World’s Top 10 Selling Plug-In Cars Lead By The Nissan LEAF So Far This Year

APR 1 2017 BY MARK KANE 49

Nissan LEAF Black Edition

Before we get into March sales (of which the first data begins to arrive on Monday), we can now wrap up global plug-in electric car sales through February; results that returned back solid growth, after only a slight gain was noted in January, as Chinese subsidies were temporarily unavailable and obliterated companies like 2016 sales-champ BYD in January.

For February, more than 50,000 sales worldwide translated to growth of around 33% (despite only a fractional month of recovery in China).

The top 10 best selling models so far this year is also somewhat non-traditional, as the aging Nissan LEAF was in no way threatened from being dethroned as the best selling EV globally, finishing with just under 8,000 sales through the first 2 months of 2017.

The Renault ZOE, despite only being sold in Europe, currently sits in 2nd place (with 5,496 sales). Rounding out the top 3 is the Tesla Model S, which is of course from a much smaller manufacturer, at least in terms of overall car sales.

Still, the most surprising result (relative to the scope of the field) is the ranking of the Tesla Model X, which finishes the 2nd month of the year in 7th place (with about 3,500 sales).

Among manufacturers overall, and with Chinese OEM BYD being temporarily muted, BMW strengthened its lead during the month, crossing the 10,000 registration mark YTD.  And while BYD is no where to be found in the top 10, we expect it to be top five in a few weeks, and back on top by May.

World’s Top 10 Plug-In Car Manufacturers – 2017 February (data source: EV Sales Blog)

Our thanks to EV Sales Blog for tallying up and estimating the individual sales by OEM.

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49 Comments on "World’s Top 10 Selling Plug-In Cars Lead By The Nissan LEAF So Far This Year"

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Carlos Ghosn is responsible.

What an huge accomplishment for Nissan!

Nissan best, with the new generation Leaf they will produce 10.000 a month!

source of that revelation?

Well it is totally obvious that Nissan doesn’t want to sell EVs…

Nissan doesn’t want to sell EVs at any measurable loss that hampers their profitability in their ICE car business. There is not much Nissan can do to stem the coming onslaught, that is “The Tesla Tsunami”, coming to the North American Market, in 2018! The 2018 Leaf will be outsold by the Tesla Model 3 by no later than this time next year! It should be an interesting turn in American Automotive Manufacturing and the coming transformation of consumer EV adoption.

Well with no speedo in the dash I don`t care who makes a car like that I won`t buy it. I believe for Tesla is making a mistake that will bite them in the ass.

Get an aftermarket HUD if you need to stare at the speed indicator all the time…but seriously, if you can’t embrace new tech then keep driving your ice.

Let’s rephrase that so it’s true: Most Nissan *dealers*, in the US, do not want to sell the LEAF.

Another (Euro) industrial point of view

Not only is the Renault Zoe only selling in Europe but as I understood it demand was so high in France that Renault had a hard time providing enough new Zoe 41Kwh to meet demand of the rest of Europe.

Yeah, I think the new Zoe is pretty good, especially for Europe.

Renault has reach 5,191 sales for the Zoé in France only for January, February and March.
As the Zoé has to share the assembly line with the Renault Clio and the Nissan Micra, it’s hard to produce enough Zoé to satisfy the market.
In 3 moths The Renault Zoé reach ~45% of its whole 2016 sales in France.

+BYD makes and sells the most in the world.

+Tesla has driven the most miles.

-Nissan has has the most failed battery replacements.

Yep. What happens when you’re the leader…you take the hits for the team behind you.

It came out concurrent with the Volt. The Volt didn’t make excuses for crummy packs but instead just has a good pack and good temperature control.

Nissan got hung out to dry by typical Japanese haughtiness. They convinced themselves their batteries would be fine because they had cars on test on some island for years before the LEAF. They never considered that that doesn’t indicate how well their packs would stand up to other use patterns.

Heck, they even somehow managed to overlook the issues that early Leaf taxi drivers had (a Nissan program) with their packs wearing out quickly due to repeated fast charging.

They made some bad decisions about their packs. Some avoidable errors, some unavoidable. Some issues have been corrected already (the “lizard” pack) and some more surely will be corrected in the next LEAF.

Doing this chart days away from end of quarter results seems strange. Especially with Tesla’s results, where the 3rd month of a quarter is so much higher than the first two months.

Why is it strange?
This chart is about World Wide Sales not about Tesla’s first quarter results.


It might seem that way at first blush, because we are a bit spoiled with instant results in the US and a some countries in Europe, but in actual fact when you are tallying global number it takes until the 4th week of the following month to get all the data.

So although we are “days” away from the end of this month/Q1, we are, in fact, still ~4 weeks+ from having a global tally for March/Q1

I’m a little bit disapointed by the Chevrolet Volt. I was expecting about 6,000 sales. The Outlander PHEV is a little bit slowing down.

