Nissan LEAF Sales In October Set New 2016 High For US, Crosses 100,000 All-time

NOV 1 2016 BY JAY COLE 35

Nissan Quietly Introduced The New Base "S30" LEAF - with (as one might expect) a 30 kWh battery, 107 miles of range and DC fast charging

Nissan quietly introduced the new base “S30” LEAF – with (as one might expect) a 30 kWh battery, 107 miles of range and DC fast charging…for $1,750 less than the 30 kWh SV trim level

What is the title of this article on LEAF sales?  A new high?  Can that be right?

For October, Nissan looked to build on September’s mild sales success on its all-electric LEAF (which with 1,316 EVs sold during the month snapped a 20 month losing streak of year-over-year sales); and they did it!

Renault CEO Carlos Ghosn Introduced the world to the new 41 kWh ZOE in Paris on a Thursday, and put it on sale on the next Saturday...just saying

Renault CEO Carlos Ghosn introduced the world to the new 41 kWh ZOE (300 km/186 mile real world range) in Paris on a Thursday, and then put it on sale to the public on the next Saturday…just saying

Nissan closed out October’s books with 1,412 sales, which was up 14% from the 1,247 sold in October of 2015.

Naturally, as one might expect with only 2 months of gains so far in 2016, the year-to-date results are still nothing to write home about.

Through the first 10 months of the year, 10,650 LEAFs have now been sold, which is off 28.4% from the 14,868 moved through this point a year ago.  We should note that at one point this number was as high as ~41% during the Summer.

And do we care?  Is there a deeper meaning to read into the numbers for October, or for the numbers earlier this year?  Nope, not at all.

Much like the wind-down of the first generation Chevrolet Volt for much of 2015, or the collapse of the original Prius Plug-In Hybrid sales in 2014, the Nissan sales we see today is part of a well-orchestrated “thinning of the inventory herd” before the LEAF gets a ‘surprise’ upgrade (well, surprise to those who don’t follow the segment anyway).

Average inventory of current LEAF fell to its lowest level since the model was in short supply out of Japan in early 2013, now representing little more than 30 days worth of stock on average during the month.

Also of interest this month:  With the 1,412 October sales added into the LEAF’s all-time US totals, that mark crossed the 6-figure plateau with 100,241 deliveries – making it the second plug-in, and first all-electric vehicle in the US to pass the benchmark.  The Chevrolet Volt passed 100k earlier this Summer, and now stands at 107,267 cars sold.

Nissan LEAF all-time sales by month (through September). Note September ended a 20-month year-over-year sales swoon for the company. Just don't be "surprised" when things suddenly start to look up for Nissan LEAF sales in the new year.

Nissan LEAF all-time sales by month (through September). Note September ended a 20-month year-over-year sales swoon for the company.  October will be the first month the LEAF’s market share of the US market rises.

As part of the early preparation for a new larger capacity LEAF, Nissan quietly removed the original 24 kWh/84 mile base trim level in October, while replacing it with the new “S30” model with a 30 kWh/107 mile battery.

At the same time, the starting price-point for the new 30 kWh model is now $1,750 cheaper (from $32,450+DST) than the former entry level SV edition. The “S30” also now includes 6.6 kW L2 charging (vs 3.3 kW in the original S), and DC fast charging (formerly an option).

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35 Comments on "Nissan LEAF Sales In October Set New 2016 High For US, Crosses 100,000 All-time"

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I have one coming off lease in December — just can’t do another. I will need something before I can get my M3 in 2018 though…..

You are not going to get your Model ≡ in 2018. Let’s be real. So, get you another 30kWh Leaf, or a 60kWh Chevy Bolt.

@leafowner hm, it’s always a white-knuckle poker game with new Leaf rollouts…

We’re in the same boat with our extended lease due to expire mid-2017.

What Jay is thickly hinting at, is that probably this month, Nissan will announce the 2017 Leaf with 40+KWh options. (still same looks; last gasp of Gen 1 it seems)
Also likely that you could get one very early in 2017, maybe-maybe in late 2016.

Once that announcement is out, you might reach out to Nissan to see if they’d spot you a 1-2 month lease extension linked with a 2017 order.

I’d also check in with my local GM dealer, maybe you can secure a Bolt early in 2017 and they’ll be willing to spot you something to fill in a 1-2 month gap between your Leaf expiry and when the Bolt arrives.

