Nissan Leaf Ad Takes a Shot At Tesla Model 3

If you are one of the 400,000 people or so who’ve plunked down $1,000 to reserve Tesla’s 215-mile range $35,000 Model 3, Nissan has good news for you: You don’t have to wait!

Of course many already knew that of the Japanese automaker’s electric car now being nursed along in its sixth model year and currently offering 107 miles range for just over $35,000 – less $4,000 cash back – but Nissan’s ad campaign makes the point just the same.

“Why wait when you can drive an all-electric Leaf now?” poses Nissan’s advert launched in today’s New York Times, Los Angeles Times, USA Today and The Wall Street Journal. “And why drop $1,000 to stand in line when you can get $4,000 cash back and best-in-class range?”

The industry has not seen anything like this. Controversial ads can fall under the category of any press is good press.

The industry has not seen anything like this. Controversial ads play on the belief that any press is good press.

True is it is an EV now, and leasing is an option as well. Also true is in six-eight months from now, if one is thinking of getting an EV sooner, the 2017 Chevy Bolt will be available with over 200 miles range.

Nissan’s CEO Carlos Ghosn has also said to expect a second generation Leaf with competitive range, though no images or other details of this have yet been revealed.

Since coming to market for 2011, the Leaf has become the world’s best-selling plug-in vehicle with over 200,000 sold – about half of the Model 3’s reservation list. It received a range increase in 2013 from an original 73 miles to 84, and in 2016 its range was upped to 107 for the SV and SL trim packages, with 84-miles range still specified for the base S model.

Last year the Leaf’s U.S. sales declined 43 percent to 17,269 units sold. During 2016’s first quarter, sales have declined 28 percent to 2,931 units.

Tesla Model 3.

Tesla Model 3.

The company has long offered relatively inexpensive lease deals, now mentions 0 percent APR for up to 72 months, $4,000 cash back, and also offers “No Charge to Charge” providing free public access charging for two years.

And perhaps to capitalize on the mind share of all the people looking to Tesla, its ad chides the California upstart and people waiting.

Tesla has said the vehicle could get here by late 2017, others have suggested 2018, 2019, and analysts have even projected some standing in line now won’t get their Model 3 before 2020. But even if Tesla defies the bearish and releases the car early, Nissan says it can deliver instant gratification.

“No one should have any reservations about getting an electric car today,” says Nissan of its car available now.