By on May 18, 2017

[Image: Nissan]

It won’t come with a minimum of 808 horsepower, nor will there be a crate to turn it into a dragster. However, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles raised the bar on how to intrigue fans (and annoy journalists) with its weekly pre-reveal teasers for the Dodge Challenger Demon, and who is Nissan to ignore FCA’s success?

The Japanese automaker has embarked on a summertime teaser campaign leading up to the unveiling of the next-generation Leaf “later this year.” Back in March, Nissan tweeted that the new Leaf would appear at a global launch event in September before going on sale before the end of the year.

So, what lies in store for the long-in-the-tooth electric’s replacement? (Read More…)

By on April 15, 2017

2016_nissan_leaf_12

How do you keep a very long-in-the-tooth model alive when competitors have bypassed it in terms of technology and practicality? Offer sweet deals, obviously.

Nissan’s venerable Leaf, which saw its first U.S. sales in late 2010 and still hasn’t confirmed a North American successor, needs all the help it can get. Not only are electric cars a tough sell in America, but the Leaf faces a growing crop of rivals that top its paltry driving range by roughly 2:1.

Nissan wants to know: would you feel differently if it was much, much cheaper? (Read More…)

By on April 10, 2017

2017 Nissan LEAF
Consumer demand may be the driving force behind automakers shifting assembly line production toward crossover vehicles, but there is another trend that has nothing to do with modern-day sales. Electric vehicles have a small but loyal consumer base and the majority of carmakers seem poised to ensure the next decade caters directly to them — whether it be through pure BEVs or hybridized powertrains.

However, not every manufacturer has its electrified ducks in a row. Despite hitting its mark with the Leaf EV, Nissan has been resting on its laurels since 2010 and hasn’t made the same sort of technological promises that Volkswagen Group or Ford cannot help but keep repeating… over and over again. Nissan’s chief planning officer Philippe Klein even admitted in January that his company’s EV prospects are dim and something needs to be done.   (Read More…)

By on February 9, 2017

Ford Focus Electric

The Ford Focus Electric is one of the most unloved models in North America right now, and its lonely existence translates into big savings for thrifty shoppers willing to make do with a less-capable EV. Ford cut $6,000 from the car’s price in 2015, and sales continued to fall despite a $4,000 price reduction the year before. You can also lease one right now for little more than a smile and a handshake.

Electric cars remain a difficult sell, especially considering there is always something better right around the corner, but leasing them is exceptionally popular — comprising roughly three-quarters of the EV market. It makes sense when lease-rate comparisons typically work out to EVs being more affordable than a similarly priced internal combustion vehicle.  (Read More…)

By on December 13, 2016

2016 Nissan Leaf, Image: Nissan

Renault and Nissan will build the next-generation Zoe and Leaf electric cars using a shared platform. The cooperative endeavor should result in leaner, cleaner, and better EV technologies — something the Japanese automaker needs to implement immediately in the helplessly floundering Leaf.

While the models will have their own distinct styling, they will share the same basic framework and electric motors. Arnaud Deboeuf, senior vice president of Renault-Nissan BV, said that the new generations of the Zoe and Leaf would compete in the same segment. However, since the current Zoe is a supermini, it will need to be sized up into a compact or the Leaf will need to be miniaturized slightly.  (Read More…)

By on December 9, 2016

BYD_Line-up_2015

The recent Guangzhou Auto Show in China was a reflection of everything stereotypical about the Chinese car market: Chinese OEM clones of European vehicles, North American and European legacy platforms resurrected into new China-only models, wacky supercars from unknown Chinese OEMs, stretched European executive sedans, and weird electric vehicles.

The only major North American press headline from the show was bold: “Five New Electric Cars from China, World’s Largest EV Market.” I never saw China as a leader in electric vehicles. However, green car publications like CleanTechnica have stated China is the world’s largest EV market for almost two years now.

What’s the real story behind China’s EV market? There’s both truth and lies in these headlines.

(Read More…)

By on October 11, 2016

2015 Nissan LEAF
Suppose an automaker improved a terrible-selling vehicle but didn’t bother to tell anyone about it. Chances are they didn’t just forget, so there has to be some fundamental reasoning behind that choice. This is the mystery Nissan has left us with after silently and suddenly replacing the battery in their base model Leaf with a larger one.