Doesn’t hurt to ask 🙂

Nissan will give you another 6 month extension, just call and ask.

Get a Gen-2 Volt. You might like it so much you won’t bother with the Model-3 when it comes out.

Alternatively, you could just buy a cheap used EV (even another Leaf) to drive for a few years.

Great points!

Gen 2 Volt has become a great option for beating the 200-mile-EV waiting game, unless @leafowner needs seating for 3 full-sized people in the back. We still do…

Only 17 days to Los Angeles autoshow and Leaf will geht the 41 kWh battery from Zoe!

@Pete I sure hope you’re right. I think it is only rumor so far.

The 30 kWh Leaf S is the choice of best price shoppers.

It’s almost as expensive as the Bolt.

Yeah, so is a used Model S, almost. 🙂

I’m totally shocked that Nissan hasn’t announced a replacement for the aging Gen-1 Leaf yet. The battery upgrade was merely a band-aid. I hope they have something good in store for us.

I’m not surprised. They obviously won’t have a new Leaf available until at least late next year.

The only positive for Nissan is if the pricing move on the Leaf S is setting the pricing ready for the base Gen 2 Leaf.

The base model S lacks the hybrid heater. A lot of interested buyers I the North/Northeast would be more than fine with a base S30 if the heater was upgraded. The winter drain on the battery is enough to essentially reduce the range 50% in some cases. Just having the improved heater would probably help a lot of people decide on a LEAF.

I have heard a rumor that the 30 kwhr leaf model suitable are going to also have the hybrid heater as a standard features so as not to cause a problem with the epaulets range reading. It’s just a rumor, one a sure hope is true for everyone concerned.

Gotta love auto correct supposed to say Leaf model S,not suitable and EPA not epaulets

This would have been exciting a year or more ago. But at this point it strikes me as just too little too late, and/or buying time because they’re not ready with the next gen Leaf yet.

I don’t see the appeal when for just $5K and change more, I can get a Bolt with more than twice the range, liquid cooling for the battery, and more. That strikes me as a good value for a small increase in cost.

How are the 30kWh packs holding up after a full year? That’s what I’m wondering. Used Leaf prices are plummeting and I don’t believe the Bolt will be afordable here in the Outback anytime soon.

@Kevin C. The warranty on the S30 battery is much better than on the S. It should hold up better.

My 30 kWh pack is at 98% capacity, with a build date of 10/15. Way better DC fast Charge than older 24 kWh pack, with no taper when going above 60% -80%+ state of charge.

This explains why there were long waits on every DCFC I visited for couple of weeks: bunch of new Leaf getting free charging. It’s becoming almost predictable that long waits at DCFC means more Leaf sales.

LEAF’s on the “No Charge to Charge” (NCTC) only have 24 months of incentive. Thus less than 50% of all US LEAF’s have NCTC privalagrs.
(see monthly sales chart above: ~48,000 of ~96,000)

The percentage of LEAF’s on NCTC is currently dropping over a 1% per month. The monthly sales from 2014 of ~3000 per month being replaced by under 1500 per month in 2016.

The real issue is that sales of BEVs has out paced the deployment of DC Quick Charging locations.

A good way to view the DC charging congestion issue is to look at ratio of registered BEVs per state vs the number of DC Quick Charging connection points in that state.

Tip: be sure to communicate congestion issues to the EV station network provider and/or property owner. Check-in and leave comments.

DCFC congestion has to do with no charge to charge, not due to more EV on the road. Most people I encounter at DCFC are those that get free charging and also live nearby. Without them, it’d free up 75% or more of DCFC.

Think of it this way; if DCFC is free but it cost you money to charge at home, of course you’d take free as often as you can. Since it’s free, you don’t care if the car has 90% charge already when you can leave the car plugged in for 30 minutes (or over an hour with some) while shopping. Indeed, this happens often. Meanwhile, other people who need them for long travel are waiting and waiting.

Sorry, but I just can’t see it. The cost of charging a Leaf at home is negligible. Definitely not worth the hassle of going to a DCFC to charge. I never did that when I had a Leaf. And I guarantee you if I were offered free gasoline for my Volt, I would still charge at home on my own dime.

