Nissan Leaf Electric Car Boosts Nissan's Brand Image, Reputation

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Electric vehicles are still considered a risky strategy in the business world, with relatively low sales numbers not enough to convince skeptics of their business case.

Nissan has had plenty of recognition for its commitment to the Leaf though, including a high ranking in the latest Interbrand 'Best Global Green Brands' report.

The company finished fifth, its first top ten appearance and a leap of 16 places from last year giving it a "top riser" ranking too. The reason? Nissan's recognized leadership in zero emissions mobility with the Leaf electric car.

As Nissan reports, the company has sold over 65,000 Leafs worldwide since its late 2010 launch in some markets, making it the best-selling electric car in history. The recent introduction of European and U.S-built models is having a positive effect on sales, too.

That hasn't gone unnoticed, and as electric cars go the Leaf is becoming a familiar name, if not yet a familiar sight in every locale.

2013 Nissan Leaf: Driven Through Tennessee Countryside

Interbrand's report ranks brands based on a company's environmental practices and customer perceptions--and it's hard to argue that many customers will now associate Nissan with electric vehicles.

The report says the Leaf has had a positive impression on the Nissan brand, and gained commendation for Nissan's commitment to cut vehicle weight and its collaboration with Ford and Daimler on fuel cell vehicle development.

Nissan says it "aims to contribute proactively to the sustainable development of mobility and society while seeking profitable growth".

With electric cars at the forefront that won't be easy--and many will still see it as a business risk--but with cars like the Leaf as its figurehead vehicles, Nissan's reputation as a green brand will only improve.

Has your perception of Nissan improved since the Leaf debuted? Let us know below.


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Comments (72)
  1. Yes, my image of Nissan has increased with their commitment to the Leaf. I am a Tesla S owner but I have recommended the Leaf to friends and family. Outside of Tesla, Nissan is the only company who is actually promoting EVs and working on the charging infrastructure.

  2. Carlos Goshn and Elon Musk both deserve any and all medals, accolades, and atta boys for there courage and resolve i bringing the EV to market. They have basically bet the farm on the EV, and shown the world that we can break our addiction to oil.

    Go Nissan. Go Tesla.

  3. Elon Musk seems to be on the right track. Kudos to him. Groshn just want s to sell units. To bad they have defective batteries that fail in the Desert heat.

  4. Yes the other 99.8% of Leaf owners like myself who haven't experienced any battery degradation would agree, living in the desert of Arizona sucks, get a Ford Focus EV or a Volt.

  5. Matt, it's very good to hear that your LEAF is performing great. From what I've gathered, you live in the Seattle metro area. Based on what we have seen so far, the LEAF is expected to do well there, and your comment seems to confirm that. While we can agree or disagree with the choices other EV drivers make, it's very difficult to generalize when no data is available. That said, sometimes I wish that the discussion in the blogosphere was less biased and confrontational. While everyone's opinion matters, it's not likely that one negative comment has the potential of killing the EV movement. Conversely, a great comment is unlikely to convert the rest of the nation to go buy an EV tomorrow. I think we are mostly preaching to the choir here.

  6. Keep your Tesla. Glad you were wealthy enough to purchase one. I wouldn't recommend a Leaf if you live in Southern Arizona. The batteries prematurely die in the heat.

  7. Go away, the desert heat is baking your troll brain. 99.8% of all Leafs have no battery degradation.

  8. I was a Toyota fan and was pretty unaware of Nissan. My brother-in-law bought an Altima and liked it. I first saw the Leaf in 2011 and bought one in 2013. I haven't been sorry. It has been a great car. I can see keeping it for a very long time.

  9. Your battery will start noticeably degrading in a little over a year if you live in Southern Arizona!

  10. Fine, but most of us don't live in AZ. Here on the east coast it's great.

  11. So, it is a "badly" engineered car. Maybe it should come with a "disclaimer" that this "BEV is poorly designed that its battery will go through accelerated aging in a hot climate". Please only drive and charge it a cool climate.

    In addition, in the cold, your range has to be derated by about 20-30% depending on the temperature.

  12. I live in Virginia and have noticed a 15% loss in capacity in just under 14 months, with NO DC fast charging. All batteries will degrade in time. The problem is not limited to the south west. it just became apparent there first as that was one of the "roll out areas".

  13. From the survey, it doesn't appear that FAST DC charger really "accelerate the aging". In my opionion, it is temperature, time and number of cycles...

    The heat just accelerates that aging process. In my opinion, that is a lack of engineering in Nissan's part, especially there is a huge difference between AZ and WA customers.

