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Wow, what a fool. He completely dismisses the concept of range anxiety, which GM learned all too clearly is a deal killer. You would think, given his first statement that petroleum is a dead end, he would instead opt for an ethanol, natural gas or fuel cell range extender. Instead, he just ignores range-extenders and range anxiety all together.

Nissan could make money with compressed air cars, as they are much cheaper, but he is now targeting a completely losing strategy of more expensive and no quick recharge / refill.
 

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I feel he has a 50/50 chance of looking like genius or someone that blew a huge chance to become one of the market leaders. If gas prices rise though the roof and people decide they can live with a pure BEV then there just might be huge market demand. Remember that a pure BEV can be quite inexpensive to manufacture and maintain if the battery manufacturing can be effectively automated. If battery technology does not advance quickly or shows real problems then the hybrid people will probably come out looking smarter.

Remember that Tesla wanted to go pure BEV and only recently decided that the market might accept a plug-in hybrid. Having two complete power systems is expensive. it is also expensive to develop an effective hybrid system.

The winners are likely to be the companies that put the most effort into coming up with great electric car designs. Attention to accessories, picking the best battery technologies, attention to aerodynamics, attention to the weight of the car using carbon fiber and other weight saving materials, good automation of critical electrification technologies, etc. Thus, there is a lot of room for companies. It's like the wild west. Nobody knows exactly how this is all going to work out. However, the companies that have the most board members and executives convinced of the virtues of the electrification of the automobile will turn out to be the most successful. Those that are sitting back and waiting or don't think electrification is the way to go will find themselves far behind. A lot will also depend on what companies establish relationships with companies that have the best IP. Time will tell.
 

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Texas,

While only GM and Fisker were pursuing REEV's, Tesla decided to throw their hat into that ring, but once Toyota, Nissan and others announced that they were going to make REEV's, it no longer made sense for Tesla Motors to attempt to compete in that space, so they moved back to chasing only the BEV market.

Nissan has the large manufacturing capacity to make REEV's very cheap. Unless they too feel that they cannot compete with Toyota, then it makes sense to offer BEV's only, but they must know the clock is ticking, because all REEV's will evolve into rapid recharge BEV's and PFCV's.

The REEV is such an obvious stepping stone towards rapid recharge BEV's and PFCV's, I just don't understand any major automaker skipping that essential learning step.
 

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BEV in Europe could have a good life, they travel shorter distances and use more public transport, so you could have a BEV without having the range anxiety.

But for North America where the car is "King", BEV is only viable as a 2nd or 3rd family car.

They are betting that battery technology will improve in such way that you will be able to go as far as needed and have shorter recharge time in a short time frame. So instead of putting energy in Hybrids, they will work on the best BEV they can create with the latest technology. A big risk, but if you feel you can't caught up with GM and Toyota, it is a calculated risk.
 

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A big risk, but if you feel you can't caught up with GM and Toyota, it is a calculated risk.
It's a great strategy for Tesla Motors, which will only make high end sport and luxury BEV's and service them themselves. It's a terrible strategy for a company like Nissan, which would aim a low margin small cars.

Nissan and Chrysler deserve each other.

EDIT:

To make my meaning clear - Tesla Motors is now positioned only as a take-over target, as they are pursuing a single niche market. If Nissan wants to make themselves a mere takeover target, then they can pursue small BEV's also.
 

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I think it's great that Nissan's going all electric. Everyone's needs are different. Assuming that most of the secifications & price point are comperable to the Volt, No anxiety here, I'd gladly trade the range extender for another 40 miles of battery.

I wonder if from a manufacturing point of view the range extender capabilities are cheaper then 40 miles worth of lithium. I know battery prices are very high but just think of all the design complexity and components that go into intigrating an ICE.

I'm going to have to keep my name off the volt waiting list. I thought it would be a clear choice for me in 2011, but with gas prices going up it seems everyone is coming to market very quickly on this. too many choices now :)
 

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Just another automaker trying to stay relevant in these turbulant times. A lot of bold talk about profitability and affordability as well as American's needs as a automotive consumers. Show me the product then talk about price and profit. Seems almost every week we get a "me too" article about some car company and their sweet new EV all of them strangely supposed to show up in 2010 the same as the Volt. GM sure stirred the pot.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Nissan indicated their targets are 100 miles AER, affordable, and sell at a profit. This I'll really have to see, as that will require over twice the battery pack kWh rating of the Volt. Either they know something about a new commercially-viable breakthrough in LI battery technology the rest of the world doesn't, or they're blowing smoke.

