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Nissan Leaf/Chevy Volt websites vs Tesla's

I had some down time at work and decided to see what information Nissan gives about the Leaf. To look at the Leaf's site it seems that Nissan really doesn't want to educate their customers or at least be forthright with them. One, with reference to the range of the car, that is an expensive car. $34K gets you only 75 miles. On the site they tell you it gets 75 miles per a "full charge", but unlike Telsa, they don't say based on what speed. They also don't give you the option to plug in your particular driving habits to see a more realistic range.

I also looked at the Volt and it was the same thing. No mention what they are basing their proclaimed range on. They also don't say how fast it goes from 0-60. The Volt battery fully charged is only good for 38 miles, then the gas engine kicks in. Well, they don't call it an engine, they call it a "gas powered generator". So once those mere 38 miles are gone, the car becomes a ICE car until you charge it back up which takes 4 hours using the optional home charger.

Is there any wonder they (Volts) aren't selling.... It's obvious that GM and to a certain extent Nissan, are not serious about the EVs. Comparing Tesla's website to theirs, Tesla puts all their cards on the table and the other two are still following the old bait and switch approach.

Just an observation.

The Volt has out sold the Leaf so far this year:

http://green.autoblog.com/2013/12/03/chevy-volt-nissan-leaf-continue-nec...

The limitations of the Leaf and Volt are well known, and anyone considering the purchase of either would presumably research more than their respective corporate web sites.

Actually, technically, the volt does not have an ICE. It has a gas powered generator that drives the electric motor. So the electric motor is always in use--even if it is furnished electricity by a gas powered electric generator! interesting agglomeration of technologies.

Gas powered generator has an internal combustion engine, so a Volt has an ICE.

Some might argue that the Volt's Internal Combustion Engine is more than a generator. Search under "Chevy Volt's engine more than just a generator" (link not allowed).

GM likes to tell people that the Volt doesn't have an engine, but a generator. Well, if it's burning fuel be it gas or diesel, it's an engine. The fact that the output is to a generator instead of a transmission, doesn't change the fact that it's still a ICE. Also, that is very old technology. Trains since the end of the steam era have all been diesel/electric. The diesel engines run the generator that produces the power for the wheels.

I didn't realize the Leaf was selling even less than the Volt. I just watched a Teslive video on You Tube and on it, Elon Musk said that a lot of companies are building EVs just to meet regulatory
requirements. That would explain the lack of substance for both the Leaf and Volts web pages. As many have said, Tesla is moving forward and the rest are just doing the bare minimum and in the end, they are going to be left so far behind.

At least the Volt is a lot better than a Prius which only gets 6-12 miles electric before the ICE kicks in.

@jackhub

Think about what you wrote. .???

"It doesn't have an ICE." .???

What turns the generator to make the electricity. Does it really matter if you mechanically or electrically connect the Internal Cumbustion Engine (ICE) to the drive wheels ?

Based on Nissan's numbers, Model S owners are getting an incredible deal. Here's how...

Nissan Leaf costs $34,000 and goes 75 miles. That comes to $453 per mile of range. A base model S85 costs $81,000 and goes 265 miles. That comes to $306 per mile of range, or 32% less expensive than the Leaf! Even my P85 clocks in at $400 per mile of range, or 12% less than a Leaf.

I believe that when you are going to compare these vehicles, the cost-per-mile of range is an important one to consider.

AmpedRealtor, that is exactly what I thought when I saw what a Leaf costs and what one got for stated range. One would have to have another car to leave town with. If in fact you could go 75 miles, that's only 37 miles one way. So you are stuck to a 37 mile radius of your home. This is based on a worst case scenario that you didn't have a place to charge at that 37 mile mark. It is so obvious why these cars aren't selling. Though as others have said, at least they are making the car and selling it outside of California.

I just saw an article about the Cadillac version of the Volt. It costs $72,000!!!. and will fit only 4 people and has no where near the cargo space of the MS. They don't like calling it a "hybrid", it's an "EV-Extended range". If it didn't have that puny 1.4L engine, whoops I mean gas generator, the car would only go 38 miles and die.

