Nissan Leaf: New Model Improves On World\'s Most Popular EV


) is ramping up production of the most important product in its history: the Model 3. This is the car that’s designed to take the company from luxury niche to mainstream, and TSLA stock’s value reflects expectations that the Tesla Model 3 will sell in volume. But the current No. 1 selling electric vehicle just got a major redesign with longer range, autonomous driving technology and a new look.

Tesla Inc’s (TSLA) Model 3 Has Tough Competition in the New Nissan LeafSource: Nissan

The new Leaf from Japan’s

Nissan Motor Co Ltd (ADR) (OTCMKTS:>NSANY

) is going to be tough competition for the Tesla Model 3, and next year is looking even worse, with Nissan promising to release an extended-range version.

Tesla Model 3’s Lofty Goals

Skyrocketing TSLA stock has made Tesla the world’s fourth-largest automaker in terms of valuation –and No. 1 in the U.S. — despite the fact that it sells a fraction of the number of vehicles that most competitors do.

As pointed out by Business Insider, in August TSLA stock put the company’s market cap at $58.7 billion, compared to $51 billion for

General Motors Company  (NYSE:>GM

). That’s despite the fact that TSLA sold 76,000 cars for annual revenue of $7 billion in 2016, compared to 10 million vehicles and revenue of $166.4 billion for GM. Oh, and GM also turned a $9.4 billion profit for 2016, while TSLA was $880 million in the red.

Much of TSLA stock’s value is based not on what the company has been doing with its luxury Model S and Model X vehicles, but the expectation that it will go mainstream with the Model 3.

That new electric car starts at $35,000 (before government rebates). It saw an initial 518,000 pre-orders and although 63,000 people changed their mind prior to launch, the tally has continued growing at the rate of 1,800 new pre-orders every day. CEO Elon Musk has been talking up the potential for Tesla Model 3 annual production to hit 700,000.

To get there, the Tesla Model 3 has to convince consumers to skip a growing number of electric and hybrid competitors, none more formidable than the Nissan Leaf. And the world’s top selling electric car to date is about to get a lot tougher to beat.

New Nissan leaf: Better Than Before, Same Price

Nissan released its Leaf electric vehicle in 2010. While Tesla’s Model S beat it in unit sales in 2015 and 2016, the Nissan Leaf remains the world’s best-selling electric car overall, with sales since its introduction nearing 300,000.

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