Nissan LEAF Celebrates 5th Birthday, 200,000 Sales – Video

2 years ago by Eric Loveday 41

Nissan LEAF Turns 5

Nissan LEAF Turns 5

Since it’s launch in 2010, the Nissan LEAF has become the world’s #1 selling electric car.  With almost 200,000 units sold globally thus far, no other pure electric car is even close to the sales success of the LEAF.

As such, Nissan is celebrating the LEAF’s 5th birthday, and has put together a video on the occasion (above), and on the upcoming 200,000 EVs sold milestone.

“Nissan will deliver its 200,000th LEAF in January, officially making it the world’s most popular and successful electric vehicle. The U.S., Japan and Europe have accounted for 90 percent of total LEAF sales, with the U.S. leading the way with more than 90,000 sales, followed by Japan (50,000) and Europe (40,000).”

Editor’s Note:  Our own napkin-back math for global sales puts the LEAF at just over 195,000 heading into December; a month which also happens to be the strongest selling month of the year, so the occasion may actually occur this month.

As part of the celebration Nissan asks us to do so by “sharing your song picks for the Nissan LEAF 5th Birthday Spotify Playlist,” which you can do so by clicking here(we’ll probably just skip that suggestion though)

Turning back the clock to the LEAF’s first birthday, we come across the video below with this description:

“As the Nissan LEAF turns one year old, electricity is having a celebration.”

“In this commercial, all different types of electrical sockets singing away to wish the first and only mass produced electric car a very happy first birthday.”

Nissan also marked the occasion by focusing on the just released, longer range 30 kWh 2016 LEAF, as well as re-promoting the IDS Concept (complete with a 60 kWh/200+ mile battery) – which basically foreshadows the next generation LEAF expected in 2017.

Building a new EV future – The next five years

The 2016 Nissan LEAF went on sale equipped with a new 30kWh battery in the U.S. in November that extends the miles per charge by more than 20 percent, followed by Japan (December 2015) and Europe (January 2016).

As the level of electric vehicle technology continues to increase, Nissan believes that this shift towards cleaner, more efficient zero emission vehicles will contribute greatly in improving air quality and lowering noise levels.

“EV technology will continue to be at the heart of Nissan’s product development efforts,” said Nissan president and CEO Carlos Ghosn. “By combining our pioneering EV technologies and other intelligence and innovations, Nissan is moving closer to a zero-emission future for car transportation. With the technologies we are creating, mobility is becoming safer, cleaner, more connected and more exciting. That’s the power of innovation.  And that’s what you can expect from Nissan.”

Nissan will accelerate its endeavors for the realization of a zero emission society by further developing and popularizing EVs as well as innovations utilizing EV-related technology and business

Hat tip to Adrian!

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41 responses to "Nissan LEAF Celebrates 5th Birthday, 200,000 Sales – Video"

  1. RexxSee says:

    40,000 a year worldwide is not enough when you think that almost ANY car can be easily adapted to an electric drive.

    1. Aaron says:

      Yeah, look at the Ford Focus EV. Okay, don’t. They did a poor job at converting that car to an EV, unless you don’t need a trunk.

      1. David Murray says:

        Or fast charge, or a decent driving range.

        1. Assaf says:

          @RexxSee (piling on here, but gently…)

          You, like so many others, are glossing over the fact that –

          ***Someone still needs to make all those battery-packs***

          To my knowledge, there are no huge piles of EV-grade lithium-ion batteries sitting around waiting for some automaker to stick them into EVs. Rather the contrary. So Nissan could not have sold far more than the 200k, even if customers were waiting at the doors clamoring for them (which happened at times, although not universally).

          And that’s before counting other components that often no one makes sure capacity will be developed for. Throughout 2013 and maybe into 2014 as well, Leaf making was constrained by limited *electrode* supply, of all things.

          That’s why Korea’s role in the EV revolution is much greater than is usually acknowledged.

      2. SJC says:

        Focus EV could be fine if Ford actually got behind designing something acceptable.

      3. jim stack says:

        But the battery pack in all FORD Plugins and hybrids lasts a very long time. 20+ years compared to the LEAF with heat degradation.

        1. ggpa says:

          “heat degradation” … really … is that all you can say?

          Nissan was a trailblazer in EVs. Sure there were some problem with the early models, but it has been fixed.

          Of the 200000 LEAFs, how many of them are subject to heat degradation?

