BREAKING: Nissan LEAF Sales Eclipse 3,000 Units In May

3 years ago by Eric Loveday 54

Nissan LEAF Hit 3,000 In May

Nissan LEAF Hit 3,000 In May

Ahead of tomorrow’s official sales announcement, Nissan took to Facebook to celebrate a LEAF sales milestone:

“The Nissan LEAF has done it again! Breaking the record for total LEAFs sold in the month of May.”

“Please welcome the 3,000 new Nissan LEAF owners with your Likes.”

And this post on Twitter:

“The #NissanLEAF is breaking monthly records for total LEAFs sold. Please welcome 3,000 new owners! #LEAFNation”

With 3,000 (or perhaps even more) sold in May, the Nissan LEAF finally broke past the 3,000-unit sales barrier.  The previous high water mark for LEAF sales in a single month was 2,529 in December 2013.

The Chevy Volt was previously the only plug-in vehicle to exceed 3,000 sales in a single month in the US (August 2013: 3,351 units), but now the LEAF joins the 3,000-unit ranks.

Congrats to the 3,000 new Nissan LEAF owners and congrats to Nissan for achieving this sales milestone.  We will be able to release the exact result tomorrow  morning (June 3rd) along with all the other plug-in sales.

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54 responses to "BREAKING: Nissan LEAF Sales Eclipse 3,000 Units In May"

  1. Kent says:

    Congrats to Nissan! Note to GM >> Get off your a$$!

    1. kdawg says:

      They need to sell the Spark EV nationwide.

      1. MikeinDenver says:

        That would just lead to a larger recall. Better to sell in smaller numbers.

      2. offib says:

        +1 Absoloutely. If they think that they can hit a home run with a sporty Chevy Sonic as a compelling hot hatch, then what on earth are they doing with the Spark EV?

      3. Spec9 says:

        Yeah sell that Spark EV nation-wide. By taking the battery production in-house and it only being a 20KWH battery, they should be able to turn a profit on them at $27495. Or at least break even. And that little car is a rocket.

  2. scott franco says:

    Go Leaf.

    My “unofficial” leaf survey of my neighborhood shows that the leaf sales are picking up. I have seen a doubling of the number of leafs in just the blocks around my house, and a high percent with new dealer plates. I have already had the experience of having a line of leafs going down the block just in our neighborhood.

    Of course, we live in a medium to high income area. My wife asked me if that is because “rich” people buy leafs. However, my leaf lease is going to return some $5,000 to $10,000 to my pocket from not using gas. Ie., even after the lease costs are considered, I will save that much money on gas, so the car effectively pays me to drive it. I suspect the reason the leaf takeup in my neighborhood is so high is because the education level is higher in more affluent areas, and people with higher levels of education are more likely to get a leaf.

    1. Assaf says:

      You also need to be a homeowner or as-good-as, in order to charge at home, and preferably even install an L2 charger.

      That’s another socio-economic barrier.

      But yeah, the cost-of-ownership itself is very affordable.

      1. scott franco says:

        Again, unofficial, based on walking around my neighborhood, but most or all of the leafs here do not appear to have chargers. The only time I have ever seen one plugged in is to what is obviously a 110v charger.

        I am guessing a lot of people here have workplace charging, which is common in Silicon Valley.

        1. ModernMarvelFan says:

          Yes, those LEAF owners are so cheap that they don’t charge at home and only charge at work which creates charging rages…

  3. evnow says:

    Cool. I didn’t expect 3k+ this month.

  4. David Murray says:

    We need a LIKE button for articles!

    1. Aaron says:

      …and an edit button while we’re at it. 🙂

      Did I mention I’m a web application programmer?

  5. Spec9 says:

    I wonder if EVs can get a snowball effect happening. Most EV buyers end up loving their EVs and thus saying good things about them to their neighbors and co-workers. This gets more EV buyers.

    1. Assaf says:

      That’s definitely already happening in areas like LA metro, Bay Area, Puget Sound and greater Atlanta. Nissan says it’s now expanded to Dallas-Ft. Worth, St. Louis as well as their home base of Tennessee.

    2. Taser54 says:

      It’s possible as long as the used EV market isn’t glutted with off-lease EVs.

