First Generation Nissan LEAF Sales Steady As Ever In July

3 months ago by Jay Cole 26

The Nisan LEAF (only pictures of the Tesla Model 3 currently available to be shown) showed strong sales resilience in the face of growing competition

While all the other plug-in electric vehicles on the US market had to live in the shadow of the first deliveries of the Tesla Model 3 – and the long anticipated release of specs and pricing on that car (220-310 miles of range for $35,000 to $44,000 respectively – full details here), the LEAF had to live under the shadow of another car as well…itself.

In August, the first generation LEAF turns 81 months old, and is the reigning grand-daddy of the modern era of EVs.

Carlos Ghosn (not shown here) forecasts big things ahead for the LEAF brand for the future

That all changes in September, as a special event held in Tokyo on September 5th (6th locally in Japan), will officially usher in the 2nd generation LEAF, which is the second most anticipated reveal of the year.

Despite that, and by continuing to discount the LEAF strongly in the US (and by as much as $10,000), the original LEAF continues to sell briskly, moving 1,283 copies in July, up 20% from the 1,063 sold a year ago.

Overall for 2017, 8,531 LEAFs have been sold, good for a gain of 24.4% over the 6,856 sold through the first 7 months of 2016.

As for the “new” LEAF, we are now seeing 2018 LEAF camouflage mules all over the roads (most recently here, and here…and even a fuzzy one without camo), so the 2018’s look probably isn’t going to surprise anyone when it hits the stage next month; but with all the cards on the table for the Chevy Bolt EV and Tesla Model 3, the door is certainly open for Nissan to price their new, longer range EV lower than the competition.

The 2018 Nissan LEAF (not shown here again) is expected to be the “value leader” among the first wave of 2nd generation EVs

Ultimately, Nissan is expected to offer the LEAF in two range options; one around 40 kWh, with at least 150-160 miles of range (to qualify it technically as a “200 mile” car under the old “LA4” rating system, and thus pick up 4 valuable ZEV credits for CARB/governmental compliance), and another with the 60 kWh battery pack found earlier in the IDS Concept, and netting a real world 210+ mile rating.

New Nissan Leaf no camo

Found a LEAF pic!  New Nissan Leaf without camo. Photo used with permission from Broom

Production of the new LEAF kicks off this Fall in the US at the company’s Smyrna factory, and dealers have been told to expect inventory by Christmas.

Will Nissan price the new LEAF below the competition?

We tend to believe so, as Nissan has always taken pride in being the #1 best selling EV worldwide…and the fact that Gareth Dunsmore, who is Electric Vehicle (EV) Director for Nissan Europe, said he expects up to 20% of the company’s sales in the region to be all-electric by the end of this decade.

“By 2020, where the market conditions are right, I’m confident we’ll be selling up to 20 percent of our volume as zero emissions vehicles and this will only grow.”

Put another way, that is a big number…and one that isn’t very far away.  In real numbers, Nissan expects to be selling almost 150,000 EVs a year in Europe 29 months from now…and the only way to do that is via an incredibly affordable, and product-competitive LEAF.

Editor’s Note:  Obviously we are being sarcastic about not be able to find any Nissan LEAF/Ghosn pics because of the Model 3 – our way of saying there has been a overload of Model 3 content of late, and we anticipate things to settle down and get back to normal this next month.

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26 responses to "First Generation Nissan LEAF Sales Steady As Ever In July"

  1. Alan says:

    A great number for a car this old

    1. Mark.ca says:

      There were some ridiculous low leases and other gig discounts from electric cos that contributed to this sale number. They should have no problem clearing the inventory before the new model comes in.

  2. Mike says:

    The Model 3 is going to put some serious price pressures on the Bolt and Leaf 2.0. I don’t see how either GM or Nissan can ask even 35000 with a straight face. No charging infrastructure, no autonomous hardware, econo box format,…

    If Tesla can scale reasonably well and start rolling out some of the 210 mile variants Nissan will have to price the Leaf at 27500$

    1. Mark.ca says:

      They both have room to bring the msrp to $30k and tney should. Nissan will have the credits the longest, probably…

    2. Jeff Songster says:

      While I agree that lower is better for us all… the real price of the Model 3 for the next 3 to 6 months is 45000 as they aren’t building any basic models initially. So… a well equipped LEAF or BOLT at 35k should get a fair shot especially if the LEAF comes with a super fast DCFC capability versus the BOLT.

      1. Brandon says:

        VERY GOOD POINT.

      2. CLIVE says:

        They are building basic models, the dual motor fully optioned car will not be built until sometime late next year.

