BYD, Nissan And Tesla Lead Worldwide EV Sales In First Four Months Of 2016

JUN 15 2016 BY MARK KANE 31

World’s Top 10 Selling Plug-In Cars – January-April 2016 (data source: EV Sales Blog)

World’s Top 10 Selling Plug-In Cars – 206 January-April (data source: EV Sales Blog)

Nissan LEAF

Nissan LEAF

For April, worldwide plug-in car sales hit ~50,000, while after first four months of the year 182,000+ were sold.

So, now is the right time to check which models and manufacturers did the best compared to 2015, with thanks to data compiled religiously by EV Sales Blog.

So far this year the Nissan LEAF (thanks to a new 30 kWh version) is safely in the #1 spot with some 19,500 deliveries.

Second is the Tesla Model S at over 14,500, while third place now belongs to BYD Tang at just over 12,300, which overtook the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV during the month.

Also positive is the nearly 8,000 Renault ZOEs sold, good enough for fifth worldwide, despite only a European presence.

(1) – Includes Chevrolet Volt I and II, Holden Volt, Opel and Vauxhall Ampera;


World’s Top 10 Plug-In Car Manufacturers – 2016 January-April (data source: EV Sales Blog)

World’s Top 10 Plug-In Car Manufacturers – 2016 January-April (data source: EV Sales Blog)

BYD plug-in hybrid vehicles Qin and Tang

BYD plug-in hybrid vehicles Qin and Tang

Overall BYD continues to be the largest plug-in car manufacturer with over 24,000 deliveries in the first four months of this year.

BYD plug-in hybrids and all-electric models are available only (for the most part) in China, which makes the win even more amazing.

Nissan with global presence of LEAF (supplemented by e-NV200) is second at nearly 20,500 with Tesla on the tail, approaching 18,000.

Our thanks to EV Sales Blog for tallying up and estimating the individual sales by OEM.

Categories: BYD, Nissan, Sales, Tesla

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31 Comments on "BYD, Nissan And Tesla Lead Worldwide EV Sales In First Four Months Of 2016"

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Interesting. Nissan’s sales in the US have stagnated this year. Where are their big markets?


Well those Europeans / Japanese must love their Leafs. I hope this is the reason that Nissan is hardly even hinting at what we might expect from the next generation, let alone when! They have little risk of “Osbourning” themselves in the US but worldwide sales seem good.

Neither is as hot as Arizona.

And they got better incentives over there.

Very few places are as hot as Arizona. Including the vast majority of the US.


Include TX, rest of the South and Southern CA if you want to.

facts remain that LEAF wilts in the heat..

Few things about the EV business have surprised me as much as Nissan choosing to sell the Leaf at its Phoenix dealerships. They should have banned that car from sales in Phoenix, as well as the “hot spots” in southern California and Texas which have also been, well, hot spots for Leaf owners reporting premature battery fade.

Furthermore, Nissan should have issued an advisory about the Leaf, advising those who live in areas where it typical gets and stays very hot for (at least) several days in a row each year, that the Leaf probably isn’t the best choice for them.

Did Nissan actually not realize the problem with selling a BEV without an active thermal management system in such areas?

And the Leaf had a resurgence in Japan

Leaf 2 could sell 200000 in frist production year. Nissan has only advantages over the competition like GM. Four factories worldwide and battery factories, no currency fluctuations and lower prices than competition with low spec entry Leaf, good leasing deals, fast delivery and nearly 300000 Leaf 1 customers until second generation arrives.

All excellent points. We lose sight of these facts here in the US, since Leaf sales aren’t great. But Nissan really is poised to take over with Leaf 2. I hope it gives the Bolt a run for its money. With more competition, they both have to keep getting better!

Yes, and I’m pretty sure 2017 will be the year.

It is an advantage if its factory and battery cost more… At least it is the case with battery.

It isn’t an advantage if….

Also true. Ghosn has publicly put a lot of pressure on his battery partners to match the cost of their competitors. Even if he does switch to LG Chem, though, nothing says they cannot license the technology to build in their own factories. Alex’s point still stands.

“Even if he does switch to LG Chem, though, nothing says they cannot license the technology to build in their own factories. Alex’s point still stands”

Why do you conclude that cost difference result in technology of the cell but not the factory and labor?

