Nissan LEAF Sales Exceed 50,000 Worldwide

By · February 18, 2013

LEAF Sales

50,000 and counting...

Despite all the hand-wringing and controversies, the electric vehicle market continues to grow. The latest evidence: global sales of the Nissan LEAF have surpassed 50,000 units sold since launching in late 2010. So, despite the recent brouhaha over reports about Tesla superchargers; proclamations about EV sales falling short; high-profile problems at EV start-up companies such as Better Place, Coda and Fisker...the tally of global drivers ditching internal combustion in favor of cars without tailpipes continues to reach new milestones.

Nissan announced reaching the 50k mark last week, and said that LEAF owners around the globe have racked up at least 161 million cumulative miles. That's greater than the distance from the Earth the to Sun, as the company points out.

Nissan can also say that there is now at least one Nissan LEAF owner with more than 100,000 miles on the odometer. The Japanese owner reports 108,700 all-electric miles and counting.

The momentum, maybe not as fast as some had hoped, shows few signs of letting up. The LEAF is now available in 17 European countries, which is expected to only add to the electric hatchback's undisputed claim as the best selling electric vehicle of all time.


· · 5 years ago

I think Nissan's plan to offer a reduced price Stripped model is the way to go. The bare bones model has everything I want EXCEPT a battery twice as big. Put a bigger battery as an optional extra and they've got another Sale.

· · 5 years ago

It's good that the Nissan Leaf is finally starting to take off. It's taking a while but you can see with the latest TV adverts and news that the Leaf is coming to life.

mercedes service

· · 5 years ago

Bill, I hope that Nissan can double the range with the battery they have - wouldn't that be a better solution?

The Leaf consumes ~340Wh/mile (and the 2013 will be about 15% less, or about 289Wh/mile). There are several examples of cars capable of ~150-160Wh/mile: the EV1, the Illuminati Motors Seven, Dave Cloud's Dolphin. It should be noted that these three cars all weigh at least as much as the Leaf, but they all have much better Cd's; the Dolphin in particular is incredibly sleek through the air.

And there are several cars that are even better: the SIM-LEI and SIM-WIL cars are in the ~130Wh/mile zone, and the Edison2 eVLC and the Trev (from Australia) are at ~100Wh/mile. The top of the list is the SolarWorld GT car built by Bochum University that is about 80Wh/mile at highway speeds.

The key factor to low consumption, at highway speeds in particular, is low aerodynamic drag. If the Leaf had a Cd of 0.20 instead of 0.28, then I think it's range could be close to 140 miles with the same battery it already has.


· · 5 years ago

Hey Neil . . . has anyone in your aerodynamically-enlightened circle of friends drawn up a "super slippery Leaf?" I'm not thinking about an all-out 7-foot stretch version, like what David Cloud did with a GEO Metro, to create his one-off Dolphin. I'd hate to try to parallel park that one!

Rather, I'd be interested in seeing something that retains basic proportions and dimensions of a typical 5-passenger hatchback. Is it possible to obtain that 2.0 Cd on a Leaf within those constraints? Would rear wheel skirts and a slightly narrower rear axle span be enough to get those numbers?

I remember a design study from last year, the Nismo, that looked better and (surprise!) performed better in regards to drag than the stock Leaf. A bit of googling brought up this recent web article this morning on . . .

The good news? Nissan is actually going to do a limited production run of the Nismo later this year.

The bad news? Only in Japan. :-(

· · 5 years ago

What a lot of people are missing out of the upgraded 2013 Nissan Leaf is the affect of temperatures on the battery will be much diminished in this new model. Nissan hit on the areas that can make the most impact quickly and easily. Making the vehicle lighter, heater and sound system more effiecient, just more efficient all around. So now when temp drops below freezing then the Leaf should be able to get closer to that 75 EPA range anyway. Time will tell when drivers are on the road with them. Nothing like the real world for testing.

· · 5 years ago

@Red Leaf,

"when temp drops below freezing then the Leaf should be able to get closer to that 75 EPA range anyway"

I seriously doubt that. Here is reason why,

1. Heat pump is more efficient than resistive heat until the temperature drops signficantly. At some point, the efficiency gain is no more than 10%. So, it is at best improve the heater by 10% in efficiency.

2. Extreme low temperature will cause the battery temperature to drop significantly thus lower the capacity. That has NOT changed in the 2013 model.

3. The amount of enegy drop due to cold is far more signficant than what the 2013 Leaf brings.

You might see improvement in Northern California and Oregon but it won't make much difference in MN, WI, ND, SD and the NorthEast in extreme cold...

· · 5 years ago

For comparison, it took the Toyota Prius about 4 years (late 1997 to 2000, inclusive) to reach 50,000 units sold. Also, in 2000, 19,000 Priuses were sold worldwide, while last year Nissan sold 22,000 Leafs.

Just so you know.

· · 5 years ago

@Neil Blanchard:

1. Clearly, they're already working on that problem, as they've made changes in the 2013 model year that reduced drag.

2. Automotive engineers are way, way, *way* ahead of you on this one: They've had a pretty good understanding of what makes a vehicle highly efficient since the 1950s. Unfortunately, they also have to deal with real world problems of designing a car within certain constraints, especially those that apply to what the customer actually wants and is willing to pay for.

3. Many people already won't buy a Leaf or a Prius because of how 'funny' they look. They look 'funny' *because* of their aerodynamics. Extrapolate to the rest of the market. Now, imagine you're trying to sell them to as many people as possible. What kind of design decisions would you then make? Probably almost exactly what's already been done.

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