Global Nissan LEAF Sales Eclipse 17,000

By · November 17, 2011

Nissan LEAF

Global sales of Nissan LEAF eclipse 17,000 units.

In late July, Carlos Ghosn, Nissan chief executive officer, stated that "with more than 10,100 electric Nissan LEAF vehicles already sold worldwide" the Japanese automaker is "clearly the global leader in zero emission mobility." Now that number officially exceeds 17,000 units.

That's the closest estimate that Nissan America spokesperson Katherine Zachary could provide to PluginCars.com this week. The breakdown for global Nissan LEAF sales shows that the United States leads the way in terms of total purchases of Nissan's pure electric hatchback. Zachary tells PluginCars.com that, since the LEAF's launch in December of 2010, sales in the US total approximately 8,500 units and our research shows that LEAF sales in Japan check in at approximately 8,000 units.

To put that 17,000-unit number in perspective, global sales of the Toyota Prius hit 3,000 units in 1997—its first year on the market—and topped 20,000 by the end of 1998. In 2000, Prius's first year in the U.S. market, Toyota 5,562 units of the gas-electric hybrid. To compare the Nissan LEAF to other available electric vehicles, total cumulative global sales of the Tesla Roadster come in at slightly more than 1,800 units, and worldwide sales of the Mitsubishi i-MiEV—a vehicle that launched in July of 2009—check in at approximately 16,000 units.

Based on these early trends, it will be difficult for any other electric car to catch up with LEAF. EV fans might have hoped for some potential competition for mainstream high-volume electric cars from Ford or Honda—for example, with the Focus Electric or Fit EV. But recent news of high price tags and low volume targets make competition from these carmakers unlikely.

Much the way that Prius has dominated the hybrid market for the past decade—becoming synonymous with hybrid technology—the Nissan LEAF seems poised to become the electric car that defines the EV category.

Comments

· · 3 years ago

". . . and worldwide sales of the Mitsubishi i-MiEV—a vehicle that launched in July of 2009—check in at approximately 16,000 units."

Perhaps this is actually 1,600 units, Brad? If it's really the larger number, then Mitsubishi isn't all that far behind Nissan.

Regardless . . . good news for those wanting an EV that the Leaf is being made in such quantities and making such a headway into the market. The 1st year Prius production numbers really put this into perspective.

· · 3 years ago

Quoting Mitsubishi press release "MMC began sales of its i-MiEV in Japan in July 2009. MMC started full-scale export of the i-MiEV first to European countries in 2010. As of the end of September this year [2011], MMC’s cumulative i-MiEV production volume has reached approximately 16,000 units."

· theflew (not verified) · 3 years ago

I think it might be a bit early to say the Leaf will be the defining EV as the Prius was for hybrids. One of the things that made the Prius successful was the lack of any credible competition. With the Leaf sales falling in the last several months I think there are at least windows of opportunities for other EV makers, granted it appears know one except for the EREV Volt is making any serious attempts at mass production, so in the end you could be correct.

· · 3 years ago

"With the Leaf sales falling in the last several months"
....
How many times do we have to address the same wrong notion? There are tens of thousands of people waiting to buy a Leaf. Every leaf that is produced is already sold before it has left the factory. The only limiting factor to Leaf sales is production speed.

There is no credible competitor to the Leaf anywhere in sight. They definitely have the possibility to become the Prius of EVs if they not already are.

· Londo Bell (not verified) · 3 years ago

@ theflew,

1. EREV is a marketing term. The official classification of Volt is a PHEV. Totally different than BEV. Thus, even if it sells 1 million units, it will never be able to make the claim that it is the best model among BEV, just like you can't claim that the most expensive wine in the world is also the most expensive merchandise in the world, simply because it is outselling another expensive item, say, caviar.

2. GM is selling its PHEV only in the US, and it is producing a lot more than demand. Nissan is not. If you look at worldwide sales, there's nothing as "falling" since Nissan needs to redistribute its volume to many different countries, with a fixed production # at this point.

