Nissan CEO sees Model 3 interest as good for all EVs

Nissan\'s CEO is happy to see strong interest in Tesla\'s Model 3.

Nissan chief executive officer Carlos Ghosn says he welcomes the competition Tesla's all-new Model 3 will bring to the market, even if it competes with his company's own Leaf EV.

Although the Model 3 and Leaf are pretty different vehicles on paper, they will likely compete for the same pool of electric buyers. The Tesla Model 3 will retail for around $35,000, while the longer-range Leaf SV carries a base price of $34,200. Although that means added competition for the Leaf, Ghosn believes interest in the Model 3 will lift sales for all electric vehicles, including the Leaf.

"The fact that so many people are willing to pay a down payment to get this car which becomes available at the end of 2017 is a good sign,” Ghosn told Automotive News. "Finally, good competition for EVs is picking up.”

In the few days since it was unveiled Tesla has collected more than 276,000 pre-orders for the Model 3 at $1,000 a pop. Sales of the Model 3 aren't scheduled to commence until at least the end of next year.

If those customers decide to keep their spot in line, the Model 3 will become Tesla's best-selling model to date. The electric automaker has recorded 107,000 cumulative sales of its Model S sedan and Model X crossover since 2012.

Nissan's Leaf, meanwhile, is currently the world's best-selling electric nameplate with 211,000 sales since it launched in 2010. Although the Model 3 could threaten that title, Nissan is working on an all-new Leaf that should boast a better battery range and a lower starting price.

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