Nissan LEAF Sets U.S. Battery Electric Vehicle Sales Record Yet Again


Nissan LEAF

Nissan LEAF

Nissan LEAF

Nissan LEAF

Here’s the headline:

Nissan LEAF sets annual U.S. electric vehicle sales record – again

And this is why Nissan is celebrating:

“With more than two months remaining, Nissan LEAF has shattered the record for the most U.S. electric vehicle sales in a single calendar year, surpassing the previous record of 22,610 that it set in 2013.”

Our tally had LEAF sales at 21,822 through the end of September with Nissan selling an average of ~3,000 LEAFs each of the past 3 months, so clearly the LEAF is well past the mark of 22,610 units already.

Now, you may be wondering how Nissan can claim that “LEAF has shattered the record for the most U.S. electric vehicle sales in a single calendar year” when the Chevrolet Volt outsold the LEAF in 2013 and 2012, well that’s because Nissan is using the term “electric vehicle” to imply battery-electric (all-electric or BEV) only.  When that’s the case, the LEAF is the clear leader.

Here’s the rest of the press release:

“With nearly 20 electric cars or plug-in hybrid models on the road today, Nissan LEAF remains at the head of the class, outselling the nearest competitor by 50 percent through September,” said Brendan Jones, director, Nissan electric vehicle Sales and Infrastructure. “Since the initial launch in 2010 our primary goal is to bring electric vehicles to the mass market in a practical and fun-to-drive package, and we continue to deliver electric cars to more new buyers than anyone else.”

LEAF sales in 2014 through September are up more than 36 percent compared to the same period last year. With more than 142,000 LEAF sales globally since launch and more than 64,000 of those in the U.S., Nissan is the global leader in electric vehicles. (Nissan will announce October U.S. sales on Monday, Nov. 3.)

“Nissan LEAF owners are eager to share their enthusiasm with neighbors, friends and family, and that passion makes them some of our best salespeople,” said Jones. “We’ve seen a ‘cul-de-sac’ effect where the first LEAF owner in the neighborhood becomes the community champion for electric cars, educating neighbors on the benefits of going electric, even sometimes handing the keys over for a test drive.”

With seating for up to five passengers, the all-electric Nissan LEAF boasts an EPA-estimated* driving range of 84 miles on a fully-charged battery and MPGe ratings of 126 city, 101 highway and 114 combined.

The starting price of a Nissan LEAF is about $22,000** after the available maximum $7,500 federal tax credit, and LEAF offers the benefits of lower running costs and less scheduled maintenance. LEAF offers a wide range of standard equipment plus a variety of available premium features such as leather seats, 17-inch alloy wheels and 7-speaker BOSE® energy efficient audio system.

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44 Comments on "Nissan LEAF Sets U.S. Battery Electric Vehicle Sales Record Yet Again"

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Continued sales growth despite falling gasoline prices.

I’ve been saying that people now buy electric because they realized are better than ICE. Oil prices may keep falling but the momentum for EVs is here and is not a way back.

And this is why we early adopters of EVs have such a crucial role to play: We’re perfectly positioned to help educate people about electric cars.

I’m sure my experience is a common one among this crowd, in that I know many, many people who still have bizarre misconceptions about EVs. They think that EVs have a 20 mile range, can’t reach highway speed or accelerate briskly, or cost more to recharge than buying gasoline for an equivalent vehicle. My all-time favorite question is whether my Leaf can travel in snow(!?).

Right now, EVs are a perfect second, third, etc. car for literally millions of households in the US alone, a point I stress with newbies all the time, and it seems to be persuasive.

Everybody knows you can’t drive a leaf in the rain. It would short out.

Funny. I live Vancouver and it rains far too much. But I can rely on my Leaf as much as the rain…

& lower BEV prices. Even though the MSRP price hasn’t changed much, Nissan’s had the $3500 rebate on the table most of the year.

AVERAGE” Yearly OIL Sales/Deliveries in the U.S of A.

2009 – 2010 – OIL Up +0.67%
2010 – 2011 – OIL Down -2.81%
2011 – 2012 – OIL Down -2.17%
2012 – 2013 – OIL Up +0.40%
2013 – 2014 – OIL Down -0.91%

Thousands of Gallons Per Day Yearly Average
2010 – 365,187.34 – Up from 2009
2011 – 354,920.84 – Down
2012 – 347,226.88 – Down
2013 – 348,617.65 – Up Sligtly
2014 – 345,457.40 – Down (Jan – Aug 2014)

I think Electric Vehicles are slowly having an Impact on oil consumption 🙂 Hurray !!!