I suspect the difference in web sites is attributable to the fact that Tesla does BEV for a living and thus should do a better job with their BEV related website. It also helps that Tesla is a tech company :)

I have both a Leaf and a Model S.

We got the Leaf for under $30K out the door, traded a broken prius for it so $24K was the amount after trade.

It's an OK car for around town. It's small, seats 5, drives OK, comfortable. My wife likes it, we've had it a year.

It is no comparison to the Tesla S. It's like comparing a BMW 7 series to a Nissan Versa.

When I decided on my Tesla S, I compared to the equivalent cars:
BMW 7, Mercedes S, Jag, Audi 7 (A7, S7 etc.)

I've had a number of BMWs, and the Tesla is my 3rd electric car.
I had to have both, so I could have the range to work or drive to Houston & Dallas from Austin.

The Tesla is a game changer. It is the first Electric car I could own and not have to have another car available.

I typically drove 90% electric and 10% BMW. Now I drive 100% Tesla.

I love my Tesla

Walter

I've seen the Leaf advertised starting at $18,800 after incentives here the the bay area. Since they lowered the price I've been seeing a LOT of them on the road here. They get to use the HOV lane like us. If it wasn't so butt-ugly I could see buying one strictly as commuter car. I would never give up my Land Shark for one though!

Volt's ICE can drive the wheels under certain situations. It is not strictly a generator.

@jordanrichard

I had a 2013 Volt for a year. Loved it. Now I have a P85+. Love it too. Before I bought the volt I did all kinds of research. I knew exactly how the power train worked. Lots of videos on youtube. I learned all about the battery and cooling. All about the climate control. Pretty much every detail about the car and it's operation. The Tesla. Nothing! No video's. No technical info. I have very little technical detail about this car. No idea on the battery cooling & heating. Absolutely nothing on the climate control operation. Tesla is very lacking in this department. I love my Tesla. I wish I knew more about it.

mrrjm:
Yes, a shop manual for the S would be VERY nice to have.

In regards to the OP, the other manufacturers approach their website as a manufacturer with their EV being a small piece of the overall picture...and simply an add-on to a pre-existing site strategy. Tesla built theirs from the ground up focusing on removing very specific perceived barriers to EV ownership in addition to selling vehicles. I don't think the others are baiting and switching as much as they are simply trying to avoid anything negative they can. Given that EVs are a tiny portion of their overall profit generators, they're playing it conservative and protecting the overall business. That whole approach is what makes Tesla a game changer and a much needed catalyst for EV proliferation.

michael1800, I agree with you about it just being another product for say GM. However since an EV is a different type of car all together and if they really wanted to sell them, they would go the extra mile to do as Tesla has done.

This should serve as a wake-up call for other EV manufacturers...

http://www.torquenews.com/1083/ev-sales-stall-tesla-outsells-rest-field-...

I think calling it a Chevy is probably what's wrong. They need to invent a new brand, badging, or it will just get lost in the me too compliance category. The General public has a hard time with accepting hybrids for the same reason, it's just an expensive engine option to a car. If you made an identical sister car, and called it a different brand especially for electric/hybrid, sales would go up. Just look at the difference calling the same truck with different options does for the GMC Sierra, Chevy silverado or a Cadillac escalade does for sales and the consumer interest. Or simply bring back Oldsmobile or Pontiac as the "electric only" branding of the Model lineup.

Volts are nice cars, for someone else to own. If they fully loaded it and called it a Cadillac ETS sedan, now you're on to something.

"On the site they tell you it gets 75 miles per a "full charge", but unlike Telsa, they don't say based on what speed."

Recently leased a 2013 Leaf in 11/2013.
The following range data have been consistent for the last
six weeks:

1. At 40 mph - about 6 miles/kwh
2. At 60 mph - about 3 miles/kwh

So based on the Leaf's battery capacity of 24kwh the range at
a steady mph is about 72 miles @ 60 mph or about 144 miles @ 40 mph.
Those ranges obviously assume no stops/starts which for the 40 mph
range is unrealistic. The 72 mile range falls within the Leaf's
on-board diagnostics which calculates the average range of about
85 miles after fully charging the battery to 100%.