          1. SparkEV says:

            Leaf still hasn’t fixed the battery heating problem. You only have to look at how slowly it charges using fast charge.

          2. shane says:

            I live in Phoenix. Nissan denied this issue for quite a while before finally doing something about it. Maybe the new battery will last – it’ll take many years to know. But with summer temps routinely above 110 F, and the Leaf design having no active cooling, it’s hard to see how that will lead very long life. While I applaud Nissan’s efforts, my decision to buy a Leaf will depend on what I feel I can count on – either by warrantee or demonstrated life. For now, I’ll stick to designs that have active cooling.

            1. Tom says:

              Plus one hundred.

              1. Assaf says:

                @shane, good points all.

                But 1. There is evidence that the 2015 Leaf has better heat resilience, and

                2. Given that the vast majority of locations don’t have 110F days, certainly not long stretches of such days (at least for now… sigh) – it does make economic and environmental sense to manufacture, at least in the first generation, a car that has less production overhead.

                1. ggpa says:

                  Assaf, with your background in statistics you should be the first to know that after several years of super low failures, it is safe to say the lizard battery is way, way better. The original heat problem is solved.

                  There is no need to pander to the uninformed with a comment like “good points”.

                  Please feel free to respond with facts that lizard batteries are failing in hot climates if you can find any.

          3. Jonathan says:

            Ummmm all of them are! Even the supposed “Lizard” battery in the 2015 models appears to be degrade more than most EVs out there. It is better than it was before, but nothing spectacular. We’ll see how the 2016 30kwh pack holds up. They should have put a TMS in the cars. As far as Ford and Chevy, they use a TMS system and they both set aside additional unused capacity that can be eaten away at to offset degradation loss.

            1. Assaf says:

              GM gained nothing from setting aside so much of the battery.

              You are carrying this dead weight around instead of increasing range.

              Leaf also sets aside the top and bottom 5%, which seems to be enough b/c batteries that have been routinely charged to “100%” (really 95%) don’t seem to have fared worse than those who charged to “80%”.

              To wit, with Gen 2 GM greatly reduced the amount set aside.

              1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

                Assaf said:

                “GM gained nothing from setting aside so much of the battery.”

                Oh, I think GM gained quite a bit in the PR department from being able to truthfully say “our Volts have not lost even the tiniest amount of electric range in the five years they’ve been driven by customers”… as opposed to the major PR hits Nissan has taken from its very high resistance to dealing with premature battery aging in the Leaf… or in even admitting it’s a problem.

                That’s not to say that the Leaf is, overall, a poorly designed EV, but I certainly wouldn’t want to own one in an area where it gets hot and stays hot for much of the year!

                Sure, the “lizard” battery is more resistant to premature fading from overheating… but that doesn’t mean it’s good, it just means it’s less bad. You have to ignore reality pretty firmly to convince yourself that having an EV with a “lizard” battery pack is as good as having an EV with a temperature-stabilized battery pack using liquid heating and cooling!

                1. ggpa says:

                  You write about lizard battery “but that doesn’t mean it’s good, it just means it’s less bad”

                  Please stop making things up. If you still have panic attacks about 2011/12 Leaf batteries it might be time to let that go. Please understand the world (and Nissan) has moved on and the new batteries seem fine, despite your baseless speculation.

                  The lizard batteries have a warranty that sets an expectation for customers, and to my knowledge the car meet the expectation.

                  If you have any facts about lizard batteries failing in hot climates, please share that.

                  PS: Do you know what facts are?

          4. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

            ggpa asked:

            “Of the 200000 LEAFs, how many of them are subject to heat degradation?”

            Every single one, since none of them has an active thermal management system for the battery pack.

            I think you meant to ask: How many battery packs has Nissan been reluctantly forced to replace because of long-term overheating, despite their repeated denials of the problem?

            1. ggpa says:

              Assaf answered that already

      4. Speculawyer says:

        Yeah, I think the Ford Focus, Fiat 500e, and Smart ED all prove that gas car conversions are just not as good.

        The Ford Focus Electric lacks trunk space, lacks range, and has no fast-charger.

        Fiat 500e is better but lacks range and no DC fast-charger. They designed it so DC fast-charging could easily be added. HOwever, people have said the reason they have not added a fast charger is because the fuel door for the Fiat 500 is not big enough for the SAE-CCS port and they don’t want to do a new part just for an improved 500e. :-/

        Smart ED lacks range and has TERRIBLE aerodynamics which are important for EVs.

