The Global EV Market is Quickly Becoming Nissan Leaf vs Tesla Model 3 Battle

Make no mistake, Nissan LEAF is the real king in the EV world. Since 2010, Nissan has sold more than 320,000 LEAFs all over the world. The “2018 World Green Car” award winner recorded 54,451 deliveries in 2017,  a 15% increase from 47,423 a year earlier.

Tesla has now sold more than 360,000 cars worldwide, but that includes Tesla 2008 Roadster, Model S, Model X and Model 3. Tesla the EV maker has gone past Nissan LEAF.

Four Models against one.

It’s a bit of an unfair comparison to even compare the LEAF that starts at $22,490 with Tesla Model 3 that costs more than $41,500. (after accounting for $7,500 in federal US Tax credit).

But we can still compare them, because Nissan is trying to climb the price ladder while Tesla Model 3 is climbing down. They are going to meet head to head sooner or later. It’s a question of when, not if.

The 2018 Nissan LEAF offers 151 miles range according to the company, but that doesn’t compare favorably against Tesla Model 3 which offers more than 220 miles.

Nissan knows the short coming and is fully aware that the world’s best selling EV tag that LEAF proudly carried as a badge for the past several years is under terminal threat from Model 3.

Nissan wants to increase LEAF’s power and also increase the range. “Brian Maragno, Nissan’s director of Marketing and Sales Strategy told AutoGuide that the Leaf “E-Plus” will up the horsepower from 142BHP to 200BHP and will utilize a higher capacity battery.”

Though Brian Marango didn’t spell out the target battery range for Nissan LEAF E Plus, it’s not that hard to figure out that they will not settle down with anything less than 200 miles. Ideally, it should be at least few miles plus or minus Model 3 range.

The extra power and extra range is of-course going to cost extra. The top variant Nissan Leaf SV now starts at $36,200. Highly likely that the 2019 Nissan LEAF E-Plus is going to stay north of that price point. And that will place the LEAF at the cross hairs of Tesla Model 3 that desperately wants to drop its price to $35,000.

I will bet an unsigned dollar that Tesla Model 3 is going to snatch the “World’s Best Selling EV of the Year” tag from LEAF in 2018.

Tesla sold an estimated 14,250 Model 3s in July. The company is sitting pretty on top of +400K reservations and production is racing towards 6,000 units per week.

Even if LEAF manages to cross 75K unit sales in 2018, it’s going to be a bit difficult to catch up to the high flying Tesla Model 3.

Nissan knows this and that’s why they are racing towards launching a LEAF with more than 200 miles range. That’s the point where LEAF can be a real competitor to Model 3.

It’s going to be a great battle to watch. But the funny part is, who ever wins, the world can be happy that it’s sipping a bit less oil today than it did yesterday.

Related Read: Why Tesla and Model 3 Have No Competition in Sight for Another 5 Years (At Least)

I really don’t think Chevy Bolt is in contention for the top EV dog tag in 2019. My reasoning is simple – Battery Production Capacity.

Both Tesla and Nissan already have capacity, expertise and talent at their disposal to build tens of thousands of batteries every year. GM will get there, but its going to be a bit difficult to achieve in 2019. May be in 2020 and hopefully Model Y will be going through its production hell phase.

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Nissan USA

Wikipedia: Nissan Leaf