      I really think that it will take the introduction of the 2nd gen EVs, EREVs, for wide-scale adoption.

      1. Karl says:

        I’m one of the buyers of a used off-lease 2012 LEAF. My unofficial survey of the market (at least in the Kansas City area) is that there’s hardly a glut of used LEAFs. The dealer where I bought it had 3 and was trucking in a 4th for a special request (A lady saw me drive off in a red one and she wanted that color :-). In short order, all but 1 were sold. Even with the battery degradation, the range is just fine for the foreseeable future, even with cold weather, climate control use, etc. for those of us with short commutes.

      2. Ocean Railroader says:

        I have been keeping track of used leafs and i-Mievs. I can say about them is that the leafs really hold their value in that most of them are at least only selling for $5000 less then they would be bran new. Such as most of them are between $14,000 to $20,000. The ones in my area are at least $17,000 used so they are not going really that cheap. Granted I would love to see a good $9000 dollar leaf.

        The only real thing that could create a massive drop off in prices for a used leaf is if a 150 mile range leaf comes along.

    3. pjwood says:

      I know. I’m sure BMW is getting a face full of people they’ve never seen before. PHEVr’s didn’t have reason to go there, until two weeks ago. I got the sense they listen, and that can snowball too.

    4. Ocean Railroader says:

      The Snow Ball effect is picking up power even in Richmond Virginia in that this month I set on all time record for new electric car sightings.

      I saw a new black Nissan leaf. A new purple Mitsubishi i-Miev along with two new Tesla Model S a green and a black one.

      As of now the pure EV’s are now outnumbering the Chevy Volts and Ford C-Max plug ins.

  6. Tom Moloughney says:

    Really great news. Let’s keep the ball rolling!

    1. scottf200 says:

      Hmm … did some of the i3 publicity raise EV awareness and get people to look into their options? Meaning they may or may not have liked the i3 but the LEAF fit their budget.

  7. Assaf says:

    Wow. My hat is off to Nissan.

    As someone with a soon-expiring Leaf lease, I’ve been gnashing my teeth at their apparent foot-dragging in pushing out higher-range versions.

    But I guess they know what they’re doing. What the leading Japanese automakers have always excelled at: focus on the basics and deliver all-round good value to consumers, rather than go for the flashy.

    If Nissan can get that many Americans to sign on to the 84-mile-range version (think about it: would you believe ~50k Americans would buy such a car so quickly?), then the market will be literally at their feet once they toss a 120-mile one out there.

  8. Brian says:

    My wife sent me a picture this afternoon of another red Leaf in our neighborhood. We are definitely seeing more of these cars, and Syracuse is hardly an EV hotspot!

    This is all very exciting, and tends to support my suspicions about them delaying the longer-range Leaf. As Assaf pointed out, there is plenty of demand for the current 84-mile version. Nissan seems to still be able to sell as many cars as they can build. I personally expect them to keep the same 24kWh/84 miles for 2016, and then unleash the 125-150 mile EV for the next generation, due spring of 2017.

    1. Doug B says:

      Hope its sooner than that, having the option of a longer range EV for extra $$ would be great.

      1. Brian says:

        Yeah, I would love to have the option sooner. But that is my expectation. The next generation car can be designed to have a different form factor with more room for batteries. Plus they have no real competition pushing them for more range. Tesla starts at twice the cost of a fully loaded Leaf. All the other “players” as it were are producing similar 80-ish mile range cars.

        It is expensive to design a car and then tool up a factory to produce it. Let Nissan milk the current generation of Leaf (if they are making profit at all right now) before investing yet another round of capital into a longer range version. I would rather Nissan see the Leaf as a valuable, profitable endeavor than try to please everyone with the car and go bankrupt in the process.

  9. Taser54 says:

    Ancillary topic: Anyone concerned about the predicted glut of used Leafs hitting the market and it adversely affecting the residual values for new leases, thus making it more expensive to lease?

    1. kdawg says:

      Probably depends on how good the batteries are. With the news I hear about longevity, I don’t see myself buying a used Leaf, but I’m sure many will.

      1. Malcolm Scott says:

        and the cost to replace the battery. If the battery is seen as a normal consumable, and perhaps with an active secondary market, the value of an older Leaf might be different.

