Nissan LEAF Sets Sales Record In Japan For 2016

JAN 25 2017 BY MARK KANE 28

Nissan LEAFs in Japan

Nissan LEAFs in Japan

Despite sales of the Nissan LEAF waffling (or just straight out falling) around most of the world, 2016 was the most successful to date for the LEAF at home in Japan; perhaps one of the reasons that has caused Nissan to drag its feet showing the “next” LEAF – which according to the automaker will be “soon”.

In February of last year, the 30 kWh LEAF arrived in Japan and immediately set a new monthly sales record with 2,819 deliveries, and now we can confirm that a new record was also made for the full year.

December ended with 1,232 sales (up 21% year-over-year)

In total 14,795 LEAFs were sold last year, which was 63% more than year ago and 4% higher than the previous record set in 2014.

Since its introduction in December of 2010, Nissan has sold almost 72,500 LEAFs in Japan.

Nissan LEAF sales in Japan – December 2016

Nissan LEAF sales in Japan – December 2016

Nissan LEAF sales in Japan – December 2016

Nissan LEAF sales in Japan – December 2016

Categories: Nissan, Sales

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28 Comments on "Nissan LEAF Sets Sales Record In Japan For 2016"

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Congrats Nissan.

So Leaf remains the most popular EV by sales so far even though it was launched after Tesla-Roadster and BYD-e6.

Nissan could have launched 40 KWh version with the same model. Everyone are hoping that the Gen-2 will have be much better. Ideally they should launch a 4-WD version also. In fact with the vehicle being taller than 5 feet / 1.5 m, it should be classified as Crossover just like the Chevy-Bolt.

Crossovers are the best selling segment Worldwide.

Just because you classify something as a crossover, it doesn’t magicaly sell better.

I don’t know what it exactly is, that people like in crossovers, but that has to be replicated. Maybe it’s a high seating position, AWD and some kind of “offroad-capapility-looks”. But just saying something is a crossover, without adding the important characteristics, that make crossovers popular, won’t help at all.

I have a 2016 Leaf SL. It’s a great car and really fun to drive, but the range sucks. Maybe, it works well in Japan, but it’s inadequate for commuting on a California freeway. I’m lucky to get home with 20-30 miles and that’s without stopping anywhere.

Nissan really needed a longer range, better looking, lower CoD LEAF a couple of years ago. That would have kept their global sales from falling off a cliff. Instead, they still have vaporware, while Chevy and Tesla are ready to eat their lunch.

Surely Nissan will have Leaf 2.0 out before the Model 3 ships in quantity but the Bolt is going to give them trouble in the US. Probably starting in January if Chevy can fill the sales pipeline.

In a way you’re right. Percentage wise they’ll lose a lot of EV share to GM.

But it’s not like EVs are commercially important at this stage. 99% of all the cars Nissan makes and sells worldwide is not electric. Their short term sales focus, as presented in Detroit earlier this month, is on SUVs and trucks.

I’m impatient for the new LEAF as well. And maybe the foot-dragging will cost Nissan some street cred as the EV insiders (as it were) lose their patience… but let’s keep it real anyway. Let’s not pretend losing some LEAF sales in the USA for a while actually matters to Nissan’s finances. Because it cannot.

The Nissan Leaf will surrender quietly, to The Chevy Bolts sales numbers, for the remainder of 2017. Eighter this Month or next, will be The Leafs sales number demise, in comparison to The GM Bolt. What The GM Bolt doesn’t do to The Nissan Leaf sales this year, The Tesla Model 3 surely will do it to next years Nissan Leaf sales.

Nissan – “innovation that leads, then lags”.

So, I guess you would rather pull into your driveway with 60 miles left? 100? This makes little sense. What’s the point of carrying around or paying for all of that extra capacity. With that kind of range cushion it sounds like you got it about right.

Oh well, another day, another round of Leaf bashing.


What I would really like is to go to the store or out to lunch without counting down the miles. I would like to drive 75 MPH, instead of 65, without the range dropping precipitously. Heck, I wouldn’t even mind using the climate control once in a while. 🙂

Honestly, I really wanted 200+ miles, but the Bolt and Model 3 weren’t available yet. When my lease is up, I’m getting one of those two cars. I want to be able to drive to LA or San Diego and back, without stopping to charge. I want to be able to skip a day of plugging in and still get to work. I just want my EV to work like a regular car. It’s not too much to ask.

I’m with Bret on this one. After almost 3 years of ownership and 105,000 km, I would love to have a day’s commute left at the end of my day. A 300km range (winter) would be fantastic and would allow practically all of my trips regionally to be by EV. I’m positive they could do it now in the same form factor… I remain hopeful they will release an upgrade pack ala i3.

I think the more important question is how much would you pay for the extra range. We almost never discuss value when talking about the leaf. It is absolutely not the best ev ever, nor does it have the longest range but it is a good seller because it is available almost everywhere and it is often one of the cheapest bevs someone can buy, especially for those of us that don’t live in a carb state, Norway or the EU. As for leaf sales vs the bolt if the leaf is than $10k cheaper than a similar spec bolt I can understand buying it, especially if it is a second car used pretty much just for commuting and errands.

Having said all of that, I really wish Nissan would pull their finger out and deliver something new. More bevs, more PHEV’s, leaf 2.0, anything really. They were so far a head and now they are really just middle of the pack.

