Carlos, we have a problem.

U.S. sales of the Chevrolet Volt extended-range plug-in bested the Nissan Leaf battery-electric's for the fifth straight month, with Leaf sales falling behind last year's pace for the first time in 2012, giving pause for those subscribing to Nissan chief Carlos Ghosn's vision of steadily increasing EV sales.

General Motors' Chevy division sold 1,760 Volts in June, more than triple the 535 Leafs sold last month. June represented the second-best month ever for the Volt, which moved a monthly record 2,289 in March. For the year, the Volt has sold 8,817 units, meaning that the model in six months has surpassed last year's total with more than 1,100 vehicles to spare.

As for the Leaf, Nissan has said all along that both deliveries and sales would pick up once U.S. production started up at the Japanese automaker's Tennessee plant later this year.

Still, the sales pattern for the Leaf is disconcerting. While June marked a 4.9-percent uptick from May, it also represented a 69-percent plunge from year-earlier sales. For the first half of the year, Nissan sold 3,148 Leafs in the U.S., down 19 percent from the first half of 2011.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 223 Comments
      Alexi
      • 2 Years Ago
      Drop in gas prices...
      Nate22
      • 2 Years Ago
      The Leaf is a butt-ugly car. Get rid of those ridiculous headlamps and the car will sell. Are Americans fussy about how their cars look? Yes.
        Ele Truk
        • 19 Hours Ago
        @Nate22
        Those headlights were a rather late addition to the car design. Once they had built production prototypes, they discovered they had issues with noise generated by the side view mirrors. Noise you wouldn't normally hear in an ICE car. The headlights help deflect the wind away from the mirrors and reduce driving noise. It's a lot easier to put in headlight covers to do that than to remold the body panels, especially once all the bodywork tooling is done. I'm sure future versions of the Leaf will better take into account wind noise that wasn't an issue with ICE car design.
      nsxrules
      • 2 Years Ago
      I find it funny how the extremely biased folks at Autoblog neglect to mention the fact that GM at first said they would sell 60K Volts in 2012, then they said they would sell 45K Volts and not halfway through the year they are at less than 9K units but Autoblog is celebrating the fact that the Volt is outselling the Leaf..... Autoblog, some objectivity would be nice. How about pointint out that the Volt is not selling anywhere near as many units as it should despite the huige tax credit?
        Spec
        • 19 Hours Ago
        @nsxrules
        @nsxrules Wiki says there has been a grand total of 7421 NSX's sold. Looks like VoltRules since it has already sold more than twice the number of those Japanese Ferrari-wannabes.
          Letstakeawalk
          • 19 Hours Ago
          @Spec
          Hey, no need to disrespect the NSX... That's uncalled for.
        Smurf
        • 19 Hours Ago
        @nsxrules
        GM has long since realized their mistake of making wild predictions about the Volt. They learned a big lesson about trying to predict a new unknown market. They updated their projections when they shut down production in Feb. Sales in the last 4 months have been right in line with their projections. The bias belong to YOU who continues to hold GM to those original numbers. I'll bet you were part of that group calling the Volt a failure because they didn't reach 10,000 in 2011. In the end Volt sales: - Are better than the Corvette - are higher than all other plug-ins combined in June - have exceed 2011 Volt sales year on year for 6 consecutive months - are higher than Honda hybrid sales - blew away the Leaf and plug-in Prius........ AGAIN That's a whole lot of good news......
          Spec
          • 19 Hours Ago
          @Smurf
          Good summary of the situation, Smurf. GM is dominating the plug-in sector. Good for them. Of course I'll also be very happy if Nissan cuts the Leaf price and stages a recovery.
          nsxrules
          • 19 Hours Ago
          @Smurf
          Failing to reach the incredibly modest goal of 10K units in 2010 was a failure. And how can you compare sales of a car that sells in all 50 states with $7500 tax credit (Volt) to sales of the Plug In Prius which is sold in only 15 states and does not have a $7500 credit ($2500 for the Prius)?
