2013 Nissan LEAF
Playing with numbers can occasionally be exciting. Well, not really, but an examination of the numbers often results in discovery.
Such is the case here as we examine Nissan LEAF sales in relation to Nissan's total US sales figures in 2012. All told, Nissan sold 1,141,656 units in the US in 2012. 9,819 of those vehicles were LEAFs. That means that 0.86 percent of Nissan's overall sales volume in the US in 2012 were vehicles with a LEAF badge. So, less than 1 percent.
When will the LEAF hit 1 percent? Well, if Nissan stays roughly on track in 2013 and sales close the year near the 1.14-million-unit mark, then LEAF sales need to exceed 11,416 units to reach that elusive 1 percent.
11,416 minus 9,819 equals 1,597. That's the number that LEAF sales must increase by in 2013 for the electric hatchback to account for 1 percent of Nissan's total US sales.
It's a done deal, right? We think so and Nissan does, too. The automaker is shooting for an increase in LEAF sales of roughly 20 percent in 2013, or 1,963.8 units (nobody we know is interested in buying 0.8 of a LEAF, so let's just say 1,964).
With the price of entry in 2013 now set at $28,800, we think LEAF sales will increase by substantially more than 20 percent, so the LEAF should close out the year above 1 percent of Nissan's total US sales.
But 1 percent of Nissan's sales will only amount to a not-even-noticeable 0.076 percent of the total volume of automotive sales (predicted to be 15 million units) in the US in 2013.
We're not trying to be critical of the LEAF or its sales volume. Rather, we're just pointing out that in the grand scheme, it'll take a long time before electric vehicles penetrate the automotive market in impossible-to-ignore numbers.