Nissan Leaf Selling Well, Charging Smarter… Still Losing Value

Posted by Stephen On Tuesday, June 4th, 2013

As our regular readers are aware, Nissan is putting quite a lot of faith in its all-electric Leaf. CEO Carlos Ghosn wants to put 1.5M electric vehicles on the road by 2016, and the Nissan Leaf is how he’s going to do it. In addition, the Leaf is an important car simply because it’s one of the pioneers for the automotive industry. For those reasons and more, we figured today we’d check in on the little EV and see what’s new.

Nissan Leaf

2nd Best Month for the 2nd Month in a Row

While we can all acknowledge that 1.5 million total sales in less than 3 years is probably unrealistic, the Nissan Leaf is still doing extremely well. It seems like it’s broken a new sales record every month this year. The best month ever was March with 2,236 sales. Then, Nissan had an awesome month in April with 1,937 Leaf EVs sold, the second-best month ever. But, the new second-best month ever was May with 2,138 Leaf sales, over 300% more sales than in May of 2012.

Nobody can deny that the Nissan Leaf is selling well. The car continues to gain popularity as it begins moving up the product diffusion curve from Innovators to Early Adopters – a 500% larger market, statistically. My guess is that these record-setting months will continue throughout 2013.

My Electric Avenue

In addition to improved sales, Nissan continues to refine their product offer with new innovations. Today, Autocar published a very interesting article detailing Nissan’s new My Electric Avenue project in the UK. This project is aimed at exploring relationships with electric companies that will become necessary if EVs ever gain widespread popularity.

I encourage you to read the article for yourself, but basically, My Electric Avenue will allow a small community of 10 drivers in the same neighborhood to lease a Leaf for £100 per month for 18 months. The goal of is for all 10 vehicles to charge on a regular power grid without overloading it, even if all 10 vehicles are plugged in at the same time (for example, in the evening after work). This will be accomplished by reallocating power distribution throughout low-use periods each night.

Okay, okay, My Electric Avenue isn’t the most exciting project in the world, but it’s a necessary one nonetheless. Plus, it just goes to show that Nissan is definitely playing a long game. And yet, despite this commitment to innovation…

KBB Projects Decreased Value for 2013 Leafs

Obviously, all cars decrease in value over time, but the difference is how much. At the end of 2011, Automotive News reports that Kelley Blue Book projected the 2012 Nissan Leaf to hold 40% MSRP after three years. However, the 2013 Leaf is only expected to retain 35% of its value.

This isn’t all gloom and doom, however. The decrease in projected value isn’t so much because of the Leaf itself, but because of the nature of used car buyers. KBB says that these economically-focused drivers just aren’t into electric vehicles yet. This makes sense, since if you’re buying a used car, you probably care about price more than emissions. Since electric vehicles are more expensive by default than their internally combusted counterparts, it’s to be expected that they wouldn’t do very well in that market. So, disappointing, but not really surprising.

At the beginning of this article we set out to update you on the Nissan Leaf, and as you can tell, all is going well. And, as an added bonus, while Nissan Leaf sales continue to improve, Chevrolet Volt sales continue to remain steady or decline. For those of you with a vested interest in Japanese cars, this is worth at least the smallest of fist pumps. Huzzah!

Stay tuned tomorrow for more Japanese car news, and thanks for reading.

Additional source: Autoblog Green

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