Nissan LEAF Is Second Best-Selling Car In Norway

4 years ago by Mark Kane 16

Nissan Leaf in Norway

Nissan LEAF in Norway

For the third month in a row, Nissan set a sales record for the LEAF in Norway, as sales reached a stunning level of 455 cars in the small country, an increase of more than 50% over previous records set in February and March.

That result also made the LEAF the second most popular model in the country, with a total market share of 3.3%. Only the Volkswagen Golf at 903 copies sold more.  The Toyota Auris was third at 431 copies.

And this month has not been a one-off success – with the LEAF taking the 5th position overall position on the sales charts for 2013, after being 13th overall in 2012. Since the start of sales 18 months ago, more than 4,500 LEAFs have been sold in Norway, making it the best selling car in the Nissan range for that market

Nissan Leaf after April sales record jump

Nissan LEAF after April sales record jump

Nissan Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing, Paul Willcox expects even greater success with the new model, which is coming in May, commenting: “In April we have outsold entire ranges of big name models from other manufacturers with our outgoing model. While the competition are offering multiple body styles, engine types and trim levels, the current Nissan LEAF is a single shape, powertrain and specification car.”

Past the 455 copies sold directly in Norway – another 80 LEAFs were privately imported to anxious customers, bringing the total new registrations for the car in April to 535.

Overall, the total number of first registrations for electric cars in Norway last month was 612 (along with some 11 delivery vans). Considering that 535 units are new or used LEAFs, that leaves less than 100 new EV registrations for all the other models.

President of the Norwegian Electric Vehicle Association, Snorre Sletvold explained the success, commenting:

“It is clear that Norway leads the world in electric vehicle sales per capita and as a people we are very proud of this. We are clearly demonstrating to other countries in Europe and across the globe that if you build infrastructure and put some smart incentives in place people buy zero emission cars and use them everyday.

Mr. Sletvold continued:

We may have big oil reserves, but our government sees encouraging electric vehicles as an investment in reducing pollution, raising air quality and improving public health, I hope other countries will learn from this.”

Since the beginning of the year, Nissan has sold 1,304 LEAFs in Norway, which represents 2.7% of the local market for new cars.  The total number of electric cars driving in Norway is now about 11,500, of which about 4,500 are LEAFs.

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16 responses to "Nissan LEAF Is Second Best-Selling Car In Norway"

  1. zilm says:

    So they will cut price on Leaf in May in Norway? Great. Hope we will see it #1 there soon. But I’m a bit scared how lack of battery thermoregulation will act in cold winter.

    1. Josh says:

      The cold doesn’t seem to have much effect on the battery chemistry, just the cabin heating/range. I was told directly from Nissan that they ran this drivetrain in Norway for six years before releasing the LEAF for production. They claimed there was no appreciable degradation during that testing period.

      I have a feeling they did not repeat that testing in the Arizona desert, unfortunately.

      1. Brave Little Toaster says:

        Well, there’s no permanent *damage* to the pack in cold temperatures, but when it’s cold, the capacity at that time is much diminished. It’s not only because of the need for creature comforts, this happens to all battery chemistries at -20 or -30.

        1. Josh says:

          I agree, but I am not sure thermal management will help in cold weather. The energy used to heat the pack to get optimum discharge performance will likely remove any range advantage in extreme cold weather.

          My (limited) experience with Lithium batteries is that the temperature of the pack during charging has more to do with range than the temp when the pack is discharging.

  2. kdawg says:

    Pretty amazing how popular BEV’s are in a country that gets so cold. I’m guessing most people don’t go on 200+ mile drives very often, of if they do, they have a 2nd car, rent one, or take some kind of public transportation. Any Norwegians want to comment?

  3. Jay Cole says:

    Yupe…and how the cold weather operation works is always a concern. I had one day “up north” in a LEAF (2011/cold weather spec) at -35, so I can tell you that it does indeed function (while many gas cars were not)…but it was not happy about.