  14. STFU dude, 99.8% of all Leafs don't have any battery degradation. Blow that 0.02% out of proportion why don't you. I would not move to Southern Arizona if I was paid million dollars untaxable cash monthly and was given a free Tesla Model S.

  15. 99.8%?

    Where did you get that number?

    Even that Steve Marsh guy with 36,000 miles per year living in Seattle has lost capacity in his Leaf.

    What "Leaf" fan boy world do you live in?

  16. Yes, yes, this guys' Leaf _just_ lost its first (out of 12) "capacity bar", after 78'000-some miles, so nearing 2000 cycles on the battery, including quick-charging several times a week.
    I'd say that's a pretty tough battery we have here.

    If we set the limit at which a battery is deemed usable at 70% capacity, he's got another 2 such bars to go.

    Degradation? Sure there will always be some, but it's so slow that for most of us driving 20'000 miles/year or less, and not living in scorching hot Phoenix, it's very unlikely to be a problem in the car's lifetime.

    (plus, how much do you think a 24 kW*h pack will be in 10 years or so? Running a Leaf another decade, if so desired, will remain super-cheap compared to any ICE or hybrid...)

  17. Sure, that guy drives a lot of miles and super charger it (BECAUSE he doesn't have enough range) many times per week. But the fact is that he lives in a fairly COOL climate of Pacific NW, the farthest Northern state in the lower 48. FL, Southern CA, TX, AZ, and the entire South all get pretty hot in the summer.

    Sure, it is a "tough battery" but I guess the fact is that he has to "super charge" it so he can get to work is a FACT that the range is problem. Also, he is worrying that Blink is going to start charging him for it. Those bar losses aren't always "linear".

    Typically, amount of "full charge" cycles, temperature and time are the 3 factors that impact "aging". It is a 3 variable puzzle.

  18. "plus, how much do you think a 24 kW*h pack will be in 10 years or so? "

    I have never argued against the merit of buying an USED Leaf. In fact, I have said it myself that I am in a market for it in couple years. I have always said "leasing a New Leaf" and "Buying an used Leaf cheap" are the best way to get a BEV. And I have done plenty math here to support it.

    But it doesn't cover the fact that Leaf could have been better designed. I don't expect more than 40-50 miles out of an USED Leaf in 3 years. But that is plenty for many people's daily use. And the longer you own it, the more $$$ you save compared to an old ICE car.

  19. There are more comments in this thread
  20. Point taken Matt, but would you please substantiate your 99.8%? Yes, John should probably find a different platform for voicing his opinion, but is that reason enough to stop minding our manners?

  21. I would probably have never considered a Nissan prior to driving the Leaf. I leased the car in August of 2012 and have driven over 17,000 miles since. When my lease is up, I will most likely chose another EV from Nissan.

  22. You must not live where it is hot in the Summer!!!!!!!

  23. Again, 99.8% of all Leafs have no battery degradation regardless of where they live, go away sun baked troll.

  24. Well, the hot climate issue is NOT just unique in AZ. Few owners in TX and Southern California also experienced in "accelerated aging".

    Those are "real conditions" that needed to be considered.

    @ Matt Moreno,

    There is NOTHING wrong with pointing out a car's shortcoming. If it wasn't for all the AZ owners' complain, Nissan wouldn't have offered the battery capacity warranty that NOW ALL LEAF OWNERS benefit from.

  25. It might of helped, but shall we talk about the rest of the story?
    Toyota is ranked number one in this survey, no surprise there I guess. Ford is number 2 and Honda number 3.
    So while Nissan has boosted their green image, there are three other car companies still ahead of them.
    Kinda makes me really wonder, why isn't GM on that list given the success of the Volt?

  26. B/c "BEV purist" hate the Volt.

  27. I'm a BEV purist and I love the Volt. So many people are driving with so much less gasoline use or none at all. What's not to love? It's fantastic.

  28. I agree with you. But some BEV purist hate the Volt b/c of the following reason:

    1. B/c it is made by GM and EV-1 "scar" still lingers in their mind.
    2. B/c it has an engine in it. (even though they don't mind Prius)
    3. B/c GM makes "range anxiety" claims to sell the Volt so they feel any mentioning of that is a negative thing.
    4. B/c it is GM and there are political baggage associated with it.

  29. Yup, there were indeed companies ahead of Nissan, but the story here was Nissan's rise from 21st last year and nowhere the year before that - which is quite impressive, even if other companies beat them.

  30. Just don't buy a Leaf in the hot Desert Southwest. The battery is junk in the heat. Thanks Nissan for costing me $39,000.00 for a defective product.