All the worst years of the recession. I’m sure thats the ONLY explanation of the demand drop, the electric car.

Using the jobs numbers off I can find out other reasons gas demand is lower. Fewer jobs. More people not in labor force.

I don’t usually say something like this, but all I can think is you must be a back waters redneck hick. Chrysler, GM and Ford all did it to themselves in 2008, along with mortgage backed financial instruments and the whole banking industry. Get with it or get left behind.

Nissan views its Leaf as a success. This is why I fully expect them to milk the current iteration, and hold off on any significant improvements even as the competition gets tougher in the next two years. In 2017, they will make a solid leap forward in performance, range, etc. Until then I highly suspect we will see the same Leaf for Model Years 2016 and 2017.

Yet when we do, there will be a string of surprised/outraged commenters.

Yes it does look like Nissan is milking it. As a 2011 Leaf owner I can say I will not get another Leaf unless Nissan replaces the defective pack in my car soon and they must ALSO add active cooling to the second generation Leaf.

And then the Zombie apocalypse begins, yada, yada. Companies always look to their own interests. That’s why god made competition. It is not a coincidence that all the relevant players in EVs are talking about extended range in 2016-17. They plan on fielding cars to head off the other guy.

Yes, well, gas would half to fall to around $1.50 a gallon, by about 50% to make it competitive with ev cost to fuel, not including standard maintenance.
Plus it is not just cost that steers people to ev’s. Good for Nissan btw.

I figure the 2016 will have few if any changes and the 2017 will be the redesign.
hard to imagine 2 more models years (16,17) without a redesigned Version.

sales will decline, the other cars entering the market will hurt Leaf sales(I3, and gen 2 volt etc)

Could you explain the reason for your hope (other than wishful thinking)?

There are many reports that the next generation Leaf will be coming in spring of 2017. To me, that implies a MY18 since they are released ahead of the calendar year.
“Best estimates put the release of a new and improved LEAF around 2017.”
“Next-generation Nissan LEAF expected to arrive right after Nissan’s Power 88 business plan, which ends March 31, 2017”

I will give you this odd report which may hint at a mid-cycle refresh in 2016:

The only thing I will point out here is that Andy Palmer is no longer at Nissan. That may or may not mean anything, but it certainly absolves the current executive team from having made that promise.

I had read from other sources a 2017my released in 2016. Let’s face it that gives the leaf a good 6 year run, and a chance to really change it to a more attractive body and upgrade the materials for a more expensive longer range car.

Sources please? I have read nothing more than speculation that the next generation Leaf will come before MY18. The exception is the quote I gave above from Andy Palmer, which can be interpreted as a mid-cycle refresh.

Nissan has stated that we should think of MY13 as the beginning, not MY11. Therefore, we have only had 3 years of the current Leaf iteration not 5. I can see where they are coming from too – MY13 is a significant improvement over MY11/MY12. Just because the battery/range is the same doesn’t mean they didn’t make a change.

That’s funny, he didn’t mention anything about missing welds, degrading battery, or the “poor” rating for the NHTSA small overlap test… LOL.

Don’t you need to go cash that oil company check?

Yes, that’s how we will sell more cars – we will tell the world everything that is wrong with them!

All cars have issues such as these. NOONE mentions them in an advertisement.

Especially since gasoline cars always have the same amount of performance from 0 to 100,000 miles. And no gas car has ever had missing welds or scored poor on the very difficult small overlap crash test.


WTF is wrong with Elon Musk that he can’t see that the public is longing for a cost effective, long range BEV?? The Leaf gets less than 100 miles, is an ugly car, yet people are buying it like crazy!

He knows it full well. He just can’t make one profitably (yet). The guy has already done amazing things, but you’re asking for the impossible without giving time to develop it!

Agree Brian…Just incredibly frustrating that Tesla keeps pouring money and effort into the Model S and Roadster, including developing the Model X, when they should be doing everything possible to put the $35,000 car on the street so that not only rich people can drive a Tesla!

