electricfuture wrote:The vehicle is in general just fine the way it is hitting the sweet spot of a practical every day vehicle with enough interior room, speed and amenities to satisfy the general public that is facing the reality of increasing gas prices. I believe that only 3 things are needed to significantly increase sales to the general public:
1. 150 mile range battery. This would mean a true 100-110 mile range no matter what you driving style or the amount of high speed express way driving you need to do. Very few travel more than 100 miles per day and even if you do seeing an additional 40-50 range left will substantially reduce range anxiety - even if the additional range is not ever used.
2. A durable leather looking interior. This is necessary if this is to be considered a family car transporting children and their sports equipment. You must have an easy to clean interior for spills.
3. Priced under $30,000. Over this price will turn off the average buyer. It will be years before they understand the cost advantages of no maintenance.
Also, the Fast Charger needs to be standard equipment as this is definitely needed to reduce range anxiety. Knowing that you can full charge in 30 minutes away from home will become more and more important as time goes by.
Concur with all except No.2 (I don't have kids, and prefer cloth seats as I normally drive in shorts, often with no shirt on -I've spent enough time sliding around on sweaty leather or vinyl seats in hot weather, or shivering in cold). However, even 150 mile LA4 range won't be enough to guarantee 110 miles in any conditions. With an old battery in cold weather and using the heater/defroster, lights, windshield wipers etc. on the freeway with some elevation gain (which are the conditions my personal range requirement is based on, and why the current Leaf won't do for me), you might need 180 or even 230 'LA4' miles to guarantee 110 .
Off topic, my local dealer had a red 2011 SL CW in the lot yesterday. Took me a while to figure out the 'CW', but comparison of window stickers indicate it presumably means a 'Cold Weather' package, with battery, seat and steering wheel heaters plus rear seat HVAC ducts that will be standard for 2012. The QC port was still a $700 option for the 2011, but the MSRP without that was $34,650, or a $930 premium over the stock SL. Get 'em before they bump the price for 2012.