U.S. Sales Of The Nissan Leaf Electric Car Now Over 10,000

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2011 Nissan Leaf SL

2011 Nissan Leaf SL

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Nissan might have ended 2011 a with sales of its all-electric Leaf a few hundred cars short of its 10,000 unit target for the year, but there are now over 10,000 Leafs on the roads of the U.S. 

According to Autobloggreen, the happy event occurred last week during the 2012 Detroit Auto Show, which is probably why the news has been a little slow in getting out. 

The 10,000 car total includes all the cars which were sold since the Leaf’s launch in December 2010, and represents just under half of the total number of Leafs sold worldwide to date. 

“From a Leaf perspective, 2011 was a great year and very positive for the company,” said Brendan Jones, Nissan Leaf Marketing and Sales Strategist for Nissan North America. “[10,000 sales] is more EVs than have been sold in the United States -- and 20,000 globally -- than all the other OEMs combined throughout the world. So that’s an outstanding achievement.”

2011 Nissan Leaf SL

2011 Nissan Leaf SL

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10,000 cars in just over 13 months may not seem like a large figure when you consider that the 2012 Prius V wagon sold 8,399 cars in 10 weeks at the end of 2011 .

But it’s important to remember one simple fact: this is the first time we’ve seen a mass-produced, mainstream electric car reach such high sales figures in the U.S. 

In other words, there aren’t any sales metrics we can use to accurately gauge how well the Leaf is selling, because this is the first time we’ve seen electric cars sold in these volumes. 

That said, it’s important to acknowledge that a 10,000 car milestone is a tiny achievement in the global auto industry, where car sales are normally measured in hundreds of thousands, not tens of thousands.

What should we take away from this news? 

2011 Nissan Leaf SL

2011 Nissan Leaf SL

Enlarge Photo

Firstly, the U.S. should be rightly proud that nearly one-half of all Leafs made to date have been sold in the U.S. 

Secondly, it is important to to acknowledge that electric cars have a long way to go before they can truly be considered mainstream, but that electric cars are slowly becoming accepted by more and more consumers as a real alternative to a gasoline car. 

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Comments (7)
  1. I think that is super; I also think that if Nissan had a more attractive body style on the Leaf, their sales would have been doubled. Not too many people like driving a bug-eyed or fish-mouthed (Ford) car, and a lot of people is still puzzled why an electric car would need a grill in front...those grills are very hard to get all the bugs juice off. Maybe if Nissan came out with a more sporty look without the grill their sales would double. I just love their heated steering wheel idea.

  2. EVs like the Leaf have radiators like their gas guzzling friends because they need to cool the hot electronic components (inverter and such), and for use with the AC system. If you look through the very small grill of the Leaf you'll see the radiator - not puzzling at all.

  3. I'm sorry. A target of 10,000 vehicles. The Nissan target for 2011 was much heralded in their own press releases in 2010. It was 150,000 units for the year. Not 10,000.

    This was revised toward the end of the year 2011, a year later, to the 10,000 number.

  4. @Jack: I'm sorry, but you're wrong. For 2011 and 2012, Nissan has a maximum Leaf production capacity in Japan of 50,000 cars. That's global, not for the U.S. Nissan had said it would sell 20K Leafs in the U.S. in 2011, but revised that to 10K sometime in 2011--not sure if it was before or after the earthquake/tsunami.

    In 2013, Nissan will add capacity for up to 50K Leafs in the U.K. (Sunderland) + up to 150K Leafs in the U.S. (Smyrna, TN). By 2014, then, they'll have theoretical maximum Leaf production of 250K--which is when global demand for battery electric cars may be tested.

    No idea where you got that 150K for 2011, but it's wrong. It's 3 times the number of Leafs they can build!

  5. This is great. It shows that there is a market for EV's even ones with relatively poor driving range. I am looking forward to the Tesla Model S release this summer and hope to see one at a car show soon. I wish Tesla sucess for they are the only manufacture of high driving range interstate ready EV's. Although the Nissan Leaf is a nice car it lacks real world driving range and is better suited as an urban comuter car. Albeit $57,500 is quite expensive you have to admit that Tesla is spot on with its design and is as good a vehicle as any ICE car in this price range where as the Nissan leaf is a driving range comprimised urban only car. I hope Tesla is successful for I would like to see them come up with their $30,000 Bluestar sedan soon.

  6. We are the owners of one of those 10,000 Nissan Leafs, and it is a wonderful automobile. Nissan nearly met their goal, but for the Earthquake. The car has been way more than we hoped.

  7. That is good to hear. Unfortuantely a 75 to 90 mile range will not work for me since I have a cabin that is 57 miles away from my home and I drive to Minneapolis/St Paul about 2 to 3 times a month which is 150 miles round trip. As a secondary vehicle it may work but I would find its relatively poor driving range too comprimising for me. This week I am going to the Mall of America and that is about 160 miles round trip for me. You just can't attempt that with the Leaf since it doesn't have real world driving range that even comes close to a gasoline car. I would opt for the 230 mile range Tesla Model S for I seldom drive more than 160 miles in one day. The Nissan leaf would not be able to make a round trip to my cabin without a recharge.

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