Nissan LEAF Sales Shot Up In U.S. In May 2018


You have to go back, way back to December 2016. That’s the last time Nissan LEAF sales exceeded the number for this past May in the U.S.

Globally, sales of the new 2018 Nissan LEAF have been through the roof.

The new LEAF has been so hot that Nissan can’t keep up with demand in several European countries.

Nissan previously stated that the new LEAF was selling at a rate of one every 12 minutes in Europe, but until just recently we’ve seen very little impact here in the U.S.

Related – Nissan LEAF Sales In Japan Hit New Record

Well, that started to change in March, with an uptick to 1,500 LEAFs sold, but then April sales tanked.

For April 2018, Nissan LEAF sales hit just 1,171 units in the U.S. That marked just the second time (the first time was in March) LEAF sales exceeded 1,000 units in a single month in the U.S. since September 2017, but the figure was still quite a bit lower than we expected.

May 2018 Sales Results For Nissan LEAF

Flip forward to May 2018 and we see the LEAF on a rebound.

Nissan LEAF sales for the month of May hit 1,576 units. That’s the highest LEAF sales have been in a single month since December 2016.

Numbers will likely increase from here on out and we’re led to believe demand is high, though supply is still an issue.

2018 Nissan LEAF
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70 Comments on "Nissan LEAF Sales Shot Up In U.S. In May 2018"

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1500 is not that great for a new model. Is the demand for compact BEVs really this low?

1576 is for May, 1500 is for a couple of months ago back in March.

Above average Leaf discounting, has not yet arrived in any measureable way, especially when it comes to the 2018 Leaf Lease deals.

The 2018 Leaf is a Lease Only Vehicle (LOV), if you want to avoid the penalty of significant above average vehicle depreciation, during the first three years of ownership.

As Bustya posted yesterday, in the run up to today’s month end article, the Nissan Leaf is “an unmitigated engineering disaster”.

What do you call all the utilities offering thousands back for getting one, if not above average discounting?
Since most of those programs expire in June, I think that’s why they had a bump in sales, as people are trying to get in under the cut-off date. So sales this Summer, in the U.S. should drop like a rock, if I am correct in my assessment.
As far as being a disaster. I can’t disagree, as I’ve been saying that all along, in reference to the battery pack and it’s lack of a TMS.

The WA sales tax exemption for EVs ended May 31st. I expect June sales to dip here.

Yes, what a failure by our legislators. It was an unholy coalition in the state senate between Republicans and some holier-than-thou Democrats who still believe the canard that “EVs are toys for the rich” or something. The exemption was actually already price-limited, excluding cars like the Tesla Model S.
This is one of the top 3 Leaf markets in the country, so definitely will hurt sales. OTOH, for Leaf leases the state exemption was worth only a few hundred $$; it was mostly outright buyers who gained from it.

Yeah. I keep writing letters to encourage my reps to extend or replace EV incentives in the state.

I think a better use of the money would be to supply grants to install level 2 chargers at the work place and speed up the build out of the DC charging network as proposed. shows close to 3k national inventory. That’s not yet a glut, but it doesn’t indicate supply problems at least as of June 1. To @tech_guy: your question is loaded. You are extrapolating from one model which is not new by any means, and has been ridiculed for 7 years in the US press and popular culture. Renault-Nissan is the only major automaker to promote its BEV models seriously, and it probably does not extend to all dealerships. You should read this scientific article based on “mystery shopping” in Scandinavia, where most countries are far more pro-EV than here. The title is: “Dismissive and deceptive car dealerships create barriers to electric vehicle adoption at the point of sale”. GM/Ford dealers are probably far worse on average than the Scandinavian ones. – Heck, GM dealers don’t even bother to install quick-charge stations (that’s one of the first things Nissan did). – Ford still makes its Focus BEV “by hand, to order” rather than push it in any quantities. – Chrysler does not have a compact BEV, apart from the compliance sub-compact 500e available only in CA/OR (and selling relatively well there despite no upgrade since 2013). – Other automakers (VW/Kia/Hyundai)… Read more »

“The auto and mainstream press, particularly in the US, are also doing a lousy job of educating the public about EV. In fact, most of the time they contribute to the misinformation.”

