Nissan LEAF: World’s Best-Selling EV


Wall Street Journal - May 15, 2013

The Nissan LEAF continues to make electric vehicle sales history, after record sales in March and a 423.5 percent year-over-year sales increase in April to become best-selling EV worldwide.

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After the all-electric Nissan LEAF’s best sales month ever in March and a 423.5 percent year-over-year sales increase in April, Nissan LEAF continues to make history by crossing the 25,000 sales threshold, reinforcing LEAF’s position as the world’s best-selling electric vehicle.

“From the beginning our goal with LEAF has been to bring affordable, zero-emission transportation to the mass market in a practical, fun-to-drive package,” said Erik Gottfried, Nissan director of electric vehicle (EV) marketing and sales strategy. “With more than 25,000 LEAFs in the U.S. and 62,000 around the world, we’re seeing the adoption curve for EVs accelerate, and there is tremendous interest not only on the West Coast but in a number of new strongholds like Atlanta, Raleigh, Denver, Dallas, Chicago, St. Louis and many more.”

Nissan LEAF sales have risen steadily since the vehicle’s launch and have grown tremendously compared to the previous year with sales jumping several-fold in LEAF’s traditionally high-performing markets such as San Francisco—where LEAF was the top-selling vehicle for the Nissan brand in April—Los Angeles, Seattle, Portland and San Diego.

“Pioneering the EV trail with LEAF, we’ve had the opportunity to evaluate the purchase process of EV buyers. We have maintained an ongoing dialogue with our customers, and through that we’ve learned just how different the process is for buying a LEAF versus a traditional gas-powered car,” said Gottfried. “We’ve found that customers interested in LEAF come to the showroom exceptionally well educated about the product. Then post-purchase, they stay engaged with us, connect with the LEAF owner community and share their experience broadly, which drives greater interest in LEAF.”

“We’ve also learned how infrastructure plays a role in a consumer’s decision to go all-electric,” added Brendan Jones, Nissan’s director of EV infrastructure strategy and deployment. “We already knew that areas with a higher concentration of EVs would require more charging stations, but trends show that the reverse is also true—a more robust charging infrastructure generates greater interest in EVs and stimulates more EV driving among EV owners.”