          SVX pearlie
          • 19 Hours Ago
          @Smurf
          Isn't it also a failure for the Leaf not to match 2011 sales? And moreso for Honda not to sell a single sports car?
        nsxrules
        • 19 Hours Ago
        @nsxrules
        Grendal, if the Volt would miss the 45K target bys ay 10% or less then you could cut it some slack, but it's not even on pace to reach half that. The car is a flop. It's quite simple. And I know people like to blame conservative radio but they are no fans of the Prius either (have been very vocal about it for years) and that has not stopped people from buying them in record numbers.
        SVX pearlie
        • 19 Hours Ago
        @nsxrules
        @nsxidiot: a bad marketing projection is simply that, a bad projection. Recall how many Fiat 500 were supposed to have been sold last year? Nobody could have foreseen Talk Radio making the Volt a political punching bag, preventing the car from being sold on its actual merits. For the past few months, the Volt is the #1 selling EV in the US - that's about all that GM can reasonably expect at this point in time.
          nsxrules
          • 19 Hours Ago
          @SVX pearlie
          Talk radio has nothing to do with why this car is a failure, the price of the car is. Just because Fiat and Chrysler ALSO overestimated how many 500's they could sell it doesn't excuse the Volt's failure to sell.
        Grendal
        • 19 Hours Ago
        @nsxrules
        Do you have references to back up your statements? And since the car has only one year track record the statement "How about pointint out that the Volt is not selling anywhere near as many units as it should" makes no sense. How many is "should"? The car has shown significant improvement over its first years sales which means that people are catching on to it.
          nsxrules
          • 19 Hours Ago
          @Grendal
          Here you go, Akerson himself saying 60K Volts in 2012: http://green.autoblog.com/2011/12/20/akerson-gm-wants-to-build-60000-chevy-volts-in-2012/ Now abandoning the goal of selling 45000 for 2012: http://www.wnd.com/2012/07/gm-abandons-forecast-of-45000-volts/ The point is that the car is not selling (this is not "boogey man conservative hate" this is reality and that's with a huge tax break.
          Ford Future
          • 19 Hours Ago
          @Grendal
          It's selling better then the Corvette.
          Grendal
          • 19 Hours Ago
          @Grendal
          There is a big difference between "GM at first said they would sell 60K Volts in 2012" and "akerson-gm-wants-to-build-60000-chevy-volts-in-2012." Every baseball player would like to hit a home run when they are at the plate and Akerson's wishful thinking number is hardly a prediction written in stone. The Volt is not a smash hit but it's probably achieving what GM needs it to do.
          EZEE
          • 19 Hours Ago
          @Grendal
          'boogeyman conservative hate' :)
          Spec
          • 19 Hours Ago
          @Grendal
          Akerson's direct quote "We want to ramp Volt production to roughly 60,000 in 2012." See that word "want"? Know what it means? He set an aspirational goal. That is not a forecast.
      Jonathan
      • 2 Years Ago
      Volt is ok but when are we getting the ELR ? I will never pay $40.00 for a Chevy green car .
      Marcopolo
      • 2 Years Ago
      This 'contest' between GM's Volt and the Nissan Leaf is absurd. Both vehicles have a different market. However, it's good to see the steady growth of Volt sales after all the negatives put in it's path so unfairly.
        Spec
        • 19 Hours Ago
        @Marcopolo
        There is definitely a market for both cars. However, it is still very interesting to see which EV type of strategy sell better PHEV or BEV. Both have advantages and disadvantages. Both have customers that they work best for.
        JP
        • 19 Hours Ago
        @Marcopolo
        Can't really agree with that since I know a number of people who cross shopped a LEAF and Volt.
          Letstakeawalk
          • 19 Hours Ago
          @JP
          "Can't really agree with that since I know a number of people who cross shopped a LEAF and Volt." I know people who looked at a Leaf, and then looked at a Volkswagen Jetta Sportwagen, and then a Nissan Juke.
        mustang_sallad
        • 19 Hours Ago
        @Marcopolo
        I don't think it's absurd at all. I'm very interested to know what will sell better: an EV with ~100 mile range or a PHEV with a 40 mile electric range and ~35mpg hybrid driving afterwards and that costs a bit more. Obviously there are other factors at play here (styling, 5 seats vs 4, brand reputation), but it still says a lot about which technology is more marketable, and I think the market is suggesting what I always thought: the Volt is an easier sell because there's no compromise in terms of range.
