Nissan LEAF Sales Strengthen In March, Takes All-Time US Plug-In Sales Lead

APR 1 2015 BY JAY COLE 43

Nissan Virtually Erased The LEAF's Facebook Page This Month.  In Its Place?  "Nissan Electric" Which Also Features The e-NV200 And Combi...Good Sign It Is Headed To America Soon?  We Think So!

Nissan Erased Any Memory Of The LEAF’s Facebook Page This Month. In Its Place? “Nissan Electric”  – Which Also Features The e-NV200

With the arrival of Spring, the thaw of oppressively low winter EV sales has also touched the Nissan LEAF, as 1,817 were sold in March.  The stronger showing was an improvement of 51% from February when 1,198 were sold.

However versus a year ago’s results, Nissan struggled for the 3rd month in a row to keep up the pace – off almost 28% against the 2,507 sold in March of 2014.

This Senior Engineer And Portland Resident Was Selected By Nissan To Be The Symbolic 75,000th LEAF Sold In U.S. In March

This Senior Engineer And Portland Resident Was Selected By Nissan To Be The Symbolic 75,000th LEAF Sold In U.S. In March

During the month Nissan also celebrated its 75,000th LEAF sold in America, which was just about the time it also wrestled the crown away from the Chevrolet Volt for ‘best selling plug-in in America’.

Both cars have been on sale now in the US for 52 months, with the LEAF now holding a slim 76,407 to 75,231 lead over the Volt.  Whether or not Nissan can hold off what is sure to be a hard charge from the next generation 2016 Volt in the Fall is still anyone’s guess.

“We celebrated two major milestones in March: We reached 75,000 Nissan LEAF sales in the U.S., and now we are America’s top selling plug-in vehicle,” said Brendan Jones, director, Nissan Electric Vehicle Sales and Infrastructure.

Overall for the 2015, Nissan has now sold 4,085 LEAFs, which is off 21% from 2014 when 5,184 were sold.

March’s stronger result should assist Nissan in starting to return to their historical EV market share in America north of 20%.  For the first 2 months of 2015 that number had sagged to just 17.5%.

Nissan LEAF Historical Sales And Percentage Of Plug-In Market Through February 2015

Nissan LEAF Historical Sales And Percentage Of Plug-In Market Through February 2015

March’s stronger showing also meant that the LEAF’s national inventories dropped slightly in the US last month, the first such occurrence in several months, but still at a fairly healthy level just below 6,000 units on average according to our research.

Also of note, Nissan’s LEAF Facebook page with over 360,000 “Likes” disappeared this month. In its place, “Nissan Electric” has appeared featuring the e-NV200 and e-NV-200 Combi (pictured above).  Could this mean that the all-electric van is coming to America?  How could it not?

Sidenote:  Thinking about buying a used Nissan LEAF?  Check out InsideEVs’ guide to doing just that here.

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43 Comments on "Nissan LEAF Sales Strengthen In March, Takes All-Time US Plug-In Sales Lead"

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And think how many more they would’ve sold already if the car didn’t look so goofy. I know my mum would have probably bought a leaf already by now, but she’s “put out by their goofy appearance”.

Or, deliveries delayed and a lot of finished LEAFs flooded and production substantially curtailed for 6-9 months due to the great Japanese tsunami.

Agreed!! I’d likely have a Leaf today if it were not so polarizing and quirky looking.

I Agree It Is “GOOFY” Looking …What the hell Are these Designers & the People That
Approve,Cartoon Like Cars Thinking?,Must Be Something We Don’t Know About Or Perhaps a trade Secret. This Way When They Build a Decent Looking Car They Can Charge A Fortune For it Because People Will Flock to it & Buy Them Like Hot Cakes….

The LEAF is a sleek, sexy aero dynamic driving machine that gets its owner completely off of Gasoline, thus preventing a major source of poison pollution from hitting the atmosphere. The VOLT is merely a gas car hybrid, that can go 50 miles on the battery. but in the end the VOLT still has a tail pipe and still put out the same poison pollution, able it less. Most VOLT owners I have interviewed, say they should have got the LEAF; I agree. It is a no brainer. Here is a car that prevents 15,000 pounds of CO2 and other noxious gases annually from going into the lungs of school children. Car exhaust is the major cause of various brain, lung and other cancers, all of which are completely preventable. Next time your gas car is idling in traffic, doing nothing put adding heat and pollution to the air we all must breath think about this message, because that position pollution in going into your lungs too.

Peeps are hoping for longer range vehicles. Also holding out to see price on the second gen Volt.

Mean while … more BEVs, with longer range capability entering the market. Also DCFC infrastructure continues to improve in many regions.

