Nissan LEAF US Rise Again In November, 22nd Consecutive Record Month

DEC 2 2014 BY JAY COLE 36

The Nissan LEAF Continued To Be The Number 1 EV Brand In America In November

The Nissan LEAF Continued To Be The Number 1 EV Brand In America In November

Ghosn Confirms Range Of The LEAF Is Going To Double (via Tokyo’s Business News Channel)

In November, Nissan CEO Ghosn Confirms Range Of The LEAF Is Going To Double In A Few Years (via Tokyo’s Business News Channel)

Last month Nissan set a record for most plug-in vehicles sold in a calendar year in the United States, this month they further improved on that number by delivering a further 2,687 LEAFs in November.

Novembers result represented a 34% improvement over the 2,003 EVs sold a year ago.  This also marks the 22nd consecutive month that the Nissan LEAF has set a new personal monthly record for itself – pretty not too shabby.

Toby Perry, Nissan’s EV marketing guy had this to say on November’s result:

“Our ‘Kick Gas’ ad campaign and ‘No Charge to Charge’ launch in Chicago and Atlanta drove an increase in November LEAF sales. Even with gas prices falling across the country, consumers appreciate that the cost of driving a Nissan LEAF is still a fraction of that of a gas-powered car.”

So far in 2014, a total of 27,098 LEAFs have been sold, 35% better than the 20,081 sold through the first 11 months of 2013.  Which means, that in order to be the first EV to crest the 30,000 unit sold level in any country, Nissan will have to sell 2,902 cars in December – certainly doable.

In October, Nissan Surpassed A 25% Share Of The Plug-In Market In The US (*does not include Tesla Roadster, Fisker Karma, and small non-retail offerings)

In October, Nissan Surpassed A 25% Share Of The Plug-In Market In The US (*does not include Tesla Roadster, Fisker Karma, and small non-retail offerings)

And although another two new plug-ins came onto the market in October (Kia Soul EV, VW e-Golf), and another in November (Porsche Cayenne S e-Hybrid from $76,400), the LEAF continues to not only hold onto its piece of the sales pie, but has steadily increased it throughout 2014 – now cresting 25% for the first time in the last 3 years.

The US Anxiously Waits Word On When Nissan's "Other" EV (the all-electric e-NV200) Will Arrive

The US Anxiously Waits Word On When Nissan’s “Other” EV (the all-electric e-NV200) Will Arrive

Other points of interest this month for the Nissan LEAF:

On the production front, by our count Nissan once again managed to make just slightly more LEAFs than they sold in America, and inventories pushed past the 5,000 mark for the first time in…well, forever.

Looking ahead we are hopeful that Nissan will not only show off its all-electric van, the e-NV200 (based on the LEAF platform) at the NAIAS in January, but announce its pending arrival to the United States.


Categories: Nissan


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36 Comments on "Nissan LEAF US Rise Again In November, 22nd Consecutive Record Month"

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IMHO, an interesting bifurcation in the EV market:

PHEV and Volt sales – rather adversely affected by low gas prices.

BEVs? Full thrust ahead.

Exactly. Folks buy a PHEV to save money on gas. Prius is competition. Dropping gas prices mean less reason to worry about gas prices.

People buy a BEV because it’s a much more dramatic statement. Much cheaper than gas no matter how low it goes, more fun to drive, making a statement against oil, feeling futuristic. EVs are the future. Having an ICE feels like yesterday’s technology.

The 2016 Volt will not do any better after an initial bump because of “newness”. They didn’t fix the cabin, no taller vehicle, it’s basically today’s Volt only tweaked. Potentially no better electric range, not really any better seating. Better gas mileage and better performance aren’t important in a PHEV.

I disagree. I believe the 2nd gen Volt will greatly outsell the first gen. With a lower price, new bodystyle, better performance, and hopefully the car being profitable, GM and dealers will actually attempt to sell it. Current Volt sales have been from people who practically had to go to a dealer and beg for them to sell a Volt.

IMHO it’s all in the marketing.

Volt I is already a fabulous car. But GM has never properly thought about a “natural” target market for it, had undersold its true qualities, has not encouraged/sat-on dealers to be more proactive, etc. etc.

