Published on July 20th, 2013 | by Guest Contributor


Dealer Inventories Suffering From Nissan Leaf Success

July 20th, 2013 by  

This article originally published on Gas2
by Christopher DeMorro


What a difference a year makes. Around this time in 2012, just 500 or so Nissan Leafs were being sold a month, falling far short of projections and resulting in frustration and disappointment from some Nissan executives. But with Leaf sales quadrupling year-over-year, Nissan’s new problem is that they don’t have enough of the peppy EV to go around.

Why are sales skyrocketing? Simply put, a massive $6,400 price cut on the Nissan Leaf dropped its MSRP to under $30,000. With Federal and state tax credits factored in, you could buy a Leaf for $20,000 or less, and attractive leasing options of just $199 a month have helped sales as well. In June of 2012, Nissan sold just 535 Leaf EVs. In June of 2013, Leaf sales were at 2,138, about a 400% increase.

Forget range anxiety. Forget long refueling times. Forget a lack of charging infrastructure. All consumers really care about, at the end of the day, is value. While the Nissan Leaf got off to a rough start, production at the Smyrna, Tennessee factory have allowed the Japanese automaker to bring the price more in line with customer expectations.

Of course tax credits and free charging stations help, as does Nissan’s plans to roll out a network of fast chargers at 124 dealers across the country. These fast chargers can give the Leaf an 80% in just 30 minutes and will be centrally located in major population and shopping areas.

The Leaf finally seems to be hitting its stride, and Nissan executives think it won’t be until late fall that production can meet up with demand. So where are all the naysayers now?

Source: Automotive News

Check out our new 93-page EV report, based on over 2,000 surveys collected from EV drivers in 49 of 50 US states, 26 European countries, and 9 Canadian provinces.

Tags: , , ,

About the Author

is many, many people. We publish a number of guest posts from experts in a large variety of fields. This is our contributor account for those special people. :D

  • Stephen

    Point is not valid because…. It is not just at dealerships. In atlanta Nissan is installing 18 quick chargers strategically inside the perimeter off 75, 85, and 20 interstates. This is not old but progressive thinking. Nissan has put all their eggs in the ev basket, and is a huge risk. If your for the success of the ev then I suggest you show a little respect.

  • apostasyusa

    Yes! I want one of these! Electric cars are the future of cars!! Electricity is the future of energy, let’s generate it as cleanly as possible.


    24,000 autos/year? whoop-de-doo. That’s after bribing customers to buy. Either the original price was a rip-off or the current price is at a loss. And recharging at 80%? And thirty minutes to do that. Didn’t check to see how many miles they advertise a full charge to last but shouldn’t take longer than three days to go 500 miles. Cheaper and faster to take a train.

  • arne-nl

    “These fast chargers can give the Leaf an 80% in just 30
    minutes and will be centrally located in major population and shopping

    I question this choice by Nissan. Fast charging is mainly for enabling LEAF owners to cover large distances on a single day. Having to leave the highway and crawling your way into town in search for a Nissan dealer adds more time to that 30 minutes. You make the Achilles heel of the EV even more painful. Of course, it is cheaper and faster than the Tesla strategy of locating them as close to the highway as possible.

    It exemplifies the difference between two cultures. Nissan is thinking old style, as a bookkeeper: how do I keep costs low and maximize profit? Tesla is thinking new style, from the perspective of the customer: what would work best for me?

    • sean

      open a network of cafes on the highway with fast chargers
      customer gets 30 mins for food and drink
      car gets 30 mins for charging.

      • Bob_Wallace

        Hook three cables to each rapid charger. Charge cars on ‘first to plug is first to charge’. That way you could plug in and not need to move your car for an hour. (Rapid charging is likely to be around 20 minutes.)

        Restaurants/shops along highways should jump at this. They would get lots of people stopping to charge.

        Gas stations now make most of their profits off their mini-marts, not gas.

        • ItsNotABoutTheMoney

          In effect, that’s what Tesla does with the supercharger, except it’s 2 cars per charger. The charger has a maximum rating (now 120kW), and it’s first-come-first-served, so car 1 charges quickly while car 2 gets only a small amount of charge. As car 1 tapers car 2 gets more. Once car 1 is done or leaves car 2 now gets priority.

          • Bob_Wallace

            That makes sense. Add a third and no one has to leave in a rush.

            Put them in places where people can get something to eat, pee, walk their dog, take a nap. Make free wifi available. Businesses should cover part of the cost due to the extra trade they will create.

            Make the wait time productive and most people won’t complain.

    • ItsNotABoutTheMoney

      No. Even with ChaDeMo a Leaf is still close to 1:1 driving minutes:charging minutes for highway driving so it doesn’t make it a long-distance vehicle.

      With the slow charging people have to think about the worst-case scenario in a BEV which means you need excess capacity to deal with wind, rain and cold. Having a charger available means that you can top off to make it home. Having ChaDeMo means that even if somebody’s already there you won’t have to wait too long.

      Adding them to dealerships is about reducing range anxiety and in addition it’s helpful to ensure that dealers can charge a demo car quickly.

  • Toy

    400% of the population don’t know what you guys are arguing about..

  • Hippo

    IF they had said 400% of last years sales it would have been correct but that is still only a 300% increase in sales. It all comes down to wording.

  • Dave

    The Meaning of Quad is 4, hence 400%

    • Andrew

      That’s not how it works.

  • Folatt

    Quadrupling is a 300% increase, not 400%.

Back to Top ↑