Nissan Exec Brash About Keeping EV Sales Crown: We Don Not Fear the Model 3

2018 Nissan LEAF 1 photo
Photo: YouTube screenshot
As difficult as it might be to believe, the Nissan LEAF is the world's all-time best-selling EV with over 350,000 units sold, and the current version has had nothing to do with it.
It's a thought that baffles the mind a little, particularly when you look at the hatchback's design and you read its technical specifications. Modest range, poor acceleration - absolutely nothing special. But there is an explanation.

The LEAF was launched back when other carmakers were as interested in making EVs as they were in baking bread. Tesla was just starting up with the Roadster and few people believed it would come to much while the rest of the manufacturers were too busy perfecting their solution to the growing carbon dioxide emissions: diesel engines.

The LEAF, then, took advantage of a favorable market situation and shot on top of the EV sales chart from where it refused to climb down ever since. A year of Tesla producing the Model 3 at its target rate (500,000 units) would quickly change that, but Elon Musk's company is still some distance away from achieving that feat.

Besides, Nissan isn't exactly staying put having released the second-gen LEAF last year, though the specs of the car at launch were somewhat underwhelming, making it hard to choose one over the base Model 3 if it weren't for the long wait the latter involves.

But Nissan is confident the LEAF can hold its own against any competition out there and is launching an advertising campaign to support its efforts under the slogan "simply amazing." You can watch the clip below, but if you don't feel like giving Nissan one minute of your life, we'll make a short synopsis for you: the 2018 LEAF is great because it has the ProPILOT (advanced driver assistance), the ProPILOT Park (it parks by itself) and the e-Pedal (probably the best thing about it; it allows the driver to operate the vehicle using a single pedal).

There is no mention of its range or power, and there's a very good reason for that: the LEAF wouldn't compare favorably against its competition. Both the Model 3 and the Chevrolet Bolt offer a better powertrain for not that much more money, and other are coming strongly from behind (see Hyundai's Kona crossover).

However, talking to Car Advice, Nicholas Thomas, Nissan's global electric vehicle director said he is convinced the new LEAF would be successful in maintaining the crown inherited from the first generation. Asked about the other players on the market, he said: “Am I worried about the competition? No, not at all.”

Only a fool doesn't fear competition, but only an even bigger one would publicly admit to it. Do you really think Nissan’s global electric vehicle director is a fool? Neither do we, so he definitely has to have some concerns.

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About the author: Vlad Mitrache
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"Boy meets car, boy loves car, boy gets journalism degree and starts job writing and editing at a car magazine" - 5/5. (Vlad Mitrache if he was a movie)
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