Thursday, May 22, 2014

We Are #1!...ish

Yes, we do have a #1 here, the Super Bowl Champion Seattle Seahawks and also the city itself which was the fastest growing large city in the US last year. They "Boomed" past Boston to become the 21st largest city in America.

Well, that means traffic! The other day in anticipation of stretching the range, i took for Kent doing 55 mph. Little did I know that great weather and terrible traffic (it was literally a crawl in the morning AND afternoon in and out of Kent) found me home 92 miles later with 14% SOC!! Wow! with performance like that, who needs more range??

Well, I do for one.  Only because today, I went to Renton and Auburn and it was 110 miles round trip and I took the gasser.  I could have LEAFed it but did not want to stop to charge although the day was so nice, I would not have been too against it.  But that is not the point.  The 5th version of the LEAF, fueled by recent comments by Andy Palmer, was predicted by some (not me) to have more range. Well, it did not.

After 4 model years, many thought it was time but I can't say I don't understand Nissan's stance.  The LEAF still has little competition (realistically none)  in its price/performance area and they are selling all they can make so where is the incentive to get better faster?

Getting better is a no brainer. They will have much better batteries, range and wing dings for sure.  In fact, they added B mode to the S trim which is one thing I would have loved on mine and MY 2016 will have something else very cool as well.

But the problem with the "more range" wish is that the price stay where its at. Most say Tesla is expensive but if comparing the range per dollar, the Tesla and the LEAF are pretty close to the same.

If you get an S85 for say 90,000 and 265 miles of range that is $339 per mile or get a LEAF for 31,000 and its 84 miles and that is $369.   Now, if we add in the fed cred the price becomes $82,500 or $311 on the S and $23,500 or $279 which really means that leasing is still the best idea.  Granted its a short time, limited mileage, never own the car, etc. but my same weighted cost is $105 a mile based on 36 $245.75 payments.  Now, I like to think I got a better than normal deal but even if my payments were $280 a mont, that is still $120 a mile.  And lets face it, the Tesla only gets that 265 with careful driving and my current LEAF gets closer to 90 miles. Any way,  my whole point is that if you want to complain about the LEAF's range. Don't call Nissan. Call Ford or GM or VW or any other company that has failed to challenge the LEAF


  1. We need Leafs to be available with several optional battery pack sizes. I never drive more than 50 miles, I'd love a lighter, cheaper Leaf with LESS range!

    1. Then you'll love the i-MiEV. Much more spritely handling, stronger regen and more cargo space than a Leaf (50 cubic feet with the rear seats flat). After the tax credit it's $15,500 or $250 per mile under Dave's calculus. Fast charges are usually 15 minutes, or 19 minutes max if you're going to 80% from turtle.

    2. Jay; I agree the MiEV is the LEAF's closest competition but when selling 200 a month, its hard to be scared...

  2. Steve I agree and what I see coming (or at least hoping) is the current 24 kwh pack at a lower price with a larger pack at the current price along with a bigger pack for a bit more

  3. I push my leaf to its range a couple times a week. And since I have lready lost 3 capacity bars, I don't see the point of owning yet. I am hoping that Tesla comes out with 30k car with 200 miles. I just don't see Nissan doing it soon.

  4. RUzzian; I think Tesla's "cheap" entry will still be $40,000 AFTER incentives which is still a huge price cut from anything else they have. Keep the LEAF in mind. they will have better range and battery chemistry and it looks like it will be before they get any real competition. my contention is that we would have already had that better range AND pricing if Nissan would have had a serious challenger in their price bracket