In Tokyo, Nissan Weighs Three Choices for Next Electric Car

By · November 29, 2011

Carlos Ghosn and Pivo3

Nissan-Renault CEO Carlos Ghosn approaches the Nissan Pivo3 electric commuter concept.

The Tokyo Motor Show is known as the global coming-out event for the most improbable concept vehicles. The 2011 show is no exception. As I perused the exhibitions this morning, I quickly dismissed the many outlandish plug-in concepts as eye candy—with just about zero chances of going into production. That is, until I ran into Mark Perry, Nissan’s electric car guy for the Americas, who cautioned me to take another look at the “zero-emissions” concepts on the Nissan stage. “These are not pure design fantasies,” said Mark. “One of these three will definitely go into production, and all of them have an equal chance.”

Mark pointed to these three electric vehicles: the Pivo3, a tiny three-seat urban commuter with crazy pivoting wheels; the Townpod small utility vehicle; and the sleek Esflow electric sports car that promises zero-to-sixty-two in less than five seconds. He turned to me and asked, “Which would you put into production?”

Mark reminded me that Nissan has committed to making and selling four distinct all-electric models, and three of the slots are taken—by the LEAF compact; an upcoming Infiniti mid-size EV; and a small commercial delivery truck. “We’re aiming to have 1.5 million cumulative Nissan electric cars on the road by 2015 or 2016. Which one of these will bring the highest volume?”

Mark explained that it could be five or six years from now before the fourth Nissan mystery EV is on sale, but that the decision has to be made very soon. Here’s a unique opportunity for the PluginCars.com community to weigh in. I know the folks at Nissan read our articles and comments—so speak up, folks.

Coming up with the right decision will require some prescient thinking: How many competitors will be making EVs in 2015? The choice has to yield maximize volume for global markets, not just the U.S. Imagine a much more developed public charging infrastructure five years from now. Will government incentives have long vanished? Where might gas prices be?

Door Number One, Two or Three?

At first, Mark seemed to be leaning toward the Esflow electric sports car. It is pretty damn cool. “Think of what it could do for the Nissan brand,” he said. “It could be the 240Z of EV.” Although Mark referred to it as the “sexy easy decision,” you have to consider it as the most expensive of the three choices—and therefore likely the lowest volume.

The two-seater is screaming fast by virtue of two electric motors—one for each rear wheel; has 150 miles of range; a dramatic wrap-around windscreen. “That’s a halo,” said Mark.

Nissan Esflow electric sports car
Nissan Esflow electric sports car
Nissan Esflow electric sports car

Then, we turned out attention to the Pivo3, which seemed the easiest to cross of the list. It’s a little urban commuter—very similar to the one on display at the Honda booth—with a compact three-seat body that’s less than three meters long. The styling of the concept is super sharp, and the configuration of the driver in a central position makes it very funky.

“But project yourself five to 10 years from now,” said Mark. “There are so many variables. Will there be a big movement to small cars?” I suppose he was thinking about cities in Europe and Asia, but we nominated potential cities in the U.S. where parking is a premium: New York, San Francisco, Chicago? The Pivo3 can practically pivot in a circle to squeeze into tight spots. It fits into conventional parking spots in a sideways position, and can park itself. “I’m torn,” said Mark. “It’s a tough sell for the United States.”

Nissan Pivo3 urban commuter concept
Nissan Pivo3 urban commuter concept
Nissan Pivo3 urban commuter concept

We spent the most time talking about the Townpod, which was unveiled at the 2010 Paris Auto Show. You have to look past all the concept-y auto show flourishes to see a small—built on a C platform—practical utility car that seats five, and can adapt to a wide range of passenger and cargo configurations. “It’s smaller than a Nissan Rogue but bigger than a Nissan Juke.”

To me, the Townpod’s practicality and accessibility to potential mainstream buyers make it the hands-down winner. But maybe it's too similar to other electric deliver vans, like Nissan's or the Ford Transit Connect. What do you think?

Nissan Townpod electric small utility concept
Nissan Townpod electric small utility concept
Nissan Townpod electric small utility concept

More To Consider

I snagged a few other bits of information from Mark, which more astute observers of the EV scene might already know—but I found them intriguing.