          PR
          • 19 Hours Ago
          @mustang_sallad
          Marco - GM released their fleet sales numbers. It is only about 10% of total sales going to fleet sales. 90% are retail customers. I'm not sure I would consider 10% to be a significant enough share of sales for it to matter in the context of Leaf vs. Volt sales.
          Marcopolo
          • 19 Hours Ago
          @mustang_sallad
          mustang_sallad Yes there is always some overlap in the market. But a significant percentage of Volt sales will come from fleet. The Leaf will only attract token fleet sales due to it's lack of versatility
      mbukukanyau
      • 2 Years Ago
      Range Anxiety
      hahiran
      • 2 Years Ago
      I'm not sure it's still true that there's a lack of supply. I said that a year ago myself, and it was true then, but I just did a cars.com search here in Phoenix and found 38 Leafs. Hardly a supply problem. I also think Nissan will have an increasingly hard time moving those cars in Phoenix until they solve their hot-weather battery issues, and once this story hits the mainstream it will definitely affect sales across the board. I think the EV market moves in two directions from here, and everyone else loses. Either you build a Tesla-style EV with at least 200 miles of range, maybe more, or you build range-extended cars like the Volt. It's America, and we've never been a terribly rational group of people, and not many of us need 300 miles of range, but we want it nonetheless, or we at least want the tiny security blanket/motor like the one in the Volt. I hope Nissan has a range-extended car up their sleeve somewhere.
        SVX pearlie
        • 19 Hours Ago
        @hahiran
        The 300 miles of range for ICE cars makes perfect sense, so you can drive for several days without having to go out of your way to get gas. If ICE cars had a 1-2 gallon tank, and you had to fill up every night (or more), pushing drops of gasoline through a soda straw, it'd be a nightmare.
        PR
        • 19 Hours Ago
        @hahiran
        hahiran It sounds like you have found a local/regional sales problem. Regionality is nothing new to car sales. For example, if you were to stock a bunch of 3/4 ton dually long bed king cab trucks in a downtown New York City dealership, they probably wouldn't sell very well. That wouldn't indicate there was a national sales problem for that truck, or that there wasn't a lack of supply elsewhere in the country. It just reflects that region. The Leaf was still working off long wait lists in many late release states last month. There are still folks who were on the wait list who haven't gotten their Leaf yet in many markets. Sol the Leaf sales demand/supply imbalance is still regional. Ghosn has also said that Leaf sales would be around 600 a month until the US Leaf plant opens. So he must know something...
        Spec
        • 19 Hours Ago
        @hahiran
        It's the price. At $35+K, the Leaf is a really tough sell. I think BEVs will sell if the price drops a bit. But they will sell to homes with more than one car. I won't call them a "second car" since they'll probably be a primary driven car for commuting but a second gas or hybrid car will generally be available for long trips. I think BEVs will also be helped out as more car-sharing systems are introduced. You don't need a gas car if you can easily get one at any time from a car-sharing service. A cool think about car-sharing is the ability to get specialty vehicles. Who will really need a big bulky SUV when you can easily get one when you really need it? Use a more practical car on most days.
      JakeY
      • 2 Years Ago
      Not too worried about Leaf sales. When comparing to last year's sales, you have to keep in mind that Nissan did a $2.5-$3.5k price hike on the Leaf (while GM kept Volt prices the same). Nissan also seems to have dialed down the marketing significantly in the US (not seeing Leaf commercials anymore) and is focusing their efforts in other markets. I suspect there will be a price drop once the Tennessee plant is online and renewed marketing efforts for a US produced Leaf.
        PR
        • 19 Hours Ago
        @JakeY
        Yes, Nissan has said that they are planning on around 600 units a month until the US plant opens. They probably have reasons to say that, and whatever reasons they have they probably aren't going to share with all of us.
