Sep 5, 2017

Nissan’s overhauled Leaf electric car lands tonight

Itsuo Inouye / AP

Nissan will unveil a completely redesigned version of its all-electric Leaf in a heavily promoted event later tonight.

Why it matters: The overhaul arrives at a time when analysts are upping estimates of the EV market's growth in coming years and decades, and countries including France and the U.K. are rolling out more aggressive clean transportation policies.

The automaker faces big challenges, even though the Leaf is the leader in cumulative worldwide EV sales since its 2010 debut, with over 280,000 sold. These days Nissan has lost ground to Tesla and other rivals who offer models with much more range than the current generation Leaf's roughly 100-miles-per-charge capacity.

Nissan has already revealed that the new version will feature tech including its single-pedal operation mode called "e-Pedal," and its "ProPILOT" assisted-driving system.

One big question: How much Nissan may have upgraded its battery system to allow longer range. More broadly, whether Nissan can capture the EV buzz that rests squarely with U.S rival Tesla. Elon Musk's Silicon Valley firm has its own long-term challenges but got rave reviews for its new mass market Model 3 (which has a higher base price than the current Leaf) and its 220-mile base range.

A number to watch: My Axios colleague Steve LeVine, a longtime watcher of EV trends, believes that the floor to catch on with consumers these days is now 200 miles on a single charge, even if most drivers very rarely need that much range.

Perspective: Tatsuo Yoshida, a senior analyst at Sawakami Asset Management Inc., sums up Nissan's challenge nicely in this Bloomberg piece: "It will be tougher for the new Leaf than for the first generation, as it's no longer the only mass-market EV, or monopolizing public attention. . . . Tesla's brand is more alluring even if Nissan comes close to its technology."

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Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 10 p.m. ET: 1,014,673 — Total deaths: 52,973 — Total recoveries: 210,335Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 10 p.m. ET: 244,678 — Total deaths: 5,911 — Total recoveries: 9,058Map.
  3. 2020 updates: The Democratic National Committee said its July convention will be postponed until August because of the coronavirus. A federal judge declined to delay Wisconsin's April 7 primary election.
  4. Jobs latest: Coronavirus unemployment numbers are like a natural disaster hitting every state.
  5. Public health latest: Anthony Fauci called for all states across the U.S. to issue stay-at-home orders. The FDA will allow blood donations from gay men after 3-month waiting period, citing "urgent need."
  6. Business latest: Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said oil companies are eligible for aid from new lending programs the Federal Reserve is setting up, but not direct loans from his department.
  7. U.S.S. Theodore Roosevelt: Navy removes captain of aircraft carrier who sounded alarm about coronavirus.
  8. 1 future thing: In developing countries, consequences of COVID-19 could be deeper and far more difficult to recover from.
  9. What should I do? Answers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingQ&A: Minimizing your coronavirus risk.
  10. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it.

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Mark Meadows considers new White House press secretary

Photos: Alyssa Farah, Defense Department; Stephanie Grisham, Alex Wong/Getty Images; Kayleigh McEnany, Scott W. Grau/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

White House chief of staff Mark Meadows has privately discussed bringing on Pentagon spokeswoman Alyssa Farah or Trump campaign spokeswoman Kayleigh McEnany as a new White House press secretary, two sources familiar with the talks tell Axios.

Why it matters: Meadows' start on Tuesday as Trump's new chief — and televised coronavirus briefings that feature President Trump himself — present a chance to overhaul a press shop that's kept a low profile since President Trump ended the tradition of daily press secretary briefings.

CNN: Fauci advises all states issue stay-at-home orders

Dr. Anthony Fauci listens to President Trump speak during a briefing on April 1. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Anthony Fauci recommended on Thursday that all states across the U.S. implement stay-at-home orders, at a CNN town hall.

Why it matters: The recommendation stands in contrast to President Trump's calls for "flexibility." Nearly 4o states have issued stay-at-home orders to promote social distancing as a way to combat the novel coronavirus — but the orders vary in strictness and duration.