Right now, there isn’t much optimism for the 2016 Nissan Leaf based on how well it’s doing with customers.
Usually fans just complain without any repercussions to sales, but this time the collective dissatisfaction with its looks and range has translated to diminishing commercial numbers.
Is it really bad news though? Is the Nissan Leaf heading to annihilation? Not really – it’s just heading into its second-gen model in 2017, and the fallen sales can actually be taken as positive news.
The reason folks are avoiding the current model is because it offers only 107 miles of range, whereas the 2017 model promises more than 200 miles, equivalent to what the Chevrolet Bolt provides.
Apart from that, Nissan has made known its plans for wireless charging, semi-autonomous driving, and a complete redesign for the Leaf’s turnover from its first-gen incarnation.
Semi-Autonomous Driving Is Key
Sure, the self-driving system is going to arrive with only single-lane capabilities, but it’s much more than any other all-electric vehicle can boast. There has been no other EV nameplate besides the few Tesla models that promise autonomous driving for the near future save for Nissan.
Even the Chevrolet Bolt isn’t going to arrive for 2017 with a self-driving system, despite it being used in GM’s autonomous taxi service development. We’ll probably see an semi-autonomous system in place for the Bolt by 2018.
And the Tesla Model 3 isn’t going to arrive anytime next year, so the Leaf would be the only affordable EV with primordial self-driving features.
Add that on top of the fact that the resale value of the first-gen model would plummet way worse than any prior models, it makes sense for buyers to hold off getting the Leaf, thereby sending it on a plummet in recent months.