EatsShootsandLeafs wrote:[That's a lot for the range bump. But, what got my eye more than anything, is that Nissan is finally taking performance seriously. 200+ electric horsepower in car of this size officially moves the Leaf out of "peppy" territory into "quick" territory.
I actually want a Leaf again, for the first time in years. Don't love the form factor (at all), but the rest is compelling.
I am stoked about the 214hp as well. IMO the added range, horsepower, and torque combined with DC quick charging and phone integration being standard make a decent case for an S plus. Nissan bundles the 240V compatible EVSE with the 2019 "Charge Package (S)" for $1590 so you are already up to about $32k+ MSRP if you want a 40kWh leaf S with QC capabilities. Considering most of us want QC, I look at it more like an $3 - $4k more to get 65hp, 75 miles of range, and android auto...
I actually don't understand how Nissan thinks it can start the S Plus in the $36K range given that the base (SEL) Kona is $37.5K. The Kona has:
-32 more miles of range
-an LG Chem battery (vs. the Leaf's AESC battery)
-a liquid cooled TMS
-70 kW CCS charging that you can use right now (a lot of EA 100 kW stations in the Boston-D.C. corridor are already online; the remaining ones are scheduled to be complete by July; these stations have 4-10 CCS 100 kW plugs and only one 50 kW Chademo plug; yes, EA can upgrade the one Chademo plug to 100 kW, but then you'd still be relying in your long distance trips on charging stops where there's always only one plug - what if it's broken? So with the Leaf Plus, your best hope in the northeast would be to wait, probably years, for EVGO to upgrade its Chademo stations (many of which often do have 4-8 Chademo plugs) to 100 kW)
-a multi-link rear suspension (as opposed to the Leaf's torsion bar)
- standard rapid-charging (you have to pay $1590 for rapid-charging on the Leaf S, or upgrade to the SV)
-standard "semi-autonomous" safety tech, Hyundai Smart Sense (LKAS, ACC, etc.) - in the Leaf this is called Pro Pilot Assist and you have to pay $2,200 extra for the "tech package" in order to get it
All this is to say that if the Leaf Plus is going to seriously compete with the Kona Electric, then either:
1. The Leaf Plus has to start at like $31-$32K (or the actual price that you pay at dealerships has to be significantly below MSRP)
2. The Leaf Plus S has to be one impressively loaded base model. It would have to not only come standard with Pro Pilot Assist, but also offer some other, extremely generous standard features in order to make up for all the other advantages that the Kona seemingly has over it. Like, I'm talking: standard "All Weather Package" (heat pump, heated steering wheel and front seats), maybe 4-5 years of "No Charge to Charge", and I'm still not even sure that this would make up the difference. Honestly, I think the best bet would be to just mark the Leaf Plus way down (either officially through MSRP or unofficially at the dealership level)
Unless Nissan is thinking is that the Kona Electric is a compliance vehicle that, over the next two years, will only sell a couple hundred models in Southern California and therefore won't really be a competitor? Fair enough, but this was the Ioniq EV's story between 2017-2019, and still, even though the Ioniq had less range than the 40 kWh Leaf, and even though it didn't have any of the above advantages that the Kona has (besides 70 kW CCS fast charging), Nissan still felt compelled to not price the Leaf higher than the Ioniq - 40 kWh Leaf pricing still more or less tracked the Ioniq (both the base and loaded trims).
Or maybe Nissan is thinking that the Kona Electric is so compromised by its small size that no one will actually buy it? Again, fair enough, though the Ioniq has its own quite physical compromises (a long braking distance, a rear-windshield crossbar that is so much thicker seeming and so much more annoying to look at than any crossbar in any Prius ever), and yet, the 40 kWh Leaf's pricing has more or less tracked the Ioniq. Though, speaking of the Kona Electric's smallness, I'm going to contradict myself a little here and say that the Kona is a ridiculous vehicle. It's a platform based on deception. It's a car the size of a Honda Fit that's been stylized to look like an SUV. If it's a "family car", what family can fit in it? It's too small for rear facing car seats, so you better not have any kids under 4. There's no leg room in the back for anyone older than 12. So if you want to take your "family" of age 5-11 kids on a long distance trip and actually use some of that expensive range and fast charging speed, well guess what, there's no cargo space. I would actually bet money that you could fit more luggage in the trunk of an Elantra - unless you don't care about seeing out your back windshield. And honestly, I do think that if Hyundai was sincerely interested in making a mass market EV that wasn't just greenwashing, then they would have put the Kona Electric's power-train in either the Sonata or the Tucson. Those are viable platforms for mass market adoption, but no one is even buying the ICE version of the Kona - the Tucson outsold it 3 to 1 in 2018. Because really, what mass of people were going to buy the Kona? "Hip" "young people" who "like funky cars" and don't like knowing a car's numerical specifications? All the hip young people I know don't want to own any cars - they want to own subway passes, and maybe an electric scooter. Anyway, I'm rambling now, but to bring this somewhat back on point, if the Kia Niro EV really does come in at $38K - that car being a significantly more spacious and therefore more viable subcompact CUV than the Kona - then I don't see how the Leaf Plus could start at $35-37K (including delivery), given that the Niro will have all the advantages of the Kona listed above....