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Discussion in 'Electric Vehicles' started by dpeilow, Nov 13, 2011.
Nissan Leaf Unloved in Hong Kong Where Maseratis Rule Smog: Cars - Businessweek
They better get hopping! Tesla's gonna rake it in there!
Possibly. I get the nasty thought of the new Tesla plug becoming the new, govt-approved EV plug in China. No ugly SAE combo. You know, they don't work in committees there...
I wouldn't be so sure about that. I saw a slide that showed the Chinese plug is similar to the SAE and Mennekes design; it's a combo, with two larger pins for DC charging.
I went for a test drive of a leaf here in Hong Kong. It handled well, and coped with the hills effortlessly. Very very quiet. The only downside was that Nissan hadn't bothered to install Hong Kong maps in the GPS (making half the center console functions useless).
The core problem is the US$54,000 price tag. Even tax free (as it is an EV), given the prices elsewhere, I can't see how they justify this. Nissan have quite simply gotten greedy. At that price, it compares to a luxury BMW, and the Eco-aware drivers are looking at the Prius (even paying tax, that is 25% cheaper).
The Government have cut the usual 50-100% first registration tax on new car purchases, for EVs, to zero - in order to promote their uptake. And, the EV manufacturers are using that to jack-up their pricing to make more profit on less volume. The point of the incentives is to increase volume, not per-unit margin of the car companies.
The second issue is charging, an promoting expansion of shopping-mall 13amp/220volt chargers is not going to help. They really are missing the point. Home overnight, or office day-time, charging is the only viable solution I see.
But given that Nissan have only brought in a couple hundred leafs this year, and they look set to sell them all, it looks like their pricing was correct for that volume.
I'm told there are close to 200 leafs on the road in HK now, and that is a good start. If they had been selling this at the US price of US$35k, and had the inventory, things would be different.
Good points markwj. Hopefully the Model S won't have those pricing issues.
I wouldn't be so sure about that. Even at $54k Nissan might not be making much of profit on the car, esp. once you include all the overhead.
There's lots of speculation the $36k pricing (including the destination charge) in the US is at a loss at this point (only profitable at the projected volume Nissan will have when the Tennessee plant is in operation; there's been a public statement that the Leaf will be profitable by year three, implying it's not profitable right now). There's a guess is Nissan is using the smaller markets (where they don't expect to sell that huge a volume of Leafs in the first place, even if priced lower) to subsidize larger markets. The $33k price definitely wasn't profitable or I can't think of a reason why Nissan would raise the price for MY2012.
The only places they are charging less than $50k USD is in Canada, Japan, and China (the $31,270 USD quoted seems to be including a $8800 subsidy, making pricing $40,070 and that pricing doesn't seem to be confirmed; source article says "will be priced around 200,000 yuan"). I don't think it's just a coincidence they are charging under $50k in the top three car markets in the world (only outlier being Canada, but I think Canada benefits from its close proximity to the US, where buyers can go across the border to shop for a car).
The Chinese plug appears to be the best one of them all. Like a Mennekes but with the DC pins integrated rather than tacked on the bottom.
I assume we are talking about this:
If not, things are really scary. That would mean they are taking a bath of US$19 for each Leaf sold in the USA. I really can't believe that.
I don't think the selling price in HK is in any way related to cost. It is more likely related to them having 200 units to sell, and expecting to be able to get 200 early-adopter purchasers at that price.
Tesla also charge a lot here for the roadster (about US$28k premium over the US price - working out around a 25% mark-up). This was explained to me (by Tesla) as covering the costs of homologation for the limited number of cars they will sell in this market. I suspect the service department costs (for at least the warranty period) also has a large impact on costs.
My point is, though, that at that kind of pricing (using the government subsidies to inflate their bottom line rather than incentivise EV adoption) and without an effective and workable way of charging these cars, Hong Kong is not going to get to 30% EVs by 2020 (or anytime soon). I see this as such a wasted opportunity.
incentives for EVs can go to customers, or to the car maker. In the latter case, that might be the point where it becomes possible to offer an EV at all. No incentive for the car maker would mean no EVs for customers. I'd rather not.
I guess the question is how many Leafs would have been sold in the US or UK if they cost US$54k? 70 per 6.5million people?
Norwegian base price without destination charge is approx. $44,900.
I missed that scanning through. I don't have an explanation why Norwegian prices are so much lower than Sweden and Denmark (even though the incentive in Denmark is very similar). Maybe because the interest was overwhelming compared to other European countries (I think they had 1200 people registered as interested)?
Do you know the VAT (sales tax) rate on that? For example, the UK rate is 20% (so the US$50k price listed is actually US$41.6k + 20% VAT).
The Wikipedia price table says "Nissan Leaf sales price by market (without any government tax credits or grants)", so I assume it includes sales taxes. The equivalent Hong Kong price is US$91k (US$54k price + US$37k tax), with the difference being the government tax incentive of 0% FRT.
I was particularly interested by the following quotes from the article:
I think the Model S is in a very good position to capture this market and make inroads into China with a positive brand image, which this recent NYT article talks about:
In China, Car Brands Evoke an Unexpected Set of Stereotypes
I hope Tesla comes across as luxurious and upscale, yet young and hip, while being ecofriendly (and by extension people-friendly) to boot.
That would be a somewhat ironic turning of the tables if a car made in California becomes a popular mass market item in China.
Fight pollution. Fight oil imports. Fight trade imbalance.
Can you say "reverse engineer"?
General VAT in Norway is 25% and cars also have pigouvian tax/fee added depending on level of pollution. The pigouvian tax is a few thousand dollars for a Prius and for a Cayenne Turbo around $200 000.
EVs are exempt from the pigouvian tax obviously and also has a 0 value for VAT (which for legal tax reasons is even better than no tax added).