Then of course you have the EV enthusiast circular firing squad taking shots at each other over their preferred EVs and using the same tired/false arguments that EV naysayers use in general.

3K inventory cars and 1.5K sales in 1 month means Leaf supplies are dead on the historical sweet spot for the Dealership Inventory Sales Model. Sales based upon existing dealership inventory have historically been based on a 2 month supply (1.5K X 2 months = 3K).

More than that and they are overstocked, and are paying too much to finance their inventory (AKA “Floor Plan”).

Less than that and they won’t have enough cars on the lot for customers to choose different trim levels and different color combinations.

I bought a Nissan Leaf in San Diego on March 1st, without a lease through Costco deal. TrueCar deal is also very close to Costco deal. There were quite a few Leafs sitting in the lot, may be they were reserved.

Why would the most reliable car ever made be an engineering disaster. You have not owned very many cars have you.

I was just passing on an interesting quote, from “Bustya”, in an IEVs blog, from yesterday, as I stated.

I have logged over 60k miles in two Nissan Leaves, in approximately the last 3 years, both the 24 kWh (2013) and the 30 kWh (2016) Leaf varieties. So NO, I have “not owned very many cars”, I have owned only one Leaf, and only recently learned to Lease the Leaf. Leaf Leasing saves you big on a three year depreciation schedule. This current above average Leaf depreciation, will unfortunately last until the 2019 Leaf, with an active robust TMS, becomes available for purchase.

Plus its the end of yr cycle and 2019 models will coming out. Yoi will see great lease deals and lower msrp for 18 models

For ones with no TMS I would say yes.

The Leaf is a car that I would either lease new, or buy at a much reduced price used. No thermal management is a factor that makes the car worth a LOT less.
That first sentence is a bit awkward, but I mean that I would only lease it new so that the battery problems would be someone elses problem when I turn it in 3 years later.

The superior batteries in the Leaf do not necessarily need TMS.

> The superior batteries in the Leaf do not necessarily need TMS.

What information do you have they are superior enough to not need a TMS?

Dudamus has no idea what he/she is saying.

I hate BS story tellers.

True. It brings down the overall quality of comments when even the most obvious of faults are overlooked, or dismissed. Nissan themselves have admitted as much in the battery management recommendations that their batteries are nowhere near, in quality, to say the Bolt, by LG Chem, or Tesla batteries, which are the gold standard.

In addition they’ve sold their “superior” battery division.
It’s well that Clive and others would not let such blatant incorrectness go without comment.i

I live in a very hot climate (over 100℉ this week) and have 600 QCs over 2.5 years.

Battery SOH on my 2015 LEAF S is 88%, slightly higher than the iPhone 6S I got at the same time.


TMS was added to cars to prevent them catching on fire. The LEAF uses a superior battery that is more stable and does not require TMS to prevent fires. Sorry if those facts bother you.

No, they just overheat, and throttle charging, degrade more quickly than any other battery on the market.. Yeah that’s a superior battery.
It’s junk, and anyone who defends their battery system, has nary a clue. That’s you.

Dudamus said: “Why would the most reliable car ever made be an engineering disaster.” -and- “The LEAF uses a superior battery that is more stable and does not require TMS to prevent fires.” Hard to know if this guy is actually this clueless or if he’s just a troll. It might be an exaggeration to say the Leaf is an “unmitigated engineering disaster”, because a lot of people are buying and using the car. But of course it’s a much larger exaggeration to call the Leaf “the most reliable car ever made”. It really does amaze me that Nissan is able to sell as many of this car as they are, even though most of the “sales” are actually leases by people who are aware of the Leaf’s inferior battery tech, and how likely is is that any given Leaf will suffer premature battery aging. This is doubly true following reports that the newer Leafs are on average losing battery capacity much faster than older ones! (see link below) I understand why, if people plan to lease the Leaf for only 2-3 years, they don’t care about premature battery capacity loss. What I do not understand is how Nissan can… Read more »

If you’d like an education about the “superior” batteries in the Leaf, go to YouTube and search for RAPIDGATE.

But you probably think all of those reports are fake news.

