Nissan will increase the number of European car dealers carrying Leaf electric vehicles tenfold – to 1,000 – by the end of the year and will sell the car in two dozen European markets by 2013, all part of the Japanese automaker's plan to boost Leaf sales overseas.

Nissan, which sells the Leaf in 14 European markets and will have 700 dealers selling the car by the end of April, will also install charging stations in all 1,000 European dealers and will give 400 quick-charging stations to various communities in an effort to broaden the EV-charging infrastructure throughout the continent. Such quick-chargers, which cost about 10,000 euros ($13,260 U.S. at today's exchange rate), can recharge a Leaf to 80 percent capacity in about a half hour.

Nissan will also start Leaf battery production in the U.K. by this June and will work with sister company Renault at developing a system where Leaf owners can resell their cars' batteries so that they can be used in a so-called "second life" as power-storage devices for the grid.

The company said earlier this week that it would almost double the number of workers at its Tennessee factory within the next year in part to accelerate production of both Nissan Leafs and battery packs. Last year, Nissan sold 9,674 Leafs in the U.S., just missing its target of 10,000 units for its first full year of domestic sales. Europe accounted for about 696,000 Nissan vehicle sales last year, or 15 percent of the 4.67 million vehicles the company sold worldwide in 2011.
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NISSAN'S 2012 ELECTRIC VEHICLE EXPANSION PLANS

LEAF European dealer network to increase ten fold, to over 1000 by the end of 2012
Courtesy car programme available for customers to experience the Nissan Leaf at most of Nissan dealers
New low-cost Nissan engineered Direct Current (DC) Quick Charger available through designated partners in Europe. Thousands of units to be installed by end of FY12
400 free DC Quick chargers to be installed before mid 2012 across Europe. A DC Quick charger can give 80% charge capacity to a Nissan LEAF in 30 minutes
Battery production to start in Sunderland by in Q1 2012
Nissan LEAF production commencing at the Sunderland plant early 2013
New brand advertising campaign and online social media campaign in 2012

GENEVA, Switzerland (6 March 2012) With the multi-award winning Nissan LEAF entering European production in 2013, Nissan has today announced the measures that it will take to prepare the market for this step up in production volumes.The plans focus on improving the environment for electric vehicles and, during fiscal year 2012, will see the Nissan LEAF sold in more markets, by more dealers, with a radically improved quick charging network.

With all of these important actions on the horizon, Paul Willcox, Nissan's Senior Vice President Sales and Marketing in Europe, is looking forward to the coming year, commenting: "This is a big year for the Nissan LEAF in Europe and we are committed to creating an environment for electric mobility to thrive across the continent. 2011 was a huge year for us and with all of these significant and tangible improvements to infrastructure, dealer network, incentives, and production we are looking forward to significant growth in the lead up to European Production."

Market and Dealer Expansion
In 2012, Nissan will radically increase the number of dealers selling the LEAF in Europe, making it accessible to many consumers for the first time. Today the Nissan LEAF is on sale in 14 markets across Europe, with a total of 110 dealers. By the end of March 2013, that will have dramatically increased by almost ten times, with over 1000 dealers actively marketing the Nissan LEAF - all Nissan dealers will be equipped with charging points thus expanding the charging infrastructure for LEAF drivers. By 2013, the Nissan LEAF will be available for sale in 24 European markets.

Customer evaluation vehicles
In advance of this there will be a significant increase in LEAF's available at dealers with over 700 dealers in Europe offering customers a chance to experience LEAF by the end of April 2012. The scheme will continue to develop during the next 12 months, adding to the number of demonstration and courtesy vehicles available to customers within Europe.

30 Minute Quick Charger Cost Reduction and Deployment
In 2011, Nissan made a significant engineering breakthrough in launching its own quick charger into Europe, which is available at around 50% of the cost of conventional units (below 10,000 Euros). This Direct Current (DC) Quick charger charges the Nissan LEAF, or any other ChadeMo compliant vehicle, to 80% capacity in just 30 minutes.

It is also 'AC ready' to support the arrival of EVs from Alliance partner Renault designed to 43kW AC quick charge standards. The Renault-Nissan Alliance is promoting infrastructure deployment based on AC-DC Mix Quick Charger strategy.

The cost reduction radically changes the economics of installing DC Quick charging points at key locations across Europe, and opens up new possibilities for Nissan LEAF owners. To push this network expansion further and jump-start the full scale commercial deployment in 2012 Nissan is giving 400 DC Quick chargers for free to cities and regions in Europe. These free units will give thousands of customers the opportunity to experience the convenience of charging quickly while significantly expanding the range of their vehicle.
This initiative follows an agreement between Nissan and five of Europe's leading utility and EV infrastructure supply companies to speed up the provision of the latest quick chargers developed by Nissan. Nissan expects thousands of ChadeMo quick charging points to be installed across Europe by the end of 2012, and tens of thousands of by end of 2015.

Nissan LEAF Marketing Campaign
March 2012 will see an innovative online focussed campaign centred around the Nissan LEAF, 100 days to convert the maximum number of people to 100% electric driving taking the car to a whole new audience and introducing them to its unique benefits. Alongside this online campaign will be a new brand advertising campaign, which will have the Nissan LEAF as the ultimate demonstration of Nissan's innovation, putting the car on television for the first time in many markets.

Battery Production in the UK
During the first half of 2012 battery production will start at Nissan's record-breaking Sunderland plant. This important milestone will be the first step towards the European production of the Nissan LEAF. The production of batteries in the UK significantly increases the flexibility of the supply chain and protects it from shifts in exchange rates.

Vehicle Production
All of these actions will lay the foundations for the introduction of the European-built Nissan LEAF at the Sunderland plant in the UK. Building the car in the UK will reduce lead times, increase supply, mitigate currency fluctuations and reduce the carbon footprint of bringing the car to the customer.