  • The Infiniti electric car coming in 2014, despite being larger than the Leaf, will have 20 percent more driving range.
  • Despite projecting an image as an all- electric purist, Nissan will definitely be putting a plug-in hybrid into production in the next few years.
  • There are no plans to use liquid cooling in future Nissan electric cars. Mark raised his eyebrows and tilted his head—you interpret that—when I suggested that the liquid coolant could be the culprit in the Chevy Volt lab-based fires.
  • Finally, the version of the Nissan LEAF going into production in late 2012 will have driver-selected options—call them modes, if you like—to modify braking and/or acceleration. Earlier today, I posted about the Honda Fit EV’s hard-regen and coasting features.

Maybe these four news nuggets will help you make the decision about which of the three Nissan concept cars on display in Tokyo you want to see on the road in 2015.

Comments

· Londo Bell (not verified) · 2 years ago

I'll put it this way: if Nissan wants nothing but to make more money, then go with the Infiniti. Hopefully the revenue generated will translate to cheaper EVs like LEAF.

If Nissan wants to really encourage EV ownership, including leases, and to meet Carlos Ghosn goal of reaching (I forgot the #) EV's on the road by (I forgot the year), then go with Townpod. Nothing beats practicality, value, and cheap(er) price. Think US economy from now 'til 2014 - I don't foresee it to be much better; I just hope that it won't get too bad (problems in Europe will affect US in 2012/13, and problems in China - economy slowdown - will affect world until 2015 or beyond). Most people won't have enough money to buy a EV if they are all priced $40 and beyond, before or w/o gov't incentives. Furthermore, Townpod can be extended to be a 7 seater too, don't you think?

If economy is back to where it was around 2008, then I see Pivo3 type of vehicle succeeding, but with big caution - 3 seater is extremely uncommon (that's why we see them everywhere!) and most DYOK need space too. In fact, Nissan can look upon iMeV sales here in US as a potential indicator as to how common 4 seater vehicle can become (forget about the Volt cause it's priced too much for a 4 seater). But Pivo3 is my last choice.

· Henrik2 (not verified) · 2 years ago

If the goal is to make the world’s best selling EV Nissan should consider this:

Go with the Townpod. Make it more affordable by making is smaller than the Leaf. It should seat 2 adults in comfort up front and two kids in the back. Use 3 doors for affordability and be sure the backseats can be folded down to make a large trunk at the back when needed. Just like the VW up! that gets 1000 liters of trunk space with the back seats folded down. Try to get the vehicle’s weight down to 1050 kg in order to ensure long rage per kWh.

Trump the competition by enabling the car to charge at 100kW so that the car will be the only car you will ever need for most potential buyers. 100kW with a 16 kWh battery using cells from Toshiba should be doable and also affordable as can be seen from the current low price of the iMiEV with such a 10.6kWh Toshiba battery. At 100kW you could charge a 16kWh battery to 80% in about 8 minutes and the car at 1050 kg will have an EPA rated range of about 62 miles versus 73 miles for the Leaf that uses a 24 kWh battery and weights 1521 kg.

· UNLESS (not verified) · 2 years ago

I own an old Ford Diesel pickup, a Jeep Grand Cherokee, and Leaf. After a month with the Leaf and driving electric. We leased the Leaf because I expect the technology to change far too much in 3-4 years to take an ownership position. I fully expect we will replace the Leaf with another EV focused (pun?) on commuting.

I would very much like to have a 2nd EV, as we are currently racking up 1500 - 2000 miles per month on our Leaf. I was tempted just to buy a 2nd Leaf, but I really can't justify it.

For us to be a 2 EV family, the 2nd EV will have to provide the functionality of our SUV, including seating, cargo, and ideally four wheel drive. Seattle may be one of the bigger EV markets in the US, but it is also the 2nd best seller of four wheel drive vehicles in the US (Denver is number one).

SO, clearly my vote is for the Townpod, but it would need to be fourwheel/all-wheel drive to replace our Jeep GC. Costco trips with the Leaf our nerve racking for me. So far it has worked, but our really big Costco trips would totally overwhelm our Leaf (hum... consumer much?).

I don't see ever replacing the old diesel truck, (1994 with only 225k miles) but I can see (and hope) for a day when we have a 2nd EV that does everything our Jeep does.