The LEAF is rated at 151 miles and that can be extended 80% if you get the optional quick charger. I do not see anywhere where Nissan has ever said the LEAF can go 500 miles in a day. If you want to drive 500 miles you should get a Tesla or a Bolt. Every Nissan owner should know that that. But do not criticize a LEAF if it fails some sort of mileage requirement that is not recommended. That’s like blaming a one wheel drive pickup that some DA brought to a mudpull. Don’t be stupid and then blame the car or truck.

I mostly agree with this. But I do think it’s interesting and surprising that the new LEAF would lose a 500-mile race against the 24 kWh one. All else being equal, a larger pack means really just more batteries in parallel (regardless if there actually are more cells or larger cells – that’s just hour batteries inherently behave, and why current limits are specified in C, i.e. relative to capacity, rather than absolutely in amps). It seems probable that the new battery is significantly less stable than the old one and therefore must have stronger defenses against overheating and thermal runaway (or meltdown, a much “cooler” term in my opinion, hehe). But why? It’s not like Nissan is pushing the envelope on the other performance parameters (energy and power density, or even cycle life). To me it unavoidably suggests that they are significantly behind the best of what’s out there – a situation I think will change next year when the 60 kWh version arrives. The Norwegian EV association (and that means BEV) did a winter range test with the new LEAF versus the e-Golf and the Ioniq. It was fairly close, but the Ioniq actually went a bit farther… Read more »
It’s not fake, but it’s not fair. And calling everything -gate as if this is something sinister or has anything whatsoever to do with any kind of conspiracy is not intelligent or helpful. Less than 1.5% of the buyers will experience rate limiting during charging in any given year, based on the driving data Nissan has collected. Considering that the LEAF has a stellar reliability record, it’s probably true to say more buyers of some fossil cars will need road rescue than LEAF buyers will need to spend an extra half hour at a charger. I would agree that calling their batteries “superior” without any explanation of what it means it’s unwarranted. In terms of energy density, power density, charging speed, cycle life, and, yes, temperature control they are at best mediocre and at worst significantly behind. But they are incredibly stable. Watch YouTube videos of people poking straight through the pouch cells with screwdrivers and notice how relatively little happens! Both sides in this “debate” (mud-slinging contest!) would do well to moderate their claims a bit. In a way it’s kinda shocking that the old 24 kWh LEAF actually beats the 39,5 kWh one in a thousand mile race… Read more »

5 year Leaf owner here.
Different tools for different jobs. Have a Model S for trips.
Most reliable and low maintenance car I have ever owned. Tires and wiper blades. Oops – probably should change out brake fluid.

TMS is important for road trips. A battery bigger than 24kwh and a robust charging network are important for road trips. The Leaf is only a road trip car for enthusiasts in 2014. It just doesn’t make sense anymore (well it never did).

It is not the lack of TMS that causes battery degradation in most instances. It is the chemistry. A Tesla does not invoke TMS the vast majority of the time at least in my climate. Garaged at night at 50 in winter and rarely exceed 100 degrees here. TMS kicks in above 104. Sure – hard driving or quick charging in heat will kick it in. But that is a tiny amount of time – for me probably 1 hour a year.

This. My Leaf has 28,000 miles on it and hasn’t left the county. ~30 miles a day, every day.

Superior, like the 30kWh ones that will degrade to 80% in less than 5 years by recent research publication?

Well, if you travel 100 000 miles in those 5 years, I call 80% SOH left pretty managable.

No, but the supply is.

Car is selling higher than Nissan can deliver. Still the same group of people try to blahblahblah the car down with the same arguments. Markets dont Lie. The LEAF is selling, no matter what some peoples personal opinion is. The LEAF is a great, great car. Best EV for the price.

Only time will tell if the 2018 Leaf is a great car or not.

The awful degradation data on the 30kWh packs combine with some common sense points to the 40kWh pack being as bad or worse than the 30kWh (still no TMS and the motor power is much higher in the new MY so much more heat will be produced in the pack that can degrade the battery)

Some 30 kWh Leaf packs are holding up obviously better than others.

My 2016 Leaf 30 kWh pack, with 25k mi. logged In the last 19 months, of in service use, has only lost/dropped approximately 1.2 kWh of “useable” capacity (down from approximately 28 kWh to 26.8 kWh) when new.

The conservative 5-6% battery degradation measurements, are using LeafSpy Pro data, with daily monitoring. Not bad for a 30 kWh battery, that was born on 10/2015, almost three years ago.