More choices is always better. Owners will be able to find an EV that meets their needs and budget.

Dr. Miguelito Loveless

Which cars? The Bolt is not due out for another 12-18 months, Tesla’s sub-$40K model due around the same time.

The Bolt Is Even More MICKEY MOUSE Looking Than The Leaf. The Name says It all!. Wouldn’t Touch it with a 10 Foot Stick!I wonder who comes up with these Repulsive looking Things .If they keep Putting Out Crap Like This…,I’ll Just Go Buy a Mustang …IT LOOKS GOOD! Nut Is Due out Soon To Compete with The Bolts…

It leads only because there is no competition in its class. What other EV can one by that seats 5 and is about the same price and sold in Canada and the US?

The Soul EV is the only real competition but it is sold in very few areas to seriously challenge the Leaf.

I drive a Leaf and I love the electric drive but not the Leaf. If I were buying it now I would buy the Soul over the Leaf any day.

I’m in the same boat, but I would buy the eGolf. The competition is definitely heating up for Nissan. It will be interesting to see other manufacturers’ numbers.

For some reason I see Kia as rapidly becoming more serious about EVs than the VW group. Right now this is just a suspicion, aided by disappointing efforts like the Audi A3 e-tron, but time will tell.
One thing to note is that Korea is the home of LG Chem, which is turning into the most important EV enabler after Tesla and Renault-Nissan. I have a feeling that Korea will turn into a major EV center. Germany, outside of BMW, still seems indifferent at best.

While I can’t speak to VW or Kia being more serious, I wouldn’t count VW out of the equation. They are – afterall – the EV sales leader in Europe for 2015 to date. If they take longer to get to the US than Kia, does that mean they are less serious about EVs? I don’t think so, personally.

I think the Soul EV and eGolf both represent some much-needed competition in the sub-$40k BEV category. I am rooting for both of them to ramp up supply world wide – the sooner the better!

The only reason the Leaf is still selling even moderately well is because they have not yet announced when they’ll be selling the next generation Leaf, supposedly with double the range. If they had done that, then sales would have fallen off quite a bit, as they have done recently with the Volt.

It’s a no-brainer to predict that the next-gen Volt, coming this fall, will significantly outsell the Leaf, at least in the North American market.

But let’s not ignore the fact that the Leaf sold about 60,0000 worldwide last year. The Volt doesn’t sell nearly as well outside North America. Suggesting that the Volt rivals the Leaf in sales is a rather provincial attitude.

Based on what we know about the next gen Leaf, I wouldn’t expect to see one on the sales floor for another 2 years. If you are really in the market for a Leaf today, it seems like a smart move to sign a 2- or 3-year lease.

Unfortunately, I think you’re right. Nissan is talking about buying the next-gen batteries from LG Chem instead of making the batteries in their own battery factories. Other EV makers dependent on LG for the nominally “200 mile” EVs won’t debut them for another two years, so it does indeed look like it’s gonna be that long before we get the Leaf with what Nissan claims will be “double the range”.

The only reason that the Leaf and the BMW i3 are selling so well is HOV lanes.

In this article, scroll down to the 2014 sales reports. Look at plug in hybrid sales from August on. Then look at pure EV sales from August on. Toyota plug in sales collapsed. All the other hybrid sales fell off drastically while EV sales boomed.

Why? Green stickers in CA which allowed plug in hybrids access to the HOV lane ran out.

That is the only reason anybody would want a car that can only be drive 75 miles.

Nonsense. I have had my Leaf for almost 4 years, not interested in HOV lane. There are lots of reasons for wanting an EV. I love the quiet ride, and the fact I can power my Leaf with renewable energy. I have cut my gasoline usage about 500 gallons per year, only use my ICE vehicle for a few very long trips a year. Once a year I take my Leaf in to have the battery checked to keep up the warranty, had the brake fluid changed a couple of times. No other maintenance needed.

I agree, the Leaf is quiet, fun to drive and low maintenance. I think it looks good too. If people knew how great these cars are….

You may think it’s nonsense. But the facts don’t. Did you look at the stats? It’s a fact. The month that the green HOV stickers ran out, plug in hybrid sales fell by more than half and pure EV’s went up.

We shall see what happens to Leaf and i3 sales in December 2018 when all single person vehicles have to leave the HOV lane.

I do the exact same thing with my Volt. The difference is, I don’t own a second car. Absolutely no mtc. on a second car. No insurance on a second car, etc. As for mtc. on my Volt, $45 in 3 1/2 years.

My last 14,000 miles.

The second gen Volt is a plug-in hybrid. It does not compete with the Leaf.