Did you see the articles where people in line for the Model 3 reservations on the first day were Leaf owners. Many Leaf owners on the forums I visit are extending their lease agreements to align with Tesla Model 3 availability. Nissan has a lot of work to do on the PR front to get existing or former owners to come back to them. Only two things will solve that problem, lower price than Tesla 3 and Bolt, and competitive battery pack technology that doesn’t cook the cells.

I’m one of those people. I reserved my Model 3 online an hour before the reveal, having traded my 12 Leaf back in September.

The Leaf was great but it had several issues that made owning more difficult, and so Nissan is unlikely to win my business back.

Your points are correct. I’d add that Nissan needs a much better gas gauge, and they need to reduce battery degradation to Tesla-like levels.

Battery degradation is the biggest driver of EV depreciation. I’d want some assurance that my EV won’t lose 75% of its value in 3 years like my Leaf did. So glad I leased.

I believe that there is quite a bit of difference in the battery quality in the different Leaf years. My 2014 Leaf has 27,000 miles with no degradation.

“My 2014 Leaf has 27,000 miles with no degradation”.
Very cool. I’m curious, is this based on all bars still showing on the dash or is this based on SOC?

Where are you located?

How often do you DCFC?

I know 2011 LEAF with 45K miles that still have all the bars but there is also a 2012 LEAF with only 24k miles that lost 2 bars already..

I guess it is all random until about 100K miles..

Steve Marsh’s 150K LEAF only lost 2 bars at 100K miles… But now it only has 52% of capacity left with 150K miles.

Well said, Alex. Nissan is one of the very few long-range PEV makers to control their own battery supply (BYD is another, and of course Tesla soon will be).

So yes, Nissan is poised to really take off with sales of the Leaf 2.0. But will buyers bite, with Nissan apparently still refusing to put an active TMS (Thermal Management System) into the car?

We’ll have to wait and see. One thing that seems certain is that the Leaf 2.0 will easily outsell the Bolt, because GM clearly doesn’t plan to produce those in large numbers. GM has clearly signaled limited production by outsourcing the entire EV powertrain to LG Electronics and LG Chem.

GM Bolt won’t be available in RHD countries, so no issue there (ie UK, Japan, Hong Kong). Nissan LEAF also got to 30kWh before VW, BMW etc so Nissan/Renault is taking sales that were previously VW e-golf/ e-up.

the main lesson seems to be confirmation that the anticipation of GM Bolt is stopping sales of 30kWh LEAF. It also strongly suggests that anticipation of Tesla Model 3 is not affecting sales of Nissan LEAF to anywhere near the extent of the GM Bolt.

Agree. It isn’t just the range that makes the Bolt so attractive. It is also the battery life. I figure that if I charge a Bolt to 80% it should last 20 years.

Great to see these numbers tracked! EV sales in the US seem to be flat over the past 2-3 yrs, but seemed poised to finally take a jump upward with all of the new models coming, and this is even before the Model 3. Worldwide sales are more important, so thank you for tracking these down!

Agree Tom, in the USA, EV’s share is only 0.69% of all new car sales.

Who will sale more Plug-in cars in 2016?
Tesla or BYD?
That’s the question.

Byd grows faster than Tesla. They should be above 100K this year, Tesla is expected to be between 80-90.

BYD, no doubt about it.

Tesla will probably beat Nissan in the race for Second Place and BMW is the best candidate for Fourth Place.

With the sales of MX I expect Tesla to overtake Nissan

Mitsubishi can easily double its sales if it had brought the Outlander PHEV to the US/Canadian market and take the global lead.

Of course, assume it wants to sell more and have capacity to do so.

ModernMarvelFan said:

“Of course, assume it [Mitsubishi]… have capacity to do so.”

There’s the rub. Nissan had to build two additional battery factories under its control, in Tennessee and the UK, before they could finally produce enough Leafs to satisfy demand.

Mitsubishi is still relying on 3rd party battery manufacturers… as are most PEV makers, including GM.

We can easily tell which PEV makers are serious about making and selling compelling PEVs in large numbers: BYD, Nissan, and Tesla. The others? Not so much.

In investigative reporting, they say “Follow the money.” For deducing which PEV makers are serious about selling PEVs, and which aren’t: Follow the battery supply.