Nissan celebrates today the delivery of 500,000th LEAF (since December 2010) to a customer in Norway – one of the biggest markets for the LEAF. Since there is no press release yet, let’s take a look at Bjorn Nyland’s report.
With about 44,000 sales, Norway took almost 9% of the total LEAF volume, and we are aware that thousands of more used LEAFs were imported to Norway, so there might now be well over 10% of all LEAFs ever made located somewhere in Norway.
It’s great to see that Nissan achieved such a great milestone, although according to our data, Nissan LEAF is not the top-selling all-electric car (and plug-in in general) anymore, as the Tesla Model 3 is way above 500,000.
Nissan LEAF was the all-time #1 for a long time, even through 2019/2020, when LEAF was at about 450,000. Then, Model 3 overtook LEAF and it will not change, as the Model 3 is selling at a level higher by an order of magnitude (currently heading for 600,000).
In May, we noted that the overall Nissan EV sales were at 500,000 (including also the Nissan e-NV200). Now, it’s probably closer to 550,000.
The LEAF is a descending star. It was unbeatable for several years after launch, but then faded gradually foe a variety of reasons, from battery longevity issues, lack of significant upgrades, and also growing competition.
It was felt that Nissan was not pushing very hard – like it was giving up – maybe because the high initial investment that didn’t pay off? We can find archival articles when in 2010 Nissan’s former CEO Carlos Ghosn forecasted 500,000 EV sales a year by 2013 (he even thought about 1 million a year, but lowered expectations).
As we can see, LEAF and Nissan needed much more time and effort to sell so many EVs. The market and early EVs were not yet ready for prime time 10 years ago.
The next chapter for Nissan will be the Nissan Ariya, starting in 2021, but that’s a totally different story.