Nissan LEAF Sales Collapse In Ontario

JAN 11 2019 BY MARK KANE 45

In fact, not only the Nissan LEAF feels the withdrawal of the $14,000 CAD incentive

The latest sales reports from Canada reveals a collapse of electric car sales in Ontario – particularly the popular Nissan LEAF was shown as an example – after the province decided to end the generous incentive of $14,000 CAD through the Electric and Hydrogen Vehicle Incentive Program (EHVIP).

Nissan apparently sold some 695 LEAFs in Ontario in August, but without the support, only 10 were sold during two months – September and November. For comparison, in Quebec (where customers can count on some incentives) sales of LEAF stood at 283 in November.

For us, it’s obvious that subtracting incentives will decrease the demand, especially in the short term.

According to the article, the Ontario government expects that about $1 billion CAD would’ve been spent over four years on the incentive (over 70,000 cars at $14,000 each).

“Green rebates still exist elsewhere in Canada, limited to British Columbia and Quebec, which means both provinces are enjoying an influx of EVs. That in turn lowers the amount of time that people in those provinces have to wait for their new cars, now that Ontarians aren’t interested.The Ontario government believes that by ending the Electric and Hydrogen Vehicle Incentive Program, the province will save around $1 billion over four years.”


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45 Comments on "Nissan LEAF Sales Collapse In Ontario"

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I’m sure other EV did poorly as well, but how bad? Was Leaf worst?

That is what I want to know too.

It looks like the 695 and 10 monthly leaf sales numbers were cherry-picked for headlines.

I tried to find some stats. FleetCarma has Q3 info, but is mum on Q4 and 2018 totals,
or you can jump straight to the stats image,comment image

Dropping the incentive (and fear of dropping the incentive) looks like it moved sales into June and July, “For the second quarter of 2018, Ontario led in new EV sales with 6,866 compared to 2,633 for the same time period last year, that’s a 273% increase. […] we can (very) loosely assume that the EV incentive crunch contributed to an additional 3,600 vehicle sales in Ontario in Q2 of 2018.”
straight to the Q2 BEV stats:comment image

This shows clearly that “affordable” EVs (and PHEVs) will not sell at their current prices without tax credits/rebates. They simply are not competative with conventional vehicles (including hybrids). Tesla Model 3 will not be effected as much because of its precieved (and real) premium status.

I’ll be in the market for a PHEV or maybe a Leaf, Kona, Niro or Bolt later this year (a purchase, not lease) but know that I wouldn’t consider one at current prices without the tax credit and rebate.

This collapse of electric car sales when incentives are removed is not just a reaction to price increase – it’s a combination of preceding months accumulating extra sales from people rushing to get the incentives, and potential customers waiting to see if incentives might return (as is often the case).

But also yes, $30K USD is way too much for essentially a base trim of a compact hatchback – in the US in particular that’s already one of the least popular form-factors, so all the first (and many 2nd) gen “cheap” electrics like Leaf, e-Golf, Ioniq, Bolt never stood a chance of selling in large numbers.

It is a good car.

I drove on few months ago. Electric drivetrain is good, range was just over 300 km when fully charged.

Its EPA range is 240 km.
You clearly had VERY good conditions or were very smooth. And it was CERTAINLY summer.

Sales will always drop once the incentives goes away. It will happen in US as well, even to Tesla (which has most to loose anyway).

10 cars in two months tho…

Same thing happened in Georgia.

Slap a $14000 tax on a car overnight, sales are going to go down, and the higher a percentage increase that is, the bigger the hit.

The collapse of sales was predictable as people like me seeing the writing on the wall for subsidies scrambled to place orders before the cut off. Economies are huge interdependent webs so the actual government savings are difficult to ascertain. My vehicle is powered by energy “made in Ontario” so dollars don’t leave the province to power it. Ontario Power Generation has a terrible problem of excess capacity at night often “giving away the store” to get neighboring jurisdictions to take the power. Electric car charging at night is a great help in this area and would actually help keep the cost of running the utilities down. And how does one measure the cost savings of those who don’t get sick from dirty exhaust fumes?

And I might add that the subsidies were not coming out of general revenues but from the cap and trade carbon tax program which the Conservatives scrapped. Many private companies and municipal governments had that had previously paid for their carbon emissions won’t be getting their money back either. Conservative energy policy in a nutshell: “Burn baby burn!”.

The fuzzy math done by the Conservatives comes to $980 million, and also doesn’t factor in that many vehicles were not eligible for the full $14,000 rebate. Factor in your many valid points, and I doubt Ontarians are saving a dime.

This is an estimate of the future, presumably predicated on EVs in the future. The requirements for the full amount only called for a minimum 17 kWh battery and a fifth seat. In other words, easy modes.

Add in the extra health costs from cheaper gas and we in Ontario are in the red.

Not sure about Canada, but in the US states fail to account for the lost sales tax revenue from the discontinuation of a tax credit. In general (and especially with Tesla) people are purchasing a higher MSRP vehicle than they would have otherwise, creating higher tax revenue.

Pretty much, yes, but they probably figure lost gas tax revenue, so like Paul K said, it’s pretty difficult to ascertain anything or put it another way, you can choose your calculation to make your claim.
Still the health burden isn’t something conservative easily compute, because pharmaceutic is also a good economic generator.
At one point they can figure that it’s worth it to have a better economy with a worst health status.
Sadly, I would say.

