LEAF Sales in December Reach Record 4.4% of Nissan’s US Car Sales

JAN 6 2014 BY MARK KANE 21

Number of Nissan LEAFs in the U.S.

Number of Nissan LEAFs in the U.S.
KBB Says LEAF Will Be Hit Hard by Depreciation

Nissan LEAF

The Nissan LEAF is selling at its highest rate ever with the latest record of 2,529 units sold in December. This increasingly sales pace seems stable from April on when the U.S.-made LEAF entered market.

It will be interesting to see if Nissan will be able to engage an even higher gear in 2014 and sell 3,000 units a month on average – in line with new production levels at the company’s Smyrna, TN assembly plant.

Sales of LEAF for now is growing much faster then all Nissan cars, despite the Japanese company having its best year ever with sales up 10.8% year over year (9.4% including Infiniti).

“Nissan announced today total U.S. sales for December 2013 of 109,758 units, an increase of 10.5 percent compared to last year. In 2013, Nissan sold 1,248,420 vehicles in the U.S., an increase of 9.4 percent over 2012 and the best annual sales total in Nissan’s history.”

In December, LEAF sales rose by 70%, and in 2013 by 130%. Thanks to that, the LEAF recently reached a new record of 4.4% share in Nissan cars (excluding trucks).

The LEAF’s average share of Nissan vehicle sales in 2013 was at nearly 3.3%.  In 2012 the average was 1.5%.  Soon, Nissan should be able to hit 5.0%, which means that one per 20 new Nissan cars is fully electric.

Nissan LEAF in the U.S.

Nissan LEAF in the U.S.

Categories: Nissan, Sales

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21 Comments on "LEAF Sales in December Reach Record 4.4% of Nissan’s US Car Sales"

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C’mon Nissan . . . please step up and improve the EV line up. Yes, the the $6K price drop was a HUGE accomplishment and helped boost sales. But we could use some more advances like alternative body styles (sedan, mini-van, SUV, etc.) and a choice of battery sizes like Tesla does.

Make it look sexy (not in an Anime sense, but Western), and it will sell better…

I find the advances made in the 2013 model to be rather impressive considering it was barely the third production model year. Nissan listened (to some extend) to its customers (and the advisory board) and delivered.

Arguably so did the Volt but to a lesser extend.

I’m convinced that Nissan didn’t listen, they did for the MY13 what they wanted to do from the beginning. The 2013 Leaf is the car Nissan intended to build and sell in quantity. Just look at everything they integrated under the hood versus the off-the-shelf stuff they shoved in the trunk of the 2012. Not that I don’t think Nissan is listening, I just don’t think there was enough time for them to sell cars, listen to feedback, and engineer/test a better version of the car. Look for the real feedback to be evidenced in the next iteration, probably MY16 or 17.

Things like the SoC meter, the charging lid light and the locking plugs are certainly items that the LEAF owners wanted and they got. The drivetrain redesign with less power is not something the customers really wanted though the opinion was expressed that some would sacrifice a bit of a performance for a bit of a range.

+1 on variety, even just bringing some of the other EV’s in the family to the US like the Zoe and maybe even the Twizy would be good. Not sure if they’d sell in huge numbers but it would keep Smart honest.

Well done Nissan on the massive hike in production and sales not bad for a totally new product.

+1 on the body style idea. I’d be more interested in something with a 3rd row seat vs. something with double the range.

Nate, your comment kind of surprised me but it shouldn’t have. I always think that what most BEV people would want is more range but you remind me that for a lot of people, the Leaf is ok on range already. I guess what I take from this is that the car makers should keep trying to give car buyers as many choices as they can make as long as the choices are profitable for the car maker.

e-NV200 will be a nice addition once it is out there. Make it into a family van as well as a utility/delivery work van.