· · 2 years ago

I'm with Londo Bell,
If Nissan wants to make money from EVs, the Esflow is the ticket. People will have no problem dropping $50 - $60K on it if its an electric Z-car. Since Tesla is on hiatus from the performance sports car as they bring their Model S Sedan to production, this will fill a nice, profitable gap in the market.
The trouble with the Pivo and Townpod is that people will expect it to cost less than $20K and this means that Nissan is going to have to subsidize it for a while before it starts making money.
If the Pivo and Townpod can handle freeway speeds (80 mph) and have the same range or more than the Leaf, they will probably sell a bit less than the Smart.
As far as EV promotion: The only one that will help increase the proliferation of oil-free vehicles will be the Esflow since it is the only one that counters negative perceptions toward EVs.

· · 2 years ago

It is too bad they can't do both the Esflow and the Townpod because they would both add a lot of momentum to the EV market. But Tesla is planing to bring the roadster back and other small manufacturers are all going either luxury or sporty and high price. So unless Nissan can offer the Esflow for a much lower price than other sporty EVs of the near future, the TownPod may be the way to go.

Given the TownPod's versatility, practicality and not being overly large, I think it will sell extremely well world wide. It would just be a good match for a lot of families in a lot of different settings. It is really the EV equivalant of the Kia Soul, which sells like crazy.

· Steven (not verified) · 2 years ago

Whatever the decision, I hope this time Nissan will support battery swapping - together with software that positively identifies the battery that is returned to you, after say a two-week rental of a high-capacity, fast-charging 'road' battery, is the battery you left at the original point of rental.

· Kelly Snider (not verified) · 2 years ago

My husband and I have a brand-new Leaf (21,000 miles already!); former drivers of EV-1 (loved it); and also have a 11-year-old Infiniti I30 we cart the kids around in. We would have nothing but electric cars if we could - but we need the infrastructure to support on-the-go charging. Therefore our vote is the Townpod - what we need is CRITICAL MASS in drivers and vehicles. Nissan is too late to get the bleeding edge on sports cars and the sedans don't have enough market.

· jdun87 (not verified) · 2 years ago

I agree that the Townpod is the most practical of the bunch. The issue I see is that people looking at a small SUV will be more concerned about range and therefore will want their EV to go at least 200 miles or be a plug-in hybrid. The Pivo3 might seam the least practical but Mitsubishi has sold 17,000 iMievs internationally, which is more then the leaf outside the US despite being a smaller car. If the Pivo3 is a sub $20,000 car and can still hit the 100 mile range mark, I could see Nissan selling 20,000 vehicles a year in the US and even more internally. Also the Pivo3 is the most unique of the bunch and in cities I think style is sometimes valued more then practicality. I sat in the Scion IQ at a car show and thought it was really cool.

· · 2 years ago

Unfortunately I don't think I'd buy any of them - I'd like a sporty 4/5 seater sedan - like the upcoming Infinity EV.

Not sure why Nissan wants to make only one of them - I think they should make all three. They have distinctly different target segments and little overlap. I don't see Leaf selling 150K per year in the US - but all these cars together can sell 150K a year.

· Warren (not verified) · 2 years ago

I won't be buying any of these. I will be dead before any of the auto makers produces what I want....one thousand pounds or less, two seater, very aero. I will probably end up building my own from scratch, or a kit.

· · 2 years ago

The Pivo 3 is needlessly complicated for the US market.

The Townpod is mainstream, albeit rather odd/ho-hum/fat looking, and offers little to set it apart from other upcoming and existing small EV's (and it is too close to the LEAF).

I'd go with the ESFLow, if it can be brought in at a price that's reasonable ($35K - 40 K). It is in a market in which there can be more profit per unit than the other two where people (aside from classic early adopters) are looking for a lowering of prices. Might as well go where there's less competition, and own that market segment, as Nissan did for a while with the 240Z.

· · 2 years ago

"Ken Fry...
I'd go with the ESFLow, if it can be brought in at a price that's reasonable ($35K - 40 K). It is in a market in which there can be more profit per unit than the other two where people (aside from classic early adopters) are looking for a lowering of prices. Might as well go where there's less competition, and own that market segment, as Nissan did for a while with the 240Z."

