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Carlos Ghosn

Ghosn Proves an all-electric Leaf booster

Carlos Ghosn’s intrepid moves in the electric-car segment have startled competitors.

The decision to build all-electric Leaf subcompact cars at Nissan’s Smyrna, TN plant, starting January 10, should raise sales of the new base-model Leafs cars, whose suggested retail price will be dialed back from a highish $35K, (plus the $7,500 federal tax credit).

Carlos Ghosn
Carlos Ghosn

Would one-stop Leafs do better?

Undaunted by 2010 sales of only 9,819 Leafs in the U.S. last year, Ghosn now expects a sales surge with significant upgrades.

Ghosn has added a boost in battery range closer to 100 miles or 7-plus hours of drive time.

Ghosn is mindful of the decisions by competitors to enter the all-electric segment ASAP.

He could have added a small gas engine on the Leaf, but feels that a 100 percent electric powerplant would be more of a sales spur in North America.

Ghosn remains a burr in the saddles of ‘hybrid’-vehicle producers-Chevy Volt/Toyota Prius Plug-in/Ford Transit Connect and Honda Accord.

But Ghosn would be even more competitive by fixing drivetimes and charge times on the TN-built Leafs. “One stop should cover all energy needs-gas and electric,” insists Ghosn.