Good grief. You had about six other electric cars from which to choose, so you got the one you hate?


If you arrive home with 20-30miles of range left and didn’t use HVAC, then you’re still suffering from range anxiety and the Leaf wasn’t the right vehicle for you.

I did my 60-mile daily commute with a leaf S24 (24kwh battery), and occasionally arrived home with the very low battery warning (where there’s no range estimate showing) during the winter. By that point in time, I knew exactly how many miles I could drive and that HVAC and lights were negligible on range.

I’ve since turned it in for an S30 and my daily routine hasn’t changed, although my weekends have more options now.

The leaf is a VERY GOOD commuter vehicle, just make sure you know that when making your purchasing decisions.

John Ray said: “What’s the point of carrying around or paying for all of that extra capacity. With that kind of range cushion it sounds like you got it about right. “Oh well, another day, another round of Leaf bashing.” You know, when someone who actually drives a BEV says that it gives them range anxiety, that they strongly desire it had more range, and that its lack of range cuts down on their ability to make side trips or go out for a second trip before recharging… Then perhaps you should actually consider what he says and think about what it means for the EV revolution, instead of arguing with him and labeling it “bashing”, which it most certainly isn’t. The new generation of BEVs with 200+ miles of range have the potential to attract many more buyers than the last generation did. Bret is explaining to you the main reason why the last generation of BEVs (other than the Tesla Model S) didn’t sell very well. So how about actually considering what Bret is saying, instead of trying to deny the reality? The EV revolution isn’t going to advance by EV advocates denying the reality of the limitations… Read more »

Thanks Pushmi-Pullyu for a well-reasoned, thoughtful response.

I’d been waiting more/less patiently for a >/= 150 mile range Leaf for several years, but they haven’t accommodated that desire. Now, there are other EVs coming soon that will, and that should cost less than $45k. I need 45 miles minimum range every weekday, then once a week need 85 miles in an area not well developed with EVSE of any Level. Throw in the heat’s effect on Leaf battery degradation, using heat & AC and so on….150 was my minimum requirement to buy a Leaf. I look forward to driving electric, when the right car comes to my area.

My point is that if you have range left at the end of the day then your EV is adequate for your needs. Sure, if range were free, then by all means load up. But, it isn’t. Well, I guess he could have bought a Model S/X. Oh, that’s too expensive he will say. Well make up your mind. Do you want a car you can afford and meets your needs or do you want to pay (a lot) for extra capacity/range. He leased the best available car at the time. Why gripe about it when something new comes along. The bashing comment was aimed at the community in general and not Brett specifically. Why is it that those who claim to support the “EV revolution” are so quick to pile on the leader of the revolution. I get so fed up with the constant tearing down of the Leaf. It was/is the only widely available, affordable, practical EV on the market today in many parts of the world including all 50 United States. So Nissan isn’t meeting your personal timeline. Who is? Outside of the California and the CARB states there is nothing else. If, by the time the… Read more »

Agree. The LEAF has been a good effort by Nissan, who has delivered multiple significant updates to the Gen 1 LEAF over the years: lizard battery and heatpump heater, wider availability of quick charge, and increased capacity battery being notable.

Sure, they are now lagging a bit on introducing a Gen 2. But if it comes out in Aug-Sept like I think, and they build a lot from the start, then they’ll quickly gain back any lost cred they may have.

I want to remind people that the Leaf was the worlds best selling EV in 2016.

But it will need a Leaf 2.0 soon to have a chance to keep the title in 2017.

Well, a 100+ mile range EV with a Chademo DC Fast-charge port is a VERY useful car in Japan. It is a small country and it is covered with Chademo fast-chargers.

But I suspect electricity is a bit expensive there though . . . but probably cheaper than gasoline.

It appears it will outsell the Prius Prime in the area served by Gulf States Toyota where there are currently zero Prius Primes for sale.

Seems like 2016 was at best average sales year, considering a lot of nov and dec 2015 sales was delayed till jan & feb 2016.

Nothing to be proud of in my book.

It signals to me that the 33 kwh battery came so late to market that it did not bring and advance or extra sales, but was only just in time to maintain status que.

I have the 2014 Nissan Leaf I purchased a vehicle thinking I would be able to upgrade system but sadly this is not possible when I went in to Trader vehicle in I was horrified by the part exchange for a new car. so I’m stuck with the car

Go Leaf go! Hope Nissan brings out the second generation soon and they could sell 150000 in first 12 months.

People, stop buying LEAFs! You are delaying the LEAF 2.0 😀

its simply sales from end of 2015 moved to beginning of 2016 due 30 kWh version release…

Looking at monthly sales (year over year), it appears the big gains in sales were during first half of 2016. The second half of 2016 sales were average, or below average of previous years.

BTW: On the accumulative sales chart, the line for monthly sales is very spiky. Perhaps, if possible, a quarterly sales line would show a more consistent trend line?

Another perspective.
Assuming the daily average distance traveled per day in the US is 30 miles (, and you bought your LEAF for commuting only.
Than you already have a 200 mile range electric car compared to the average if you commute is only half the average (15 miles).

Zoe sales will have dropped end of 2016 I’m sure, due to longer range Zoe release, same will happen to Leaf (did happen when the 150 NEDC was launched?).
With longer range will come bigger price? Affordability is also the key to sales surely?

Got a second hand Tekna. Works perfectly in York UK. Best thing I ever got. ?