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…)
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…)
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.
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.
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…)
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…)
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…)
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…)
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…)
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…)
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.
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…)
Ford Motor Company is hitting the brakes in the electric vehicle range war.
While competitors like Tesla and General Motors are busy preparing EVs with ranges of 200 miles or more, Ford is staying put at the 100-mile line, Automotive News has reported.
Though it plays well in the plug-in hybrid game with models like the C-Max and Fusion Energi, the automaker’s only “pure” EV — the Focus Electric — has lingered near the back of the pack in terms of range since debuting in 2012. (Read More…)
Since we’ve been doing these Ask Bark columns at the beginning of the year, I’ve received well over a hundred questions from you, our loyal readers. While I truly want to answer all of them, some of them don’t need a 1,000 word response, so they’ve been languishing in my inbox because I can’t turn them into a full column on their own.
So, today we’ll be doing some quick hits and answering several questions in one column. In other words, here’s your chance to call me an idiot multiple times, which I know that some of you are already quite giddy about.
Let’s get to it.
Is there a Nissan competitor to the BMW i8 in the works? A senior executive has hinted there might be.
Speaking to Auto Express, senior vice-president Shiro Nakamura said an electric sports car is one option the automaker is considering for its upcoming modular vehicle platform.