· Londo Bell (not verified) · 3 years ago

Correction in my example:

you can't claim that the most expensive wine in the world is also the most SOLD merchandise in the world...

· · 3 years ago

Nissan deserves a LOT of credit in my book. The car isn't perfect by any means(what is?), but the commitment they've made to electric vehicles is unparalleled by any other OEM. That doesn't include Tesla of course which is in another class in my opinion.

Now if they would add a 30kWh battery option with active thermal management and 7.2kWh level 2 charging I think it would make it great.
Call it the SE (special edition) and give it a MSRP of $42,500. (35K after the fed tax rebate) It would have a 95 mile EPA range rating and could probably squeeze out 140 miles if driven efficiently.

· · 3 years ago

Nissan is working not only in improving the energy density of their battery, but also on improving their motors and electronics. They realize this is the early days and that everything can be improved in terms of both efficiency and performance.

But they already make a great in town car now and they have their hands full getting their plant in Tennessee and their plant in the UK up an running in a year or so not to mention working on the other EVs they want to put in production. So they are the company we should be the most patient with.

The other company we should be patient with is Tesla. Many complain their EV is too expensive, but it is only the second of many models they will do. And it is already a big step down in price and up in vehicle size. They don't have a major car company's resources to use in the interim.

· · 3 years ago

@Tom, increasing the LEAF pack by 25% would have major engineering ramifications. Configuring a new pack, reduction in storage to accommodate the larger pack, weight distribution, possible weight issues and safety issues etc. The LEAF battery pack was engineered to not require active thermal management. (They have added pack pre heating in MY2012 for extreme cold situations but extreme heat isn't an issue) You are confusing two systems. It's like saying a 1965 VW beetle should have included water cooling for their engine. That VW beetle engine was designed to be air cooled. As for 7.2kWh level 2 charging, sure make it an option and price it accordingly but keep the DC quick charging for true quick charging when you need it.

· · 3 years ago

Has Nissan LEAF become the most sold electric car in history?

· · 3 years ago

Well I think this is fantastic! Ours is sitting at the dealer right now waiting for us. We just won't have time until Saturday to go pick it up. Count one more Nissan! And I totally agree that we need to give Nissan a tremendous amount of credit for being so committed to the EV market. I had hopes for Ford, alas, maybe they'll step it up someday. And Honda just announced that they aren't seriously interested in the EV market at all. Nissan leads the charge! (pun intended) : )

· · 3 years ago

@Tom : "Now if they would add a 30kWh battery option with active thermal management and 7.2kWh level 2 charging I think it would make it great.
Call it the SE (special edition) and give it a MSRP of $42,500. (35K after the fed tax rebate) It would have a 95 mile EPA range rating and could probably squeeze out 140 miles if driven efficiently."

You are describing the Infinity EV (MSRP would be higher, though). According to rumors it will have a 130 mile range (LA04?) and priced at $40k after tax credit.

· · 3 years ago

@dutchinchicago, "Every leaf that is produced is already sold before it has left the factory." That isn't strictly true. Dozens of the last 2011 LEAFs produced ended up at dealers without being pre-ordered by customers. Mostly in black and white; perhaps those colors weren't as popular as the others. You can buy one off a lot in San Diego right now, if you wish.

Nevertheless, those last 2011s are a drop in the bucket compared to the 8500 LEAFs already sold in the USA, so I think the point you were making about LEAF sales remaining strong is valid, for the time being at least. There are plenty of us still waiting for ours ("week of December 16, 2011" for me).

· · 3 years ago

@dgpcolorado, actually all of those cars were originally ordered by customers, but these customers customers decided not to purchase the cars from the dealership once they arrived. So therefore the cars were available for sale as orphans to the general public. There is some speculation that the dealerships had friends, family, and employees order LEAFs only to abandon them when they arrived so the dealership could sell them at a mark up.