Three years ago Tesla 1865 batteries were showing initial degradation of 5% at 50 000 miles! Thereafter 1% per 50 000 miles!
A Leaf is very expensive when you have to replace the battery just after warranty.

The Washington state sales tax exemption for electric vehicles ended May 31. I am certain that some people rushed to get a Leaf while they could still get that discount.

They did but the lease deals suck as much as the dealer experience does.

I admit it’s doing better than I thought it would.

The 2018 Leaf does actually have a thermal management system, it’s just not a water cooled one. One thing that the 2018 Leaf has that very few other EVs have is a heat pump. The heat pump can be used to cool the motor compartment and indirectly the battery.

We have seen many articles on the Leaf battery heating up and the TMS kicking in to restrict fast charging current flow but none on managing battery temperature. There are ways to manage battery temperature on the Leaf. We need some in depth articles about battery temperature management written by people that know how the Leaf works.

This has been beaten to death.

The 2018 MY Leaf has no TMS, period. No air cooling, no liquid cooling and the pack is completely sealed.

The eNV-200 Evalia has an air-cooling system for the battery.

Also, the heat pump is not so rare on EVs and PHEV

[strikeout] Of course it has air cooling!! It even has a fan that you can sometimes hear when you get out of the car. It’s not there for the noise.

Sorry, I knee-jerked. Don’t know what’s true of the 2018 MY. Must read more carefully..!

For the 24 kWh var:

The Leaf uses an 80 kW (110 hp) and 280 N⋅m (210 ft⋅lb) front-mounted synchronous electric motor driving the front axle, powered by a 24 kWh lithium ion battery pack rated to deliver up to 90 kW (120 hp) power.[17][32]

The pack contains air-cooled, stacked laminated lithium ion manganese oxide batteries.[33][34]

Alas, similarly detailed info isn’t provided for MY 2018.

The Leaf battery is sealed and can only cool down by very slow convection taking more than a day in the case of a BMS shutdown at 50C. Sustained temperatures above 30C degrade the NCM 622 battery.

Thank so for the great link!

@ Rusty:

Thank you for your well-informed and entirely relevant comment! It’s an oasis in a desert of misinformation and irrelevancies.

Useless video. I don’t think the guy even looked at his owners manual and doesn’t seem to even know he has a heat pump. I don’t know how well the heat pump or reducing speed will help keep the battery cool but I still haven’t seen any reports from anyone that has even tried.

“The 2018 Leaf does actually have a thermal management system, it’s just not a water cooled one.”

No, it does not. A heat pump which “indirectly cools the battery pack”, a little bit, some of the time, isn’t a TMS (Thermal Management System).

From what I’ve read, the biggest cause of premature aging in Leaf batteries is running the car when it’s 100° F or hotter outside. Are you gonna run the cabin heater on days that hot just to cool the battery pack slightly?


I’m amazed at all the apologia for the most definitely inferior EV tech of the Leaf in comments here. Yeah, I agree that EV fans have much too great a tendency to denigrate every single EV except their favorite one, but that doesn’t mean we should defend something as very clearly inferior as the Leaf. Something like “Rapidgate” can give a black eye to all EVs, not just the Leaf.

If we want to convince Joe Average that EVs are better than gasmobiles, then we shouldn’t be praising a car that is so well known to be inferior that almost no informed person would ever actually buy — instead of lease — a new one!

If/when the discounts start reaching SCE customers, I’ll probably wander over and take a good look at one. But my local dealer must be drunk because they put stickers of nearly $40k on SVs, so I’ll probably look a little farther away…

Great news, I wish the price could come down about $10,000 to $15,000 though. I wish they had kept the original model with 84 mile range for $15,000 less and just added a new model.

I wish I had a pony.

Unfortunately there is not that price latitude available in the current cost of the components. Price reductions are mainly coming from improved battery chemistry, giving us greater range for the same price, but not necessarily cheaper batteries, if the current trend of retail pricing for EV’s is anything to go by.

It will be a matter of time though, when competition/mass production/battery advances will put downward pressure on the retail prices of EV’s.

Some car company, may offer a 100 mile model for $15,000 that uses a small light pack.

