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Cars Japan EV sales 2013

Published on February 10th, 2014 | by Zachary Shahan

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2013 Japan EV Sales Report



Originally published on EV Obsession.

Following up on my 2013 US EV sales report, 2013 Europe EV sales report, 2013 China EV sales report, and 2013 world EV sales report, here’s a 2013 EV sales report for Japan. It’s the last one for the year as a whole.

Again, thanks to Jose Pontes for scrounging together the data.

Japan EV sales 2013


Clearly, the Japanese market is a bit less diversified than the US and European EV sales markets. There are the two big dogs — the 100% electric Nissan Leaf and Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV, which has seen a strong sales start. Actually, if you look at December sales, despite having to rush a bunch of Mitsubishi Outlander PHEVs to the Netherlands, the vehicle outsold the Leaf in Japan.

The Toyota Prius PHEV sits at a strong 3rd, while three more Mitsubishi models trail behind, followed only by Nissan’s New Mobility Concept.

I wouldn’t expect major changes in 2014. Nissan Leaf sales will be strong. Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV sales will be strong. Toyota Prius PHEV sales will be decent. The one big surprise might be the Mitsubishi i, if a recently announced price drop of several thousand dollars (in the US) is also going into place over in Japan. Also, perhaps we’ll see sales of the Nissan e-NV200 electric van in 2014 as well.

Rather than cut into the Toyota Prius–dominated market, it looks like Toyota is going to hold back on bringing a 100% electric vehicle to market (other than the Toyota RAV4 EV which is basically just a California compliance car).

If you prefer static images (or if that embedded chart above doesn’t show for you), here’s a chart of Japan’s 2013 electrified vehicle sales:

Japan EV sales 2013

Japan EV sales December

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About the Author

is the director of CleanTechnica, the most popular cleantech-focused website in the world, and Planetsave, a world-leading green and science news site. He has been covering green news of various sorts since 2008, and he has been especially focused on solar energy, electric vehicles, and wind energy for the past four years or so. Aside from his work on CleanTechnica and Planetsave, he's the Network Manager for their parent organization – Important Media – and he's the Owner/Founder of Solar Love, EV Obsession, and Bikocity. To connect with Zach on some of your favorite social networks, go to ZacharyShahan.com and click on the relevant buttons.



  • Altair IV

    In my observation, going fully electric is not currently a viable option for many in Japan, particularly in the big cities. The majority of residents live in apartments or condominiums, and even those who have their own homes often don’t have garages and instead rent space at nearby public parking facilities. Most also rely on public transportation for their daily commutes, and their cars are mostly used for weekend day trips and shopping, so there’s no charging at work either.

    This will certainly slowly change as charging infrastructure gets installed, but for the time being traditional hybrids are king here, especially the Prius and its relatives, which are absolutely everywhere. As a matter of fact, one of my students told me last week that she was getting one, which led to a good discussion about the relative merits of the available choices.

    • Chris

      When was the last time you checked the chademo locations in Japan. You really don’t need home charging. Most journeys in Japan are very short. Less than 5km each way. Most people also use a bike for such trips as the roads are quite narrow in the ‘suburbs’. So you could have a LEAF and only charge once a week at a public station while your out anyway. Check recargo’s app or website. Chad eom for everyone. :)

      • Altair IV

        Truthfully, I don’t really know all that much about it myself, I’m just going from a bit of personal observation and comments from the people I’ve talked to. At the very least there appears to be a bit of a psychological barrier involved. People have a certain image of how EVs should be used, and they want and expect to be able to charge them in their off times, rather than needing to make an extra stop when they’re out and about. I’ve also seen a good amount of range anxiety; they wonder how to handle the longer journeys, even if, as you say, most trips are short. Again, I’m sure this will change over time as more people adopt them and the kinks are worked out, but I think it’s going to take a bit longer than other developed countries.

        And you certainly don’t have to tell me about the roads, I bike them every day. :D

    • http://zacharyshahan.com/ Zachary Shahan

      There’s definitely a different adoption phase for people with garages vs those without them. I’m curious about the charging network now that Chris brings up the question.

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