Nissan Predicts LEAF Sales Will Soon Rise Above Current Average of 2,000 Units Per Month in US

4 years ago by Eric Loveday 15

Nissan Shows Off The 2013 Nissan LEAF SL

Nissan Shows Off The 2013 Nissan LEAF SL

As depicted in the graphic to your right, Nissan LEAF sales have been close to 2,000 units per month in March, April and May.  Prior to that, LEAF sales were on the low side as Nissan was in a changeover stage as the automaker readied production in the US.

Click to Enlarge

Click to Enlarge

But now that Nissan has its Tennessee factory fully online, LEAF sales have steadied at around 2,000 units per month.  It won’t stay that way for long though, as Brendan Jones, director of electric vehicle infrastructure strategy for Nissan North America, told Hybrid Cars that LEAF sales will soon shoot past that 2,000-ish unit average in the coming months.

Jones says there are some LEAF “hot spots” out there that are boosting sales.  Oddly, one of those “hot spots” now includes Atlanta, Georgia.  As Jones says:

“Atlanta is on fire.”

The other “hot spots” are ones we’ve mentioned before, including San Francisco and Seattle, but Jones says sales in Atlanta took off due to state-level incentives, which we’ve outlined below:

Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV): the lesser of 20% of the vehicle cost or $5,000 tax credit is allowed for the purchase or lease of a new zero emission vehicle provided the vehicle does not receive its electricity from an on-board combustion device.

Electric Vehicle Charger: the lesser of 10% of the vehicle cost or $2,500 tax credit is allowed for the purchase and installation of qualified electric vehicle charger. This tax credit applies only to business enterprises.

Nissan adds that it so far has installed 265 DC quick chargers in the US.  The automaker hopes to have 600 installed by the end of March 2014.

Source: Hybrid Cars

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15 responses to "Nissan Predicts LEAF Sales Will Soon Rise Above Current Average of 2,000 Units Per Month in US"

  1. Anderlan says:

    I haven’t been able to find any signs of any DC chargers installed in the state of Georgia. Meanwhile, Tennessee has like a bajillion, enabling worry free travel from Nashville to Chattanooga to Knoxville and back to Nashville in time for supper. Even Alabama has 2 DC chargers. Very frustrating.

  2. Sam says:

    I’m not sure why Nissan is so excited to be selling the Leaf in Atlanta. I can’t imagine those batteries will hold up well at all.

    1. KenZ says:

      Depends. Not as hot as PHX by any stretch of the imagination. Much of what makes Atlanta feel so hot is the humidity, but that’s not a factor in this case. Yeah, it’ll probably have an effect, but graded appropriately. Time will tell….

      1. Sam says:

        Oh cool, I didn’t realize Atlanta was that much cooler than PHX. I hope the Leaf does well there, I just worry that the batter degradation is going to really sour people on EVs.

        1. KenZ says:

          Yeah, I hear ya. And your point is still valid: it is definitely not the permissive gentle temperatures of the SF Bay Area! There is, however, likely a (range of) temperature(s) at which degradation increases more rapidly. What that temp is, I don’t know, but I’m a bit more hopeful for Atlanta (and i do have some LiIon manufacturing/chemistry/testing experience, so this isn’t pure conjecture).

  3. Stuart22 says:

    I’ve a feeling the hot, hot, hot performing Spark EV just might pull the carpet out from underneath Nissan’s big plans with the LEAF. Kick-ass faster plus longer range, imagine having the best of both. A superior battery with DC quick charge capability, nimbler in size for zipping through city traffic and fitting in tight parking spots. No fifth seat, but plenty of comfortable room for 4.

    1. Assaf says:

      1. As you partly acknowledge, the Leaf is a different vehicle class. It’s a compact/midsize, while the Spark is a sub-compact. The Leaf competes with the RAV4 and Ford Focus (in other words, it has little to no EV competition at the moment) – and also with a slew of 5-seater plug-in hybrids. The Spark EV is going to go head-to-head with the Fiat 500e and Honda Fit EV.

      I’m cheering on them all, but I think the Spark will be the underdog in this 3-way competition for the zippy 4-seater market segment.

      2. The Leaf already has established track record (mostly good) since 2010 in Japan and 2011 in the US and sells nationwide, while the Spark EV will initially be offered only in CA and Oregon. Similarly for Fiat (only CA initially), and I’m not sure about the Fit EV – I think it too starts out around CA only. And all 3 are new on the scene; family-oriented, less risk-taking customers will have strong reasons to prefer the Leaf for now.

