Nissan Stops Selling LEAF In New Zealand Due To “Commercial And Regrettable” Reasons

MAR 16 2016 BY MARK KANE 26

2016 Nissan LEAF

2016 Nissan LEAF

Nissan is pulling the plug from LEAF in New Zealand.

The previously best selling electric car in New Zealand was imported through Australia, but the business case seems to be unprofitable according to

“Nissan New Zealand managing director John Manley said it had stopped selling the car for commercial reasons.

The company had been able to sell the Leaf for $40,000 last year because it had been able to source some vehicles on good terms from Australia, where the Leaf remains on sale, Manley said.”

The Nissan executive stated that that lower price point was not a sustainable discount, as doing business as a second hand EV source is never ideal, and makes having a new-stock program (at a higher price) in the future even tougher.

Nissan says the decision to end LEAF sales was “commercial and regrettable”, but Nissan couldn’t find a zero emission solution that made sense in New Zealand.

“Our decision was not based on any action, or perceived lack of action, by the Government””

Because the LEAF was the base choice for fleet managers, who purchase 60-70% cars, the market for new EVs slowed down.  There are still private imports of used LEAFs from Britain and Japan, but no new LEAFs will be made available going forward.

There are currently just over 1,000 registered EVs in New Zealand, but for last year only ~35 new LEAFs were delivered.  The Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV was first in 2015 with 139 sales.

source: via Green Car Reports

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26 Comments on "Nissan Stops Selling LEAF In New Zealand Due To “Commercial And Regrettable” Reasons"

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Robert Weekley

So are the sales too slow because the price is too high, or because of lack of selection? Has Nissan worked to put in any DC QC’s in NZ? Have they advertised it al all in this market?

Anyway, so much for being the Leader and moving the needle forward on EV’s in NZ!


As far as fast charge infrastructure, PlugShare shows 19 DCFC locations, and many more are planned by at least two providers, most notably I would say New Zealand is ahead of the game by far in the number of fast chargers concidering the number of EVs currently in the country.
(Not all 19 are active yet, some are under construction)


The Nissan dealers never really got behind the Leaf. By combining the orders with Aussie they got the price down to the NZ$39,990 but hurt the brand by charging NZ$69,700 when the Leaf was first released.


Being an island country of relatively small size New Zealand is ideal for electric mobility. Sad that even Nissan cannot find a way to sell EVs profitable.

Maybe the government should offer a helping hand during a couple of years?

Jim T

Right! Don’t want to pay full price for an EV? No problem, we’ll take the difference from your neighbors. What, they don’t want to pay for your EV? Tough!


Same thing if the EV driver doesn’t want to breathe the poisonous exhaust put out by the gasmobiles his neighbors drive. He doesn’t like it? Tough.

But unlike those gasmobiles his neighbors drive, someone owning an EV benefits everyone, not just the driver. Not only does it make for cleaner air, it also reduces economic dependence on burning fossil fuels. So that’s a win-win for everyone except Big Oil companies and their employees.

Isn’t that worth paying for? I think so.


Is that $40K in NZD? That’s about $26K in USD. Considering Nissan sells for less in Canada ($33K CAD = $25K USD), they could probably do just as well if they cut Aussie middleman. Why couldn’t they cut Aussie?

Jay Cole

No, the 40k was the discounted deal…which we basically took to mean that Nissan had some Australian-based overstock units to deal with and wanted to clear off its books.

The pricing originally was 69,700.

The issue ultimately was that Nissan likely thought they could wind through the excess LEAFs fairly quickly, but even with that “30k off deal” the promotion took 20+ months to sell a relative handful of cars.

NZ won’t be without LEAFs though. In our own opinion, it is the availability/dumping of used Japanese EVs, mostly with low mileage (thanks to coming from an island/dense environments), that has caused the end of LEAF sales. A good used LEAF would set you back ~20k.


70K! Wow. It may be that cheap used Leaf was having effect on sales, but it could also be the false perception rooted by intial high price. When people find out I drive an EV, they assume a) it must be very expensive, b) it must be really slow. Hopefully those used Leaf will correct any false perception they may have.


Sad news for the shire.. um I mean New Zealand.

Brian S

As a NZer I find it a disgrace that NZ has less than 1100 evs, especially as most electricity is renewable. The government has done almost nothing to encourage sales. FYI second hand Japanese import leafs are around USD12K for gen 1 and USD20k for gen 2.


New Zealand is one of the lowest carbon dioxide emitting countries in terms of electricity generation. With a whopping 75% of its electricity generation coming from renewable sources, New Zealand’s electric grid is as green as a kiwi! 😀

Micke Larsson

New Zealand are rich enough to be able to do a Norway or at least a Norway light.

So far they seem very reluctant to get on the train to fossil free town.


What’s the consensus amongst NZ politics/society about global warming and fossil fuel use?


There is almost no fossil fuel industry in NZ what do u think? There is a little bit of resistance to UN climate targets but I actually think that is fair, why should NZ cut it co2 emissions more in % terms than Australia?

Counter-Strike Cat

At the same time, Nissan brought the Leaf to Ecuador.


Air New Zealand is buying 76 electric light vehicles, including 36 $80,000-plus BMW i3 cars for its sales force.

The airline says the switch to electric will save around 65,000 litres of fuel per year and it’s creating what’s believed to be the leading corporate electric vehicle fleet in New Zealand.

The BMW i3 was named New Zealand Car of the Year for 2015 and as well as being electric with a range extender petrol engine, it features a sustainable design with much of its interior and body made from the same carbon fibre as the fuselage of Air New Zealand’s Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner fleet. They have a sticker price of $84,000 although the airline is likely to have got a fleet discount.

The airline is also purchasing 12 Mitsubishi Outlander plug-in hybrids for longer range trips and 28 Renault Kangoo Maxi ZE 100 per cent electric vans for use at airports. The Kangoo is not currently available in New Zealand making Air New Zealand the first local customer for this vehicle.


BLAH BLAH BLAH… “There are currently just over 1,000 registered EVs in New Zealand” That sales count is pathetic, and this Nissan sales-exit from the country means nothing in terms of worldwide sales volume. click bait.


It’s important that demand has prompted the first withdrawal of the LEAF from an entire market, albeit a small one. “EV’s are here to stay” might not be true, if the worlds best seller of EVs is now pulling out of markets due to lack of demand.


We vacationed in New Zealand in early 2015. In general, the average car age looked much older than in California, where we live. There may be something else at work in NZ. My guess is that in general, the logistical cost of getting vehicles to NZ is very high, and thus, new car sales are lower than on the continents.


I read recently that the average age of cars in NZ is 14 years. They import a lot of used cars from Japan since both countries are right-hand drive. I used to go down there every couple of years, but ran out of places to visit 🙂

Electric horse

I heard from my local Nissan dealer (Tasmania) that Nissan will be bringing no more Leafs to Australia for the foreseeable future when the current stock is sold. Only a handful are left at dealers.




Nissan is withdrawing the Leaf but will start selling the Renault EV in May. Relatively like for like swap that gets a few headlines in the process…


New Zealand should be the Norway of the Southern Hemisphere. Very high renewable mix and reasonably small distances would mean building out decent charging networks easy.

Speak to the NZ government. I suspect it could be a great market for the model 3.