        Compare with my rather costly Canon Camera. After 3 years ownership, I now also use batteries with 50% more capacity and about 1/6th the price. Very happy with that business model.

        1. Ocean Railroader says:

          If I bought a used leaf or i-miev and I found out that a new type of battery had came out with a 50% improvement in range I would upgrade the existing car’s batteries in a heart beat. In that it would solve a lot of the low range EV’s car’s problems.

    2. Assaf says:

      That’s a talking point the EV naysayers have been trotting out for years.

      The lease deals only seem to be getting better.

      And used Leafs seem to have their market. What’s wrong with getting a fairly new, hi-tecchie commuter-plus car for ~$15k, and never pay for gas again?

  10. kdawg says:

    I wonder when Leafs will become popular in Michigan. I still never see them. In 2012 I saw one in the wild. That’s it.

    Of course Nissans aren’t really that popular in general in Michigan, but I still figured I would see more Leafs then Teslas.

    Heck, I’ve even seen a Spark EV in the wild here.

    1. Assaf says:

      Oh, you should hop on a plane to Seattle. This is Leaf Town. Can’t turn your head without seeing one nowadays.

      (and some Teslas as well… even Volts are sighted fairly often. But Leaf is the unchallenged queen here)

      1. kdawg says:

        Or Atlanta. But Michigan is like some kind of Leaf dead-zone.

        I keep seeing more & more Volts. I don’t see many Ford plug-ins (but those can be harder to spot because they look the same as the gas versions).

      2. Rob Stark says:

        Washington State has the highest per capita Tesla sales in the USA.

        And Spokane is not exactly a Tesla hotbed.

    2. Ocean Railroader says:

      I think it’s the aggressive cold weather in Michigan that keeps the leafs along with the other low range EV’s from moving up there and establishing herds. But once the 150 mile leaf comes out along with the Tesla model E they will most likely fill in that vast empty niche like animals do in the wild.

  11. Boyd says:

    I still have not seen one outside of a nissan dealership in the Little Rock Area. I see Chevy Volts everywhere. I have even seen a few Tesla Model S around.

  12. Great news for Nissan and EV’s !!!

    I know that Nissan will double down on their DC quick charging infrastructure for the foreseeable future, so that the current almost 4000 CHAdeMO chargers in the world become much, much bigger.

    With big EV sales comes big infrastructure. Plus, there are lots more cars coming that can use that infrastructure both from Nissan, Kia, Mitsubishi, and soon all Tesla cars (except first generation Roadster) with a CHAdeMO adaptor.

    Go, Nissan, Go !!!!

    1. Oh, almost forgot to mention that you can’t go anywhere in San Diego without tripping over LEAF’s and Tesla Model S’s.

      All those sales with only one Tesla store and two Nissan dealership owners (8 total Nissan stores).

  13. David Murray says:

    I wonder what is driving sales. I don’t actually think it is the price. We’ll know for sure if the new i-Miev still doesn’t sell very well despite the ridiculously low price. After all, GM has lowered the price of the Volt and it didn’t increase sales any noticeable amount.

    So it does make sense for Nissan to introduce a new Leaf with 150 miles of range even if it costs >$5,000 more money. This would be a serious competitor to the Tesla in terms of functionality, but at half the price.

    1. jkw says:

      I believe that the i-Miev is expected to be battery-limited for a while. That is why they don’t want to bring the Outlander EV to the US. So it’s sales numbers won’t tell us anything about demand.

      On the other hand, I am unaware of any EV that is not supply limited, which I think does say something about demand.

      It also sort of makes you wonder why they bother to cut prices and have such attractive lease options. They could charge more and still be supply limited.

    2. Bonaire says:

      Lack of dealership support on a nation scale hurts Volt sales and Leaf as well on some areas. Dealers dont stock them or have elected not to participate in the Volt program. Some rural dealers sell a lot of Cruze but cannot sell Volts due to price.

    3. ModernMarvelFan says:

      Cheap Lease rate along with State incentives.

      Ever since Nissan made the $199/month lease deal permanent, the LEAF sales (leases) basically took off.

      Combined with higher BEV incentives over PHEV/EREV, LEAF sales are pretty much on the rise.

