What is the Benefit of Green Motoring?

We keep an eye on the latest trends in motoring and there is little doubt that the one sector which will grow is the electric car.

This does not include just the full-electric cars, which will in the end, dominate this area… but also the hybrids, of which the Toyota and Lexus ranges lead the way.

Turning Over a New Leaf?

New Nissan LeafWe’re also really excited that the UK, though not owning any volume automotive brand, seems to be maintaining leadership in technology, and is where Nissan have decided to produce their new Leaf electric car.

Niche or Volume? Is it in the Price?

Still, whilst all the hype is going on leading up to the launch of this car, and others for that matter, there are a couple of burning unanswered questions…

1. Will the general public see a substantial cost benefit to choosing electric? Or will it still be down to personal ethical choice?

2. Will the £5,000 support the UK government is putting behind these vehicles go into the consumer or the manufacturer pocket?

It is our view that the kind of price-point these cars seem to be pitched at seem to be substantially greater than the cost-savings over even the medium term, and this coupled with the other key disadvantages including shorter range and less storage.

As for who is going to benefit from the support of the government, the observation from Nissan was revealing: they defended the price-point of the Nissan Leaf saying that it was competitively priced against the Prius and other hybrids.

This, however begged the question – so where is the £5,000 from the government accounted for? It seems that when it comes to price – this is defined by competition and not incentives.

With the added threat of leasing of batteries whilst buying the car (with no-one offering a view what happens when the batteries are taken back out of a Leaf)… it seems that Nissan are definitely not going to be swayed by making it cost-effective in comparison to existing cars.

Will the Leaf Succeed?

And finally, we turn to whether it will be a success…  We believe this will be defined not by the product, but the marketplace it comes to. If the market is improving, but with still rising fuel prices then it’s got a great chance, but if the market is still uncertain, then it is a lot of money, even for a no-emmission car.

Then Nissan can always take another look at their pricing… of course! This may happen anyway as many manufacturers are testing and announcing electric cars. Competition is always good for the new car buyer.


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