Best-Selling Nissan In Portland: Leaf Electric Car--Due To Electric Highway?

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2013 Nissan Leaf at Nissan U.S. Headquarters, Franklin, Tennessee

2013 Nissan Leaf at Nissan U.S. Headquarters, Franklin, Tennessee

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We've already asked whether the Tesla Model S sells more units than the equivalent BMW, Audi or Mercedes--and now Nissan is outselling regular vehicles with its Leaf.

Not Corollas or Ford Focus countrywide, of course--but apparently every other Nissan vehicle in March, in Portland, Oregon.

With Jukes, Sentras, Versas and other affordable vehicles available from Nissan, that's quite an achievement for the Leaf. Could it be down to Oregon's 'West Coast Electric Highway?'

Oregon is certainly well-suited for electric car use. According to Sustainable Business Oregon, the state has 27 fast-chargers available for electric car owners, with three more coming online in the next few weeks and another 13 over the next year.

The state has the most charging stations per capita of anywhere in the country, with around 800 total charging stations. That's more than enough for the state's 2,500 registered electric vehicles, and it's good for the economy too. Oregon's electric vehicle industry is responsible for more than 1,600 jobs, over $260 million in economic activity and over $22 million annually in federal taxes.

Oregon's grid is also clean enough to make electric cars a truly green proposition, offering up to 70 percent lower emissions than running a regular gasoline vehicle.

Then there's that West Coast Electric Highway.

Oregon sits right in the middle of the Highway's route, which features a string of charging stations from Washington down to California.

Eventually, it'll let electric car drivers travel from as far north as the Canadian border, down to the Mexican border in the south. Charging stations every 25 to 50 miles provide multiple recharging opportunities, easily covering the 100 miles or so range of most current electric vehicles.

Of course, we don't expect the Leaf to outsell other Nissan vehicles in Portland every month. And in the greater scheme of things, Leaf sales are still relatively low (even if they've increased recently with U.S. production starting).

But we wouldn't be surprised to see it happen more often--as Oregon is fast proving itself to be one of the best places in the country to run an electric vehicle.


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Comments (7)
  1. Dont remember the exact number (i think it was around 188) but the LEAF was #1 for Nissan in Western WA as well in March and prelim numbers are looking even better for April!

  2. It's simple. Nissan is dumping Leafs in Portland. Nissan offers new, 2013 Leafs in Portland on a zero down, $199/month 2 year lease. My neighbor just returned his 2011 Leaf off lease and picked up a new one. Great deal for him, but not a model for a sustainable business for Nissan.

  3. Of course, Nissan lowered the price to $28,800, It's a no brainer. If the individual gets a good portion or all of the federal tax credit they will save about $3-4 thousand dollars on total cost of ownership. Not to mention it's cleaner and you don't buy your fuel from the supporters of terrorism or the tar sands producers up north. Oh, don't let anyone fool you, even with our electrical generation mix EV are still way greener than ICEs.

  4. Nissan really isnt giving them away. keep in mind a lease has the $7500 fed credit removed from the payments which amounts to $236 a month on a 2 year lease (23 payments) or $214 off a 3 year lease (35 payments) besides, you can lease a lot of gas cars for that much money or less.

    OR does not produce a single drop of oil so they have to import it. that is a huge chunk of cash leaving the state that is eroding their economy. Now they do produce a lot of electricity and most of it is sustainable, emission free and green. So anything that takes advantage of a homegrown product verses one imported at great cost is usually not due to "bargains" its called "using your head"

  5. opps. that should read "$326 on a 2 year lease" we really need an edit feature here!

  6. Antony, where did you get your economic numbers from? Are there manufacturers included in those numbers? Otherwise I find it strange that 2500 EVs are responsible for $260M/year in economic activity. $100K/EV/year would seem to be overspending by quite a bit.

  7. I have a three year lease for my 2012 Leaf. Should I think about turning it in (penalty payment)and lease a 2013 Leaf. The 6.6 KW battery vs a 3.3 KW would be worth the changeover I would think.

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