Nissan LEAF AT-EV (All Terrain Electric Vehicle) will enter the 10,000 mile Mongol Rally this Summer, but will it find enough charge points between UK and deep into Asia?
Call it the first-mover advantage, or a deep nationwide availability, or whatever you like...but the oldest EV offering in the US continues to find a way to sell; despite not looking all that hot on paper compared to its newer peers.
For April, 1,063 LEAFs were sold, a 35% gain over the 787 moved a year ago.
2018 Nissan LEAF - arrives in September...with a lot more range
In fact, the LEAF has posted sales gains in the last 8 consecutive months, despite a plethora of other new options, and despite Nissan's recent announcement that the 2nd generation LEAF will be debuting this September, and on sale shortly thereafter.
We don't understand it - yet there it is.
Overall for 2017, 4,350 new LEAFs have been delivered, which is up 17% from the 3,718 sold in 2016 through the first 4 months.
We should note (for what it is worth) that the 4,350 LEAFs moved in 2017 is near identical to sales on the all-new, 238 mile Chevrolet Bolt EV sofar (4,384 deliveries).
Further to Nissan's future EV plans, some cracks in the company's "lips are sealed" attitude have begun to show.
Nissan's Chief Designer of 17 years, Shiro Nakamura - now retired, let slip the news that Nissan has short-term plans to introduce EVs besides the LEAF, saying:
“There will be many types of EVs in the future. The Leaf is a model, not a brand. As for other electric models, yes – a saloon, an SUV, but a sports car is difficult. EVs are not only for Nissan, but also for Infiniti. A new Leaf is coming, followed by some other body type.”
The Nissan Qashqai (shown here in petrol form) seems like a given to have a plug added over the next couple years
While new Nissan CEO Hiroto Saikawa (the first new boss in 16 years, replacing Carlos Ghosn) let us in on the company's target for EV ranges by 2020:
“Good enough,” Saikawa said of a 300-mile range by 2020, “It’s a usable range, 300 miles. I believe that the technology will lead us to go there.”
Saikawa also stated that there would be a couple of new EV offerings over the next two years, all-electric vehicles that would take range “out of the equation” for the US.
So, while yes today's LEAF leaves much to be desired, it seems clear that Nissan has no intention of giving up its worldwide leadership position in the all-electric car space. We just wish they would hurry up already with the "new hotness".