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    Nissan Executives Disappointed With Leaf Sales, Plans Lower Cost Model


    William Maley

    William Maley

    Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com

    October 8, 2012

    Nissan set a very ambitious goal of selling 20,000 Leafs this year. At the end of September, Nissan only sold 5,212 Leafs, way off the mark.

    "We don't plan on the moment of changing the projection. We're a little disappointed. … The uptake isn't as strong as we first hoped," said Nissan's executive vice president of product planning, Andy Palmer.

    Palmer puts blame poor marketing around the world and a lack of production in the U.S. At the moment, the Leaf is currently built at a plant in Japan and being sent around the world.

    Another problem for the Leaf is the pricetag. The base Leaf currently starts at $36,050, including shipping. Include the $7,500 U.S. tax credit, that puts it below the Chevrolet Volt. The Volt though comes with a gas engine that acts like a generator, giving it more range than the Leaf.

    To help with sales, Automotive News reports that Nissan is planning a lower cost version of the Leaf when a face-lifted version is introduced sometime in 2013.

    The model will drop LED lamps for HID-Headlights and some of the advanced features offered in the current navigation system. The model will also feature components being combined to help cut costs.

    Source: The Detroit News, Automotive News (Subscription Required)

    William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.

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    Disappointed, but how can they not be surprised? You take a car that is smaller, less practical, less attractive, no more luxurious, and worse performing than an Altima, and charge $36,000 for it. Not surprised that it didn't sell well. I am almost surprised they were able to sell 5,000 of them. But now it gets tougher, the green freaks wanting to make a statement already bought one, so now they have to convince the general public to buy one.

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    This is no Surprise, you have a very limited amount of people who are willing to spend this kind of money on a 40 mile limit car.

    Before anyone says but no they are 80 miles, the Leafs in the Seattle area are only averaging 40-50 miles at most and there is a huge forum here where they have been very vocal about it. Nissan has promised to replace the batteries once they have a newer better battery, but for now, it is only a city commuter car.

    Worse yet is the tax payers are footing the bill for the bloody charging stations being put in at the park and rides and for the electricity they consume. I feel we should get a rebate in tax dollars we pay for gas here due to this free bee.

    Time to turn off the free hand outs. They need to pay and survive on their own.

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    Let's see what happens, boys. While this isn't ready for prime time, I love the Volt.

    And I like the idea of an electric car when it does get ready for prime time....very few moving parts, and very reliable.

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    Let's see what happens, boys. While this isn't ready for prime time, I love the Volt. And I like the idea of an electric car when it does get ready for prime time....very few moving parts, and very reliable.

    We are at least 50 if not 75 years from this even being any where close to prime time. 100 years before it will be ready to become the standard. Eventually I do think we will see pure electric that can go for thousands of miles on a real road trip.

    NOW - CNG is the Answer, Compressed Natural Gas is the logical step away from Arab / Foreign oil and onto our own energy source.

    We have the worlds largest deposits.

    :metal: Rock on CNG :metal:

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    There was an article back in the summer about people in the Phoenix area seeing only a 30-40 mile range, perhaps because of the vile, disgusting summer heat...

    True, Nissan I read somewhere did not expect the 100+ temps to have the affect on their batteries that they did. Did they not test them in Death Valley? I would have thought they would want to make sure they could handle extremes and yet the battery packs seem to not be able to handle even mid range temps very well.

    Seems the Engineers I would think fudged their test numbers by a factor or 2 or maybe more.

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    Electric power trains are fine. It is battery technology that continues to vex manufacturers. Lots of R&D is going into that area, so I expect it to improve.

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    Electric power trains are fine. It is battery technology that continues to vex manufacturers. Lots of R&D is going into that area, so I expect it to improve.

    I would agree....and I would also agree with Dfelt about CNG...lets get away from foreign oil...

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    I'd like to see CNG be used for small on-board EV re-generators.

    I'd like to see CNG be used for small on-board EV re-generators.

    That would be an excellent use!

    Just think if you had a Chevy Volt with a CNG Generator rather than gas.

    Better yet, take the GMC Terrain / Chevy Equinox and put that body on a volt power train using CNG. That is an auto that can sell in large numbers. Use a Fuelmaker FMQ 2-36 which time fills at 1 gallon per hr and you can fill up the tank over night and drive it for the week and then fill it up at the end of the week, have fun driving around for the weekend, fuel Sunday night and commute for the week in a very clean auto. :D

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    I think we should be re-imagining the engine part too though. Use much smaller displacement V2 or V4 engines. Regenerators have different drivability requirements than a normal drive train. There is no need for a broad and deep power curve. It needs to operate at a few RPM points efficiently and that's it. Tune it to run best at whatever RPM the generator is most efficient and be done with it. No need to worry about NHV at 7,000 rpm because it will never go that high. By doing so, it allows you to use a V2 engine that would be otherwise unacceptable if it were reving like a normal engine would.

    hell... with a V2 or V4, you could use pushrods and make the engine even more compact. Also no need for VVT.

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    I gas powered turbine would be even more compact.

    Electric cars just don't work right now, if/when the batteries and recharge abilities get better and cheaper then maybe they will catch on. But until you have electric cars that perform better than gas ones at less cost, people won't switch. People won't leave what they know for an unknown or unproven. This is why 87% of Camry buyers buy another Camry and the other 13% die off.

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    This is the first generation of Leaf. The ICE has been refined over a hundred years. I wouldn't be surprised if the next generation Leaf gets double the range and costs half as much. This is only the very beginning, and there's lot of room for the technology to grow.

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    This is the first generation of Leaf. The ICE has been refined over a hundred years. I wouldn't be surprised if the next generation Leaf gets double the range and costs half as much. This is only the very beginning, and there's lot of room for the technology to grow.

    Agreed...and once electric catches on, its a game changer.

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    snapback.pngpow, on 09 October 2012 - 05:48 PM, said:

    This is the first generation of Leaf. The ICE has been refined over a hundred years. I wouldn't be surprised if the next generation Leaf gets double the range and costs half as much. This is only the very beginning, and there's lot of room for the technology to grow.

    Agreed...and once electric catches on, its a game changer.

    Eventually electric will catch on once they can make it a true road car, but for now it is not even a competitor due to the extreme limits.

    We need a logical step and CNG would do that. Like Oldsmoboi states, if we take a hybrid approach with a V2 or V4 generator tuned to run at the optimal RPM on CNG you have a long range option that allows electric a normal progression of working on the technology for batteries without having expensive junk like the leaf.

    Pure rechargeable electric auto's are 100yrs off still based on the rate of tech growth for storage.

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    Let's see what happens, boys. While this isn't ready for prime time, I love the Volt.

    And I like the idea of an electric car when it does get ready for prime time....very few moving parts, and very reliable.

    Agreed....

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