, and it's definitely an improvement over the previous car. It's a lot better looking, with a sleeker, more planted stance and an similarly attractive interior. It's more powerful than the outgoing version, but still manages to provide more driving range. Still,Tesla
is already rolling out theModel 3
, which provides up to 310 miles of range, and theChevy
Bolt has been available for even longer, with 238 miles of range. So what doesNissan
think it's doing launching a car with just 150 miles of driving range on a charge?
For one thing, theNissan Leaf
is cheaper. At $30,875, it's a lot cheaper to get into a Leaf than it is a $35,000Tesla Model 3
or a $37,495 Chevy Bolt. And especially with the Tesla, you probablywon't want the base version
, so you'll end up spending even more.
First of all, who needs 300+ miles, anyway? Not current Leaf drivers who, while they'll certainly be happy about getting more range than before for less money, already understand what it's like to live with anEV
. It's not a stretch to think that a large number of 2018 Leaf customers will be EV veterans, who have lived with a limited driving range for some time already, and have gotten over that anxiety. Really, it's only a rare occasion that most drivers will need to travel beyond the Leaf's 150 miles of range. Experienced EV drivers are comfortable with that limit, especially if they have another vehicle in the household. Otherwise, they're not afraid to spend a few extra minutes at the fast charger on longer drives, or even rent (or borrow) the occasional gas vehicle when the need arises.