      In short, it will probably be a while before those subcompacts eat into Leaf sales, and when they do the Spark will arguably be the smallest threat of the 3.

      I agree that Nissan *will* have to put out better Leaf models practically every year to maintain its position; but arguably Tesla (both the S and more affordable models as they come) will be more serious threats.

      1. Future Leaf Driver says:

        Nissan will probably sell the same amount of Leafs in June as they did in April/May. Now with local manufacturing and big price drops it will start to leave others behind.

        I like the Spark EV as well but GM had better sell out these as fast as possible or the pundits will spin this as another lost cause. Hopefully GM can match Leafs sales with the Spark EV as this July!

      2. Steve Strange says:

        The Fit EV will be no competition because they will all be gone. They are basically all spoken for now. The reduced lease price at the beginning of this month caused a feeding frenzy, and they only plan to build 1100 over two model years. That’s two week’s worth of LEAF production!

    2. io says:

      Yep, I share Assaf’s view. @Stuart22, while I don’t think there will be much actual competition between the Leaf and Spark, let’s get the comparison right nonetheless:

      – The 2013 Leaf’s EPA range on a full charge is 84 miles, so actually about the same as the Spark (82 miles).

      – DC quick charging isn’t yet available on the Spark; even if it was, no public charger is compatible with the connector GM decided to use.
      By contrast, the Leaf quick-charges since its launch in 2010, and can use all existing stations except Tesla’s; ie: Blink, evGo, Aerovironment, Chargepoint etc…

      1. Stuart22 says:

        Well, we’ll just have to wait and see. I find it puzzling to suggest sales for the Spark EV will fall short of two admitted compliance cars, neither which can match its performance. I sense a deep dislike/mistrust of GM to be at the source of that belief.

        Why the Spark EV is restricted to CA and OR at this point in time is more about GM choosing to focus their marketing investment in a concentrated and proven market area for EVs. Anybody who has read Consumers Reports’ drive report on the Spark EV is aware that this car is a pretty well conceived pocket rocket with some sophistication. I expect other auto media sources to be equally raving about its virtues, and California buyers will take notice.

        Sure – the Spark EV and the LEAF are different class vehicles by size – so what. For local, city type duty, the Spark is no less suited than the LEAF for 4 or less people, and in several ways better – more manuverable, quicker in traffic, sized to park in tighter places.

        And of course, the thermally protected Spark battery is a big selling advantage over the unprotected LEAF battery.

        There’s lots of reasons a buyer would go for a Spark EV over a LEAF, but I think the one with the most impact will be its pocket rocket persona. It’s got the stuff to become a pretty cool machine to own and have fun in.

  4. Dave K. says:

    I’m in Atl. so I’ll chime in. Checked my battery with the Android app, still 91% after almost 2 years, no bars lost yet. The Blink EV project is about to install several DCFCs and I hear Nissan is chipping in a few as well. With the state tax credits and the low lease rates I’ve heard several people say they are saving enough on gas to cover the cost, throw in the state credit and it’s a free car! KenZ is correct, the temp is not that high, it’s just humid. My prediction is the OEM battery will survive until you don’t want it anymore (Lithum Sulfur? Lithium Silicon? Lithium Air?) and by that time Gas will be REALLY expensive. Atlanta is a pretty progressive city and getting more so, and we also have long commutes, EVs are popping up everywhere!

  5. How many of the “installed 265 DC quick chargers in the US” by Nissan have 24 hour public access? To my knowledge a number have been installed at Nissan dealers and can have limitations on hours of access and dealer access policies.

    It is great that Nissan is making such a great investment in infrastructure, but “location and public access” is very critical for real-world use.

    e.g. Know a location were LEAFs race to a Quick Charger location on the commute home as demand at the single charge station is so high (with queue of 2 or 3 LEAFs forming for a 15-minute quick-charges).

    1. Dave R says:

      The vast majority of stations at dealers I’m aware of are only available during business hours.

      See this thread on the mynissanleaf.com forum: http://www.mynissanleaf.com/viewtopic.php?f=4&t=11426

      I’m only aware of about 30 stations in the ground or in the process of being installed. Don’t know where the other 200+ are hiding… If you know, post their location in that thread!

  6. zvzxvvzzxvz says:

    The above article mentions, the GA tax credit is 20% of cost of purchase or lease or $5000 whichever is less, what does that mean, if I am leasing it for 3yrs at cost of $200/p.m and $2000/- down, i am paying $9200 for 3yrs in total, so i can get only 20% of $9200/- which is like $1820/- or can i get $5000.