Unless they change that, I’m afraid “David 1” might be proven right.

Assaf, I wish I could say that you are wrong on that. But GM has proven time and again that they really have no idea how to market the Volt. For the longest time I thought it was because they weren’t making much on each Volt sold, but it may simply be that the GM brass simply can’t get a grip on a different type of car needing a different kind of approach.

David says, “The 2016 Volt will not do any better after an initial bump because of “newness”. They didn’t fix the cabin, no taller vehicle, it’s basically today’s Volt only tweaked. Potentially no better electric range, not really any better seating”

This couldn’t further from the truth. It’s on a whole new platform. It will be longer and most likely have seating for 5. We already know it’s going to have more electric range directly from GM. Have you not been paying attention over the past couple weeks? Full reveal in January (though all tech specs.. not sure if those will be divulged)

I’m going to make a claim that what they may be doing is exactly what Marketing research says to do in a new product launch.

I may write an article on it soon. 😉

I really believe that the Volt sales were affected by ongoing leaks about the 2016 model. Many people are willing to wait for the improved version.

Volts are the most to be affected by gas prices. People buy them because they were both a daily EV and long-distance gasser with on compromise. But the real issue with Volt is Gen – II coming soon. People are hesitant to buy now if the new one is that much better, as they say.

The Leaf will get extended range in 2017 – another year later than Volt Gen II.

There’s more to it than that.

The Volt 2.0 reveal is next month so many customers interested in the Volt will wait for that and many will wait until Fall of 15′ to buy the new version.

In the markets where Leaf sells the most it’s not surprising that those markets have generous state tax credits. Last December 1,000 Leafs out of a nationwide total of 2,529 were sold in Atlanta alone!

As you probably know GA has a $5,000 tax credit that the Volt doesn’t get. Also in GA a lessee of a Leaf gets the tax credit. That’s a huge advantage and it is certainly reflected in the numbers of Leafs sold in GA.

I suspect Nissan will have no trouble selling more than 3,000 in December. First it’s the end of the tax year so people will buy to get the fastest turnaround on their tax return. Second in Georgia it is expected that the state legislature will either kill or dramatically reduce the EV tax credit. Many people know this and will buy knowing that the $5,000 will probably not be there next year.

1.} Don’t expect fuel prices to stay low; the oil companies can drive the price back up by simply not pumping oil. And, they will!

2.) Just think what Leaf sales would be if it was a 150 mile car?

Keeping my fingers crossed for record sales in December… 30,000 LEAFs in one year sounds so sweet.

Interesting that a limited utility BEV like the Leaf, with a base MSRP under $30k, is continuing to set monthly sales records.

And a full utility EREV like the Volt, with a base MSRP of around $35k, is seeing their sales droop.

It would almost make you think that the Volt is overpriced and will continue to sell in small numbers until the MSRP is reduced. This despite the fact that many GM dealers are making deals on the Volt that get it to within $3k of a Leaf. Perception is crucial.

Pricing isn’t the Volts problem. It’s the car.

David, that is possible, but judging from the huge list of awards the Volt has won and its stratospheric JD Power scores, I doubt it. The Volt is falling short on a couple things, MSRP mainly, but it is a great car according to the overwhelming majority of people that have driven it. I like any car with a plug on it, but it is obvious that after 4 years of sales and the best selling car is falling short of selling even 3,000 cars a month, improvements are needed. The Leaf needs more range and the Volt needs a better MSRP. The other improvements will be nice, but these two improvements are probably crucial to getting either of these cars into a position where they are selling at least 5,000 cars a month. More than a million light duty vehicles are sold every month. If electric cars are going to go mainstream the way I hope they will, they have to sell more than 1% of the cars sold per month or the 10,000 cars we have been averaging per month. We are getting there but only just. More would be better because it would make the average buyer… Read more »

David says, “Pricing isn’t the Volts problem. It’s the car.”

