Despite Nissan and Tesla EV cars not having a presence yet in the Middle East, both companies appear to be making concerted efforts to produce more affordable electric cars with longer driving ranges. These efforts have come about despite low oil prices which have made high fuel consuming vehicles more popular again; regardless of the increasing effects of global warming and climate change.
Nissan, whose increasingly popular Leaf EV debuted in December, 2010, has a new model, the Leaf 2 ,that made its 2018 model debut on September 6 ( above photo). This newly designed model is touted as having an improved battery pack and an increased driving range of 150 miles (240 km) as compared to the earlier Leaf model with around 107 miles (172 km). Tesla Motors, which first entered the EV car market in 2008 with high priced sport models, is now putting its efforts into producing a more affordable family car, the Model 3 which debuted in July, 2017.
The Model 3 (photo) has a much higher driving range than the Leaf, with claims of 220 miles (354 km) on a full battery charge. It also is much more attractive than the original Leaf model, which many say is rather “boxy” in appearance. This is one reason why Nissan is promoting the new Leaf model as the “Tesla Model 3 killer”, with completely redesigned styling to make it more appealing to buyers looking for style as well as being environmentally friendly.
New Leaf purchasers in North America can expect to begin receiving delivery near the end of 2017; while purchasers in Europe can expect to begin receiving their cars in early 2018.
For the most part, however, wannabe buyers in the Middle East will continue to be “Leafless”. This goes for Tesla’s Model 3 as well. The previous concerted effort towards introducing fully electric cars into the Mid East came with the now defunct Better Place company, whose Renault Fluence EV model and network of “battery swapping’ stations ended its tenure in Israel in early 2013, after selling less than 1,000 cars. Some of these models can still be seen on the roads there, however; giving an indication that their owners are “not stranded yet”. A new book by Brian Blum details the horror of being a car owner in such a situation.
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