Nissan LEAF Sales For February 2015 In US Not Great, Company Points To Weather Issues

MAR 3 2015 BY JAY COLE 26

A Nissan LEAF Gets A Scenic Roadside Quick Charge

A Nissan LEAF Gets A Scenic Roadside Quick Charge

Nissan Celebrates 80 Years In Business In Japan With A Couple Special Edition LEAFs

Nissan Celebrates 80 Years In Business In Japan With A Couple Special Edition LEAFs

Last month Nissan had its string of 23 record consecutive months for sales broken when the company sold just 1,070 LEAFs vs the 1,252 sold the year before.

Now in February, Nissan needed to best an even more challenging 1,425 LEAFs sold from a year ago – during one of the coldest months of all-time in the United States.

It turns out Nissan managed to sell just 1,198, which was a 9% increase over January, but a 16% miss from last year’s result.

Nissan notes that a pretty crappy winter might have been responsible for some of the drop-off this month:

“Tough winter weather in several key markets held EV sales back in February.  As we head into spring, we look forward to seeing more dealership traffic so shoppers can experience firsthand the benefits of the all-electric Nissan LEAF.” – Brendan Jones, director, Nissan Electric Vehicle Sales and Infrastructure.

All-time, the Nissan LEAF has now sold 74,590 cars, which is now an incredibly close race with the Chevrolet Volt for first.  Through January, GM had sold 74,592 Volts.  Given the two cars sales trends, the LEAF should cross the 75,000 level first, at some point next week.

Looking at the historical numbers, Nissan struggled in January to hold the 25% market share of the plug-in segment that had become the norm for the 84 mile LEAF.  Still, if Nissan could manage to hold onto 20% for 2015, we think that would still be a ‘win’.

Can Nissan Regain The Historical 25% Share Of The Overall EV Market?  With More Plug-ins Every Month Coming To Market, We Doubt It

Can Nissan Regain The Historical 25% Share Of The Overall EV Market? With More Plug-ins Every Month Coming To Market, We Doubt It

The one bright spot from the seasonal drag of winter for electric vehicles, is that it gives automakers who do find themselves with an ‘in demand’ car a chance to play catch-up with national inventories.

For Nissan that means they have 6,000-odd LEAFs on dealer lots around the country, ready to be sold when Spring arrives next month – an all-time high.

Also of note this month, the Nissan LEAF became the first plug-in vehicle to hit the 50,000 sold mark in Japan.

Nissan LEAF Sales in Japan – January 2015

Nissan LEAF Sales in Japan – January 2015

The Nissan e-NV200 "Utility Gear" Concept Debuted This Month At The 2015 Tokyo Auto Salon.  Good Color Choice?

The Nissan e-NV200 “Utility Gear” Concept Debuted This Month At The 2015 Tokyo Auto Salon. Good Color Choice?

And while the battle for EV supremacy in Japan went uncontested, the title in America is hotly contested as the Chevrolet Volt was first to 50,000, with the Nissan LEAF likely crossing the 75,000 unit mark next week.

Looking ahead to which model will be the first to cross 100,000 cars sold in the United States, the LEAF will certainly build a big lead over the next 6 months, but the question remains “will it be enough” to hold off the longer range, 2nd generation 2016 Chevy Volt (details) that debuts this fall?

In truth, it matter little who actually gets there first, as there is no “loser” in this race – just more plug-in vehicles on the road each and every day…and that’s a win for everyone.

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26 Comments on "Nissan LEAF Sales For February 2015 In US Not Great, Company Points To Weather Issues"

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I have interesting news to report in that I have been keeping track of used Nissan Leaf Prices.

The price of a cheap 2011 leaf is now in the $9000’s to $10,000’s. Also it looks like the $9000 leaf is here to stay.

But this is all good news for me considering I’m poor and looking for a electric car.

If the range works for you, then $9,000 for a 4-year-old Leaf is a steal! It will be interesting to see where the floor is for the older Leafs. It could be that in another 4 years, that 2011 Leaf is still worth $7k-$8k. Or it could be worthless I guess. Seems unlikely though.

I have been looking at those cheap cars, but here is the issue with 2011/2012 models that I’ve found so far.
1) The charger is only 3.3 Kw.. so it takes almost 7 to 8 hours to charge on a 220V. The 2013 models have 6.6 Kw chargers which allows you to charge in 4 hours.
2) 2013+ models have a new heat pump, heated seats and steering wheel. It makes a big difference if you live in a cold weather area.
3) 2013+ models have a new drivetrain and are slightly more efficient.

Sorry about the duplicate post – the website is acting funny. It’s not remembering my information, claiming I’m posting too fast, and then throwing out my comments.

I have the same issues. Sometimes it loads the page in wide mode, sometimes in narrow mode. I have to type my name/email in every time. And I get the posting too fast error as well.

Random FYI…no one is posting to fast.

A quirk of the site relaunch on Monday is that the comment filter isn’t registering the IPs properly…meaning that it thinks EVERY comment on the site is coming from the same person and trying to slow the flow to control potential spammage…working on a fix now. Sorry about that, bear with us.

On a side note, how does one set an avatar for one’s posts?

The avatar is triggered by what email you use to post. It is a universal thing across the internet using gravatar.

To connect an avatar to your email go to:

SMH. It’s not picking up my gmail avatar.