  31. Go away, the desert heat is baking your troll brain. 99.8% of all Leafs have no battery degradation.

  32. John,

    Please give it a rest. We get it, Leaf batteries degrade in the heat. We've reported on it ourselves several times, and the place for that discussion is on those stories.

    Repeating your issues ad nauseum contributes absolutely nothing to the discussion.

  33. When I had a Honda Civic Hybrid, I ignored Nissan until I discovered the Leaf. I have had a 2012 Leaf since Jan 2013 and I love it.After my lease I will probably stay with the Leaf if they extend the range.

  34. The Leaf has definitely improved my brand image of Nissan. My previous Nissan was a '89 Stanza, and I hated that underpowered little car. My next two vehicles were a Mazda and a Honda as a result of that car. The Leaf is the first Nissan that I would recommend to friends and family.

  35. Your current Leaf isn't much faster than that 89' Stanza. It might "feel" faster, but it is NOT.

    Nonetheless, the Leaf is an affordable BEV.

  36. Xiaolong Li you have speed on the brain..He never mentioned speed only underpowered, guess you don't know the difference!

  37. Last time I looked, a "car" (not a truck or SUV) speed usually correlates with "power".

    Lack of acceleration usually means the car has a poor weight to power ratio or lack of power.

    I am pretty I know the difference. When people talk of "speed" or being "slow or fast" it is usually a sign of acceleration. If they talk about top speed, they will say so. But both of them are very dependent on power.

    I think you are the "sensitive" and confused one here.

  38. Not only does the Leaf "feel" faster than the Stanza (more torque), its power-to-weight ratio is better and its 0-30 is faster. Dropping the awful transmission in the Stanza certainly also helps the Leaf feel faster.

    The Stanza's engine-transmission combo was actually underpowered, as well. I had a hard time going up a 3% grade at 40mph, unless I had the gas pedal nearly floored.

  39. Maybe you had a transmission problem...

  40. Definitely a possibility. The car was totaled 10 years ago, so hard to say.

  41. The Tesla is too expensive for us common folk; And, the Leaf has just enough battery capacity to act as a good 30 mile commuter car; but, it's not a good buy for a longer distance than that. My suggestion: lease it until they can install more dense batteries so you can drive it at freeway speeds for 150 miles.

  42. Ummm, Saturday just past, I drove 225 miles in the space of 10 hours (including stopping at my parents for Father's day for over 5 hours). Wasn't a problem doing the distance and the cost of the trip was about £2. But then there are rapid chargers at (some) motorway service stations in the UK. Rapid chargers are the KEY, range is for convenience.

  43. Sorry should have said, I did this in my 2011 Nissan LEAF, not a Tesla!

  44. 225 miles in 5 hours? 225 miles normally would take about 3.5 hours in the US. That is about the distance between SF Bay Area to South Lake Tahoe...

  45. Have you driven in the UK?

  46. Ah, for empty highways Xiaolong. 200 miles takes around 3.5-4 hours over here, depending on traffic...

  47. Okay, That is pretty slow for 200 miles. But in that trip of 225 miles I would assume that is 112 miles each way. That is an extra 30 mins stop in each direction.

    An extra 30 mins in a two hours drive is 25% additional time required...

  48. Personally, I am NOT a big fan of Nissan or Leaf. Mostly due to its "poor engineering effort", especially with the Leaf. Like I said many times before. Leaf is a classic BEV which basically just about reinforced every BEV stereotype. It is relatively slow, has quirky look and limited range. Its battery is poorly protected and has questionable longivity. Range is severely limited in extreme cold or heat.

    With all that said, I do have to applaud Nissan for at least bring an "acceptable" and "affordable" BEV to the mass market. I highly recommend the Leasing option over Buying, especially in CA where the weather is mild and CARB provides additional $2,500 rebetes for 36 month lease.

    I just wish the Leaf is a bit more Tesla like.

  49. Your dislike of the Leaf is known and evident, but your opinions still don't become facts the more you repeat them.

    "Relatively slow"? Top speed 93 MPH, 0 to 60 in 10s according to Edmunds. The Volt you consider high-performance has actually very similar specs: max 100 MPH, 0 to 60 in 9.2s in the same conditions.
    "Limited range"? It quick-charges, so the car isn't the limit; 84 miles between refills is similar or better than other EVs its class.
    "Battery poorly protected"? Coming from a Volt owner, that's a very odd claim. Care to elucidate?
    "Questionable longevity"? A bit early to tell, but observations so far (e.g. PlugInAmerica survey) seem to point the other way.

    Also btw, the CA rebate applies to purchases too (not just long leases).