Your true colors now show, as anti-Volt troll (I’m guessing anti-GM by default). I find it funny that you think the most numerous plug-in in the US is not a good car. Nissan should pass it in sales by Dec/Jan, but that would just mean you think the #2 selling plug-in is a bad car. So what do you think about the other 15 plug-ins? They must really suck, right? Note the Volt costs significantly more than the Leaf, and the higher you go, the thinner the air gets, so of course a low cost car like the Leaf will have more sales. Don’t forget that there are incentives that apply only to BEVs as well, that further drive the price difference. I wonder if Atlanta would still be the #1 Leaf city if it didn’t have the $5,000 subsidy on top of all the others?

There are essentially two problems with the Volt. The biggest problem is awareness. There is no advertising of the product (unlike Nissan who does advertise the Leaf) and almost everyone who does not own a Volt thinks it is a prius-style hybrid or a Pure EV that only goes 38 miles. So education is a serious problem. GM has no desire to advertise the product, presumably because they don’t make much if any money on it.

The second problem is that people who are likely Volt customers are more informed than the typical car buyer and they know gen-2 is on the horizon. The Nissan Leaf suffered a serious sales decline when the 2013’s were about to come out because everyone knew there were going to be significant improvements. WHen the 2013’s became available they started selling really well.

Just watch – when the gen-2 Volt comes out, it will likely outsell the Leaf again and will most likely return to being the highest volume EV again.

The missing Volt feature to attract increased sales could be it’s all electric range?

When there were few choices for electric vehicles, the Volt made sense as it had a built in range extender. Now BEV range extending infrastructure is getting better and other vehicle choices exist, the Volt has stronger competition. eg: i3 REx (75 mile EV range vs 40 miles)

I think David Murray has it right. GM needs to embrace the ELECTRIC part of the Volt and advertise it. The range extender is secondary. They need the public to learn it’s EV FIRST, a hybrid SECOND.

As far as EV range, the Volt had the largest AER among the PHEVs until the i3 recently came along, and the i3 is hampered by its range extender performance/range. In spite of this, GM is still increasing the range of the next gen.

The most significant point to note is the huge investment GM has made in the gen 2 voltec drivetrain. It’s a very significant cost reduced compared to gen 1, even though they are functionally the same, more or less.

Such an investment only makes sense if GM plans to go big with the new Volt, and possibly related follow on vehicles.

I fully expect a huge Volt 2 sales and advertising push because it will be profitable and can pay back the R&D. (Not to mention it’s a good electrification solution for North American market)

In the mean time, there is little reason to spend heavily on promoting Volt 1 sales, which aren’t that profitable anyway. There is no point in reading anything more into it. The Volt 1 has done its job.

How many of you (except for the Big Oil-Car shills) do not understand that people WANT fully electric cars?

Yeah, I would love a Tesla but I can’t afford one. The Leaf doesn’t have the range for my wife’s commute which is 35 miles one way, 70 miles round trip. She has nowhere to charge at work and in the winter would never make it to work and back. So we have a Volt. Even if her commute was doable in say a Leaf, Focus EV or an i3 we still would own a Volt. We take the Volt on trips out of town and near out of town trips that none of the 85 mile BEVs could do.

We’ve put 18,000 pure EV miles and 2,000 ICE miles on our Volt. So wanting a Volt doesn’t make one a big-oil car shill as you put it but fills a niche until an affordable 200-300 mile pure EV is available.

Hopefully the Model 3 will get here sooner than later but until then I will be driving a Volt.

And when will YOU understand that NOT everyone wants a pure electric car. At least not with the current lack of infrastructure in MOST of the country as well as lack of range on any affordable electric car.

Good numbers that also in Nov with Gas prices coming down.
Out of context IMHO Nissan should start targeting outside USA as well on big scale for ex. India which can be manufacturing and next growth market

It is interesting that the LEAF continues to grow share of the EV market even as more models are added. In the last 3 years the LEAF’s market share has gone from 18.7%, to 23.2%, and now 25.1% while the number of EV models increased from 6 to 22.

Explains 60,000 LEAF sales in the last 3 years … ~9,000 … ~22,000 … ~30,000. Will we see ~40,000 LEAFs delivered in 2015?

More models, but really we’ve only had four companies really behind EV rollouts: Tesla, BMW (this year), Nissan and GM (with their sorry marketing campaign).

I wonder what BMW did this month?