      Spec
      • 2 Years Ago
      I said it a few stories back . . . for right now, it looks like GM picked the best EV strategy by going with a PHEV (or EREV if you prefer that nomenclature). Batteries remain pretty darn expensive and people want the ability to drive long distances when they want to. I had guessed the pure EV system would do better, but GM has proven me wrong for now. Congrats to GM. Now I want to see them continue to refine the Volt and come out with additional Voltec models. Bring on the Voltec Caddy, mini-van, pick-up, SUV, etc. Perhaps Carlos can slash the price of the Leaf by opening the Smyrna plant and stage a come-back. But right now, it looks like the people are choosing PHEVs.
        SVX pearlie
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Spec
        BEVs have two huge problems in the US: 1. 110V standard voltage means Level 2 charging is rare and difficult 2. batteries are expensive, DOT complains is expensive, so BEVs are too expensive as a "bonus" car.
          PR
          • 19 Hours Ago
          @SVX pearlie
          Rotation, First off, all of my comments weren't aimed directly at you, so if there is something you don't think applies to one of your comments, it probably wasn't intended. I had to do some editing for space to keep it under the 3,000 character max, so some things had to get condensed together that don't go back to any specific post from anyone. I didn't say I "could do" it for under 50 bucks. I said I DID do it for AROUND 50 bucks. You brought up the higher cost of wire compared to when I already did. My point about it being a matter of 10's of dollars is that it would be just 10's of dollars more for me to do it now, taking into consideration the higher price of wire you correctly identified. My point was that the higher price of wire now compared to when I actually did both installs for around 50 bucks is minor compared to even filling up your car with a single tank of gas. I think we are actually in agreement about this, so I'll move on. In my local area, for the last 40-50 years the majority of new construction has been track housing built by the hundreds or thousands in suburban subdivisions. They get their wiring, plumbing, and gas blueprints approved once for each model, and then build them all the same. Houses built before the 1950's around here have some pretty sketchy breaker/fuse boxes. These are the houses that if people have over-crowded or exceeded the amperage of the board they should be replacing anyways, regardless of whether they are adding 240v. So really a new board is NOT exclusively an expense that can be pinned on buying an EV car. The expense is primarily an expense of keeping an older home in good repair and in good safely that really needs to be done REGARDLESS of whether someone buys an EV or not. Trying to pin the cost of keeping an older home in good repair is like blaming an EV for having to replace the old worn, tattered, and leaking shingles on the roof of your garage because you've now decided to park your car inside the garage instead of stuffing your garage full of random junk. The EV didn't cause you to need a new roof, years of ignoring needed maintenance until something finally triggered you to act is why you need a new roof. Adding a 120v outlet on an existing circuit is NOT the same as adding an entirely new 120v circuit, so I'm not sure what your point was for bringing that up. I was responding to SVX claiming that pulling a romex cable for a 120v circuit is much different to 240v. It just isn't that different. Yes, I absolutely am downplaying the uber-hyped rhetoric of it costing a thousand or thousands just to plug in your EV at home. That is exactly my point, because in the majority of cases, this is either wasted money going to huge over-charges, or simply made-up garbage that isn't required or isn't exclusively a problem just because someone bought an EV. The real question is why are so many people uber-hyping and fear-mongering about super high costs?
          Rotation
          • 19 Hours Ago
          @SVX pearlie
          SVX pearlie: I guess a sub-panel would be useful for that. Although I would think the presence of a sub-panel might make the utility nervous. If you meter that box separately, what's to keep me from putting new, non-EV circuits in that box? PR: What does over-crowding my breaker box mean? It's not like you can "squeeze in" breakers. Either they fit or they don't. If they fit, they fit. A full breaker box isn't over crowded. I understand what it means to overload your service. But if you aren't overloading your service you're not in danger. Trying to say you should just replace your breaker box because it's old is strange. And why you're the one now trying to say I should be careful about where I attribute expenses for a panel replacement is strange, because you're the one who is trying to misplace the costs. I had to get a new breaker box for my solar/HVAC install. Now, you tell me how I'm supposed to not include that as part of the cost of my install? I did have to pay it, it doesn't just go away as "upkeep". And others who want EVs will have to pay it too, and they will see it as a cost of getting an EV, because they won't be upgrading if they get a gas car! My point on the 120V thing is while telling SVX he's off base about how hard it is to pull 220V cable is that you're overplaying how easy it is to put in a 220V feed. Yeah, you're right, pulling the wire isn't that much harder (even though 50A romex is a lot thicker than usual 15A stuff), but you also do have to pull it all the way back to the box, you can't just tack on like you can do with 120V. So if people are used to doing regular 120V work, they will find 220V a bit harder, even if it isn't as hard as SVX might imply. You show me a person over-hyping the costs and then we can talk. It really does cost a good chunk of change ($600, $1000, whatever, depending on difficulty and length or more if you need significant changes like a subpanel) to get 220V to the garage for many people. And that's before the EVSEs, which until recently were also greatly overpriced. It's real. It's real money. It's a real expense that an ICE car doesn't have. And that's a problem for EVs. Insurmountable? No. But real. And there is no equivalent expense for an ICE car, despite your efforts to pretend that upgrading your electrical service is normal upkeep. Correction: Why did I say my main box was upgraded last week? Time flies. It was last month. Sorry about that. I've got a month of solar generation under my belt! Too bad I'm still not getting paid for my power!