  50. Top speed, Volt is faster. But Volt's top speed is NOT all that impressive.

    0-60mph, The best "REAL TEST" has shown Leaf in 9.7s to 10.1 secs. Volt are anywhere between 8.9 s to 9.2s. Just so you know 1 sec in 0-60 is a HUGE difference.

    Limited range: I am still waiting for someone to prove to me that they can do SF to Lake Tahoe in the winter with heat on in 1 day. That is a 225 miles drive with the last 56 miles in all uphill climb from sea level to 8,800+ ft at Echo Summit or over 9,000+ ft at Donner's pass. That is a normally 4 hr trip for most people without major snow storm or traffic. A Leaf would take at least 5 hrs to get to the Sierra Foothills. Then why do you do with the last 56 miles uphill at hwy speed and heat on?

  51. Battery poorly protected: It means it got no thermal protection. It doesn't even have a FAN Blowing thru it... And please don't give me that stuff about the crash thing. If they do the samething with the Leaf battery, it will burn up too. Don't believe me? Take the battery pack out and do a crash on the pack itself like the goverment. Park it in the lot fully charged and see if it smokes..

    I will get to the survey in a bit. But that survey is only on 240 people out of 50,000 Leaf owners AND it was on 2 yr OLD ONLY CARS. Statistically, it doesn't show much. But I will explain it later in a seperate comment.

  52. Are you pushing some agenda or are you just ill-informed?

    Of course the NHTSA and IIHS crash-tested the Leaf too. Furthermore, as this car is sold in a bunch of other countries, so did their safety agencies. This comes extra:
    No smoke, no fire.

    Regarding driving 225 miles: no problem, as James' comment just above illustrates already, just not in places with no infrastructure obviously.
    For tasks the car isn't ideal for, the Leaf includes free rental for 30 days/year; aka money saved on gas.

    Regarding the survey: not perfect maybe but it's independent data; if you have better sources and/or comparison with other plug-ins, please, enlighten us.

  53. Both Volt and Leaf received 5 stars crash rating.

    But did Leaf get its battery packs seperated out and performed a "puncture" test on its own and left fully charged? No.

    Also, a Volt get demolished while parked by some drunk drivers and didn't catch fire either. That news has been reported by GCR and various EV website.

  54. The survey is NOT perfect, but I already discussed the data in other comments. The data have shown the problem with the heat as well...

  55. Actually most tests seems to find that the LEAF is faster 0 - 30, then the Volt takes it from there up to 60. Certainly doesn't feel slow to me!

  56. Leaf takes the Volt by 0.1 sec in 0-30 then falls behind by 1 second by the time it reaches 60mph. So, what it does tell me is that its motor is running out of power and power drops off significantly at speed higher than 40mph. That matches my experience with the Leaf.

    In fact, the 2013 version has been "detuned" even farther so now it is even slower than the earlier models...

    If you are ONLY content with 0-30mph acceleration, then it just proves that Leaf is NOTHING more than a "city car". Again, it has reineforced the BEV sterotype. As a "flagship" product, it is NOT good for the EV community.

  57. The dyno paints a very different picture: power is virtually constant and remains over 100hp from 25 MPH all the way to 70-some MPH. It only drops sharply starting around 90 MPH.

    The 2013 indeed has slightly lower peak torque, but identical max power, so the difference would only be perceptible at lower speeds.
    As the new model is also a bit lighter, I expect 0 to 60 times to remain comparable.

    What's not good for EVs aren't particular vehicles, but rather people spreading misconceptions about them.

  58. "power is virtually constant and remains over 100hp from 25 MPH all the way to 70-some MPH"

    Perfect, you just confirmed that problem. If the power is "constant", then its acceleration will decrease b/c at higher speed (>40mph), the wind and tire resistance will all increase. In, the wind resistance is increasing at square of the speed, so if your power output is constant, then your rate of speed increase will ONLY drop.

    Pretty evident in the Leaf case where 0-30 is about 3.1 seconds. Then it will take almost 7 seconds longer to go from 30 to 60mph...

  59. There are more comments in this thread
  60. "Your dislike of the Leaf is known and evident, but your opinions still don't become facts the more you repeat them."

    I don't dislike the Leaf for what it is. But when people start to put it on a pedastal as the "save all for all" BEV, then I have problem with it.

    Like I said, I am willing to put $$$ out to buy an used Leaf in couple years. So, if I really dislike it, then why would I want to buy an used one?

    I just don't view it as the "BEV" savior for all. In fact, the ONLY great thing about the Leaf so far is that it is widely available and has kicked off a great price war among all plugins which will benefit the EV community in the long run.

    But please don't make the Leaf sound like it is perfect. It is FAR FROM it.

