Nissan claims that sales of the world's best-selling electric vehicle (EV), the all-electric LEAF, are at record levels. This year it will launch an all-electric light commercial.
Nissan sold 25 percent more units in 2013 than the next best seller in Europe. Last year the company sold 11,120 units of the vehicle in Europe.
Nissan claims the LEAF commands 33 percent of the EV passenger car market in Europe. The vehicle numbers nevertheless are small. Last year, Nissan sold over 5,600 more units in 2013 compared with 2012 According to Nissan, 8,424 LEAFs were built at the Sunderland plant in 2013 since the vehicle was launched in May. The figure will surely rise in 2014.
Demand for the Nissan LEAF in Europe has been propelled by strong sales in Norway where the car was the third-most sold passenger car last year. It became the country's best-selling car at the end of January 2014 with 650 units.
Norway's advanced EV infrastructure and government incentives appear to have been responsible for strong sales of electric vehicles in the country. In January, sales of the LEAF in Norway rose 145 percent compared to January 2013.
In 2013, the LEAF was the EV market leader in many other countries including Spain, Italy, Denmark, Sweden, Finland, Belgium, and the UK.
In the UK, sales of the British-built Nissan LEAF increased by over 1000 percent in January compared to the prior year.
The UK recently saw the installation of the 195th CHAdeMO rapid charger at the Clackett Lane Services on the M25. Such chargers can "refuel" a Nissan LEAF from 0-80 percent battery in 30 minutes at “zero cost to the driver”. The UK charger was the 1000th CHAdeMO rapid charger in Europe, almost double the number installed by January 2013.
Similar results were reported in France for January with a 240 percent increase in year-on-year sales where, for the first time, the Nissan LEAF is the EV market leader.
"January has been a fantastic start to 2014, a year when we will launch our second 100 percent electric model in Europe – the Nissan e-NV200 light commercial vehicle,” claimed Jean-Pierre Diernaz, director of electric vehicles, Nissan Europe.
“Our most recent survey following the launch of the improved European-built Nissan LEAF shows that 97 percent of owners would recommend a Nissan LEAF to a friend, and we believe this, combined with a rapidly expanding charging infrastructure will bring further growth in 2014,” he added.
Sales of LEAF in Europe help solidify Nissan's role as the world's leading producer of electric vehicles. Nissan has sold over 100,000 units globally.∎
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