        EVs really need to be designed from the bottom up to you can get good low battery placement. Tesla did it best.

        1. Assaf says:

          …or: you need to really do the EV-version right, not half-assed.

          To wit: Kia SoulEV and the VW e-Golf, which both seem much better e-versions of existing cars, and are therefore more successful in the market.

    2. Alex says:

      You must look closely the numbers and growth. The Toyota Prius needs more than 6 years to sell 200.000 and 5 years to 100.000, the Leaf 3 years to 100.000 and 5 years to 200.000. First 6 years the Leaf will beat first 6 years of Prius sure, after seven years Toyota sold 120.000 Prius, that will be a task but if Nissan could get out the 200 miles IDS=Leaf first half of 2017 the insane groth of Toyota Prius sales is in danger!

    3. HesOnFiah says:

      Agreed – the difference is that with the Leaf and Tesla, they designed the battery first, then the car around it. Every other manufacturer designs the car, then makes a battery to fit it.

      1. Taser54 says:

        Tesla did not design a battery. It chose an existing one.

        1. Ambulator says:

          Tesla did not use an existing battery. They may or may not have used an existing cell.

    4. Breezy says:

      40,000 a year isn’t enough, agreed. That’s why we need more people buying more EVs today.

    5. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

      RexxSee said:

      “…almost ANY car can be easily adapted to an electric drive.”

      Yeah, in the way that almost any buggy can be converted to a horseless carriage. Contrariwise, compelling EVs are designed from the ground up.

      With only one single exception (Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV), those conversion vehicles sell poorly.

  2. SJC says:

    LEAF has a battery problem with range/capacity reduction over time/miles. There is no getting around this, the fade warranty is just to make sure they don’t have to honor it while looking like they are doing something.

    1. Tom says:

      Another plus one hundred

  3. Emc2 says:

    I apologize for being picky, but you guys were the only ones so far to note the inconsistency in Nissan reported figures. Since I love stats, I will go a bit deeper.

    Since the launch of the Leaf, Nissan has been very transparent about sales figures, reporting every milestone with figures for the main markets. This time, however, the reported figures are totally inconsistent with Nissan’s previous reports, both, for cum global sales and sales by main market.

    In its last complete new release, back in June 2015, The Nissan-Renault Alliance reported more than 180,000 Leaf sold, with sales led by the United States, with about 80,000 sales since LEAF’s launch, Japan with about 53,500 units, and Europe with about 41,500. Check here: http://www.media.blog.alliance-renault-nissan.com/news/24-juin-10-am/

    Based on InsideEVs Sales Scorecard, the U.S. had 80,064 units sold through May 2015, consistent with the Alliance Report, and through November a total of 88,244.

    Nevertheless, for the 5th anniversary, Nissan is reporting 90,000 for the U.S. (overestimating the actual figure unless about 2,000 Leafs were sold in the last nine days), and underestimating both Japan (53,500 In May, now 50,000?) and Europe (41,500 in May, now 40,000).

    Furthermore:

    By InsideEVs reports, more than 56,000 Leafs had been sold in Japan through September, http://insideevs.com/mitsubishi-sold-over-5500-outlander-phevs-in-japan-in-3rd-quarter/ and about 57,000 by now, vs 50,000 reported by Nissan?

    As per Left-lane, cum European sales totaled 46,970 through October 2015
    http://left-lane.com/european-car-sales-data/nissan/nissan-leaf/ and close to 48,000 by now, vs 40,000 reported by Nissan?

    And by the way, the next major market is Canada, with 3,076 delivered through November, check here

    http://www.goodcarbadcar.net/2011/01/nissan-leaf-sales-figures.html

    So why is Nissan underreporting regional sales?

    And why is not being clear about cum sales today, saying the 200,000th will be officially delivered in January 2016.

    If you do the math, as per the previous figures a total of about 196,300 Leafs have been sold in these four coutnries/regions. Add some 2,000 for the rest of the world (China should be about half of those), you end up with over 198,000 sold by the end of November, so it seems possible to reach 200K in December, just the U.S. sells a minimum of 1,000

    In this press release pubished by mid-november, Nissan reported more than 195,000 sold http://www.automotiveworld.com/news-releases/hailing-taxis-nissan-exceeds-important-500-electric-taxi-milestone/

    And the day before releasing the 5th anniversary press release, Nissan Europe reported more than 200,000 sold here:

    http://newsroom.nissan-europe.com/EU/en-gb/Media/Media.aspx?mediaid=140287

    And check the video above, it says “We’ve amassed over 200,000 owners worldwide.”

