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The Nissan Leaf Won't Compete With Tesla and Chevy

September 05, 2017 00:00 AM UTC
- Updated September 02, 2020 11:39 AM UTC

Ito only gets 150 miles per charge.

[THEME MUSIC] ROBERT HACKETT: Welcome to Fortune Tech Debate, where we debate the issues of the day in two minutes. Today, we're chatting about Nissan's new electric vehicle, the Leaf. Andrew, what's this all about? ANDREW NUSCA: Well, it's really interesting. I mean, it's a Nissan electric vehicle. We haven't really seen this, certainly at this price range, right? We're talking about approximately $30,000. Very, very attractive. And there aren't that many electric cars on the market. I mean, Mitsubishi makes one. I think it's the cheapest. It's somewhere around $25,000. Tesla, the whole company makes electric vehicles. That's its whole ethos. And Chevy, of course makes, the Bolt. ROBERT HACKETT: Sure. And I mean, do you think this thing can actually compete with Tesla? Tesla has traditionally been a sort of premium, luxury brand. But they very recently came out with an affordable Model 3, I believe it was, in the car. ANDREW NUSCA: That's right. That's right. And everybody's kind of buzzing about that because, for the first time, it's a Tesla for normal people, dare I say. ROBERT HACKETT: Syre. ANDREW NUSCA: No, I don't think this is the same at all. Tesla is a mindset. It's a culture. When you buy Tesla, you buy Tesla. You don't just buy any old electric car and end up at Tesla. I mean, one day maybe that's the case, but not right now. Nissan, Chevy Mitsubishi, that's more interesting, right? A lot of people drive Chevys, and Nissans, and Mitsubishis already. And I think the goal there is to flip people over from gasoline powered cars. And those are huge brands. If they can convince people to flip over, people who are kind of interested but never could afford it, hey, it might work. ROBERT HACKETT: Well, Nissan has a big challenge to overcome here in my opinion because their mileage to the charge is not very good. ANDREW NUSCA: Right. ROBERT HACKETT: I mean, it gets a little over 100 miles to a charge versus some of these other cars that can get above 200 miles. ANDREW NUSCA: Yeah, yeah. I think the Nissan is 150, something like that. At any rate, it's definitely on the low end of the competitive set. And that is kind of a problem. So even though the Nissan is cheaper, it's got this lower range. And of course, the big thing, certainly in the United States, has all been about range anxiety. ROBERT HACKETT: I certainly have it. I like to take weekend trips. I like to go upstate. ANDREW NUSCA: Exactly. ROBERT HACKETT: I don't want to worry about if my car is going to last the trip up there. ANDREW NUSCA: You and the rest of America. And I think that's a big concern for Nissan. On the other hand, if it can turn some people, if they might buy a Civic or a Sentra, why not use this? ANDREW NUSCA: Fair point. Come to for more Tech Debate. [THEME MUSIC]