          Spec
          • 2 Years Ago
          @SVX pearlie
          Yeah the 120V issue thing probably does hurt BEVs in the USA a bit. With the Volt's smaller battery, it can be filled overnight with an ordinary outlet. BEVs pretty much require a 240V charger if it will be used daily. And that is an added expense & hassle. It is probably a minimum of near $1000 for the charger and professional install. But it can be a lot more if your main panel is not near your garage or, worse, you need to upgrade your main service panel. I still think the Aptera would have been nice in this regard . . . that was a pure EV that could go 100 miles with just an overnight charge on 120V because of its hyper efficiency. But it was just too weird looking for most people.
          Spec
          • 2 Years Ago
          @SVX pearlie
          What? No way can you replace your panel while the wires are hot. That would be like playing that board game "operation" but with deadly voltage instead of just the guy's red nose light blinking.
          Tweaker
          • 2 Years Ago
          @SVX pearlie
          Rare and difficult? Anyplace there is 110v, there is also 220v.
          Ryan
          • 2 Years Ago
          @SVX pearlie
          I'm lucky that my panel is in my garage. I would need about 2 ft of cable to wire up a 240V outlet.
          PR
          • 19 Hours Ago
          @SVX pearlie
          SVX I was talking about both fuse boxes and breaker boxes, and it was overcrowding a fuse box that I was referring to. Those are the old round fuse service boxes where you actually have to replace a fuse when it burns out. It used to be common to keep adding more and more outlets and circuits to the same set of fuses. These boxes would become "overcrowded" when people would add more and more circuits and just replace the fuse with a higher rated fuse (or with a penny!). Technically, as long as each individual circuit tied to a single fuse did not exceed its own rating, nothing would burn down. It wasn't until the 1940's before this issue was even addressed in something resembling building codes because people didn't know any better. There are still lots of boxes out there with this problem. Everything seems to look fine and work fine because the over-rated fuses don't burn out, and unless you know what is wired behind the fuse you have no idea if the fuse is the correct rating or not. ---------------------------------- "You show me a person over-hyping the costs and then we can talk. It really does cost a good chunk of change ($600, $1000, whatever, depending on difficulty and length or more if you need significant changes like a subpanel) to get 220V to the garage for many people." Everyone quoting homeowners $600 to $1000 to install a simple 240v drop (which is all the vast majority of owners need to do) is over-hyping the costs. I keep trying to hammer in the point that people can DIY this themselves for a fraction of that cost, whether is it around 50 bucks or around 100 bucks. Or hire an honest electrician who will charge less than $250-1000 dollars an hour for labor on top of materials to do a 1-2 hour job. It just isn't that hard, speaking from experience of someone who has actually done it twice with their own hands!! Everyone who quotes worst-case numbers as if the vast majority would actually need to spend that much is over-hyping the costs too. Many of the folks who are looking at worst-case numbers are likely folks who already need to do deferred work on their electrical regardless of whether they are adding 240v or not. Because a relatively modern box installed in the last 40-50 years that hasn't already been messed with should have plenty of room and capacity for a 240v drop. That is how they are supposed to be installed in the first place if a professional electrician built the house in the first place, and that is what the vast majority of EV owners should expect to see when they open their relatively modern service box.