    So why all the inconsistencies regarding actual sales?

    1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

      Emc2 said:

      “So why all the inconsistencies regarding actual sales?”

      Because that’s what happens in the real world when you try to sum figures from many different sources. Some tend to get left out, so it’s hardly surprising that different reporting sources report different figures. Entropy happens.

      Even in cases where the sum is highly important, such as election results, sometimes a group gets omitted from the initially reported sum.

      1. Jay Cole says:

        Emc2,

        First up, thanks for the notice on the sales blip.

        It really comes down to the “hedge”. Saying something matter-of-factly in this business is fraught with danger/legal nonsense…even if you are 99.9% percent sure of the numbers.

        This is why when you see a Nissan commercial and they talk about the LEAF being the best selling EV for a certain time period in certain place, they quote InsideEVs, and use us as the disclaimer. It puts a degree of separation/insurance there. I mean Nissan knows batter than anyone exactly how many cars they have sold…although internal communication between countries/regions is notoriously bad in most large OEMs.

        We did the math ourselves too (my auxiliary desk is littered with old country by country reports, lol), and we think actual sale 200,000 will likely happen in about 8 days-9 days. (November is/was the ‘odd’ shorty of the year for selling days (23)…and there is A LOT of calendar days between November’s “economic” cut-off and December 31st)

        Nissan did the math too they know they are good for December, but they know for 100% they will be well over 200k in January. They are allowing for the sky to fall, a stop sale order, fiscal month ends, buybacks, catastrophic accounting error in one region, Lucy to take the football away, etc.

    2. Alex says:

      Your links/figures are correct, Nissan should ask numbers at insideevs (US, Japan) and ev-salesblogspot (Europe).
      Perhaps they want to push back delivery of 200.000 customer to a 30 kWh Leaf in Japan or Europe.

    3. AlphaEdge says:

      I think you’re over analyzing the whole thing. It’s not that important, when they reach their 200,000 milestone, if it’s off by a month or two.

  4. jmac says:

    Congrats to Nissan. Boo…birds to Toyota.

    I like where the guy says at the end of the film that Nissan has autonomous cars AND wireless charging in their gun-sights for the future of EVs.

    Obviously, both ICE and EV will adopt autonomous driving, but EVs will benefit greatly when the EV umbilical cord is cut. Imagine never having to get out of your car ever again to mess with either gas hoses or cumbersome charge cords.

    Inductive charging is the answer. Glad to see Nissan is working on it, ‘cuz this is the hugely disruptive technology that will put an end to the gas station as we know it.

    1. Phr3d says:

      ayep, the acceptance factor increases dramatically when you present a customer with the experience of driving to the grocery store, dropping Themself off at the door, and their car drives itself to the induction parking space at the edge of the lot for a 3.3kWh sip while they shop. This could be Fairly easily accomplished with the Very Limited autonomy software we have now.

      Gasoline becomes cumbersome at That point,
      game Over.

      1. jmac says:

        With inductive charging any business with a few parking spaces is a potential “gas station”.

        The companies who are now installing kiosk style chargers mostly for governmental agencies and utilities will no doubt begin to install inductive chargers on the corporate parking lots of Walmart, Costco and at NFL Colosseums. Imagine going to a football game and coming back out to find your vehicle nicely topped off. No frantic stop for gas on the way home in 15 deg. weather, etc.

        In the future anyone with a parking lot, who is a utility customer, can become a “gas station.” owner.

  5. rs_rwc says:

    How many are still on the road?

    1. Tom says:

      Probably a high percentage if you count all the ones in the used car lots… I wonder if there’s any hard data for that?

    2. TaylorSFGuy says:

      My 2011 has 147,000 miles and I’m still doing my drive of 130 miles a day. I don’t take it every day now (use the 2014) but still going strong. Looking forward to a new generation of Electric Vehicles.

  6. Pete Bauer says:

    Great achievement worth celebrating. The cost of the vehicle came down while the range increased. Thanks to the battery technology and the effort taken by Nissan, its chief and all its personal in achieving this.

    Hope with their newly introduced 107 mile range model, it will sell even better.

    1. NorCalEV says:

      It’s personnel… don’t take it personal… 😉