  61. I didn't think the Leaf was relatively slow when I test drove it. It accelerated fine, drove uphill easily and entered a limited access highway without being pushed hard. In fact, I was speeding when I looked down at the speedometer because I had no engine noise or transmission shifting to give me the "normal" cues on my speed. I could get used to that quickly.

    The Leaf is on my very short list. Yes, I'll be leasing, as soon as my present car is paid off. This because I don't qualify for the full tax credit, not from insecurity.

  62. Feeling fast due to the TORQUE is different from actually being fast. Lack of noise is nice but it is NOT fast.

  63. "Relatively slow" is incorrect - I own the 2012 Leaf. It's fast. In Drive it is rated at 0-60 in 7 seconds (faster than most cars), and it must really fast off the line, because I've beat Mustages and Camaros at stop lights. No shifting is also a huge advantage. Every time the other cars shifted I gained more distance.

    Even in "Eco" mode on the highway, in traffic, I can overtake with ease. Very quick acceleration from 60-70 or even 70-80+

    Not sure where you heard the leaf was slow, but your uninformed. Frankly, it makes you look like you are paid by oil and gas companies to get online a perpetuate rumors that are false.

    Are you?

  64. Okay, I am GOING to FLAME MODE Here!

    Lies, lies and more lies!!!

    FULL OF BS quote again!!! NO Nissan Leaf can do 0-60mph in 7 seconds. NOT ONE, NEVER EVER!!!!!

    Stop quoting that piece of junk of website called zerotosixty website which has NO testing of their own and PLEASE STOP USING THAT STUPID GUYS' WRIST WATCH CRAP quote from some MOST Unscientifc testing ever reported on the internet.

    EVERY verifiable source such as Motortrend, car and driver and edumnds have shown the test time of 9.8. 9.7 and 10.2 seconds.

    @Thomas Pullen,

    Before you make that stupid claim of "uninformed", maybe we should take your so called "fast leaf" to the local track and do a testing and I am willing to bet you that you will NOT do 0-60mph in 7s!

  65. I am tired of STUPID Leaf owners who keep quoting that idiotic 0-60mph time of 7secs again.

    It is a LIE and gets repeated all over the internet over and over again.

    @Thomas Pullen

    Please show Me the FACT beside that BS website and that so called "blogger" review with his wristwatch. Show me 1 FACTUAL review with instrument testing.

    Just one!

    If you can't, then you are just another uninformed NIssan Leaf FAN boy idiot.

  66. 0 to 62 in 6.9 seconds. Not quite stock though... :)

  67. @Just O

    You are pulling out "concept" cars to augment your arguement now?

    Like I said, the ONLY way that any of the current Leaf can do 0-60 in 7 seconds is by falling down a huge cliff...

  68. I purchased a used, 2011 #NissanLEAF and have been keeping a diary of the experience. #EV curious? Follow along! Http://

  69. The Leaf has taken me from ambivalence about Nissan to healthy respect. It's not perfect for some folks but it has been perfect for our family for the last year and a half.

  70. "90.8% of Leaf owners have all 12 capacity bars, 97.1% have 11 bars or more, less than 2.9% of Leafs have loss capacity beyond below 11 capacity bars:

    Okay, let me address this issue.

    1. 99.8% is NOT 90.8%. They are statistically signficant.
    2. The survey is done with 240 owners across 25 states, Canada and UK. We currently have over 50,000 owners. And that survey was done for at most a 2 year old Leaf. Canada and UK aren't hot. I don't know exactly how the 25 states are distributed either from the survey.

  71. 3. On page 3 of the survey, the chart has shown that at temperature > 95 degrees AND more than 10K miles, 6 people lost no bars, 7 people lost 2 bars and 10 people lost 1 bar. Statistically, that is significant even for a small sample. That means at high temperature (typical for the Southern part of US), you are FAR MORE likely to have early degradation than NOT. (17 out of 23 people).

    4. From the chart on page 3 and page 4, you can see the trend and pattern that both mileage and temperature increase the battery degradation. Another factor will be time which is NOT shown here but are typically correlated to miles.

  72. 5. You can't make the claim that only "certain small %" of owners are impacted when the survey data has shown that is ONLY true if you live in a "cool" climate. Statistically speaking, that sample method is already "INVALID" since its tmeperature profile is NOT evenly distributed. For buyers in the "hotter" climate, their risk of early battery degradation is greater than 50% according to this survey.

    6. If a car can't handle a hot climate (where just about every auto maker test their cars in extreme cold and hot), then it should be included in the disclaimer. Nissan obviously didn't "design" the Leaf well enough to handle it. That is why it had to offer warranty after major complain from the owners.

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