          Rotation
          • 2 Years Ago
          @SVX pearlie
          Tweaker and PR: Nearly every kitchen and laundry room is a bit of an exaggeration. In many places, gas dryers and gas ranges/ovens means no 220V in those rooms. And it really doesn't matter how many rooms already have 220V. You cannot just add another outlet to a 220V circuit. 220V circuits are dedicated circuits in the US. if you want a new charger in your garage, that means a home run to the nearest breaker box or sub panel. You can't even use Romex (in any place I've been), you have to run conduit or BX. In short, you're generally talking about $1K install plus the charger itself. And if you're out of breakers or capacity in your main panel, a lot more. This expense is real. It is significant. PR: I don't know when you put those in, but unless your nearest panel is very near your garage, It'd be tough to do that for $50 anymore. The price of copper is up. I'm sure you could get under $100 though. Spec: The power from the pole is not shut off while you change the main panel. The wires are unspliced and spliced while hot. I do not recommend you do this yourself. Where I am, the permits for a new main panel will cost you hundreds alone.
          SVX pearlie
          • 2 Years Ago
          @SVX pearlie
          The point of the sub panel is to meter the EV separate from the rest of the house. This is because a lot of places have separate EV rates.
          PR
          • 2 Years Ago
          @SVX pearlie
          Lots of fear-mongering from people who have never done it. At one point people didn't know how to fill a gas tank, or change an air filter or a spark plug either. But somehow people learned just fine, even though filling up a gas tank incorrectly certainly could lead to death, and storing gas in your garage (even inside a gas tank inside your car) certainly could lead to burning your house down if things went wrong. Somehow the world continues to turn. 240v is simply one 120v breaker on one line, and another 120v breaker on the other line. There just isn't this big horrible gap between 120v and 240v that some people make it out to be. Your local Residential building code may be different, but 240v does NOT require conduit unless it is exposed outside a wall in my area. NEC doesn't require conduit. There is no requirement to add a separate subpanel just for a 240v drop that is 50 amps or less. If your main breaker box is some ancient old out of date box, it is probably about time you updated it with a modern breaker box with modern breakers anyways. They do have a lifetime, and they don't last forever. If you are paranoid of burning down your house by adding a simple 240v drop, you should be shaking in your boots in fear of a long out of date breaker box running a house full of modern electronics. You should be updating your box regardless of whether you are adding 240v if you have some ancient old tech stuff if fire hazards are your biggest worry. The guage of the wire is determined by distance (run) and amperage, not by voltage. So the cost of wiring depends upon those factors, and doesn't change just because it is 240v alone. One install was 44 feet of wire under my house from a rear wall main panel to my garage. The other was a 15 foot install because the main panel was on the garage wall. The cost difference in wiring was measured in 10's of dollars, not hundreds of dollars. Much less than the cost of a single tank of gas. If you are worried about the cost of the wire itself, you should really be worried about the cost of gasoline. I don't know what other parts of the country do, but here even when builders put in gas hookups for stoves and laundry, they also pre-wire for 240v and leave the wiring in a blank box (no outlet). This actually HELPS make installing 240v in your garage easier, because if you are out of room for breakers you can re-allocate those breakers. ---------------------------------------- I agree that there are a whole lot of rip-offs when it comes to installing "chargers" in garages by licensed electricians. Especially when the actual chargers are in the car, and what is on the garage wall isn't a charger at all. The fix isn't to give up and just say that EV's require very expensive electrical wiring. The solution is to drive down the cost through education and competition and through DIY and open standards.
          SVX pearlie
          • 2 Years Ago
          @SVX pearlie
          No, Tweaker, 220V *is* a problem, because you can't just plug into a Dryer outlet like you would into 110V. Adding a 220V line isn't anything like pulling a simple 15A 110V Romex line. You will need a dedicated, fused (and preferably grounded) line on a separate subpanel. And as this is going to be a heavy use 220V line pulling serious current and voltage, you had damn well make sure it's done right, or your garage is going up in flames. And BTW, as you're tapping directly into the main panel, if you pull a stupid or screw it up while the panel is live, you're DEAD.