+1.

Not saying what Nissan should do, but the car I'd prefer is the Esflow. I think it would make a fun commuter with styling I prefer over the Leaf (which I'm currently considering). I'd want to see it low to mid $30's, where the 2011 Leaf is currently priced. To meet that price point I would go with a single motor and a performance target of 0-60 in ~ 8 seconds, rather than the 2 motor 5 second 0-60 that's proposed. Don't need breakneck acceleration, rather a competent performer with sports car styling. This is coming from the owner of a '71 240-Z and a '91 Miata.

· London Bell (not verified) · 2 years ago

@ brg2290

"I'd want to see it low to mid $30's"

It's only around noon time, and you are day dreaming already?

Esflow needs to be a performance EV, or there's no point in selling it. Think of the demographics it may attract, then compare to Tesla / Fisker Karma...I don't think that the Infiniti EV will cost anything less than $7K. FYI, even a G sedan, base 2500cc, is $30K nowadays. M37H is around $5.5K, I think.

If Nissan will just sell the Cube3 EV test mute (put that in production), then I'll be happy. It's 5+2 seating! That's why I think that the Townpod has the best potential.

This is coming from an ex-owner of a Z32 Twin Turbo.

· · 2 years ago

@London Bell "I don't think that the Infiniti EV will cost anything less than $7K. FYI, even a G sedan, base 2500cc, is $30K nowadays. M37H is around $5.5K, I think."

You have some problems there with the figurers - missing a zero perhaps ?

Anyway, Inifiniti EV is rumored to be around $40k after tax credits. It needs to be around that to compete with Model S (which will be $50K).

ESFlow can be prized either around Leaf (for higher volume) or Inifiti EV for lower volume.

· Londo Bell (not verified) · 2 years ago

Oops, you are correct, EVNow. Time to go to bed ;)

Infiniti EV is a sedan, so it makes sense - in a way - to be rumored about $40K.

ESFlow is a sport car, if I remember correctly. Even @ low volume, I just can't see it selling @ $50K. Like I said, M37H is $53.7K, and ESFlow is going to be like a "GT-R" type of sport car, rather than a Fairlady Z, so highly unlikely to be anything less than $53.7K.

A lot more R&D needs to be done on the Esflow too! The current Nismo LEAF RC can drive like a sport car at high speed, but if maintain continuous high speed, the duration is only 20 minutes. Mind you, other than a modified body and suspension, Nismo LEAF RC has identical power train as a regular LEAF. Thus, Esflow will most likely have a longer ranger battery ($$$), plus a lot of weight reducing materials ($$$), so that it is "competitive" in the EV racing class against Tesla or Fisker Karma.

· · 2 years ago

I don't like any of them but, if forced to choose, the Townpod looks to be the most useful. The other two are utterly useless.

I'm with "UNLESS" above, what is needed is a utility vehicle with 4WD and high ground clearance (perhaps adjustable for better highway aerodynamics). Until then, my second car will remain my Jeep Cherokee, which can get up my steep driveway in ten inches of new snow without me having to shovel all 400 feet of it.

· iletric (not verified) · 2 years ago

Esflow, baby! I wish they scaled down those front bumpers jutting forward. But I'm really waiting for that Infinity sedan. More subdued. Ultimately - whichever takes me farther ON THE FREEWAY, Nissan. That's all we drive here in California--freeways.

PS: Does Nissan know Pivo means "beer" in Czech and Slovak and possibly other Slavic languages?

· · 2 years ago

@Londo Bell . "ESFlow is going to be like a "GT-R" type of sport car, rather than a Fairlady Z, so highly unlikely to be anything less than $53.7K. "

In various earlier statements by Nissan execs, they have hinted at much lower prices.

http://www.mynissanleaf.com/viewtopic.php?p=62594#p62594

"If Made, The ESFlow Would Be Priced Between $34,000 and $40,000".

· Londo Bell (not verified) · 2 years ago

Hmm...in that case, I would actually suggest EsFlow be the next choice, rather than the Townpod.

Show the world that it IS doable to have a $35-40K EV sports car.

As for practicality, hopefully the NV200EV can be converted to a 7/8 seater, like the NV in the US.