Many states now have a flat EV license tax that will recover most of the incentive over time. I know my state collects way more from my “aint using no gas tax” than if I were driving a Prius. I am totally on board with having to pay my fair share for roads, but you have to drive a lot of miles to make up for a 100$ flat tax on an EV. I figure they tax my Bolt like I am driving an F150.

well said, thanks.

Nissan has been chewing the Leaf for how long already, 9 years? 3 iterations at least? I’d politely say if they haven’t made it market-capable on its own merit w/o a 25% discount (which is what the incentives are to the buyer), they need to try a little harder. Hope the Leaf Plus will answer this call.

Unfortunately with a 50k CAD pricetag and no active battery cooling (i.e. still sticking to their SEALED OVEN concept, amazingly), the Leaf Plus will not likely do very well against its cheaper and better (in every way) competition, the Hyundai Kona EV. Heck, even the Chevy Bolt offers way better value for money.

So you neglected to take in account the #coldgate affecting the Kona, Niro and Bolt. The pizza car Bolt never sold well in Quebec at $50k. The Kona is delayed and the pour allowance number for both Niro / Kona will be in the low hundreds for 2019 and 2020.
It’s so cold here nobody need activ cooling its activ heating that is needed!
I predict the new leaf will continue to dominate the market here in Quebec as in Canada.

LOL. Leaf is so wonderful in the cold without being able to control the temperature? In cold Leaf does WORSE than any other EV, 19 kW from 45% to 60% at -4C ambient. All other EV with TMS would’ve reached optimal temperature, but Leaf is way off.

Thanks to the brilliant Doug Ford for his extraordinary vision and forward thinking. NOT.

Problem was, it was too excessive at $14,000.

It’s more costly not selling any EV

Then it should have been reduced, not removed. 5-8K would have given major savings without killing sales of the LEAF.

I agree, I always thought to max out at 8K would be both sufficient, yet keep the conservative petrol heads from whining.

Couldn’t agree more. $14,000 was very excessive. I don’t think we’d be having this conversation had the incentive been $5000 or less, similar to other provinces. I applaud everyone who was able to benefit, but unfortunately, it ruined it a little for the rest of us still wanting to “do our part” in the environment and now get zero monetary assistance. Thankfully, I’m more than happy to continue with my purchase of a 19′ Kona Electric, regardless of incentive.

Just lower the price – like Tesla is doing in the States. After 10 years, these cars need to sell themselves on their own merits. And if they truly cost 50% more to build than a gas car – then so be it.

Its the same with the Tesla Model 3. If Tesla says that an Model 3 costs 63K Canadian plus tax – then that is what it costs. Some people can afford it – most can’t.

How about we eliminate the subsidies for fossil fuel companies while we’re at it. It’s in the BILLIONS every year both in Canada and the U.S. When anyone complains to me that their tax dollars helped subsidize my car purchase I point out they’ve got it wrong. Far more of my tax dollars are supporting gasoline consumption.

Surely true, but most under-educate public simply doesn’t get. Too complicated to grasp, or too unwilling … on the other hand 14K rebate, plain and simple and considered by them plain wrong.

Impossibly difficult to win such argument these days. If we did … there would zero new oil extraction going on, yet we have a whole province whining everyday 10 times, that they need two new pipelines …..

0.1% interest for the environment.

Paying job is all they care about, who they work for and at what overall cost to society is not their concern. Plain and simple.

and the upcoming cleanup will be pretty costly too……….

Yes, for us the taxpayers … As always is the case.

No surprise here. $14,000 is a huge incentive. In the US, I bet you will see a similar drop off with the Bolt. I think the Bolt rebate goes from $7,500 to $3,750 in April, right? I think the interesting thing will be whether Bolt sales spike in March. I think we’ll see a small rise, but not much unless GM wants to push them in March. Bolt sales in January will surely dip under 1,000 for the first time in a long time. I’m guessing 700? Probably lower. After the rebate drops in April, it will kill Bolt sales. If the Leaf + is widely available in April, it make it even worse. I predict April sales of 300 if Leaf not widely available, 175 if they are. It’s all about price. $7,500 is a LOT of money. Most people where price is not as much of an issue will buy a Tesla. Bolt and Leaf are for the price sensitive, and will die without a rebate. If Niro and Kona become widely available (big if), why would anyone pay $7500 more for a Bolt? The Bolt is dead. Leaf will also die when Nissan’s rebate is up. The… Read more »

Like Tesla I don’t think a $3,750 tax savings drop is a killer, but $14,000 sure is.

PS. Tesla is now just $1,750 for now.

I think you mean to say “Tesla is now effectively just $1,750 more for now”.

Yep, hardly surprising. All EV’s are 14K more expensive now. Most people are not willing to swing it. I just cancelled my pre-order for Kona EV the other day.

Don’t get me wrong, I think 14K for any EV was perhaps unnecessarily high, but 0$ is just plain dumb. Politicians cannot do grey or center, it’s either black or white, or left or right. One extreme to another …. boooo.

This is the problem with overly generous incentives….they will get repealed. $14,000? WTF? That is way too generous. The state of Georgia also had an overly generous incentive. Both got repealed.

You gotta make those incentives reasonable or they will backfire.

This is the sort of article that claims ‘only government’ incentives promote EV sales. Of course the Leaf is a poor example of an EV. It is the type of lame excuse that requires an incentive.

So what happened to Tesla sales?

Good for those who took advantage of $14000 incentive!!! Damn!!!!!!!!