun Sep 21, 2014 5:09 pm

evnow wrote:
minispeed wrote:.22cd can be done on a production car and if they wanted to I think they could easily shed 3-400lbs out of a leaf.
If they could have easily reduced weight or improved cd, they'd have.

They are not going to do anything that will make Leaf look weird - they have already talked about making it look mainstream. You can't easily get better aero in a mainstream looking car with good interior space.

Neither can they shed 3-400 lb without using more expensive material.

BMW used much lighter CF - and yet hardly got any benefit in terms of reduced battery. Reducing weight is not an inexpensive way to reduce battery size - it is cheaper to put a higher capacity battery. BMW gets 3 miles less EPA miles for some 3 kWh less of battery - in a smaller sized car. Even if we ignore the lesser EPA range and smaller size, BMW only would have saved $600 by putting a battery smaller by 3 kWh. I bet they spent more on carbon-fiber.


Look at the difference the Benz CLA can achieve in CD between models, and I appologize it's .23 that has the record now not .22
http://www.daimler.com/dccom/0-5-160899 ... 0-0-0.html. Then the stock model at .28 http://www.mbusa.com/mercedes/vehicles/ ... el-CLA250C, and the AMG at .32 http://www.mbusa.com/mercedes/vehicles/ ... odel-specs.

They did all that without changing the over all look of the car. The leaf could easily use active shutters and a lower ride height. Also ditching the odd headlights which create an air bubble over the mirrors for noise purposes would probably drop the cd too. The tail end of a hatch back is also horrible for aerodynamics, the infinity will be a sedan I understand which will give some points. If they want mainstream in the US, then they may ditch the hatch for the leaf.

"You can't easily get better aero in a mainstream looking car with good interior space." Tesla gets the same cda as a prius in a much larger car and I think if you asked anyone off the street they would say the prius is odd and the tesla is more mainstream. Longer is also better for aero and that gives interior space.


When you are talking about a new platform you can't say "If they could have easily reduced weight or improved cd, they'd have". It's a NEW PLATFORM, it's all about improving anything they want to.

As for weight from 12 to 13 they lost the aluminum panels and the weight still went down 60lbs and the cost went down too. Yes the light weight material is more expensive so removing the aluminum had something to do with the price drop but it shows that it is possible to get lighter for cheaper. Also light weight materials are cheaper than they were when they made the first leaf, steel itself has made huge gains in strength to weight ratio too. Investment in light weight material also have the benefit of sharing either the part, material supply, engineering costs, manufacturing experience with all of their ICE vehicles.

Yes BMW went the light weight route with the i3, but the car is also higher and wider than the leaf with a higher cd as well. You said it was smaller, but only in length and as mentioned earlier, it's easier to be more aerodynic with a longer car. Look at all the race cars that have special "lemans" tails just because of the high speed back straight. If it had been more aerodynamic as well it's range would be a leaf blower with the size of battery they chose. BMW also didn't go with carbon just because they wanted it for range, they are investing in carbon big time as a future material for all their cars.
2015 White SV, after one month 292 GIDS
Best 1 charge drive, 229km (143miles)

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evnow
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Re: Economics of long range Leaf

Sun Sep 21, 2014 5:47 pm

minispeed wrote:They did all that without changing the over all look of the car.
But, did they do all this without spending more ? That is the point. Leaf is going to be on a very tight budget. Battery under the floor raises the car height - and you can't compare with Model S which is a much larger car.

If doing something costs $x, gets them 10 more miles they save some 3 kWh of battery or $600. The question really is whether that $x they have to spend is more or less than $600.

Tesla is going to have the same issue - in a C class car how do you achieve good aero & lot of interior space - while reserving a lot of space for batteries.

Look at Model S & Camry. Camry, despite being several inches shorter has a higher interior space than Model S.

The other thing I didn't mention is that - the new Leaf battery is going to be heavier. I don't think it will have twice the density of the current one. So, Nissan will actually have tough time trying to get the same efficiency they get now - hopefully they can. But 10% better than current Leaf would be a big stretch.
1st Leaf : 2/28/2011 to 5/6/2013
2nd Leaf : 5/4/2013 to 3/21/2017
Volt : 3/25/2017 to 5/25/2018
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smkettner
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Re: Economics of long range Leaf

Sun Sep 21, 2014 6:26 pm

Having an optional larger battery solves the issue. Build and see what is bought.
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Re: Economics of long range Leaf

Sun Sep 21, 2014 6:53 pm

evnow wrote:
minispeed wrote:
BMW used much lighter CF - and yet hardly got any benefit in terms of reduced battery. Reducing weight is not an inexpensive way to reduce battery size - it is cheaper to put a higher capacity battery. BMW gets 3 miles less EPA miles for some 3 kWh less of battery - in a smaller sized car. Even if we ignore the lesser EPA range and smaller size, BMW only would have saved $600 by putting a battery smaller by 3 kWh. I bet they spent more on carbon-fiber.
True. But as they say, "to increase performance, add lightness".

I believe BMW i3 is the fastest accelerating car they sell from 0-30km/h. They brag about that in a few videos I've watched.
When you are trying to sell an electric car in a gas dominated field, there are advantages to "standing out".

Contrast that to the Mercedes B Class ED, which went with a totally different approach, namely, throw money at the battery, and change/compromise practically nothing on the things MB does well, namely, luxury without needing to innovate hardly at all (no special materials, no lightness, no fast charger).

Both sell for the same price. The MB has more luxury and range, but the BMW performs better.

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Re: Economics of long range Leaf

Sun Sep 21, 2014 7:01 pm

smkettner wrote:Having an optional larger battery solves the issue. Build and see what is bought.
Agreed. In order to fully replace the one gas car left in my garage, it needs to go >300km ten times every winter, and for that, I don't want to count on the maximum range of the car or availability of charging, I want some buffer, so make it 400km round trip range.

For most people who don't own an EV, a 250km range would likely get them to consider an EV for their second car.

But for existing city range (150km) EV owners like me who have two cars, one of which is gas, a 250km range may not be enough to replace their other gas car...

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