Then come Townpod later on. After all, Nissan built a Cube3 EV, didn't it?

· Shine (not verified) · 2 years ago

They are all soooo cool and really sleek. But they will only fit one or two people. I need a family car...something that will fit at least 6 people.

· TRONZ (not verified) · 2 years ago

The ESFlow is the only production candidate that expands its market desirability far beyond the EV category. The ESFlow is just a very cool and desirable car. People I have shown the pics to just want it, Period! The fact that it would have staggering performance and more range than a LEAF is just a perk I guess. This is where EV's need to go. It's OK to really love the car, how it performs and how it's designed. Being Zero Emission is all the better. By 2015 the LEAF and Infiniti will have the practical side of EV's nailed down and then some. The Townpod would just add an option for a bit more interior room but no new market attraction for EV's. The PIVO reminds me of driving around a forklift. It might be fun spinning in circles for awhile but after you yack a few times, the novelty would ware off.

The ESFlow would introduce raw passion into the EV market. This factor should not be underestimated in projecting sales numbers at any price point.

· · 2 years ago

>> To meet that price point I would go with a single motor and a performance target of 0-60 in ~ 8 seconds, rather than the 2 motor 5 second 0-60 that's proposed.<<

I had not really looked into the ESFlow previously, but the projected weight of 2000-2200 lbs holds huge advantages. This enables the expensive part, the battery pack, to be smaller... so the car can be less expensive. Lightweighting also allows high performance without needing large motors. Given this will be an enthusiasts car, there is likely to be better acceptance of slightly reduced range, as well. An engaged driver is more likely to say (I think) "Heck, 70 miles is all the range I need... that's over 25,000 miles per year." That allows a smaller pack yet, contributing to low weight and low cost, and higher performance per HP.

This is by far the most desirable of the three -- kind of the electric equivalent of the cars you mention, but quicker than either. The cost and weight penalty of a little more HP in an electric car is small, so getting the really impressive spec is probably worth it.

The two motors, by the way, eliminate the need for a differential, and also allow for simpler traction control and anti-lock regen braking, because you have independent wheel control.

[ In my Zing, I have taken this lightweighting (and streamlining) thinking to extremes. Even though it is intended as a fun commuter more so than as a rocket ship, you find that giving it enough HP for ICE-like grade climbing automatically gives it enough power to accelerate very well -- quite a bit better than my original target. The ESFLow is the first offering that is close to being in my market (fun, quick two-seater). Fortunately, I can sell mine for about half their price... and I can drive mine 600 miles per day.]

· · 2 years ago

I believe Nissan is working on an electric minivan, the NV200 that New-Yorkers will get as a taxi (with a gas engine). Then I know Renault is working on a smaller model, the Zoe that will launch next year, so to avoid any product overlap, the sports coupe is the best choice.

The Esflow being especially promising with in-wheel motors, though I don't know how confident is Nissan with that technology. My idea would be to make an electric Nissan Z somewhat more convenient than the gas one (though with a much shorter range) because in-wheel motors could allow to have some storage space under the hood.

An Esflow fully convertible would be perfect as there's nothing like driving a silent drophead.

· · 2 years ago

@ Laurent J. Masson - I was more for the TownPod until you mentioned an in the wheel motor Esflow with trunk space under the hood. If Nissan could produce that for a low price then I change my vote.

· · 2 years ago

An in the wheel motor Esflow would have 4 wheel drive and 4 wheel regen.

· Londo Bell (not verified) · 2 years ago

Actually Nissan is VERY knowledgable and capable in manufacturing vehicles with electric 4wd system. Not exactly an in wheel 4wd, but very close. No linkage or converter is needed. Just search for e4wd. It's in most, if not all, of Nissan's small to mid-size JDM vehicles.

· · 2 years ago

In the wheel motor or not, if they can squeeze down their electronics and their propulsion system such that everything is under the car, like the Model S, so that the hood is now a trunk, that changes the practicality of a vehicle like this in ways that ICE cars of a similiar configuration cannot match. And if they can get four wheel drive for sporty performance and 4 wheel regen then that would be great. Now we are talking about a car that has enough advantages that it might sell really well if it isn't too much more that the LEAF.

