The time of the Nissan LEAF - the first all-electric compact mainstream model, originally introduced in 2010 - is coming to an end.
According to an interesting Automotive News article, based on an unofficial source, the Nissan LEAF will be phased out.
Production of the LEAF (currently at three sites: in Japan, in the US, and in the UK), is expected to end by mid-decade, the source says. As we are already in mid-2022, it means just a few more years, at best.
There is no next-generation version of the LEAF on the table, but rather an all-new replacement model.
Automotive News noted that Nissan's representative does not want to speculate on the rumor, but we would not be surprised if it is true.
Actually, in the case of the Sunderland plant in the UK, we already know that in the pipeline there is a new electric crossover, based on the CMF-EV platform. It will be produced instead of the LEAF, starting around 2025.
The Nissan LEAF was a pioneering model but it has not lived up to the expectations of Nissan's former CEO Carlos Ghosn.
Nissan started early and invested heavily in all-electric cars, including three manufacturing sites, in-house battery production (through a joint venture with NEC). The company hoped to introduce 4 models total and achieve mass scale.
Unfortunately, sales were an order of magnitude weaker than expected. The plant in Smyrna, Tennessee alone was expected to produce 150,000 units and 200,000 battery packs. But even in its best year (2014), Nissan sold only 30,200 units in the US. Today, the LEAF's annual sales are below half of that.
By 2030, Nissan would like to expand its lineup to 15 all-electric cars (23 electrified). In the US, 40% of new Nissan sales are expected to be BEVs by 2030.
While the Nissan Ariya is a different model, we don't know what other new model might replace the LEAF. Some preview of the successor might be the Nissan Chill-Out concept, shown in late 2021 (among a few other types).