· · 3 years ago

It is hard to understand LEAF temp of production.

January 2010 through March 2010 - 3 months - 8,000 units (about 3,000 per month):
http://www.green.autoblog.com/2011/05/03/sales-update-nissan-leaf-hits-5...

April through July - 4 months - 2,000 units to a total 10,000 (about 500 per month):
http://www.autoguide.com/auto-news/2011/08/nissan-leaf-surpasses-10000-u...

August through September - 2 months - 6,000 units to a total 16,000 (about 3,000 per month):
http://www.hybridcars.com/news/nissan-announces-it-will-lead-green-autom...

October - 1,000 units only to a total 17,000

· · 3 years ago

Perhaps people should start getting on AutoTrader.com or similiar sites and looking around to see if they can find and buy some of these orphaned LEAFs and cut ahead of the waiting list.

But be aware that sometimes on sites like that a dealer will throw on a dummy, non-existant car to get people to get on the waiting list with their dealership in mind. But if you get on a site like that you can see how far away from you the nearest orphan LEAF is.

· · 3 years ago

"You are describing the Infinity EV (MSRP would be higher, though). According to rumors it will have a 130 mile range (LA04?) and priced at $40k after tax credit."

I'd rather they just badge it Nissan, that's way it is anyway. I really don't like the whole Acura/Lexus/Infinity thing.
I guess a lot of people just need to have a premium name on their car if they are spending premium dollars. Ridiculous in my book.

· · 3 years ago

@Tom "I'd rather they just badge it Nissan, that's way it is anyway. I really don't like the whole Acura/Lexus/Infinity thing."

I wonder if this is just to have separate dealerships. Premium car buyers expect premium service.

· · 3 years ago

@Yegor "It is hard to understand LEAF temp of production."

That is because you are combining production & sales numbers. There is quite a bit of lag between the two.

Ofcourse, there was this small little 9.0 Earthquake in Japan that produced tsunami & nuke meltdown. It affected production quite a bit from March.

· · 3 years ago

EVNow,

I remember about earthquake and it understandable that it cause the delay through July. But then the production and sales seems to be pick up in August and September. It looks like the sales slow down again but may be it is due to the change to the new 2012 model year.

· Charles (not verified) · 3 years ago

Off topic, but maybe of interest. I was at:
http://www.fueleconomy.gov/feg/evsbs.shtml
checking to see if the Focus EV was listed. It was not, but what really surprised me was the the Smart EV was gone. The Smart EV was there the last time I checked.

Please take this as a suggestion for an article.

· · 3 years ago

Yegor - I do not know if this affected the Nissan LEAF or not, but the floods in Thialand recently have caused production problems for a number of different Japanese made cars due to the parts that were made there.

· · 3 years ago

Nissan is sending LEAF's all over the world so some of the volume changes you are seeing are related to distribution and opening new markets. In the US when Smyrna, TN launch's the Leaf then discussion of supply will be fade away.
Also, I think some people are afraid of the vehicle, once they see it, drive it have a neighbor who owns one, etc the fear fads quickly. Once I show mine off then people say hey that will work for me and the fuel savings, maintenance savings are hard to ignore. This is the perfect around town car.

· Gilles (not verified) · 3 years ago

Do you know the figure about Europe ? I leave in France, I have a Leaf since 3 weeks now, and Nissan began to ship their Leaf since july. I guess all Leaf sold in Europe represents a significant number.

· · 3 years ago

@Gilles

I maintain plug-in sales numbers here.

http://www.mynissanleaf.com/viewtopic.php?f=4&t=2883

No good EU wide numbers. "In France, 17 Leaf in October, 67 from the beginning of year (sales started in August)."

· · 3 years ago

From the article:
world 17,000 - 8,500 USA - 8,000 Japan = 500 LEAFs are sold in the rest of the world.

