Would you fill up your car with free fuel if some one offered your fuel at no cost. Or you you pull in to a Service station and pay $50.oo to fill up your tank? What if there was an added bonus that the fuel was domestically produced instead of coming from foreign countries.
With an electric vehicle you can do just that. In the photo I’am re-fueling my Nissan Leaf at a FREE public fueling station. True it does pump out electricity instead of gasoline, but the fuel is free. This one is a ChargePoint charging station hosted by Koles department stores. Did Koles get me into the store, you bet. Did I buy anything not this time. But maybe next time.
Nissan is using the wrong slogan in their marketing plan when selling the Nissan Leaf. They are currently pushing the “Zero Emission” of the 100% electric Leaf. This is evident with there latest TV commercial “Gas Powered Everything” and even the previous “Polar Bear” commercial. I think the Zero Emission crowd is too small of a market segment for a successful re-introduction of the EV .
The market segment Nissan needs to be going after is the “Energy Independence” crowd. I think this is a much larger segment of the population. These are the people who are not core environmentalist. This group has a real concern about the United States dependency on foreign oil and the wildly fluctuating cost of gasoline. This is the group that Nissan should be appealing too.
What is the significance of energy independence? It is the ability to drive a car with out the use of foreign oil. Even if it means that the source of Domestic energy is not environmentally friendly. The source of the energy that produces the electricity could be from coal, Natural gas, hydro, nuclear, solar or wind. As long as the energy is domestic.
So Nissan needs to look at a market larger than the ‘Zero Emissions” group and go after the much larger “Energy Independence” group.
Just a quick update on the leaf reservation process. I have been receiving e-mails from Nissan informing me that my estimated time of delivery has been updated. The original estimated delivery was mid to late September. So, an August date this is good news. Remember I started the reservation process in mid May, 2011. So if the Leaf is really delivered in Augest that will be a four month wait.
I have also received an invitation from Nissan to initiate a CARWINGS account. What the heck is a CARWINGS account? Well the Nissan Leaf has a telemetry system that reports (prepaid AT&t cell connection for three years) things like the number of trips you drive , the distance you drive, miles per kilowatt , and number of trees you built for any given day. It is all reported and presented on a very nice graphical website.
Two other notable cool features about CarWings. Nissan compares you against other Leaf drivers for getting the most miles per kilowatt and the number of trees created among other things. This is done world wide and by region.
The other great CARWINGS feature has to do with the navigation system. You can plan your trip using you desktop computer and then send it to you leafs nav system through the internet. very nice, I always disliked sitting in the car planing out a route on the nav screen.
So for now I just continue to wait. One surprise is the requirement to install a charging station using Nissan’s preferred vendor has gone away.
If you want a Nissan Leaf you are forced through an on-line seven step process. After you create your Leaf account you wait for an invitation to start the process. The seven steps are locked until you receive your invitation. As you work your way through the first step addition steps are unlocked.
The first step is to reserve your Leaf and that is going to cost you some money. The reservation is going to cost you a hundred bucks. Not bad and the reservation fee goes toward you purchase. Not bad but it is still a hundred dollars just to get in line. If you are buying a Volt there is no reservation fee. On the other end of the spectrum is the Tesla Model S reservation fee of $5,000 or if you want a early delivery of the Model S signature edition it will cost you $30,000. So the Leaf is not bad, it is doable.
Next they hit you up for another hundred dollars for a home assessment. What is that? will Nissan want to make sure your home electrical system will handle the electric vehicle (EV) charging station. The process also generates a quote for the charging system that can be added to the purchase of your Nissan Leaf. But a HUNDERED DOLLARS for an estimate??
If you do not sign up for the assessment the ordering step will not unlock. The ordering step is where you get in line with a prefered dealer. This is where I’am now. The dealer Quotes you the list price, surprise, surprise. So far I have been unable to get the delivery,tax and other delivery charges. The big unknown is, in the 3-4 months, will there be a dealer add on premium???
Well for now it is a wait and see. The next several steps are locked. I will see when they get unlocked.