This really shows how a few EV strong holds can really affect sales of a electric car and not to mention that it’s starting to expand it’s territory though the growth in DC Chargers. As for the leaf personally I think it could get up to 8% in it’s existing form in that a lot of car dealerships such as the ones in my area are not aggressively selling. In a lot of cases they don’t sell them but use them as replacement cars while someone Else’s car is being worked on.

As for Nissan they really should start laying the ground work now and prepare to raise Leaf production to 3,300 to 4,000 electric cars a week so that by the time June rolls around they will be ready for the raise in demand.

If they ever come out with a 140 mile version of this car sales would push past 8,000 a month easily.

A doubling of range isn’t necessary to really boost range – simply give it a 33% increase raising the EPA range from 75 to 100 miles would do wonders. Although to really make it mainstream it has to be capable of driving 300-400 miles / day without issue. Right now given that Nissan doesn’t recommend using the LEAF for more than 1 QC a day for long distance driving (due to the heat buildup in the battery pack that occurs with freeway driving + repeated QC), realistically one probably can’t do more than ~115 mi/day (~65 mi on full charge, then another 50 mi on a 80% QC) in a LEAF without breaking that guideline, either active cooling needs to be added to the LEAF (which Nissan has always said they would not do), or the pack size has to be increased enough to provide enough range to make it possible. In theory a larger pack would not heat up as much under the same load as it would not work as hard, so perhaps increasing the pack size by 50% would be enough to allow for a few QCs in a day without excessive heat buildup to get to… Read more »

A lot of the people in my area like to commute 50 to 40 miles one way and then go to work and go home. But we have no plug in stations whatsoever in my area and for a lot of them they would get very nervous driving though a rural area without a plug in station in sight.

As of now besides from a pair of Nissan leafs I saw at a local car dealership the Tesla is the first fully electric car that I have seen on the road in my area. And it thrives in the rural areas of my area. As for the mix of urban and rural areas in my area I have seen tons of plug in hybrids but no leafs so far.

Yeah, if you want to do 80-100 miles on a single charge, you probably want at least 50% more range than that as a maximum.

Workplace charging would make it a lot easier to get away with a smaller battery pack.

Most people use the 300-400 mile range of gas cars to avoid going to the gas station every day. Having a gas station at home, in the form of a charger, shreds that model.

Looking forward to new models. Would love to see something with a 3rd row seat and different battery size options. Would buy or lease the e-nv200 if it was available today. I know the e-nv200 won’t have a third row seat.

I would also like to see more range as an option and improved styling. I’m pretty sure they could sell 2-3 times as many LEAFs per month, with more mainstream body lines and an optional 32KWh version. This would also help improve their gross margins on the LEAF.

This is probably a good indication of what EV sales would be if other vendors made EVs equally available. Nissan pushes all their cars very hard in sales, and they don’t show a preference for EVs. Thus if Ford and GM got their fingers out of their….. ears and really sold an EV they could expect equal results.

Interesting that so many commenters have suggested that Nissan could sell more leafs with different styling. Yet the Ford Focus Electric has sold poorly even though it is nearly identical configuration but more mainstream styling. Would love to hear some speculation about why this might be so. Lack of marketing effort? Something else?

Ford is not serious about Focus Electric, at least not all over the country. Go to their website and search for inventory in, say, Atlanta. They have 1 car listed in every dealership. Their lease is pretty expensive too. I tried to buy lease, but instead went with Leaf.

Love my Leaf after 2.5 years, but it has a big Achilles heel–accelerated loss of battery capacity even in moderate climates (17% loss for me), far above the 20% capacity loss in 5 years that Nissan claimed. Combined with the fact that they may not sell me a battery when I need a replacement, I am inclined to look elsewhere when my battery gets too low.

+1 on the increased range on future models. One thing Nissan could do is offer optional battery modules and let the consumer decide how much range they are willing to pay for. This could be similar to the Zero Motorcycle concept of the Power Tank.


For around $2500, you can add (at any time, even after the purchase) an additional battery module to extend the range. Clever idea.