But even at 100 miles AER, any BEV in the near term will end up being a second economy car or a "niche" car (like the Tesla) that can not be used for extended travel. The re-charge issues away from home or for trips over 100 miles will be a real hassle. It can not function as a primary all-purpose vehicle with current US energy infrastructure and driving habits. BEV's will not be ready for prime-time until fast recharge LI batteries are available for $100/kWh and fast recharge technology is:
a) commercialized
b) standardized
c) popularized.

2010 is 18 months away. I don't see any of that happening before then.

As Jason noted, GM already confronted these issues with the EV-1 and that's why they are not repeating that mistake. This looks like Nissan realized they missed the boat and are claiming to out-stretch GM. My guess - they'll have a niche BEV by 2011 and a mass-market EREV by 2012.
 

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2010 is 18 months away. I don't see any of that happening before then.

As Jason noted, GM already confronted these issues with the EV-1 and that's why they are not repeating that mistake. This looks like Nissan realized they missed the boat and are claiming to out-stretch GM. My guess - they'll have a niche BEV by 2011 and a mass-market EREV by 2012.
Dead on! So what kind of niche BEV can they make that will sell for $50K - $60K at the lowest, for that price, it seems that you would have to make a tiny vehicle with no utility at all, so then they would have to upscale it, and soon they are competing with Tesla Motors.

Dumb, dumb, dumb, dumb, dumb, dumb, dumb ....
 

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Remember people they are the main partner with Project Better Place and have three countries worth of BEVs to sell. That's a lot of cars for many years to come. PBP is fully funded and is moving forward extremely fast. Additionally, Nissan/Renault doesn't have to worry about the battery pack and all of it's problems. They only have to make a battery bay. I think this could be very profitably for them. It's selling the whole car without the battery! The battery has the most risk and lowest margins. Thus, he may indeed be dumb... Dumb like a fox. People that doubt Carlos Ghosn may turn out to be the real dummies. ;)
 

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PBP could completely implode the moment rapid recharge batteries or capacitors become available. Renault / Nissan had better have a back-up to PBP, and REEV's were it.

I agree that Ghosn is a brilliant exec during conventional times, but this upheaval may be something for which he is not prepared. I liked his previous plan, working both PBP and REEV's, but now I am worried for him.
 

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PBP could completely implode the moment rapid recharge batteries or capacitors become available. Renault / Nissan had better have a back-up to PBP, and REEV's were it.

I agree that Ghosn is a brilliant exec during conventional times, but this upheaval may be something for which he is not prepared. I liked his previous plan, working both PBP and REEV's, but now I am worried for him.



I guess I don't see the reason for the implosion you keep talking about. Normal and quick-charging infrastructure is still going to be needed and the first people with a beachhead are most likely to hold it. PBP may have to transition their swap-out stations to quick-charge stations but the normal charging stations will continue to be needed. In fact, PBP is best situated to benefit from new battery technologies. Cars with permanent battery packs have a difficult time justifying the cost of an upgrade. However, PBP can just look at the cost savings and make a compatible battery pack that will fit in the existing battery bay. They can switch very quickly and no new crash testing will be needed. Even if EEstor becomes a reality it will take years for new designs to make it to the showrooms in massive numbers. Just look how long it’s taking the Volt. PBP is getting in early and I think it's a great and bold idea.

I also am not sure if neglecting plug-in hybrids is a good move. It's seems to be the same thing Honda is doing (just working on hybrid lite models). Since I feel the pure BEV is the vehicle of the future they just might be taking the right path given limited resources, huge oil supply and price concerns, environmental issues, etc. Nissan, like Honda, already have great small car technologies so they have some breathing room against GM and Ford and others who are going to be dealing with their big car and truck messes for at least a decade. Is it really that dumb of a strategy to go the pure BEV route? Risky and bold? Yes. Stupid and short-sighted? No.
 
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