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Leaf lover
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Discussion Starter #1
I have a lovely blue Leaf. It is magic and I want it to be mainstream. I want anyone contemplating purchasing a new car to seriously ask “could this be the car for me?” That to my mind is not going to happen until the list price is fair.
Surprising to me however, is that there is a school of thought that ev are a niche product.
I don’t buy that. It’s not niche.
What do you think?
 

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It shouldn't be, but it is.

I still believe the main reason is range, it's the number one question and hesitation I face when talking about EVs.

We know how many journeys could be covered by EVs, but that message just doesn't seem to get through. It's changing though... I hope.
 

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The registration numbers will say it is niche. And I suspect when you start to look at population demographics such as EV takeup by top 20% of national earnings, vs next 20% and so on you'll see quite a difference.

IMHO affordability is holding it back initially, though that will change in time as cheaper cars get onto the second hand market and an aftermarket battery industry arrives to keep those cars going. Its often argued that affordability is not an issue due to the massive savings from driving an EV, that does however require substantial capital investment up front which the less wealthy cannot make.

I don't think we're far away, and 2014/2015 will see some significant movement, but IMHO yes its still niche. Like, when geeks like me thought it was cool to own an iPhone. :cool: [Yes, that's right: the last cool iPhone was the 3GS :D]
 

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It has to be cool (as well as affordable).... assuming function is taken for granted.

(mass appeal is about image, even tho' we evangelists see past that)

Defining and achieving 'cool' and 'the right image' .... that's a challenge, (brand, styling, engineering, PR, marketing mix ... all in there and some :) .

I agree, but not niche for too long, I hope :) ... blue ocean strategy is a good direction too.
 

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This is why I think BMW i and Tesla bring something very welcome and exciting, they are cool and know how to sell.
But this is nothing more than market segmentation. The cool, expensive zero emissions option vs. the affordable ICE. Both parties are happy with that status quo, but it doesn't move things on for the public. Legislators and the public need to keep the car manufacturers honest to bring about real change.
 

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Everett Rogers defined the first 2.5% of adopters as 'innovators' in his Diffusion of Innovations theory. Given that today electric vehicles represent less than 0.01% of new car sales we clearly have a very long way to go before EV's even enter the consciousness of most people.

Most worrying IMO is the theory states that "the innovation must be widely adopted in order to self-sustain" (i.e. a product that remains 'niche' will not survive without external support) :(

Interestingly, you could argue that many ICE car manufacturers would not survive without external support... so, maybe the size of the 'niche' doesn't matter :confused:
 

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Should do some figures to work out which car ALL the latest round of EV sales figured add up to. EG all electric vehicles combined have the same sales as the Fiat 500L, or whatever.
 

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Dont forget a large proportion of the population do not have off road parking. An EV in that situation would take more than a little ingenuity.
Until it becomes obviously feasible for "hard working families" in terms of range and charging infrastructure it will remain niche. We need to think about lampost charging in cities at cost price(I don't believe it has to be free). Work places with charge points must become the norm.
We all have to get used to seeing infrastructure being used, then it changes the perception. How many times do you hear the comment made to you when using a rapid on the motorway "This is the first time I've seen it being used!" That happens every single time I charge.
OLEV incentives also have their place. The 5K subsidy should be just that and not an excuse for manufacturers to maintain artificially high prices. If people begin to notice free parking places, using bus lanes etc., it puts the question into people's heads.
I think we are at least three years away and possibly five.
 

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We need to think about lampost charging in cities
This idea resurfaces on a regular basis but unfortunately it does not work in most countries because lamposts are wired as a daisy chain and therefore the current available for car charging is miniscule. That said, the idea of simple and reliable charging everywhere is something I think is both achievable and desirable :)

I think we are at least three years away and possibly five.
Jack Rickard (evtv) has predicted 10 years for the acculturation of the electric vehicle based on his experience with the internet. Given his internet predictions were spot on and made him very wealthy I suspect he's not that far wrong :cool:
 

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Leaf lover
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Discussion Starter #12
The Leaf is not a niche car, it’s not a nerd car, it’s a nice car.
It looks ordinary, it drives ordinary, it is an ordinary car.
The fact that it felt like magic to me on my first drive and 40 plus thousand miles later still does, is just in my head.
But are we to say that my feeling that the Leaf is set at too high a price is just in my head? Will an insider one day reveal that Nissan could very easily have made the on the road price of a Tekna Leaf on a par with a Tekna Note automatic? Are they just keeping the price to give it niche status?
I like to think they are poised to take that next big step and make the Leaf the Leading, Environmentally friendly, AFFORDABLE, Family car they designed it to be.
 