Even if it’s only a fraction of Leaf using free charging, that will clog up DCFC; CA only has couple of hundred of them while Leaf sells over a thousand a month.

Almost all Leaf I saw early in the month were 20+ minutes left to go with > 70%, some even at 90%, some even waiting to charge only to show >70% when they finally plug in. You wouldn’t do that if you had to pay with such bad taper on Leaf that cause Leaf to cost more than 10 MPG gas car. “Free” is very powerful incentive, especially for people who buy “affordable EV” like Leaf.

I base my 75% estimate on chats I struck up before I became so jaded. Over 3 out of 4 were locals living few miles away.

@SparkEV, your obsession about this is unhealthy. You might give yourself a stroke. 🙂

I think most new EV owners charge in public heavily the first 6 months until the novelty wears off and they get comfortable with how far they can go between charges. Now you are right, there are about 1k Leaf’s added monthly. Nissan has tried to address this. They have paid for more public CHAdeMO units than any other company.

I think you are being too hard on them. It is not Nissan’s responsibility to ensure that there are ample DCFCs so that 5+ cars can charge at one time at every charging location in California or any other part of the world.


I obsess over free charging Leaf issue, because it happens way too often. Waiting for Leaf almost every time I go to DCFC is frustrating.

Nissan is not to blame for individual’s behavior; heck, I’d always charge at DCFC, too, if it’s free.

The problem I have with Nissan is their lack of basic economic understanding. When you give out something for free, you will run out regardless of how much you supply. In case of DCFC, “running out” not only affect Nissan but all EV, even some Tesla who could use Chademo.

If Leaf charges quick enough, the problem is less severe. But with Leaf tapering down to couple of kW at higher percentage, every Leaf gets 30 minutes when they plug in. Again, I blame Nissan for their crappy DCFC taper, most likely related to their lack of battery cooling.

It is true that novelty does factor in for many. However, given that they’re adding thousand a month, and increasing more recently, free charging by new-to-Leaf gets even more severe. This is probably why I encounter more problems lately even though more people drop off free charging than being added.

Free charging SUCKS!

The participating charger providers did not give Nissan 2 yrs of unlimited charging for free. They received compensation. Nissan elected to make the program standard for any buyer and promote it. I cannot understand why you fault owners for using it. If you are unhappy with the result, you might want to direct your energy to Nissan for how they developed the program or at the providers, who didn’t make sure the expected extra charging use would not adversely affect their service to non-Leaf owners.

If GM did the same thing and the Spark sold at the numbers the Leaf has, the same situation would exist.

Have you tried writing the service providers and ask them to increase units in your area? I know you are most likely in California, as the SparkEV is in a very limited market. California is a unique hot bed of EV adoption.

BTW, BMW and I believ Ford are also providing free charging for a period of time. So I think the problem is more network growth in dense EV areas is needed, in particular more units at each “station.”

It was extremely frustrating for me these past two weeks shopping to replace my 2010 Prius, after it made the ultimate sacrifice (it was just written off after a rear ender). I promised myself my next car would be a plug-in, but the Bolt is still months away in Canada, the Volt way too small for teenagers in the rear, the Kia finance folks put the residual of the Soul EV below that of the ICE version, and I need greater WINTER range than what the existing Leafs can go. Hence I bought another Gen 3 Prius and will wait to test drive the BOLT. What’s your LEAF’s buyout? It might be your best option.

No more Petrol or Diesel ever is correct.

Leaf 2 is going to kill it.

LEAF 2 ,What a Car l o l …

IDS is 1 year out, Haha for now.

Carlos Ghosn is not stupid!

Jay seems pretty sure that a Nissan EV announcement and new car will be forthcoming soon. I’ve got the popcorn out!

A Gen-2 LEAF is about due I guess. It’ll have been 6 years since the LEAF hit the market come December.

I had previously been thinking that Nissan would try to milk the 30 kwh version for another 6 months or so, but I’m being swayed to expect it sooner now.

Here’s what I hope to see:

Bigger battery on the base model, say 40 kwh, with option for 60 or 65 kwh battery to offer 200+ mile range.

Battery integrated into the floor like the Bolt and Teslas, to improve interior space and utility.

Better performance so that the LEAF establishes a clear advantage over the average compact hatchback: 0-60 in 8 seconds maximum.