Wednesday, May 15, 2019


No, not that kind of leaf.
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The Nissan Leaf has hardly been a smash hit for Nissan, in fact it’s true to say the car has failed to make an impact in any market where it is sold. By volume, it may be the world's biggest-selling production EV, but the volumes are pitifully small.

With a real-world range of maybe 170 miles (274km), it is the high volume generator of range anxiety – especially among the poor souls who drive one.

My friend Philip King, writing in The Weekend Australian Magazine last weekend was intoning about the forthcoming appearance of a ‘New & Improved’ Nissan Leaf, however the driving range remains pathetic.

Who wants a leaf, even at -50%?
And, to make matters worse Nissan, like many EV makers want governments to subsidize the purchase price, so more people will be consigned to worrying about whether they will get to work and home again on one charge!

Which brings me to my own Nissan Leaf saga.

In 2006 I was driving from San Francisco to Los Angeles in the total opposite of a Leaf – a Bentley Continental convertible – and called a friend of mine in LA to invite him to dinner the following evening.

The conversation went something like this:

“The company has bought all its senior executives Nissan Leafs, to promote the company’s ‘green approach’ to commuting. However, I get less than 120 miles out of a full charge at home, dealing with the inevitable clogged LA freeways, and subsequent traffic jams.”

“So can you pick me up at home so we can have dinner together, because if I drive from home to work, then out to dinner, then to home, the total mileage means I won’t be home to hook up the car to the charger, and if we’re home later than 10pm, the car will not have been charging long enough, for me to get to work and back the next day!”

So, we went to dinner in the Bentley convertible, which made him feel a lot better, and when we got to the restaurant, in a flash hotel, the concierge said it would be good for the hotel if he parked it out front while we enjoyed dinner.

There could be a good possibility we sold more Bentley convertibles that evening. However, with Nissan Leafs out of sight, in garages getting a charge, there's not many on the road to stimulate sales. Pity about that.

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