When one compares the Leaf's range versus the Tesla's range,
given the vehicles' weights & battery capacities, the Leaf
is more effect.

Obviously, Nissan could double the range to over 150 miles by
doubling the battery capacity (and add another 450 lbs) and
thus increasing the cost to $45K - $48K. The issue, though,
would it have a market (probably not)?

Bottom line: Neither the Leaf nor the Tesla has any real
technological advantage over the other, both basically use
'over-the-counter' systems and if you will use "brute-force" utilization of today's battery technology.

typo correction since edit not available:

"When one compares the Leaf's range versus the Tesla's range,
given the vehicles' weights & battery capacities, the Leaf
is more effect."

When one compares the Leaf's range versus the Tesla's range,
given the vehicles' weights & battery capacities, the Leaf
is more efficient

@Wross
I am betting you are one of those people who is grinning ear to ear at all the Superchargers going in around your area. Making those Houston/Dallas trips for free has got to feel good !

lorenfb, though I do not own a MS yet, I have read extensively about the differences between the Leaf and the Model S. Granted the batteries that the Model S uses may be "off the shelf", but there are still vast differences in how Tesla manages the inherit heat build up in the LION batteries. Tesla has a battery management system that will either cool (circulated coolant) or heat the batteries as needed. The Leaf doesn't use battery cells, they use flat panels that are sandwiched on top of each other horizontally. Also, these batteries are air cooled from the bottom up. So the layers on top will get hot, which is not good.

@ lorenfb,

Leaf is simply not a contender in hot climates. Arizona Leaf drivers are lucky to get 50% of the promised range from what I've read. While the Model S will actively cool its battery to maintain range in our 115ºF+ desert heat, the Leaf's battery is hostage to high ambient temperatures. This range reduction is not temporary and is not limited to hot days - it actually damages the battery resulting in permanent range loss in just 1-2 years of use.

The Model S is the least expensive EV on a cost per mile basis. Leaf costs $350-$400 per mile of EV range. Volt costs almost $900 per mile of EV range. Model S clocks in at a low $270 per mile of EV range. Efficiency is one thing, range is another. Getting 115 MPGe is fantastic, but not so much if the car won't get you to work and back on a single charge. I want to use my car like a car - fill up and drive. I don't want to plug in and charge every time I stop somewhere because I have a tiny battery.

+1 joer - you hit that nail on the head. I know several people who refuse to buy a Volt for no other reason than it is a Chevy and wears a Chevy badge. That is some serious brand damage.

Good article in Hybrid Cars on 2013 results that I can't post because of spam filters, but google:

"Volt top selling plug-in, Leaf shatters own records, Tesla take 3rd place"

"Granted the batteries that the Model S uses may be "off the shelf", but there are still vast differences in how Tesla manages the inherit heat build up in the LION batteries."

That's true, but hardly anything that Nissan couldn't do if they
wanted the extra cost. It's really not any significant technology
achievement in an EV design that any EV manufacturer could utilize.

"The Model S is the least expensive EV on a cost per mile basis. Leaf costs $350-$400 per mile of EV range. Volt costs almost $900 per mile of EV range. Model S clocks in at a low $270 per mile of EV range."

Hardly a real economic basis for a true cost per mile when one
considers all factors, e.g. maintenance, repairs, and energy, etc.
From an efficiency AND cost per mile, the Leaf is better:

Tesla - 265 miles/100kwh = 2.65 miles per kwh
Leaf - 85 miles/24kwh = 3.54 miles per kwh

Based on SCE rates of $.11/kwh here in SoCal, the Leaf cost $.031
per mile versus the Tesla at $.042 per mile.

"Volt's ICE can drive the wheels under certain situations. It is not strictly a generator."

That's true that the ICE has a direct connection to the rear wheels
when connected to the generator/motor element. I doubt many Volt
buyers consider the mechanical complexity of it, but the Chevy
service departments will love the Volt over time. Lack any system,
the failure rate is a function of the number of elements in the
system.

The Volt:
1. two electric motors (one acts as generator/motor)
2. three clutches
3. gas motor
4. complex planetary gear unit

More typos, need an editor:

"Lack any system" - what

Take any system


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