Sooner or later Nissan needs to shrink their electronics like Telsa did. This might be the car to do it on.

· Pipeline (not verified) · 2 years ago

Thanks, Brad for the article and everyone for their contributions.

Am I allowed to cheat a little? Nissan: How about a Prius V? If we’re talking about high-volume, market-wide acceptance, and another game-changer like the LEAF:

a. Esflow – Like the intriguing looks. Only a two seater though. Minimal cargo room.
b. Pivo3 – Ugly. Only a three seater. Minimal cargo room. I’m assuming range will be minimal? (There’s a reason the Scion iQ EV will not be sold to general public.)
c. Townpod – Just as ugly. We don’t need another Cube. You already offer a toaster for sale and most dislike it. And if production version is 2 doors plus hatch door, functionality is largely lost along with appeal.

I just jumped on Toyota’s Prius V page. It resonated that the Ford Escape’s MPG and cargo capacity was listed right there next the V’s along with a link to further comparison. You’d be pulling in market-share from buyers for midsize vehicles, crossovers, wagons, some SUVs, and more. That’s the V, CRV, Escape, RAV4 (gasoline and electric)...

Consider the “LEAF V” vehicle’s site with numbers compared to the Prius V’s. How about a compelling cost of ownership layout where you have the approximate cost to drive 100 miles using average electricity rates versus approximate cost using gasoline for said vehicle (maybe offer link with more accurate numbers based on zip code?) along with an emphasis on minimal maintenance for pure EVs? Could you include some solar panel data too? Sure, the price will be more than the competing ICE vehicles, but if we’re considering a ~2015 launch and that you already have the LEAF platform and technology built to a production point now, it shouldn’t mean you’re clear out of the ballpark on that front.

The essential quality though, in my opinion, is a (combined) EPA rated 150 mile range. That easily makes this vehicle the primary or only vehicle for one’s household, especially considering better charging infrastructure and hopefully better battery costs/technology at that time. Now your trip to the mountains, even San Francisco to Los Angeles (with infrastructure), is entirely an option. You’d even be competing with the Volt, C-Max lineup, Mitsubishi’s PHEV SUV, i3 (to a point), and Model S and X (to a point).

Don’t waste your resources on these cars. This is where the competition is heading. Meet them head on. As an American, I wish I wouldn’t recommend a larger car than the LEAF, but U.S. buyers will definitely jump on this, and certainly there are plenty of world markets for this too.

Anyway, thank you for introducing the LEAF. But going forward, for the LEAF and the next big Nissan (pure) EV, could you consider items like:

• telescoping/fully adjustable steering wheels
• fully adjustable driver seat (it doesn’t go up and down?)
• actual state of charge (SOC) info
• more accurate estimated remaining range gauge
• more up-to-date maps and real-time charging station data for navigation system
• synchronizing both clocks (that’s right…the one in the navigation display is separate from the dashboard display clock near the speedometer)
• exterior latch for charging port door or include one on remote
• different interior color options, including leather

Most of these “features” are not that costly and owners will really appreciate them.

This is coming from a (large) dealership employee who works with Nissan, Ford, and Toyota owners (among others) on a daily basis.

· · 2 years ago

Thanks, Brad for the article and everyone for their contributions.

Am I allowed to cheat a little? Nissan: How about a Prius V? If we’re talking about high-volume, market-wide acceptance, and another game-changer like the LEAF:

a. Esflow – Like the intriguing looks. Only a two seater though. Minimal cargo room.
b. Pivo3 – Ugly. Only a three seater. Minimal cargo room. I’m assuming range will be minimal? (There’s a reason the Scion iQ EV will not be sold to general public.)
c. Townpod – Just as ugly. We don’t need another Cube. You already offer a toaster for sale and most dislike it. And if production version is 2 doors plus hatch door, functionality is largely lost along with appeal.

I just jumped on Toyota’s Prius V page. It resonated that the Ford Escape’s MPG and cargo capacity was listed right there next the V’s along with a link to further comparison. You’d be pulling in market-share from buyers for midsize vehicles, crossovers, wagons, some SUVs, and more. That’s the V, CRV, Escape, RAV4 (gasoline and electric)...