Never mind. After visiting the site, I thought gravatar was a developer tool that allowed sites to use a commenters email avatar. Upon further investigation, I have to sign up for an account, which I have no interest in doing.

I will say, though, maybe you and I do post here too fast sometimes 😉

The passion can be a curse.

I think that the used Leafs would be a great deal especially if Nissan or an aftermarket parts company can re-build the old packs with new cells and slightly greater range at a reasonable cost.
The cars will last nearly forever if there is an inexpensive way to replace the pack.

There is the Nissan battery swap/upgrade program … ~$5500 to get the latest (Lizzatd) battery pack.

A new pack should provide 60-80,000+ miles before derogated range becomes a concern. Cost would be just 6-9¢/mile. Add in 2¢/mile for electric energy, and is cheaper than ICE (not including oil & other service requirements). Also, most likely will be able to drive a couple years on original pack (20-30,000+ miles) before upgrading.

Overall, seems to offer good value.

I have to wonder if they will eventually offer a battery upgrade to the (2017?) next gen, or at least with denser cells to prevent their gen 1s from being worth next to nothing.

Brian, I think 3-4 cents a mile is more in line with what most of us are seeing in the way cost per mile using electricity. In some states the electricity is so expensive it is closer to 5 cents a mile. A gasser that gets 30 mpg costs just 8 cents a mile at $2.40 gallon/10 cents a mile at $3.00. A Prius may be a boring car, but the cost just 4.8 cents a mile at $2.40/6 cents at $3.00. Oil inventory is ready to fill every storage depot in the US, the price of gasoline may be falling soon and staying down longer than normal given the continuing production levels in the Bakken. $5500 every 70,000 miles is just too high. That is why I wonder if it will be an aftermarket parts company that will step in with re-furbed Leaf packs. If they recycle/reuse as much as possible, it is possible that they can get the replacement packs down to $3500. But even then it will be adding 5 cents a mile and given the increase in efficiency and general lack of expensive parts failures (transmissions or engines) for new ICE’rs, they will still be falling… Read more »

Had a Prius (in fact, had 3) and never got 6 cents a mile for cost simply because I did syn oil changes every 10K miles and that added .8 cents per mile. Also, I easily averaged over 50 mpg in Summer but not so easy in Winter. But will say, my LEAF when it arrived took over all the short inefficient trips my Prius used to make and then I approached 6 cents a mile. as far as electricity cost, it varies but I average 1.91 cents per mile over my 2 LEAFs and 65,000+ miles

How about including the manufacturers total cars sold along with a % of total for EVs? Might shed some light if it really was a weather effect or some other reason like the price of oil?

I don’t break it down by manufacturer, but I chart market share for each month. If you go to then to the “market share” tab, you can check it out.

New Leaf:
Some are delaying because of the announced 200 mile Leaf.

Used Leaf:
In 2011 I bought a Leaf SV after incentives for $19,500; $9,000-$10,000 for a used Leaf would be a bit low for a car of this age. However, If you factor in a replacement battery, your cost would be about $14,000 plus. We won’t really know what used Leafs are worth until there is some history based on the costs, performance and availability of Nissan’s battery and their policies. All this is still in the early adopter stage.

My suggestion is to wait until EVs fit your driving needs before you buy. And, in many cases that means an EV with a longer range.

I have never seen an announcement for a 200 mile Leaf. Maybe wishful thinking on your part?

Nissan hasn’t officially announced it yet, as Chevrolet has announced the Volt 2.0, but there certainly have been a lot of reports that Nissan is working on a nominally “200 mile” Leaf. Keep in mind that Nissan describes the current Leaf as a “100 mile EV”, so claiming 200 miles probably will translate to an average of about 150-160 real-world miles.

Analysis in an earlier InsideEVs article suggested that Nissan won’t announce the longer range version until 2-3 months before it goes into production, so as not to scare off sales of the current version. But certainly the word has gotten out to at least some potential buyers.

I’ve been considering a used Leaf, but won’t go back before a 2013 with the heat pump heater. The other positive is the improved battery pack doesn’t need a conversion kit to install it.

It would be nice to have an aftermarket choice on a replacement pack so I could install it myself and not pay dealer service labor rates.

You can’t blame just bad weather for the LEAF’s low February sales numbers, many families were on vacation for the long Presidents Day weekend. 😀

Well… I know I did my part to help beat the Volt totals… If only 3 more folks had bought another LEAF like I did. My wife and I were sharing our Blue 2013… liking it so much we just got another… a pearl 2015. Just love fueling with the sun! We may need to add more solar panels soon.

I am also hopeful that they will increase the density of the newer lizard packs to make the future replacements even more useful. Really helps with owner loyalty.

While year-over-year sales for the LEAF have slowed in Jan/Feb 2015, LEAF sales continue to set new records.

Unnoticed by many, the LEAF is first EV to consecutively sell at a volume greater than 1000, for 24 months. Few other EV models have maintained sales in 1000’s for long period. The Volt with a run from Feb 2012 to Dec 2013 managed 23 months, but has since fallen short.

10k for a 2011 leaf is about right. It is the first generation of a new technology and it is unknown what first gen batteries are like. I have a 2015 leaf, and my out of pocket before taxes was 19k. In 5 years, 8-9k depreciation is expected for any used car