  14. Driverguy01 says:

    If you look at sales chart at the top of the page, we see this;

    2012 – 57k
    2013 – 97k
    2014 – tbd

    According to the chart of 2012 and 2013, the first 4 months account only for 20% of total year sales cause new models keep adding to those sales during that given year, obviously, new models bring new buyers.

    I think it’s safe to say sales will almost double again this year but that’s debatable and i’m sure some will think i live in lalaland!

    If i’m right and that curve is static, and i doubt it is, not even taking in account return buyers (today’s ev owners say a vast majority of them will never go back to ice cars), 2019 will see half of the 15 million cars sold each year (2013 total car sales in the US) will be EVs.

    That means most people will be buying EVs before our EV’s battery warranty expires.

    1. Mr. M says:

      Static would be +40k very years. Which would evaluate to around 340k in 2019. Thats not half of 15 million. If you think that growth rates of 70% are static, then you are right. But i think 70% each year is to much. I think a mean of 20-40% every year should be more common.

  15. Just_chris says:

    If Nissan have sold 3k and everyone else sells the same as last month all we need is 500ish i3’s and we could have a 10k month! and with i-MIEV’s coming in, it could even go higher.

    How exciting…. ok perhaps I should get out more

  16. Lou Grinzo says:

    Great news, and (possibly) proof that the educational effort we EV drivers have been making is paying off. (I think I need a shirt that says, “Got an hour? I’ll tell you about my electric car.”)

    Keep in mind that EV + PHEV sales are still a tiny percentage of US auto sales. There’s a LOT of people out there just now learning about them and seriously considering one for the first time. In recent years, thanks to The Great Recession, the US auto fleet got much older, which helps create a lot of chances to say, “Buy an EV, and your fuel savings will make life easier.”

    A few years from now, when the monthly sales of cars with plugs in the US is upwards of 100k, we’ll all look back on these news reports and smile at the bad ol’ days.

  17. Ct200h says:

    More range, power and better styling and they could sell 5000 per month.

  18. Ocean Railroader says:

    I really hope Nissian has plans of building up leaf production to 3500 to 4000 new leafs a month at their factory to allow demand to grow. In that these 3000 new leafs going on to the highway will be seen by more and more people and make them want to get one. This in turn will feed back into the leaf demand. So with this said Nissian should really think about building 4000 a month to allow demand to grow.

  19. JohnL says:

    Congrats, Nissan. Now, let’s see you carck 4k a month. Love my 2013 Leaf. 15k trouble/gas/maintainance free miles under my belt, and looking forward to the next 15k miles. Nissan, don’t wait until 2017 to offer Extended range options!

  20. Bonaire says:

    Not battery constrained? How do they do it?

  21. shawn marshall says:

    The BEVs are winning. That was outlawed at gm-volt.com. What’s happening? A better bsattery is still critical.

    1. Brian says:

      “That was outlawed at gm-volt.com.”

      Most of those at gm-volt.com want a pure EV at heart, but realize that today’s technology can’t get there, at least for their needs. So they accept the Volt’s compromise as the best of both worlds – mostly EV, but the easy option for long trips / quick refueling. It truly is a remarkable vehicle.

      That said, I believe, again, that most Volt owners wished they could drive a pure EV. But they can’t accept a Leaf and either can’t live with a Tesla, or can’t afford one. So naturally they project their situation on others, and expect that the Volt should outsell the Leaf by 10:1. I think in particular of my good friend who is a bachelor with only one car. A Leaf would never work for him, but the Volt is a near perfect fit.

      The Volt *can* work for more people than the Leaf so in theory this makes sense. The potential market is much larger. However, for many multi-car households, the Leaf works much better than the Volt. Case in point, we have two cars in my driveway. I need two for local driving (most days my wife and I go separate ways) but only one for long distance driving. The Leaf fits perfectly as one of our cars. When I replace the other car (currently a hybrid), it will be a PHEV for certain. Unfortunately the Volt would have to gain a larger trunk to even be in the running (couldn’t care less about the lack of 5th seat, personally).

      1. ModernMarvelFan says:

        “expect that the Volt should outsell the Leaf by 10:1. ”

        If you even out the incentives, then maybe.

        Ever since the $199/month lease deals, the sales of LEAF took off.. Before that, NOT so much.

        Plus, incentives are far better for the LEAF than Volt for the major selling states.