My theory on lagging Volt sales compared to rising Leaf sales: The Volt is a tougher sell in terms of the educational hurdle newcomers have to climb. The Leaf is a bigger conceptual change — it takes no gas whatsoever, which has big implications for the driving and refueling experiences — but the Volt is more complicated to grasp compared to a plain old ICE simply because it can run on electricity or gasoline. I’ve heard numerous people who’ve never gone near a Volt tell me that it would be a pain to own because “you have to keep gas in it and keep it charged up”; when I tell them that’s not true, they’re shocked or they simply don’t believe me. One of the things I LOVE about my Leaf is all the things that simply go away: engine noise, the overwhelming majority of maintenance costs, gasoline smells, worries about gasoline prices, etc. Yes, it’s a trade off, and I can’t hop in my Leaf to go visit relatives 250 miles away. As I’ve said since before the Leaf went on sale, EVs make a nearly perfect non-primary vehicle for many millions of households in the US, the ones… Read more »

“…I can’t hop in my Leaf to go visit relatives 250 miles away.”

Yes you can, it’s all in your head 🙂

Agree, except that for most households the Leaf becomes the primary car with the ICE relegated to occasional long distance trips. Last time I drove my ICE vehicle was in, lets see… August.


My Leaf is absolutely my primary car. Any time I am leaving the house, I take the Leaf if possible. I only take the hybrid if necessary. That screams “primary car” to me.

The LEAF has a few advantages over the competition. First, in most of the country the LEAF is the only affordable BEV available. FFEs are in theory everywhere but in practice very hard to find. And in most of the country the PHEV/EREV competition is limited to the Volt and Ford Energis. Second, for most buyers in this market a pure EV is more appealing than a compromise. Yes, given the limited range a lot of people do choose the compromise, but if you can make the range work the BEV is just much cleaner and simpler. So, the next advantages the LEAF has are the growth of charging infrastructure and the extensive word-of-mouth advertising they have versus the competition – two things that get people over the range anxiety and ready to take the plunge. Third, the LEAF is *still* the only plug-in not in the Tesla price range to have undergone a significant revision based on feedback from early adopters. The 2013 refinements were really special, both in terms of many minor conveniences and in terms of greatly improved use of cargo space, and as we are slowly coming to realize the 2013 and later models have a… Read more »

Well I have both a BEV and a PHEV. Since I want a long range, I couldn’t afford both of them to be BEV’s.

GM will have much more ability to offer more models on their Voltec drivetrain platform, once the VOlt reaches a break even point.

Advertising is expensive, but a bit of it would certainly help the VOlt.

Bill so true. I have never understood why GM doesn’t advertise the VOLT… at all. Excuses don’t cut it. GM could sell ice cubes at the north pole if they chose to. Its not a case of can’t but rather a case of won’t. I understand advertising is costly but without advertising products won’t sell. Yes I know Tesla doesn’t actively advertise their products but geeeezzz they don’t have too, they have enough press and a savvy boss who understands how to appeal to his niche market. Can anyone convince me that GM couldn’t do the same? Really?

Interesting how a little advertising goes a long way, along with a solid charging rollout strategy with ev2Go. Good job Nissan.

Once again, this just shows that as good as Volt is, it can’t BEAT a “FREE CAR” offered by the LEAF in the state of Georgia.

LEAF actually had a monthly drop in 2 months in a row now and it still can’t average the 3K/month production target that Nissan is setting.

Sure, it is beating the Volt in sales. But that is really setting the bar low. Of course, BEV purist would like to use this opportunity to knock the Volt (case in example, David).

Now, once Georgia takes away the $5K free money for buying the LEAF, what do you think the LEAF sales number would be?

Georgia alone almost accounts for about 500-1000 monthly sales number. That is with a FREE car!

In a way, it is almost shameful that LEAF can’t do better since it is “FREE” for 2 year out of the 3 year lease in the state of Georgia.

Surprisingly noone has mentioned the “no charge to charge” program. Although pragmatically speaking, it isn’t really that great of a deal, it sure sounds good on paper! I have to believe that this is helping to prop up Leaf sales.

I’m interested to see what rabbit Nissan will pull out of their hat to prop up sales in 2015 as competition grows (both in BEVs and PHEVs/EREVs), incentives expire, and the Leaf goes yet another model year without any improvement.