    3. menorman says:

      Nissan has already said that Leaf 2.0 will at least have ProPilot available, so how do we know that it won’t be able to have full autonomy with that hardware in the future?

    4. John Ray says:

      You mean the Leaf is going to put some serious price pressures on the the Model 3. With the first Model 3s stickering at $49,000 before destination and no lower range model in sight, I think a lot of reservation holders will begin to at least consider the Bolt and the new Leaf. I suspect the new Leaf will be quite a compelling alternative offering features the Telsa doesn’t have – like availability, local service and a hatch.

      And it will come with Pro-Pilot, Nissan’s excellent suite of driver aids already on sale in Japan. So, really, the only advantage Tesla has is the badge and the SC network. If that is worth an extra $20K to you, then by all means get the Tesla.

    5. will says:

      I’m not paying 45000 for car to drive me. I’m ok with free evgo, chargepoint and Nissan dealers. Pro pilot and stylish id copy look good. Turning Altima in when lease ends next year

  3. Someone out there says:

    Since everybody gets the $10k off, why don’t they just cut the MSRP with $10k directly?

    1. R.S says:

      It sounds better to sell a 30k car for 20k, than trying to sell an aging car for MSRP.

  4. WadeTyhon says:

    Why are model 3 photos showing up in non model 3 articles?

    Is it some kind of joke?

    Also: ‘ Nisan Leaf?’ under the first photo?

    Were you guys hacked by the Russian government or Tesla Motors? 😉

    1. Jay Cole says:

      Lol, it is a joke/sarcasm. There has been an overload of Model 3 news this month, so much so that it feels like that is all we have been able to cover.

      Honestly, everyone on the staff has had about enough…it is our way of saying it has been about enough now…so thought it would be amusing to be a bit sarcastic with the pics this month. Obviously my humor is not for everyone, lol

      1. kimmi says:

        The pics joke was pure genius, for some reason reminded me of Life of Brian movie gags

      2. William says:

        Good joke, you had me at hook! Line, and sinker, were my own doing, after taking the bait and running with it.

    2. Mark.ca says:

      I was wondering the same thing, this is getting ridiculous!

    3. Alan says:

      It’s mind games,

      You want to go to the Island,

      You want to buy a Tesla Model 3 !

    4. bro1999 says:

      Not so subliminal messages.
      “You will buy a Model 3…..now…..wait, hold on, no regular person can still buy a Model 3….in that case, you will buy more TSLA stock…”

      1. Jay Cole says:

        Just because we don’t want people to get wrong impression, we’ll put a note at the bottom referencing the sarcasm in adding Model 3 pictures into the sales stories this month.

        /humor explained, (=

  5. ModernMarvelFan says:

    Well, cheap price helps.

    When it is cheap enough, some people will still lease it..

  6. David S. says:

    To get at least 150-160 miles from a 40 kWh, the new LEAF would have to get a serious efficiency boost. That’s 45% more range from a 33% capacity increase…

    It’s been advertised in Japan that the 2018 LEAF will get 32% more range on the JC08 test cycle (370 km vs 280 km for the current model) and I expect a similar increase of the EPA range rating bringing it to around 140 miles.

    As for the 60 kWh battery, the key word is “ultimately”. I don’t expect to see it before 2019.

    1. David S. says:

      I meant I don’t expect to see the 60 kWh before next year (model year 2019).

  7. R. Cardona says:

    Many such as myself are happy with 90 to 100 miles of range with the Leaf. Understandably, if cars come with 150-250 miles of range for the same price, they shall sell. But Tesla and other nations have proven the point: infrastructure with reasonable charging costs is essential for regional and long distance travel. The most logical location for charging? Gas stations with D.C. Fast Charging!

  8. Paul K says:

    The advantage of buying late in the model run is that the kinks experienced by the earliest adopters have been worked out. If the range meets your needs it’s a great car. Just remember if you live in Canada or North/East United States expect a range drop of 35% in the bitter cold and allow for that. That being said, with proper winter tires the Leaf handles better in the snow than any ICE car I’ve ever owned.

  9. Just_Chris says:

    I think it would be great if Nissan offered the Leaf 2.0 in 3 trims 30 kWh base model for $20k and then a 40 kWhish model and a 60 kWhish model for more money. I think a well equiped AWD 60 kWh leaf that has a bit of pep to it could compete well with Tesla at $40k and I think a 30 kWh base model at $20k would have no serious competitor.

    Before I bought my leaf the most I’d ever spent on a car was $17k. My family and I don’t drive very far and I really don’t want to spend more on extra’s that I will never use. I’d love to see a base the Leaf offered in Australia @ 30 kWh for $25k AUD. At that sort of price it would be an absolute no brainer for me.

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