GRA wrote:The C/D numbers definitely disagree. Unfortunately, they don't seem to have that article up on their website; it's in the Feb. 2013 issue, "Upfront" section titled 'The Spark is Gone'.
The Prius sales numbers are the Prius sales numbers, regardless of what is written in the February 2013 issue of Car and Driver.
Here are some facts to consider:
- Both the Toyota Prius and the Nissan LEAF went on sale in December. If we ignore sales that first month, we can then compare full-year worldwide numbers starting in January, since numbers are typically tabulated by calendar year.
- Nissan sold as many LEAFS (probably slightly more) in the first TWO years of sales (2011-2012) than Toyota sold Prii in the first THREE years (1998-2000).
- Toyota did not sell their 100,000th Prius until the fifth full year of sales (2002).
I will predict:
- Nissan will sell more LEAFS in the first three years (2011-2013) than Toyota sold Prii in its first four years (1998-2001).
- Nissan will sell its 100,000th LEAF at least one year earlier than Toyota sold its 100,000th Prius. (Does anyone know the exact month Toyota sold the 100,000th Prius so that we can test this prediction?)
GRA wrote:Yes, not because it won't work, but because it will never be given a chance to work. As I've said, mainstream consumers won't accept the price or the limitations. Now, increase the EPA range by 50% (100 miles being a psychological barrier, as Nissan's marketers well knew) and drop the price by a third (Nissan's priced the 'S' 20+% less than the cheapest Leaf last year) and mainstream consumers will be willing to take a look, and a relatively small but still useful number will buy. Boost the range by 100% and drop the price by half, and mainstream consumers will start buying in fairly large numbers. Triple the range and drop the price by 2/3rds, and they'll be beating on the doors of the dealers.
No argument those things would be great. But, again, I will point out that even without those things the LEAF is already on a better sales trajectory than the Prius was when it was new. The incremental improvement approach will grow the LEAF market steady.
Will the LEAF continue to grow sales faster than the Prius grew its sales? Time will tell.
GRA wrote:There are any number of exotic batteries that have been mentioned in the future battery technology thread, but we can't count on any of them to be commercialized. Battery R&D has always been slow, painful and expensive, so I count on nothing until it's on the market. In the meantime, TMS is the only feasible stopgap, barring a huge drop in battery prices.
Fair enough. But the point is that the battery technology exists.
Yes, TMS is a feasible stopgap. But there are drawbacks to that approach and many LEAF customers prefer the simpler approach. Andy Palmer stated at the Phoenix town hall meeting that Nissan has made a decision to stick with air cooling for the battery in the LEAF, at least for the near term. So this leaves an issue in place for hot climates like Phoenix and Palm Springs and elsewhere. Hopefully the wording of the new warranty and local media and word-of-mouth in those locales will help people to know that they should either lease the LEAF or look elsewhere for an EV until it can be made more suitable for those climates.