· · 3 years ago

@Yegor ·

Leaf is now sold in some 15 countries. The numbers vary, I guess, depending on their allocation (and production too). The production is still not in full swing since there is a big power shortage in Japan, because of the nuke shutdown.

· · 3 years ago

If you are asking me I have no info on Europe. I do not they are ramping up also in Europe and UK will launch similar.
I truely believe if you double the milage, cut cost down some, Leafs will sell like crazy. If you cut the charging time to 10 minutes are less then EV's will dominate the market and oil company's will be history.

· Anonymous (not verified) · 3 years ago

Nissan Leaf went on sale in Norway in October. 600 contracts signed during the first 3 days! Probably close to 1000 sold at present, but takes some time before delivery. Not bad for a country with at total population of about 5 million.

· · 3 years ago

@Indyflick, "actually all of those cars were originally ordered by customers, but these customers customers decided not to purchase the cars from the dealership once they arrived. So therefore the cars were available for sale as orphans to the general public. There is some speculation that the dealerships had friends, family, and employees order LEAFs only to abandon them when they arrived so the dealership could sell them at a mark up."

I find it hard to believe that a dealer with 21 LEAFs for sale to all comers is all about orphans. Possible, I suppose, but I think that there was something else going on as Nissan closed down the 2011 model year.

· · 3 years ago

@Indyflick, "actually all of those cars were originally ordered by customers, but these customers customers decided not to purchase the cars from the dealership once they arrived."

That is generally true. But Mossy Nissan got hold of 21 Leafs (2011 model) that must be "extras".

· · 3 years ago

I went to Autotrader.com and selected Nissan, LEAF, All (new and used), and put in a zip code for Sacramento and then selected a radius of 500 miles. That listed the dealers in most of central and northern California. Most dealers had one LEAF, but quite a few had 2 to 5 and a there were some rare dealers that had more.

This is a great opportunity for anyone who wants a LEAF and doesn't want to wait for it. Or for someone who would like to actually test drive the vehicle they are going to buy before buying.

· · 3 years ago

If you want to avoid getting stuck on the price, just list the LEAFs from low to high price.

· · 3 years ago

@alt-e

Autotrader.com lists all Leafs - including ones already sold. They are also late. I had seen my Leaf (i.e. my VIN) listed after I took delivery.

You can see that on cars.com as well.

· · 3 years ago

@EVNow - Well that is not good. I am surprised that happens. I thought that the dealers had to list cars on those sites. But maybe not.

There were quite a few where the dealer had taken pictures. I wonder if those are orphans or whatever actually for sale. There are also a very few used ones.

· · 3 years ago

@alt-e "I thought that the dealers had to list cars on those sites."

Dealers have automated systems to list. They do that even for pre-sold cars like Leaf, that is the problem. Initially when we realized this (after Leaf deliveries started), dealers apologetically explained this.

New to EVs? Start here

  1. Electric Cars Pros and Cons
    EVs are a great solution for most people. But not everybody.
  2. Seven Things To Know About Buying a Plug-In Car
    A few simple tips before you visit the dealership.
  3. Incentives for Plug-in Hybrids and Electric Cars
    Take advantage of credits and rebates to reduce EV costs.
  4. Buying Your First Home EV Charger
    You'll want a home charger. Here's how to buy the right one.
  5. The Ultimate Guide to Electric Car Charging Networks
    If you plan to charge in public, you'll want to sign up for charging network membership (or two).
  6. Electric Vehicle Charging for Businesses
    How do you ensure that electric car owners will be happy with every visit to your charging spot?
  7. How to Use the PlugShare EV Charging Station Tool
    Locate EV charging stations and optimize their use with a powerful mobile app.
  8. Quick Charging of Electric Cars
    Add 50 to 60 miles of range in about 20 minutes. Here's how.
  9. The Real Price of EV Public Charging
    Compare the cost of charging on the road to what you pay at home.
  10. Electric Vehicle Charging Etiquette
    Thou shalt charge only when necessary. And other rules to live by.