Worldwide sales of the Nissan LEAF took a hit as a combination of the anticipation for the new 2016 edition, and a rapidly deepening field of plug-in choices hurt the world's all-time best selling EV.

We assume 2016 will be a better sales year for the LEAF overall (thanks to the longer range/30 kWh option), the question is to what degree?

Regional breakdowns:

Nissan wasn't able to maintain a growing sales curve for electric cars in Japan as its flagship model didn't attract 15,000 buyers.

The very late 2016/30 kWh battery introduction, and maybe some other factors too, led to a 36% sales drop year-over-year to 9,057.

It's the worst result ever for Nissan LEAF sales in Japan.  Even December sales disappointed as only 1,019 were noted compared to 1,259 in December 2014.  In total, Nissan LEAF sales in Japan stand at 57,699 .

We should note that the numbers look set for a big turnaround in 2016 for Japan, as early returns (and the arrival of the 30 kWh car) indicate well north of 2,000 copies have been sold in January.

Update:  January logged 2,503 LEAF sales in Japan..the second best result to date - amazing what some deep 2016 inventory can do, now we just have to see if the same phenomenon occurs in the rest of the world

Nissan LEAF sales in Japan – December 2015
Nissan LEAF sales in Japan – December 2015

Nissan experienced a similar sales drop in other markets.

In the U.S., sales dropped by nearly 43% year-over-year to 17,269 (see details).

In Europe, on the other hand, LEAF sales increased a little bit from around 15,096 to 15,630 (3.5%).

Total LEAF sales worldwide in 2015 were 43,651 (nearly 40% of which was achieved in the U.S., nearly 36% in Europe, with ~21% in Japan and about 4% for the rest). In 2014, the LEAF peaked at over 60,000 (we estimate a decrease of somewhere between 27-30% year-over-year).

Nissan LEAF sales in U.S. - December 2015
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