The Leaf is all about getting off gas at an affordable price. Sure, it would be great if the Leaf looked like a Ferrari but if feels great to drive just knowing you are free of gas. I wonder why the electric cars have not been given any credit in the media for reducing demand (and therefore cost) of gas?

If the Volt doesn’t compete with the Leaf, then it’s a sad state of affairs when the Volt has put more electric miles to the pavement than the Leaf has.

It sounds like you’re saying that the Leaf is losing a competition to a car that shouldn’t even qualify.

The Volt is a great car. It is great for people who need extended range but it does use gas. That puts it in a different category from electric cars. The gen 2 Volt competes with the PIP. It is a much better car than the PIP. My local Toyota dealer does not even
stock the PIP.

When I was shopping for a car I cross-shopped Leaf and Volt as they both allowed my to run as an EV during my 36 mile commute. I didn’t even consider the PIP because of it’s puny EV range. You should reconsider your assumptions.

So then, the i3 cannot be compared to the i3 REx, as they are in completely different categories…?

Yes. One is a short commute car for people in, or on the fringes of, a city. The other is a practical commuter for those of us in the hinterlands.

Using this same fine granularity of categorization, one cannot compare a Leaf (5-seat family commuter) and an i3 (sporty 4-seat city car). Or a Fusion Energi (4-door plugin hybrid sedan with limited trunk space) and a Plug-In Prius (roomy 5-door hybrid hatchback).

You can micro-categorize even further, if you like. The Prius and Prius V are not at all comparable!

Spider-Dan said:

“The Prius and Prius V are not at all comparable!”

That may be your opinion, but the -fact- is that some people will indeed compare them.

I think the vast majority of people who know anything at all about electric cars look at the Volt and the Leaf as the two widely available electric cars sold in America under $40,000. So, yeah, they do compete even if they are different kinds of electric cars.
Now if you are an electric car enthusiast who wants a no compromise all electric car (“It ain’t electric if it has a gas tank!”) then it seems like the comparison is unfair or inappropriate. For the vast majority of the rest of us, it makes sense.

That shows the power of GM marketing.

I don’t think GM’s Marketing division could find their butt with both hands.
The two top selling electric cars under $50,000 are going to be compared to each other because they are the ones most people can see themselves buying.

BULL**** Makes the world Go Around ….

Maybe because EVs are still less than 1% of total auto sales in the US, their affect on lowering gasoline demand is negligible. The cost of gasoline fell mainly from the unprecedented increase in global crude oil supply from fracking a colossal number of shale oil wells in the US.

As more EVs hit the road and as the auto industry starts electrifying the biggest gas guzzlers (SUVs, pickup trucks, and minivans), the reduction in gas demand from driving EVs will become undeniable. 😀

Even a small reduction in demand has an impact on prices because of how well supply and demand are in lock step. Or how “inelastic” oil/gas demand and supply is. This article explains it better than I can:

In it they state: “Because quantities are relatively fixed in the short run, any shifts in demand or supply will cause large changes in prices.”

I would add, because we expect future growth of efficient vehicles like EVs and PHEVs, this might drive the price of gas down even more.

Yes, there are bigger factors at play for the recent drop in gas prices (low global demand and high costs for fracking operations finally being recognized), I do think reduction in demand due to (PH)EV adoption is having some influence too.

The US light duty vehicle fleet has been seeing record fleet mpg figures for the past 7 or 8 years. That decrease in demand, in some small part contributed to by the sale of PHEV and BEV vehicles, has had a small role in the reduction of gas prices.
Obviously global reduction in demand for oil products and the fact that domestic increases in production can only be exported as refined products have a role as well.

I agree EVs/PHEVs should be given some credit for lowering the price (see my response to Sven). I guess the media won’t touch it because it’s a little bit speculative. But more importantly, boring economic theory is hard to translate into exciting news. “If it bleeds it leads”; not “If it makes sense or is useful information it leads.” That’s just called “life” – most of the time (perhaps you see my slant: turn off the mainstream media news! 😉 )

Agreed the Volt is not intended to be direct competition to the Leaf. In a sense anything with wheels ‘competes’ with anything else with wheels! Of course the Volt and Leaf is closer than a Leaf and Hummer, so Volt ‘competes’ more than a Hummer, but is not in the same vehicle category.

According to your reported Model S sales, not only the Leaf passed the Volt, accounting for cumulative sales the Model S passed the PiP this month!

All EV sales correlates with incentive levels or perceived incentive levels…

Once the GA tax incentive changes, watch the LEAF sales fall..

Sadly, this is true. If Georgia kills their incredibly generous incentive programs, Atlanta will go from one of the leading EV markets to a mostly irrelevant one.

SCOTTY ,,We Need More Range! Captain! I Givin Er All She’s Got!