• Mar 16, 2010
Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn with Leaf EV – Click above for high-res image gallery

Will Nissan's upcoming Leaf electric car compete directly with the 2011 Chevrolet Volt? Well, that depends on who you ask. Apparently, Nissan head Carlos Ghosn doesn't believe the two eco-friendly automobiles will be competing on a large scale. Says Ghosn:
"Frankly, I mean so far there is no competition. Let's be serious. It's not because someone is coming with a prototype and one car that this is competition. The question is how much capacity are you building... What I am sure is that in 2011, I am going to be the only one on the market."
Ghosn wasn't necessarily referring directly to the Chevy Volt when he made those comments at the Geneva Motor Show, but the sentiment would surely include General Motors' extended-range electric vehicle by proxy. We'd imagine that a good deal of Leaf or Volt buyers would consider the other car a competitor for their hard-earned dollars.

If the issue between the two electric cars is production numbers, Nissan certainly takes the (currently theoretical) win as it plans to build 500,000 Leaf EVs by 2012. By way of contrast, GM has been mum on actual production goals for its Volt program, but we know the initial launch at the end of 2010 will be a comparatively small one.



[Source: BusinessWeek]


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  • 41 Comments
      • 4 Years Ago
      either he is 5 feet tall or Leaf is actually a pretty big car...
        • 4 Years Ago
        Judging by the wheels, I think he is pretty short.
        • 4 Years Ago
        The leaf is a large hatch, certainly larger than the mini, on par with the gti/a3.
      • 4 Years Ago
      The Volt is the superior car with superior technology. Next!
        • 4 Years Ago
        Got some suporting data we don't already know about?? Or are you just our neighborhood village idiot?!
      • 4 Years Ago
      There's definitely no competition in the ugliness department, except maybe their own Juke.

      Come on, Carlos, put some catfish whiskers on the front! You know you want to!
      • 4 Years Ago
      No, no, no....I'll tell you what's really being missed, and that is the fact that, about 1,300 to 5,000 Americans will be put to long-term work, practically right now as re-tooling workers, re-charging grid infrastructure installers and factory workers can start to stablize their lives some what and have some peace-of-mind because this revolution is set to go on for times to come. That my friends, is the BIG PICTURE. Nothing, IMHO, is more significant and valuable than that.
      • 4 Years Ago
      the car isn't rlly my cup of tea, but it looks very eco and it should be more compared to a prius...oh wait prius is a hybrid...The chevy volt should be the competition then....
        • 4 Years Ago
        you better fix that CVT problem on the rogue and versa fist ~!!!!!
        • 4 Years Ago
        So the competition for Leaf is the Volt because a Prius is a hybrid?

        Volt has a gas tank. It has an exhaust. It is a hybrid. Just like the Prius.

        Leaf has no gas tank. The statement refers the fact that no other EV is at the production stage. Volt is not 100% true EV, and therefore is not competition for Leaf.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Is it just me or is everyone constantly forgetting about Ford's upcoming EV offerings?

      Admittedly I forgot whether they're coming out next year or in 2012, but simply the fact that only GM's EREV's mentioned here sorta... Disappoints? (being an indirect competitor).
        • 4 Years Ago
        There's a bunch of EVs coming out from a variety of manufacturers, not just Ford, but there is "no competition" if his 500,000 vehicles in 2012 claim in accurate. No one outside of Nissan is even claiming that volume.

        Let's put it this way, the much-hyped, much-talked about, Chevy Volt is only going to have 8,000 units available within its first year.

        If Ghosen 500,000 units is indeed real then that would be astounding. EVs usually sell for over $40k, such as the recently released li-ion Mitsubishi iMiev, to aim for that type of volume, Nissan will need to dramatically lower that price-point if it wants to move that volume.
        • 4 Years Ago
        I know right? I mean, did everyone forget about the Focus EV all of a sudden?
        • 4 Years Ago
        Ghosn is STUPID to put so much (500,000) on the line for a product that is NOT market proven... Toyota only sells 250,000+ Prius each year afte more than 10-years on the market so I don;t know what Ghosn is smoking, but he is setting himself up to be a big fool when it fails...

        Personally, I dont like the looks of the car or the name... "Leaf"... stupid name!!!
      • 4 Years Ago
      Hmmm, I am not an expert on this matter but didn't Mitsubishi already beat them to the punch with the release of Mitsubishi iMIEV in Japan and UK? By 2011 Mitsubishi will actually have more real world experience with EVs released on USA market since they are already out. I am amazed that Mitsubishi is not bragging about it and using the iMIEVs in more of its US-based ads like Nissan is doing with the Leaf.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Once Nissan defeats range anxiety, the Volt won't be a competitor at all. 90% of Americans won't be able the justify paying a higher price tag for a complexity (range extender) they won't need.
        • 4 Years Ago
        tuna: "There was a time when the masses didn't believe in personal computers and saw i as a novelty."

        and for many years they were a specialty item. They didn't ramp up to produce 500,000 Apple I's. In fact, I think they only made hundreds.

        Tohe: It's kind of a chicken-and-egg situation. I guess we'll see.
        • 4 Years Ago
        By selling the LEAF!
        Once people see it on the road, reliably driving other people around, they will get over their range anxiety.
        • 4 Years Ago
        "Once Nissan defeats range anxiety,"

        Exactly how are they going to do that?
      • 4 Years Ago
      A lot of people here seem to be missing his point.
      He is talking from a business perspective and saying his product will be ready and his company will be able to produce/deliver them in numbers.
      It matters not if GM or Ford or the martians have a product in concept or in limited availability that might be considered competitive with the leaf on a car vs. car basis.
      If they can only build 50K of them and nissan can build 500K leafs (leaves??), and there are 500K customers... then they are competing with nobody for 90% of their business that year for that product.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Don't get all the LEAF bashing...the car has already won 10 prestigious enviromental/'green awards and named by Popular Mechanics as: "The Most Significant Car of the Decade". Pretty damn good for a car that has according to Mr. Ghosn, 56,000 pre-sell inuiries/ orders! Nissan secured 1.4 bill $$$ from the gov under the 2007 'Alternative Fuel Standard Act', which they in-turn are using to build the NEC (Nippon Electric) battery-building facility adjacent to the #1 manufacturing automotive for the last 15yrs or so at Smyrna, Tenn., all but guaranteeing that prodo will progress towards the 500,000 units Nissan projects. And let's be clear, as far as competition goes...Nissan without a doubt holds a no-contest edge over Mitsibishi, Chevy, Ford and all others at this point in the game, in so far as EV technology, R&D, operating capital, viability and bona fide business plan to further their market penetration.

      There is a new world order here in the making...and it Nissan, like it or not.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Your stance on this matter is pointless, for the very fact of: capacity. I'm sorry, when is the Mi-ev arriving again??? That's what I thought! And Nissan most certainly has been pioneers on several fronts. Your arguement would hold water if, Mitsu had a long-term plan that would be viable and profitable here in the U.S. where, the LEAF will be the dominant mass-manufactured from a "preferred" automaker, 'the one to beat' 100% electric car.

        You really don't have a comeback this that. Now run along and go play fair. heheheeheee
        • 4 Years Ago
        How the heck Nissan has any edge over Mitsubishi when it comes to EVs? iMIEV also won numerous awards and it is available right now. Nissan just got beat at its own game. Sure, Nissan has a larger manufacturing capacity but they definitely are not the pioneers of EVs.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Son, I am disappointé
        • 4 Years Ago
        These were replies to spam messages. -_-
      • 4 Years Ago
      It's hilarious how all the ads for this car show it from the back. Smart move on the part of the ad agency.
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