Consider the “LEAF V” vehicle’s site with numbers compared to the Prius V’s. How about a compelling cost of ownership layout where you have the approximate cost to drive 100 miles using average electricity rates versus approximate cost using gasoline for said vehicle (maybe offer link with more accurate numbers based on zip code?) along with an emphasis on minimal maintenance for pure EVs? Could you include some solar panel data too? Sure, the price will be more than the competing ICE vehicles, but if we’re considering a ~2015 launch and that you already have the LEAF platform and technology built to a production point now, it shouldn’t mean you’re clear out of the ballpark on that front.

The essential quality though, in my opinion, is a (combined) EPA rated 150 mile range. That easily makes this vehicle the primary or only vehicle for one’s household, especially considering better charging infrastructure and hopefully better battery costs/technology at that time. Now your trip to the mountains, even San Francisco to Los Angeles (with infrastructure), is entirely an option. You’d even be competing with the Volt, C-Max lineup, Mitsubishi’s PHEV SUV, i3 (to a point), and Model S and X (to a point).

Don’t waste your resources on these cars. This is where the competition is heading. Meet them head on. As an American, I wish I wouldn’t recommend a larger car than the LEAF, but U.S. buyers will definitely jump on this, and certainly there are plenty of world markets for this too.

Anyway, thank you for introducing the LEAF. But going forward, for the LEAF and the next big Nissan (pure) EV, could you consider items like:

• telescoping/fully adjustable steering wheels
• fully adjustable driver seat (it doesn’t go up and down?)
• actual state of charge (SOC) info
• more accurate estimated remaining range gauge
• more up-to-date maps and real-time charging station data for navigation system
• synchronizing both clocks (that’s right…the one in the navigation display is separate from the dashboard display clock near the speedometer)
• exterior latch for charging port door or include one on remote
• different interior color options, including leather

Most of these “features” are not that costly and owners will really appreciate them.

This is coming from a (large) dealership employee who works with Nissan, Ford, and Toyota owners (among others) on a daily basis.

· · 2 years ago

I own a LEAF myself. I showed my teenagers the TownPod as a car I'd buy for them and they think it is the coolest car ever. So Nissan please, please make the TownPod!!

· · 2 years ago

ESFLOOOOOOWWWWW!!!!!!!!!! It's the only real car of the bunch, it looks awesome, as mentioned it will fill the void left by Tesla, at a more reasonable entry point, and it's F@#$%ing beautiful, especially in the original metallic finish. Since it's small, low, and should have a good cd it ought to be able to get fairly impressive range from whatever pack it gets. EV's need better wh/mi figures to get more from the expensive batteries, the ESFlow should be able to deliver when driven conservatively, and deliver impressive performance when not. I want this car.

· Anonymous (not verified) · 2 years ago

ESFLOW for me :-) I own a LEAF with 12,500 miles in 9 months. It's a proven well designed EV. But, I want a sports EV!

· Bassman (not verified) · 2 years ago

The ESFLOW!!! I have a LEAF. Now I want something that's fast, super fun to drive (the LEAF is a lot of fun, but two motors,let's face it that would be a kick>) and economical to drive to work.

· DavidA (not verified) · 2 years ago

Esflow for me also. I don't see a clash between Tesla and Esflow anyway; the Lotus Elise and the Nissan xxxZ cars are completely different and appeal to different folk.

But the Esflow would be a "profile-raiser". For volume, surely there needs to be a pretty, small, long-range, cheap town car? And I can't see that coming without volume sales, and I can't see volume sales without cheapness... catch22?

· · 2 years ago

@ Monthly Car Lease - Well, if we just use your numbers and if the life of a car is 10 years, then you would save $10,000 over the life of the car. Pretty good for a $4,000 investment.

Even if you don't personally own the car for the full 10 years, the price you sell it for to someone else should reflect the savings in fuel that they will see, or at least some portion of it.

· · 2 years ago

Alte, he's a spammer and has been reported.

· Anonymous (not verified) · 2 years ago

what about the working man that needs a van or truck I have 10 trucks and vans on the road and pay 3000.00 wk in gas the day the env-200 comes I will get 10 NEW ELECTRIC VANS ps would also like infinite for wife and pass our well used leaf to my son. So nissan its clear there is a MARKET for all of them SO BRING THEM ON!!!!!

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