I really like my 2013 Volt, but I don’t think the Volt is ever going to really catch on. Not when it looks the way it does, (ok but not great) and it is the size it is (nice front seats but tiny rear seat space).
The fact that it is still a bit pokey on the quickness front doesn’t help. 0-60 may be a secondary feature for many, but it really helps with the image a car attains. Handling could be a bit tighter as well.
I think the Volt sales will settle in at around 30,000 cars sold a year, plus or minus 4k, this year and next. Not bad, but not as good as the car deserves.

I actually love the Volts look, did you mean the Bolt ?

Nah, both generations of Volt are kind of boring. The Gen I Volt is at least different looking and mildly “sporty”.

The Bolt is intentionally dorky. It is like a Honda Fit built by Buick.

Me too. I like the New Volt. I also like the Bolt though. I’m a bit weird I guess, but hatchbacks are awesome.

the Gen-2 Volt is by no means pokey. 0-60 time is not bad but 0-30 will beat almost any car on the road.

The Gen I Volts hit about 8.5-8.7 seconds 0-60 while the Gen II does around 7.3-7.5. Better, but not really good. And yes, the 0-30 is more impressive than the 0-60, but it is a figure less people research before they buy a car.

I like the look of my Gen I Volt better than the Gen II, but I wish my car was as fast and as long legged as the Gen II.

But I wish there was a Gen III that was sportier looking than both, slightly longer with slightly roomier back seats, quicker and with faster charging as an option, as well. Think Kia Stinger. I can’t believe I said that…

Yeah, I am asking for biscuits with my beer, I know.

I have had a 2017 Volt for about 6 weeks now. I like driving and having a car that corners well has always been important to me. The Volt handles well,corners beautifully, drives well, and looks good.
It’s a shame that GM does not promote this car.

At this rate Tesla will miss their Q2 guidance by a wide margin. Sales are just barely above last year’s. Model 3 effect?

Or a glass ceiling for $80k-$100k cars with so-so interiors and blistering 0-60 times?

Any surprise?

It is always misleading to examine Tesla’s sales numbers intra-quarter. Since Tesla is production constrained with a single factory shipping across the globe, the variability of timing of deliveries to the furthest markets is not accurately reflected in intra-quarter numbers.

Also, even looking at just these two month’s worth of data (which might not include Q1 heavy markets like Hong Kong), the overall unit growth is 5,517 last year versus 8,460 this year, or growth of more than 50%. Every Model S made is a Model X they cannot make and vice versa.

Tech, thanks for the reminder that Tesla frequently has very solid end of quarter sales results, especially for domestic sales (US), if memory serves.

Toyota is the surprise to me, Prime and overall.

Nissan should come out with a second EV. Maybe a larger vehicle for an additional $10,000. would do well.

I’d be happy if they just made the e-NV200 available in the states.

I am in agreement. And, so we continue to wait…

Me as well. Been waiting since 2013 for the E NV200 to come to the states.

Looks like Ford Energi is number 10 at around 2600.

No the VW Passat GTE was 10th, Ford Energi only had sales of about 1450.
As the EV sales web site says this about the BOLT:
The new long-range BEV is #11, with 2.206 units, as it is still in launch mode, we shouldn’t read too much on its deliveries, only after landing in Europe and Asia, where its size and shape is better understood, we will see if the car is a success.

You do realize the Energi is available in both a hatchback and a sedan, right? So with US sales and Canada sales, you get 2600 or so.

You do realize that they are talking about the Top 10 EV Models.
You are talking about two different Ford models.
See the link here that will help you understand it:

Just depends on what your definition of a “model” is. The Fusion Energi and the C-Max Energi have the same engine, the same transmission, the same lame battery. For the purposes of PHEV rankings I would consider them variations of the same model.

Others disagree. It does seem unfair to penalize Ford in the rankings merely because they gave people a choice between a hatchback and a sedan of what is essentially the same car.

Your way of thinking would have Tesla Model S and X as the same model.

Wow, BMW is pretty significant on a world wide sales level, even with their paltry U.S. sales numbers.

Well done an remember it is a true EV not a range extender.

Wish the style wasn’t so French / Japanese,
but then again it is getting the sales so lots of ladies must like it and the fellows are finding it practical even for Taxi work I noticed in Japan.

“World’s Top 10 Selling Plug-In Cars Lead By The Nissan LEAF So Far This Year”.
If this is the world’s top 10, where is BYD in this mix?

I am not sure, Victor, but I think getting accurate numbers out of China is tougher than it looks.

It’s #15, as mentioned in the original article:

The 40,000 unit sales in Jan-2017 was better than the 35,000 unit sales in Jan-2016.

The 50,000 unit sales in Feb-2017 was much better than the 34,000 unit sales in Feb-2016.

So 2017 has a very good start. All this with China’s output still lower because of re-registration of New Energy Vehicles.

Once this is done, the Chinese output will surge and this will be closely followed by the US with many new models like Ioniq, Niro and Model-3.

Looks like Tesla delivered 16,500 to the world in March 2017…