I hear you, but the P85D came almost for “free” on the heels of Model X development. Tesla just capitalized on that in their recent media event. Meanwhile, the gigafactory is moving forward full tilt.

Think about it, in one simple stroke they’ve put the Model S in the category of $million supercars. Search Wikipedia for fastest 0-60 cars. Elon is brilliantly showing what is possible to capture mindshare. Give it time and Tesla will capture market share.

The Model S is selling as fast as they can make them. Starting a car company is capital-intensive. Tesla needs a lot of money to build the Gigafactory and a manufacturing facility that can produce cars faster. Until they have that, they can’t make cars faster than they already are. Selling high-end luxury cars with a large profit margin will get them there much faster than selling low-end budget cars with minimal profit margin.

I’m sure Tesla could build a cheaper car today. But the waiting list would be several years long, so they effectively wouldn’t be available anyway.

The only Roadster efforts are to produce upgrades (like a new pack) that will allow Tesla to dump legacy technology.

The Model S efforts are simply doing what’s necessary to catch up on technology and retain leads.
– D = AWD: this is a very important and growing part of the market; it’s also allowed Tesla to produce a profitable headline-grabber relatively cheaply.
– AutoPilot: this is just Tesla in the process of catching up with the driver assistance that other manufacturers offer, in a way that was forward-thinking enough that they’re not going to remain a generation behind. They’ve introduced the hardware they’ll need for the next 5 years (autonomy will require more hardware) and now the rest is software development.

Once the X comes to market Tesla will have done the major Gen 2 work, and will then focus more on Model 3, which will be about cost reduction.

nothing is wrong with him, he started from scratch is all.
In order to profitably make a smaller, less expensive car, you have to build a lot of them.
Tesla didn’t, and doesn’t, have the capacity to build that many cars.

If you want to help Tesla move faster, talk to your state reps about how important you feel free markets are and how the government should not be protecting one business model over another.

As they build out their infrastructure and grow their sales of the higher margin they will be in a position where they can support less expensive products.


If it is so easy then start your own electric car company and out compete the Corolla and Yaris.

Tesla is projected to sell more bevs world wide than nissan next year. Tesla also has a larger profit margin and lower R&D cost. Why would tesla follow nissan? They are aimed for an electric bmw 3, not an electric prius.

When did Nissan make an electric Prius????

THey never did but they gave the car different looks to hopefully do what the prius did, get drivers notice. Nissan marketing has found this backfired. They made the car a similar size to a prius. I’m sure there were lots of prius type strategy sessions at nissan, but can not confirm. mitsubishi and toyota which first tried smaller cars failed though, so this was better than the other japanese.

The tesla on the other hand wanted to look good, and cared a lot more about aero than looking different. Ofcourse nissan has deeper pockets so could afford to invest $5B. Tesla couldn’t afford to build a higher volume car and went for profit margin.

He is going to need his gigafactory up and running to make the batteries

Nissan has only a slightly positive gross margin with the LEAF (if we take Ghosn at his word), while Tesla has 28% on the Model S.

They’re going to use every battery they get their hands on to produce S and X models. That’s why they don’t want a new EV drivetrain deal with Toyota.

Don’t forget that Tesla hardly has the experience that Nissan does with volume production. They’ve produced ~60k cars in total. Nissan has produced well over a thousand times as many cars over its history.

You can’t just snap your fingers and make a body, frame, and interior of a car for $20k. It takes a lot of work to develop that kind of production line.

Nissan is using the term “electric vehicle” to imply battery-electric (all-electric or BEV) only —

And they are correct. However you feel about the volt, it is not an electric car, its a hybrid.

I think they also shattered the record of the Volt. Which was most in 2012 with 23.461 cars sold according to

If nissan sold around 2.200 cars last month, they are now at 24.000 cars already!

What do you get when you combine solar PV panels and an all-electric vehicle?

A future.


No…. +10

US comments I guess ..down here in NZ I am driving a fanastic Mitsubishi Outlander PFEV …wait to you get that! Can commute on battery ..charge by day ..commute home. Use a little gas at the weekend perhaps …. no issues at all as car has finish of other Mitsis …. tbe car even stops itself in traffic! Also offroad capable and fun to sneak up on wildlife …real birdwatchers delight! Go the. PHEV!

OOops ….that is PHEV!