2018 Leaf is still “Osborned” by the 2019 Leaf that will come with faster charging, longer range, and battery cooling. Otherwise I think sales would be significantly higher.

I just hope there is a 2019 LEAF or 2019 TESLA for that matter. If a couple more cars have a TMS malfunction and catch on fire someone could sign an executive order outlawing them as a national security risk and millions of oil and gas and coal minions would celebrate and dance in the street.

1. Do you really think Leaf buyers are doing their homework on battery TMS methodology?
2. If they are, then this is sad news for EV sales overall. It means EVs are being purchased only by geeks, rather than soccer moms, grandmothers, and Texas ranchers. EVs will remain a niche until this changes.

This is great news, hopefully in ten years they can be selling 10,000 EV units every week. We need to do a better job of informing owners how to take care of their EVs. The Tesla forums have some good info.

Tesla recommends to only daily charge to 90% capacity and to charge to 100% only when needed for long trips. In hot climates Charging to 70% or 80% charge can significantly increase battery longevity. For more info check out this thread: dated October 18,2014
I would also like to add that if you are not using your LION batteries for an extended period, like over winter or for a couple weeks, try to store them around 50% charge. This is considered charge neutral and maximizes shelf life. September 27, 2011

Actually the best deals right now are 2014 and 2015 LEAF models. If you know how to take care of the cars they can last a lifetime and you can buy in at around ten grand or less. Save $200 a month that you would have spent on gas and oil and in ten years you have a great down payment on a newer EV model coming off lease. In 7 years I have saved over 125 tons of CO2 too boot.

Just make sure the limited range suits your requirements and you can allow for 25% extra range for AC, Heat, and extra errands. I you go out of town though take a book to read or some hiking boots or a diners club card when it is charging. We like to plan our out of town charges around dining or hiking events with the pups. Or if we are stuck at a Nissan Dealer we can Josh with the sales peeps and tell them about EVs and show them how the car works. I always enjoy telling them how much tougher my LEAF is than my Titan Crew Cab. My truck would never have taken 73,000 potholed city miles. I added up all the gas I have used for my 20 or so cars in my lifetime and I came up with $89,000 for gasoline. For most of my gas buying life gasoline was significantly less than $1. I dumped my 89 Landcruiser when gas went over a dollar. It was worth nothing after that. Young people today will spend close to half a million dollars on fuel if they do not divest from fossil fuels. The sooner the young… Read more »

Model 3 sold 4x as many, and will continue to outstrip Leaf sales for a long time to come.

In the US maybe.

How is capacity retention on the 40 kWh packs?

We won’t know for a while, until the user feedback data is logged with accurate measurements using LeafSpy Pro.

Many thousands of miles need to be driven, in different terrain and weather conditions, by different drivers and Leafs, to see if anything has changed significantly, from the earlier Leaf Model Years 2013-2017, using either the 24 kWh and 30 kWh Nissan “Lizard Packs”.

Yeah, it’s much too early to tell.

With accelerated age testing we would know.

Battery packs can be quickly lab tested for degradation.
Dr Dahn at Dalhousie has a coulombic efficiency test that can test chemistries for degradation at various temperatures.
All Nissan has to do to quell disbelief is to submit a pack to a lab for testing.
Unfortunately Dahn has already criticised the earlier pack chemistry.

It seems doubt that testing just one Leaf pack, or just a few packs, would yield reliable results. There doesn’t appear to be any consistency at all in how much or little premature aging any Leaf battery pack experiences. I’ve even seen reports that the same driver has had a Leaf with no premature aging at all, then buys a second one which loses “bars” rapidly.

It’s not only that Leaf battery packs age prematurely, it’s that they do so quite unpredictably.

GM tested the Volt packs to make sure they last.
Nissan could do the same, then let everyone know.
People should have this data BEFORE purchase.

I am one of the biggest cheerleaders for Nissan, but the continued BMS issues mean I cannot recommend one for anyone who wants to use the car as their only car. Only if it is the second car in the household and then only for a lease, would I ever recommend a LEAF. Since I am a buyer and not a leaser I would never buy a LEAF…until they wake up and engineer a battery pack that does not degrade in the heat. Heck, did you see the video where it was like 4 degrees C and the 2018 LEAF had to reduce the DC fast charge rate due to heat? That is just poor engineering…