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TonyWilliams
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Re: California only edition LEAF to compete w/compliance car

Sun Jun 02, 2013 8:21 am

adric22 wrote:I'm not sure that Nissan can ever compete with these compliance cars. After all, Nissan is trying to sell the Leaf for a profit and compliance cars are most likely not profitable. In fact, I have to wonder to a certain extent what the purpose of a compliance car is. I mean, how does forcing a manufacturer to make a small number of compliance vehicles do anything? I doubt the are going to plow much R&D into electric cars as a result. And they'll never make or sell enough of them to really make much difference.
Well, 15 years ago, we got glorified golf carts with no doors to "comply". Let's not get too misty eyed over Nissan EV efforts; if they couldn't sell the CARB-ZEV credits and make thousands on every LEAF sold, I doubt they would be selling them at all.

I call that "COMPLIANCE-PLUS(TM)". Tesla has made $63 million in one year selling credits, and they don't need to comply (they are not a VLM, nor do they need to sell oil burning cars in California). I don't think it will be as easy to dig up how much Nissan makes selling credits, but it's a butt load.
Last edited by TonyWilliams on Sun Jun 02, 2013 8:46 am, edited 1 time in total.

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TonyWilliams
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Re: California only edition LEAF to compete w/compliance car

Sun Jun 02, 2013 8:42 am

RonDawg wrote:Even if all the compliance-only cars were priced better, with the numbers being produced are they that much of a threat to the Leaf? I heard Honda was only producing 1100 Fit EV's
You're missing the angle. If they can compete against companies like GM who have pulled stunts like the Frankenplug fiasco to try and slow up Nissan with EV's, I see it as a way for Nissan to slow up AND PROFIT FROM the 2500-ish sales that the Spark EV must sell in California. If GM can't unload that many 2012-2014, they will be writing big fat checks to Nissan or Tesla.

There are six "Very Large Manufacturers" (VLM) that must produce Zero Emission Vehicles (ZEV) if they want to sell oil burning cars in California, model years 2012-2014:

USA Big Three VLM's:

GM - about 2500 Spark EV's
Ford - maybe 1500-2000 Ford Focus EV's
Chrysler/Fiat - probably about 1000 Fiat 500e

Japan Big Three VLM's:

Toyota - 2600 Rav4 EV's
Nissan - zillions of LEAF's COMPLIANCE-PLUS(TM)
Honda - 1100 Fit EV's

There are none from Europe that meet the VLM threshold currently.

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TonyWilliams
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Re: California only edition LEAF to compete w/compliance car

Sun Jun 02, 2013 8:52 am

cwerdna wrote:For those who were unaware, Nissan had a "stripper" Versa at http://www.caranddriver.com/features/20 ... sa-16-base" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;. I believe w/o the destination charge, its MSRP was actually under $10K.
That's the car!!! I wouldn't call it a Versa EV, but just LEAF-CE "California Edition".

I don't know what is cheaper... modifying the Versa to bolt in the EV drivetrain, or taking the cheap bits off the Versa like the crank up windows and cheap looking interior and putting it in a LEAF.

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TomT
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Re: California only edition LEAF to compete w/compliance car

Sun Jun 02, 2013 8:56 am

The question is, would anyone actually buy such a crap-mobile... As I recall, they couldn't give the stripper Versa away...
TonyWilliams wrote:
cwerdna wrote:For those who were unaware, Nissan had a "stripper" Versa at http://www.caranddriver.com/features/20 ... sa-16-base" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;. I believe w/o the destination charge, its MSRP was actually under $10K.
That's the car!!! I wouldn't call it a Versa EV, but just LEAF-CE "California Edition".
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TonyWilliams
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Re: California only edition LEAF to compete w/compliance car

Sun Jun 02, 2013 9:08 am

TomT wrote:The question is, would anyone actually buy such a crap-mobile... As I recall, they couldn't give the stripper Versa away...
TonyWilliams wrote:
cwerdna wrote:For those who were unaware, Nissan had a "stripper" Versa at http://www.caranddriver.com/features/20 ... sa-16-base" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;. I believe w/o the destination charge, its MSRP was actually under $10K.
That's the car!!! I wouldn't call it a Versa EV, but just LEAF-CE "California Edition".
If you're getting many thousands of dollars in the "back end" of a CARB-ZEV credit sale, the car might be able to be almost given away. People will buy a cheap car.

