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Nissan touts the "green" benefits of its Leaf EV

Nissan says that it has reached a milestone with its all-electric Leaf hatchback. The company reports that it has sold its 50,000th Leaf in the United States to a couple from Dallas, Texas. Worldwide, the sales tally has climbed to nearly 115,000 Leafs.
Nissan says that sales in the Dallas-Fort Worth region were up 50 percent year-over-year, due in part to a new $2,500 state rebate and the company's “No Charge to Charge” campaign which gives Leaf drivers free access to public charging stations around the state (owners that purchased new Leafs after April 1, 2014 get free public charging for two years).

"With 'No Charge to Charge,' the new EV tax credit and enthusiastic new owners like the Bolt family, Dallas is poised to climb the ranks of leading LEAF sales markets," explained Toby Perry, director, EV Marketing for Nissan. "Texas is a great indicator that the right mix of customer awareness and strategically placed charging can lead to rapid EV adoption, and we expect to use that model to grow our sales in markets across the U.S."
The Nissan Leaf is priced at $28,980 before a $7,500 federal tax credit (and any applicable state credits/rebates) and can travel up to 84 miles on a charge (the EV is rated at 114 MPGe). Mainstream competitors like the Chevrolet Spark EV ($26,685) and Ford Focus Electric ($35,170) are rated at 82 miles/118 MPGe and 76 miles/115 MPGe respectively, and haven’t seen nearly the same success in the market as the Leaf.
Other mainstream competitors like Fiat have downright balked at EVs, with current Fiat Chrysler Automobiles CEO Sergio Marchionne recently stating, "I hope you don't buy [a Fiat 500e] because every time I sell one it costs me $14,000.”

Source: Nissan

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RE: for perspective...
By Griffinhart on 5/26/2014 1:06:31 PM , Rating: 0
Does it matter? If less than 120K cars sold between 1957 and 1959 was considered a spectacular failure, fewer cars sold between 2011 and 2014 is a success? And this is with massive subsidies on the vehicle. How many would have sold without the mentioned "free public charging" and the tax credit?

RE: for perspective...
By Nagorak on 5/27/2014 4:41:03 AM , Rating: 2
Expectations matter a lot in how you interpret sales figures. Everything is relative. Let's take a hometown band which sells 200 seats in a night club. For them that's a great turnout. Meanwhile for a top tier rock band that would be an embarrassment.

If Nissan came out with a new version of the Versa or Altima and it sold 120K in 3 years, then that would be a complete bust, since those are supposed to be their mass market cars.

The Leaf was never expected to be a big seller, but rather something like a cutting edge tech demo. It's sort of similar to the original Prius or Honda Insight. Remember the original Prius which was basically just a souped up Echo? It wasn't a big seller either.

You can't just say X sales and X sales = failure. Expectations for the Edsel were obviously much higher.

As for how many would have sold without the tax credit: it doesn't matter. The tax credit exists to promote electric vehicles. It's working as intended. People who don't like the goals of the tax credit just can't help sharing their sour grapes over it.

Don't forget there was a tax credit for hybrids for a while. Now people are buying hybrids without them.

RE: for perspective...
By chripuck on 5/27/2014 8:35:12 AM , Rating: 2
Ford lost 2.8 BILLION dollars (in 2014 $) on the Edsel venture. Nissan may not be making tons on the Leaf, but it's a far cry from a failure.

RE: for perspective...
By aliasfox on 5/27/2014 10:39:32 AM , Rating: 2
You're forgetting that in 1957:
- There was no Honda, Nissan, Hyundai, Kia
- Toyota had just entered the market
- VW only sold the Beetle

The only major competition came from GM and Chrysler. The Big 3 commanded ~97% of the market (based on 1957 production figures at If Ford couldn't sell 40k units, it wasn't worth it to them.

These days, 40k/year is a reasonably respectable number, especially for a niche vehicle. For reference, no single VW model is expected to break 40k/year in the US with the exception of the Jetta and Passat.

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