          PR
          • 2 Years Ago
          @SVX pearlie
          SVX -- Every single breaker box in the United States is equally compatible with 240v as they are 120v. With 240v running into nearly every kitchen and laundry room in the United States, it really isn't such a big deal to add a connection in the garage too. The supposed lack of 240v connections is overblown. I say that as someone who has personally added 240v/50A drops in 2 different houses I've owned for around 50 bucks each. It just isn't that big a deal.
          Spec
          • 2 Years Ago
          @SVX pearlie
          "Adding a 220V line isn't anything like pulling a simple 15A 110V Romex line." Meh. It is not that much harder. You just need a breaker that goes to both hot phases, conduit from the panel to the outlet box, appropriate gauge wire, and a proper 220V outlet (or the EVSE itself). But as I pointed out, it does become very difficult if you don't have enough space in your panel for this and thus need a new main panel. And that is the situation I have. I probably could adjust things and squeeze it in but I might as well upgrade now since I'm going to do PV eventually too. So I'll save the receipts be able to deduct the cost of the panel replacement as part of the PV system (which really is requiring the upgrade).
          Rotation
          • 2 Years Ago
          @SVX pearlie
          Spec: Yes, main breaker boxes are changed without turning off the power. I watched it done when my main box was replaced last week. I watched it done on This Old House. They aren't going to turn off a whole block so you can rewire your house! Again, I don't recommend doing it yourself. But here's how it is done: you stand on a fiberglass ladder (even if you don't need need the height, it's for the insulation), you wear lineman's gloves and you don't touch anything metal. You touch the non-hot wire first, and then plug in the hot wire into the splicing block, once the hot wire contacts the other one, the likelihood you'll end up in the circuit is pretty low as you are rather insulated. You can then use your insulated screwdriver to tighten the splicing block screw and then wrap the block and wires up in electrical tape. Then repeat for the other conductors. PR: You must have different builders in your part of the country, because where I live, builders put in only what you pay for, and they don't put in extra stuff because you might want it later. If you have a gas stove, you have a gas stove, you aren't prewired for both. And regardless of what builders do there are many many houses out there already. To just talk about how new houses are configured is to ignore a huge part of the problem. There is definitely no need to add a separate subpanel for anything at all, regardless of current. But you still need to do a home run to the main breaker box or existing subpanel. It isn't like adding a 120V outlet where you can just wire it on the end of the nearest outlet circuit. In my area, you can't just use Romex for dryer outlets or other high-amperage circuits. I don't know why, but you can't. NEC is just a basis, local codes vary. Why are you making up a position for me about wire? I know how wire is gauged. You say the difference is only in the "tens" of dollars between two distances, I would agree. However, you said you could do the whole thing for under $50 and you understand that adding a little distance adds "tens" of dollars, it's hard to get under $50. And I didn't say I was worried about the cost of the wire, I was merely pointing out your $50 comment just isn't doable anymore unless the run is short. 6 AWG wire (for 50A) isn't cheap anymore. You're talking 4 conductors (L1, L2, neutral, ground) of it too. Honestly, given I can't find 6/4 wire anywhere you're going to end up using conduit or BX anyway and use the shield as ground. I also found that 6/3 romex is $184 now (50ft length)! The idea that I should be afraid of my breaker box and so somehow I'm supposed to replace it because it's a little old is ridiculous. There are about 500 houses in my block that were all built with the same breaker box my house had. In the decade I've been here, none of them has had an electrical fire. So my odds are fine, I have no need to lose sleep or replace my breaker box. You're just making up excuses to try to downplay the cost of an EV.
          Spec
          • 2 Years Ago
          @SVX pearlie
          I've added subpanels to a couple houses I've owned as well and it isn't a big deal if you know what you are doing. But for most people, you might as well be asking them to perform brain surgery. So most people are going to have to drop at least $1K to have a level 2 charger installed, so you kinda have to add that to the price of the car. And even when you know what you are doing, it isn't cheap & always easy. The cheapest L2 charger is around $500. And it can be very difficult if your main panel isn't big enough for the new load. You can't easily fix that one on your own because you need to get the local utility involved to shut of the power while you switch to a new panel. That also means you need to get permits from the local building department.
