Tesla has mostly welcomed electric vehicle competition since it contributes to its mission to accelerate the advent of electric transport, though it didn’t stop CEO Elon Musk to literally laugh at competition on occasions. Nissan is another automaker with a strong commitment to EVs and it has a similar approach to competition in the market.
CEO Carlos Ghosn commented on Tesla having received an impressive number of Model 3 reservations since unveiling the all-electric $35,000 sedan last week and he referred to the vehicle as “good competition.”.
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Ghosn’s comments were reported by Auto News during a visit of an engine plant in Iwaki, Japan:
“The fact that so many people are willing to pay a down payment to get this car which becomes available at the end of 2017 is a good sign. Finally, good competition for EVs is picking up.”
Musk confirmed that Tesla received over 276,000 Model 3 reservations with deposits since unveiling the vehicle last week.
Nissan CEO’s logic is that the demand and attention around the Model 3 will expand the market for EVs:
“We welcome competition because it can expand the market. It’s going to stimulate demand.”
While the LEAF has been on the market for years at the same price range as the Model 3 will be offered in late 2017, it can’t really compete on specs. The LEAF’s biggest battery pack enables about 107 miles on a single charge, while the base Model 3 will be able to travel 215 miles. Although subjective, its design is one of the LEAF’s biggest weakness.
Nissan’s LEAF sales have been lagging since last year. The company sold 17,269 units in the US last year versus 30,200 in 2014.
The new 30 kWh battery pack option for the 2016 models gets 107 EPA-rated miles on a single charge. The pack is standard on the LEAF SV and LEAF SL models which starts at $34,200 and $36,790 respectively. Nissan also still offers the 24 kWh pack option on the LEAF S, which starts at $29,010.
The company is expected to bring to market a next generation LEAF next year to compete with the Model 3 and the Chevy Bolt. The car is expected to have a 60 kWh battery pack allowing around 200 miles of range and hopefully it will feature an updated design.