Nissan Struggles with Leaf EV Shortage as Sales Surge
July 16, 2013 10:26 AM
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Leaf EV sales market is expanding
For a long time the big problem for Nissan and many electric vehicle makers was the fact that electric vehicles simply weren't popular due to high pricing, range anxiety or any variety of other reasons. Nissan is now fighting the opposite problem with demand surging in new markets without the inventory to satisfy interested consumers.
Nissan director of electric vehicle sales Erik Gottfried says that he recently flew to Texas to meet with dealers that are clamoring for more Leaf electric vehicles.
"They really want more Leafs in Dallas," Gottfried says. "I assured them that we're doing everything we can to get them more inventory. But it's taking some time. It will be late fall before we can produce enough to satisfy everybody."
Nissan is now selling approximately 2,000 Leaf electric vehicles each month which is about four times the volume it was selling about a year ago. To meet this new demand, Nissan is slowly ramping up production of the Leaf at its
manufacturing facility in Tennessee
"We're going to be short on inventory all through the summer," Gottfried says he has been telling dealers. "
Since its introduction, the Leaf has been most popular on the West Coast in areas such as San Francisco and Seattle. However, the market has expanded sales are exploding in St. Louis, Atlanta, Chicago, and Raleigh. Atlanta is now the third-largest market for the Leaf electric vehicle and had only nine days of supply in June.
A year ago, California made up 37% of Leaf cells. Now, the state only accounts for 27% of sales due to significant growth in other markets.
Nissan credits its
of about $6,000 earlier this year for the increased sales.
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Price unfortunately matters
7/16/2013 3:44:01 PM
I own a Chevy Volt for the main reason that I wanted an EV with absolutely no limitations. So far it's been a great car in that it won't run out of power like a Leaf would. Unfortunately that security costs quite a bit which is why the Volt is so expensive.
Unfortunately the reality is we live in a world that values price most of all so the Leaf is selling well. I suspect the Spark EV which is based on a stripped down version of the Volt's technology which is also cheaper should sell as well.
I should also point out that EVs are fun cars to drive. They're quiet, produce torque in an instant and there's no exhaust fumes. Heavy low center of gravity and no need to visit the gas station. Pretty much everything you would want in a car except for the range issue.
RE: Price unfortunately matters
7/16/2013 5:07:17 PM
I'm curious, now that you've driven a Volt for a while, do you still think you made the right choice over the cheaper LEAF? Esthetics aside of course, just function.
Have you found that you have gotten in your car in the morning and ended up driving 80+ miles without an opportunity to charge?
RE: Price unfortunately matters
7/17/2013 8:42:41 PM
As a Volt owner,
Yes. I have driven over 100 miles in a single day without an approved charging station available without significant detour.
But, I also average 48 miles a charge on the Volt. Projected to the Leaf, thats 104 miles of range.
Over the last 1,000 miles, my Volt has cost me 42 dollars for electric (wall measured) + gasoline. A Leaf might have cost me ~30 dollars + 80 dollars for two days of car rental. A Prius would have cost 80. An average new car 120. Over the warranty period of the battery, the Volt wasn't the absolute cheapest car I could get... but its pretty close.
"It looks like the iPhone 4 might be their Vista, and I'm okay with that." -- Microsoft COO Kevin Turner
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