        PR
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Spec
        Spec, Where do the 10K plus big dollar reservations on the Tesla Model S fit into your analysis? I do think PHEV's are a winner, especially as a companion car to a pure EV in any 2+ car household. But I don't really think any real deep conclusions can be read into any preceived EV vs. PHEV competition based on these figures.
          PR
          • 19 Hours Ago
          @PR
          Spec I don't think you can compare 99 dollar Nissan deposits to $40,000+ dollar deposits on the Signature Series Model S's and Model X's that are $80,000+ dollars. Or even $5,000 dollar deposits on 50K-70K Model S cars. I think it is a mistake to call these toys. BMW 5 series and 7 series cars are not toys. They are expensive, but they are very much serious EV's just the same as BMW's are serious cars. Just because they are expensive doesn't make them toys. I wouldn't expect 10,000 people putting deposits on Model S units to predict just 10,000 units of Model S sales. I would expect this the predict much more sales than just those 10,000 units that have a $5K to $40K deposit on them already. Because there will be plenty of folks who will buy a Model S once no deposit is required in order to buy one, just like the majority of gas cars. Maybe it is because when I think "strategy" I think in terms of years, not quarters or months, but I just don't think that the very short term, very early in the EV/PHEV rollout results we've seen so far can justify any conclusions about what "strategy" is better. Or whether one technology is better than another or is winning over another.
          Spec
          • 19 Hours Ago
          @PR
          For now, they are an interesting rich person's toy. It will be interesting to see how they do. I hope they sell thousands. But I wouldn't just assume that those 10K reservations translates into 10K sales. That didn't work so well for Nissan. Yeah, I know, the Tesla has a much larger amount put down . . . but the people that can afford an ~$80+K Tesla can easily drop a $5K reservation. Tesla might be following the best path. Start with the $100+K sports car. Move on to the $80K sedan. Then eventually get to the ~$60K sedan. And then hope that the battery prices have dropped enough over the years such that they can keep working their way down the food chain. The $35K EV with a 73 mile range does not look like a winner right now. They've got to get that price down. Or maybe they'll have more luck with their Infiniti LE by dressing it up with bling.
      Anne
      • 2 Years Ago
      We can't conclude anything until the Smyrna plant comes online. Every potential LEAF-owner knows this is going to happen and that the price is going to drop significantly. Add the heat pump as a bonus to improve winter range and who wouldn't wait?
        throwback
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Anne
        Why do you think Nissan will drop the price of the Leaf? They have two new plats to pay for i Tn.Nissan has also not said they will be lowering the price, only that availability will icrease.
          Anne
          • 19 Hours Ago
          @throwback
          Didn't Ghosn say that manufacturing in the USA would be cheaper? If they want to sell all those 150,000 LEAFs that pop out every year, I think they have no other choice. The upcoming ZOE will not exactly benefit LEAF sales either.
          SVX pearlie
          • 19 Hours Ago
          @throwback
          Anne, lower cost for seller doesn't necessarily translate into lower price to customer. It might mean that Nissan loses less money, or actually breaks even.
          Spec
          • 19 Hours Ago
          @throwback
          I think they'll drop the price because they don't have any other choice. That is the only way they are going to boost sales. If they are not willing to drop the price at all, they might as well not bother to open up that factory (or at least have it build other cars).
        SVX pearlie
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Anne
        From the US and Netherlands sales to date, I can conclude that the Leaf is hands down the absolute best BEV available on the market today. Still not as good as a Volt / Ampera though, despite a 13% price advantage.
      Spec
      • 19 Hours Ago
      If you have more than one driver, yeah, you do need a second car. But you don't generally need two cars that can drive long distances.
      Ziv
      • 19 Hours Ago
      Spec, I agree that the main problem GM had with the EV1 wasn't stopping their production of them, they cost about $120,000 each to build at the end, which was a lot less than they cost at first, so they were going to lose a ton of money on them any way they worked it. The big problem is that they crushed them. Toyota stopped crushing their RAV4-Ev's and sold almost 1500 of their RAV4-EV's and they are still rolling good will ambassadors for Toyota. And their battery packs (NiMH) are holding up pretty well too.
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