Nissan LEAF Sales Fall In January 2015 For First Time In 2 Years In US
As the calendar flips over to 2015, we should take a moment to reflect on 2014…and it was all LEAF, all the time.
Despite some 22 production electric vehicles on sale in the United States, the Nissan LEAF continued to steadfastly hold onto its 25% market share throughout the year.
In fact every month for the LEAF in 2014 was a record month, besting the previous years by a considerable margin. And the year before…good for 23 months in a row.
Unfortunately, that streak came to an end in 2015, as just 1,070 units were sold, which was off by about 15% from 2014 when Nissan moved 1,252 cars.
Nissan put a brave face on the numbers by explaining the difference between the selling environment in December vs January.
“We saw a significant increase in demand in December from Nissan LEAF customers looking to take advantage of federal and state incentives at the end of the tax year, which pulled some sales ahead. We’re confident that EV sales will continue to rise over time due to increasing emission regulations and other reasons for purchase of EVs such as lower operating costs, reducing dependence on foreign energy sources, environmental concerns and a great driving experience.” – Brendan Jones, director, Nissan Electric Vehicle Sales and Infrastructure
Last year, Nissan sold 30,200 EVs, the first plug-in vehicle to sell in such an amount in any year, in any country, surpassing the old record set by the Chevrolet Volt – which sold 23,461 back in 2012.
The question now is, can the Nissan LEAF restart their consecutive monthly record clock, or is this a sign of things to come?
If January is indeed just a blip, how high can the LEAF go? Will demand stay strong for the Nissan? Can it hold off the new 2016 Chevrolet Volt set to go on sale in the second half of the year?
It is hard to say, but with an estimated 145,000-155,000 plug-ins being forecasted to be sold in the US market in 2015, if Nissan retains their 25% market share rating, that would work out to be 36,000 to 39,000 new sales.
Also of interest – Nissan held a 26% overall market share of the European plug-in market as well in 2014, add in partner Renault, and the “Alliance” controlled 46% of the market.
Production: A “perk” if you will of the seasonal slowdown in January and February for electric car sales has been to finally allowed national inventories of the LEAF to grow past the 5,000 unit level for…well, pretty much the first time ever.
Infrastructure: Nissan noted in January that it expects to see over 1,100 DC fast charging units in America by the end of March this year, with another 600 being added in the 12 months following.