We only know about this change due to an eagle-eyed staff member at Green Car Reports, who noticed that Nissan increased the size of the Leaf S battery in a September order guide.
(Read More…)

By on August 24, 2016

2011 Nissan LEAF

Just north of the Vermont border, you’ll find 3,712 very disappointed would-be Nissan Leaf owners.

A Montreal-based group seeking a low-priced bulk buy of Nissan’s electric car has had their dreams dashed by Nissan Canada, after the automaker seemed to grow wary of the group’s size, Quebec’s La Presse reports. (Read More…)

By on August 10, 2016

2016 Nissan Leaf, Image: Nissan

With Nissan Leaf sales falling like autumn foliage, a few enterprising EV fans hope to reverse the trend (or at least slow it) through group discounts.

After a Colorado group negotiated a 248-vehicle Leaf purchase for the you’re kidding me price of $12,130 per unit, other groups now wants a piece of the cheap Leaf action. In Montreal, 2,500 Quebec residents just signed up for a reduced group price, while a Wisconsin group negotiated a similar discount. (Read More…)

By on July 6, 2016

2016_nissan_leaf_07

The Leaf is nowhere to be seen — unless you’re staring at a Nissan dealer lot — and American buyers are barely budging their electric vehicle take up rate. Nissan, it seems, needs another incentive to sweeten its EV pot.

The solution? More free electricity. It’s not a new idea (actually, it’s an expanded version of two-year-old promotion), but the automaker probably figured, why the hell not? (Read More…)

By on June 21, 2016

2016 Nissan Leaf, Image: Nissan

Nissan doesn’t want its aging Leaf electric hatchback to be left in the dust when the long-legged Chevrolet Bolt and Tesla Model 3 hit the market.

To counter the threat, Nissan will double the size of the Leaf’s battery, giving it a range of more than 200 miles, the automaker’s green chief told Autoblog. Exactly when the upgraded EV will show up remains a mystery. (Read More…)

By on June 17, 2016

About the only plug-in action most Prius owners get. Picture courtesy Toyota.

Electrified transportation isn’t catching fire in the new vehicle market, but sales are positively scorching at used car lots.

The top three fastest-selling one- to three-year-old vehicles in the U.S. today aren’t pickups or SUVs, but a low-volume plug-in hybrid and two EVs, according to automotive data and research company iSeeCars.com. (Read More…)

By on June 1, 2016

2016 Nissan Leaf, Image: Nissan

Nissan Leaf sales have all the buoyancy of a cinder block, meaning buyers clearly weren’t impressed with the extra miles of range added for 2016.

The venerable electric vehicle recorded 979 U.S. sales in May, up from the previous month’s 787 units, but down a whopping 53.5 percent from a year earlier. If the model’s perpetually smiling face could frown, it would. (Read More…)

By on May 17, 2016

2016 Nissan Leaf, Image: Nissan

Electric cars take considerable flack from average consumers for being far too expensive in comparison to gas-powered competitors — and that’s before you realize it takes years to make that money back in fuel savings. Combine those two points with range anxiety and you’ve summarized the major hangups normal folk have with electric-vehicle ownership today.

The U.S. Federal government offers tax incentives, in the form of income tax rebates, to ease the monetary pain of EV ownership for average buyers. Individual states have joined the rebate incentive bandwagon, too. However, the state of Colorado is changing its tune, and will now gift you an incentive before you even drive off the dealer lot — no tax return required.

(Read More…)

By on April 22, 2016

leaf

Nissan is trying to play Tesla’s lengthy Model 3 waiting list to its advantage.

A print ad that landed in the country’s most-read newspapers this morning is playing up the Model 3’s wait times, according to Automotive News, and encouraging EV buyers to go the faster route by buying a Leaf.

There’s nothing subtle about the ad, which would have been green-lit by Nissan’s intimidating sales and marketing head Christian Meunier. Since taking on the role in January, Meunier has laid out an aggressive marketing strategy, meaning the Leaf spot could be the first of many cheeky ads. (Read More…)

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