    Went about 35 miles before I was down to the last battery light, and also had one “bar” on the temp gauge for the duration of my trip, with zero regen (at least that I could tell). Just as a point of reference, in “normal” freezing conditions I generally get around 55-60 miles.

    It will be really interesting to test out the 2013 LEAF and its new power management for this winter and see how it does.

    1. zilm says:

      -35 is really cold, if you have not blank new accumulator on gasoline car, you have no chances. Or you should setup separated pre-heating for engine.
      So if you had 35 miles in this condition it’s awesome. Was your cabin heated enough comfortable? Zero regen, I guess, because battery should be at least 0C for charging.

      1. Jay Cole says:

        Yes it was…crazy cold. I should note that temp was not a “with wind chill” number either, it was -35, with a wind chill of just over -50 (all-time record for that particular date on the calendar)

        As for the cabin heat, to say the LEAF struggled would be an understatement. The cold weather spec heated seats/steering wheel went a long way, but the car never really got “warm”, I ran the heat the entire trip and I would say by the end of the 30-odd miles it was ‘ok’ inside, but the feet were still plenty cold.

        Because of the excessive heat needed at such low temperatures, I dont believe from my understanding of how the system and the car works, that the 2013 will fair significantly better at those extreme temperatures, but at ‘normal’ cold temperatures, it should (in theory) net an extra 15%+ on the range in many situations

        1. Brian says:

          That is pretty darn cold. It reminds me of my years in Potsdam, NY. It would occasionally get that cold (-38F without wind chill is the coldest I remember). At that point, you make sure you have no exposed skin (instant frost bite), and you just leave the gas car parked (no way it would start) and walk. Or stay inside.

          I second zilm’s comment – 35 miles is pretty impressive. If you had the heat on, but it wasn’t “warm”, it was probably pulling the full 5-6kW the entire drive. Did you check the energy screen to confirm or deny that? In a less severe cold, it will pull 5-6kW for only a few minutes, and then sustain at 2-3kW.

          1. Brave Little Toaster says:

            Huh? I’m Canadian, and we keep our little world running at -40 and below. Sure, block heaters are absolutely required at that temperature, but to say “no way your car will start” is not true.

            Nissan really should look at some kind of alternative method of heating the cabin besides using battery power though. I don’t take my car anywhere it gets really cold (I live in Vancouver), but having an auxillary propane heater on board would be a godsend in this country. Norway, too.

            1. Brian says:

              You answered your own question here. You have block heaters. When you’re a college student parked in a lot far away from any outlet, and coming from an area that doesn’t ever see less than -10F, you don’t necessarily have a block heater in your car. A bunch of the students live about 1-2 miles from the campus. On cold days like that, they simply walk to class (no, the school has never cancelled class for cold).

              Again the difference is precautions – block heaters are a part of your life. Now that I own a Leaf in upstate NY, preheating the car while it’s plugged in is part of mine.

  4. Jay Cole says:

    Sidenote: Big howdee and welcome to Mark Kane to the site! Mark is based out of Europe; so that is pretty awesome…less 3AM media conferences for me!

    1. Eric Loveday says:

      Wait until Mark Kane gets wind of our unusually interesting and often exciting way of “working” here at InsideEVs!!!! Fun times for sure!!

    2. Mark Kane says:

      🙂

  5. Suprise Cat says:

    Last year the Peugeot/Citreon iMiev variants sold very good to, but they are discontinued, which can cause a slowdown in overall ev sales.

    Toyota is selleing the RAV4 very well in Norway too, but they do not even offer the RAV4 EV in Norway. That’s a big blow and Toyota’s US only policy for the EV doesn’t make any sense. I bet they would sell more in Norway than in US.

  6. Kimmi says:

    And there’s at least 1.000 norwegian clients waiting for their Tesla Model S to be delivered from June on.

    Oh, and market share for EV’s in Norway improved yet again, now scoring a record best 3,6%.