Somebody suggested cutting back the battery size, but the car has to have a certain range and "fast charge" capability to get the most credits. If they only shoot for the lowest credit per vehicle, then leave out fast charging and cut the expensive battery to 16-20kWh with the 3.3kW charger. Sell it as never needing an expensive 240 volt "charger"... just plug in the 120 volt outlet.

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Re: California only edition LEAF to compete w/compliance car

Sun Jun 02, 2013 4:48 pm

RonDawg wrote: The reason compliance cars tend to be conversions is because those manufacturers have decided they will only abide to the law to extent necessary to stay out of trouble, and no more, so they won't do what Nissan did and design an EV from the ground up. They will stuff a battery and an electric motor into an existing car, keeping engineering costs as low as possible.

Short of sourcing gliders from their factory in China (a la Coda), now that Nissan has done the engineering work on the Leaf, I don't know how putting a battery into an existing ICEV would make a cheaper EV for them. They would have to do more engineering which means more costs which have to be passed on to the consumer.

A Nissan EV that is cheaper than today's Leaf S would likely be a de-contented model as Tony mentioned, perhaps with an even smaller battery pack.
Absolutely agree. Spending effort to convert other ICE Nissans to sell as cheap CA compliance EVs probably wouldn't yield a large # of sales and probably wouldn't make up for the engineering effort and cost. It might also cannibalize Leaf sales and thus makes no sense.

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Re: California only edition LEAF to compete w/compliance car

Sun Jun 02, 2013 4:50 pm

TonyWilliams wrote:
RonDawg wrote:Even if all the compliance-only cars were priced better, with the numbers being produced are they that much of a threat to the Leaf? I heard Honda was only producing 1100 Fit EV's
You're missing the angle. If they can compete against companies like GM who have pulled stunts like the Frankenplug fiasco to try and slow up Nissan with EV's, I see it as a way for Nissan to slow up AND PROFIT FROM the 2500-ish sales that the Spark EV must sell in California. If GM can't unload that many 2012-2014, they will be writing big fat checks to Nissan or Tesla.

There are six "Very Large Manufacturers" (VLM) that must produce Zero Emission Vehicles (ZEV) if they want to sell oil burning cars in California, model years 2012-2014:

USA Big Three VLM's:

GM - about 2500 Spark EV's
Ford - maybe 1500-2000 Ford Focus EV's
Chrysler/Fiat - probably about 1000 Fiat 500e

Japan Big Three VLM's:

Toyota - 2600 Rav4 EV's
Nissan - zillions of LEAF's COMPLIANCE-PLUS(TM)
Honda - 1100 Fit EV's

There are none from Europe that meet the VLM threshold currently.
Perhaps Nissan doesn't see compliance cars as the threat that you appear to.

I'm all for a less expensive BEV, but I think that will come with time, and the answer is not throw out a modern day electrified Tercel EZ just because.
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Re: California only edition LEAF to compete w/compliance car

Sun Jun 02, 2013 5:46 pm

adric22 wrote:I'm not sure that Nissan can ever compete with these compliance cars. After all, Nissan is trying to sell the Leaf for a profit and compliance cars are most likely not profitable.
Nissan doesn't have to compete with compliance cars that sell in hundreds. Only when they seriously start eating into Leaf sales would they worry.

In classic game theory for marketing - one needs to have a large volume capability to pursue a low cost strategy - which none of the compliance cars have.

Ford never tells what their max volume for FFE is. Nissan trumpets their large volume manufacturing. Clearly Nissan is pursuing a low cost strategy.
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Re: California only edition LEAF to compete w/compliance car

Sun Jun 02, 2013 9:27 pm

TonyWilliams wrote:If they only shoot for the lowest credit per vehicle, then leave out fast charging and cut the expensive battery to 16-20kWh with the 3.3kW charger. Sell it as never needing an expensive 240 volt "charger"... just plug in the 120 volt outlet.
What do you mean a 3.3kW charger? All you would need is an el-cheapo 1kW charger. While you are at it, get rid of J1772 and the EVSE. I can think of some people here on this board who would love to have a plain old 120v cord wound up on a reel inside the car.

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Re: California only edition LEAF - "COMPLIANCE PLUS(TM)"

Sun Jun 02, 2013 10:22 pm

I think the Honda Fit EV is much better than it needs to be for a "compliance car". In many ways, it is better than the LEAF. I don't think Honda really wants to stay on the sidelines of the EV revolution. I have to think (hope!) they have something up their sleeves to put out in a couple years as full-on competition for the LEAF. They lost the hybrid market to Toyota. I'm guessing their executives don't want to lose the EV market to Nissan. If they cave, it won't be because they lack the know-how or the technology.
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