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This idea resurfaces on a regular basis but unfortunately it does not work in most countries because lamposts are wired as a daisy chain and therefore the current available for car charging is miniscule. That said, the idea of simple and reliable charging everywhere is something I think is both achievable and desirable :)

Jack Rickard (evtv) has predicted 10 years for the acculturation of the electric vehicle based on his experience with the internet. Given his internet predictions were spot on and made him very wealthy I suspect he's not that far wrong :cool:

also lamp posts tend to be fitted at the inside of the pavements so as to avoid being knocked down if a car mounts the pavement. So cables would need to be draped across the pavements becoming a trip hazard for pedestrians.
 

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It looks ordinary, it drives ordinary, it is an ordinary car.
Sorry, but a car with a ~80 mile range is not 'ordinary' and we delude ourselves if we think it is. As EV drivers we accept the limitations and benefits but IMO todays EVs will not appeal to the mass market.

I like to think they are poised to take that next big step and make the Leaf the Leading, Environmentally friendly, AFFORDABLE, Family car they designed it to be.
What's AFFORDABLE about a car that starts at £21,490? I appreciate that's less than the average new car cost but it's still well beyond the means of many in the UK.
 

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I see EVs every day on my travels, usually two, and I don't drive very far. Yes it's taken a long time, but there's always certain "tipping points", it feels like we're close to one in Milton Keynes at least.

I really, truly believe that Chargemaster Polar's new rates will have, and will continue to, put a BIG dent in the appeal of EVs in Milton Keynes though, a really, really bad move by all involved.
 

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Yes an 80 mile EV is not ideal. Yes I would love to have a 200 mile range EV.

But for my situation it does the job on my 50 mile daily commute and saves me the best part of £2000 in fuel costs each year. I can accept that I will need a quick rapid charge on the rare occasion I need more range.

Us leaf owners should be proud that we are the ones who have put out money where our mouth is and bought on of the first main stream EV's and which started off the EV revolution. Do you seriously think that Nissan and the other major manufacturers would be making 200 mile EV's in the near future if the Leaf was a total flop and only sold a hand full of cars.

I agree with what @steeepjim said above that it's a shame that you do need to have off road parking to own an EV at this moment in time. But I'm sure as the speed of uptake increases and the technology in charging improves in 10-20 years time there is no doubt that there will be charging locations on the motorways that will add 300 miles of range just as fast as pumping that stinking diesel into an ICE.
 

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Of course they're niche.

But then most cars have a niche: sports cars are no good at big loads; MPVs aren't sporty; EVs don't do long distances.

I also hope they remain niche. I'm a bit of a greeny - I'd like ICEs to disappear with only a few EVs replacing them. Cars, whether electric or petrol powered are horribly environmentally and socially damaging.
 

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What SansSerif said :) .

Also, find language endlessly fascinating.....niche is an interesting choice of word!

100,000 Leafs driven world wide and growing makes me smile.

My 69 year old former rally driving champion dad's reaction on driving my Leaf...."I could drive this all day".

My top gear loving, porsche driving, sports car loving brother in law's reaction on seeing and travelling in my Leaf. "This could really do a job for us". (they have a young family).

Also, every time I hear someone describe the range of the Leaf as 80 or less (true for some). Find myself describing my experience of the range of my Leaf as 100 or more (true for me) :)
 

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No idea how you manage that 100+ range, my "safe and sensible" long journey range seems to be 90 miles (max) and around town it's nothing close to that I'd imagine. :( Like many have said, Milton Keynes is not ideal for energy conservative driving, but on steady long drives I still seem to max out around 90.
 
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