The comparison with the Leaf battery pack says almost everything about why Tesla is so much further ahead than anybody else. I’m sure this is an over-simplification but I get the impression companies like Nissan just assumed an EV’s powertrain had a 1:1 complexity relationship with ICEs where electric motor = ICE and battery pack = gas tank. How hard could it be, right? And I think the terminology needs to shift to talk about an EV’s power pack because with ultracapacitors and other new types of energy storage it’s going to be increasingly less accurate to call them battery packs. And it points to a crucial misunderstanding that an automotive power pack is nothing more than a matter of battery chemistry. It’s a full thermal management and power system specific to the demands of automotive use.
Tthe competitive edge and R&D challenge is going to be all about that power pack. Traditional “motor” companies need to now learn how to manufacture affordable, reliable, high-capacity power packs. An electric motor is comparatively simple: an electromagnet that spins a bar. Yes, there’s a lot more to it than that but electric motors have been around a very long time. Automotive power packs are a far bigger unknown and only companies that take the challenge of producing them seriously will survive.