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

Posted: Fri May 24, 2013 9:44 am
by TonyWilliams
Valdemar wrote:If their promises come to life [to install 400 more Nissan branded DC chargers in the USA], Nissan will be so much ahead in the lower-priced EV segment, the competition, if there will be any, is going to struggle to catch up.
The only real competition that Nissan has to worry about within California (the largest EV market by far) is with the low ball*** compliance cars. Therefore, I suggest Nissan market a "California Edition" LEAF for $23,999 (or whatever price beats all the others). Eliminate the battery heaters!!! Cheap or no radio!!! No hubcaps!!! No underbody panels!! No power windows / mirrors / door locks!!! No roadside assistance!!! No free battery checks!!! No towing!!! No nothing!!!

Nissan will still be able to sell those CARB credits (Tesla made $63 million doing just that) and every lease still gets a wonderful $7500 pay check from Uncle Sam at tax time. This will boost total production and squeeze the compliance guys who really don't care to even be in the EV business. For instance, if Toyota can't unload 2600 Rav4 EV's, they are going to write a big check to either Tesla or Nissan for their excess credits. Same for GM with their Spark EV compliance car.

Nissan still can come out in 2014 model year (about the same time the Spark EV actually hits the street) with a price below Spark EV, Fiat 500e, Smart ED and Mitusubishi iMiev.

*** low ball, meaning that each manufacturer is no doubt losing money on these, but must produce them at a price that will sell the required number of CARB credits in phase III (2012-2014)

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

Posted: Sun Jun 02, 2013 4:00 am
by ydnas7
Compliance cars are conversions, some candidates

Nissan Versa Sedan http://www.nissanusa.com/cars/versa-sedan" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

or Nissan Versa Note http://www.nissanusa.com/cars/versa-note" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

or Better yet from mexico http://www.nissan.com.mx/autos/march" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

None of these cars have the wheelbase of the Sentra/LEAF so they would presumably have to forfeit some battery (about 4 modules) to fit, so its a nominal 22kWh battery.

The early Nissan EV plan outline did have a low cost Nissan EV below the leaf and an Infiniti above the LEAF

or just make a Sentra EV

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

Posted: Sun Jun 02, 2013 4:13 am
by cwerdna
Interesting idea... low ball to not only squeeze, but possibly make up for the losses somewhat by receiving ZEV credit $ from other automakers.

Not sure it's worth the engineering and tooling effort to replace the power windows w/crank ones. But yeah, they could cut out a fair bit more than the S has cut and advertise an even lower teaser price. Some might actually get sold to rental car fleets, use as company cars like for security guards or as meter maid cars.

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.

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

Posted: Sun Jun 02, 2013 4:31 am
by RonDawg
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 and in the Bay Area they are already sold out of them. I don't know how many 500e's will be produced, but as Marchionne has already loudly complained how Chry/Fiat loses $10k on each one, he probably won't make any more than he absolutely has to.

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

Posted: Sun Jun 02, 2013 4:51 am
by RonDawg
ydnas7 wrote:Compliance cars are conversions, some candidates

Nissan Versa Sedan http://www.nissanusa.com/cars/versa-sedan" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

or Nissan Versa Note http://www.nissanusa.com/cars/versa-note" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

or Better yet from mexico http://www.nissan.com.mx/autos/march" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

None of these cars have the wheelbase of the Sentra/LEAF so they would presumably have to forfeit some battery (about 4 modules) to fit, so its a nominal 22kWh battery.

The early Nissan EV plan outline did have a low cost Nissan EV below the leaf and an Infiniti above the LEAF

or just make a Sentra EV
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.

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

Posted: Sun Jun 02, 2013 6:20 am
by KJD
I like any idea that would increase EV sales. On the other hand I have never been a big fan of the striped down models. I do not buy a new car very often and when I do I want one that I can be proud of not some bare bones POS.

As far as increasing sales volume I would like to see Nissan match what Honda did and eliminate the mileage restriction from the lease.

This would have a side benefit of having the EV's on the road more so more people would see they are a real car. The more people that see these cars on the road the more new customers it would generate. This car sells itself in spite of the marketing blunders of Nissan corporate.

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

Posted: Sun Jun 02, 2013 6:51 am
by Spies
KJD wrote:As far as increasing sales volume I would like to see Nissan match what Honda did and eliminate the mileage restriction from the lease.
Since the Honda FIT EV is a closed lease I would not be surprised if they are all taken back at the end of the lease and destroyed so why would Honda care how many miles are on them? Nissan on the other hand will most likely sell the lease returns and high mileage would most likely impact the resale value just like any other car.

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

Posted: Sun Jun 02, 2013 7:07 am
by adric22
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.

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

Posted: Sun Jun 02, 2013 7:55 am
by TomT
Actually, I read in a trade paper a while back that mechanical windows are actually no less expensive to produce than electric ones... That may explain why you rarely see them any more...
cwerdna wrote:Not sure it's worth the engineering and tooling effort to replace the power windows w/crank ones. But yeah, they could cut out a fair bit more than the S has cut and advertise an even lower teaser price.

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

Posted: Sun Jun 02, 2013 8:17 am
by TonyWilliams
Spies wrote:
KJD wrote:As far as increasing sales volume I would like to see Nissan match what Honda did and eliminate the mileage restriction from the lease.
Since the Honda FIT EV is a closed lease I would not be surprised if they are all taken back at the end of the lease and destroyed...
Absolutely, they will crush them. No parts inventory. No liability. CARB ZEV credits from 1100 cars, check!!

UNLIMITED MILEAGE, LEASE ONLY IS CODE FOR "WE DON'T CARE WHAT YOU DO, WE'RE GOING TO CRUSH IT AT THE END".