"Second Life" for Electric Vehicle Batteries
As the electric vehicle market expands questions are often raised about what happens to batteries after they have been removed from vehicles. Nissan is working with its alliance partner Renault to identify suitable partners for trial of "Second Life" uses for battery packs. Electric vehicle battery packs are expected to be in strong demand for use in the storage of electricity from sustainable sources, where peak production and peak demand are sometimes not aligned. They can also be used for back-up electricity in areas of unreliable grid electricity or for grid load balancing. It is expected that after any second life usage, the batteries would still be recycled due to the intrinsic value and recyclability of the materials used inside. Further details on Nissan's "Second Life" battery programme will be announced in the next 12 months.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 17 Comments
      DaveMart
      • 3 Years Ago
      I've got no idea how they will shift these without a major price drop. The price at £10 grand more than the Zoe due around June simply makes no sense, even with battery hire on top of the Renault's price. We are used to leasing our vehicles here, we have systems where you lease for 3 or 4 years and then can buy if you wish to at a guaranteed price. It makes no difference taking out a separate lease for the battery to that for the car. The difference in accomodation between this and the far prettier Zoe is marginal, so you might as well save the £6,000 after paying for the leased battery. I can't think what in the world Nissan/Renault are doing with their charging infrastructure either, as they seem to be trying to roll out two entirely incompatible systems. Colour me confused.
        throwback
        • 3 Years Ago
        @DaveMart
        Isn't the Zoe a much smaller car?
          DaveMart
          • 3 Years Ago
          @throwback
          I should add that the Zoe is pretty identical for accomodation to the existing Renault Clio, so I know exactly the kind of size it will be. Big enough for a city car is the answer, by European standards anyway.
          DaveMart
          • 3 Years Ago
          @throwback
          Not really. Its about the size of the Fiesta, which we are used to for city cars. You can probably seat 5 in the Leaf a bit more easily than in the Zoe, but the latter is a handy size with a good sized boot.
      EV Now
      • 3 Years Ago
      In US, you can see dealers selling cars from multiple brands. If Renault were to sell cars in the US, they would be sold through Nissan dealers i.e. Nissan dealers would just add Renault. How does it work in Europe ? Will Nissan have separate dealers - or will Renaul dealers start selling Nissan cars (esp. Leaf) as well ?
      Dan Frederiksen
      • 3 Years Ago
      they better. we only have one at a dealer in copenhagen here in Denmark. can't even see one locally. not that it's terribly important as it's disgustingly overpriced anyway
      Spec
      • 3 Years Ago
      I hope they can sell a lot of them. I'm still a bit puzzle over the "European EV paradox" If petrol costs $8/gallon in Europe then when don't they adopt EVs in greater numbers?!?! I've come up with the following reasons but I'm always interested in other people's inputs: -Decent EVs have not been available until just recently. -Europeans also have high electricity prices such as $0.20 to $0.35 per KWH -Europeans don't do as much car commuting, they use public transport -Europeans are less likely to have single-family homes where it is easy to set up a charger, instead they live in flats/apartments where it is hard to install chargers -Europeans already have fuel efficient cars . . . lots of little diesels that get 50+MPG
        throwback
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Spec
        Perhaps European buyers just prefer diesels. Or, in city centers where there is a congestion charges it makes more sense to use public transportation. I would have thought Japan would have adopted EVs faster than any country with their short commutes and heavy, generally slower moving traffic.
        DaveMart
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Spec
        The Leaf works out after the subsidy at something like $36,765, so even with petrol at $7 US gallon you would have to drive a heck of a mileage to get your money back. Other than that there has only been a very highly priced iMiEV available and a bunch of NEVs. People who are worried about the price of petrol here have just bought smaller cars.
          DaveMart
          • 3 Years Ago
          @DaveMart
          The electric Up is due in the summer of 2013. The Renault Zoe at a reasonable price will be with us by around November of this year. It works out pretty cheap even after battery lease, but only if you do around 9,000 miles or up. 6,000 is a much closer call.
          Spec
          • 3 Years Ago
          @DaveMart
          Sure . . . but aren't the normal petrol cars also very expensive such that difference between the petrol car price and the EV price not much more than $12K or so?
          DaveMart
          • 3 Years Ago
          @DaveMart
          @Spec: Yeah, if you go for a similar sized and specified car. We get a lot of really small cars here that never come to the US though, and most people just pick up something like that if they are not well-heeled, so they pay a heck of a lot less to get the job done. The Up for instance costs from £8,000, or around $12,000, and will do the job of a city commuter car without range limitations and with great fuel economy. Like for like the Leaf and a similarly specified conventional car may be OK for price differential, but do you really need all that car for short distance commuting? By and large, although there are plenty of SUV's on the roads, we just use smaller cars than in the US.
          sandos
          • 3 Years Ago
          @DaveMart
          More expensive electricity, already using smaller cars, better variety of smaller cars and expensive to buy is the main problems I foresee for Opel ampera and Nissan Leaf, at least here in Sweden. Otoh I find people plunk pretty enormous amounts of money on new cars....
          Spec
          • 3 Years Ago
          @DaveMart
          Hmm . . . It seems like they should also get small EVs then too. And I guess they did with the Reva G-Wiz . . . but that was too small. We need some EVs that are small but have passed crash tests. I guess the Think City was that but it was too expensive. Hopefully they'll make an Electric Up!
      george costanza
      • 3 Years Ago
      it is called going where the customer is. Europeans are smarter i.e. more 'progressive' than Americans who are extremely stupid and apathetic. Americans are more fantastical with magical thinking than pragmatic. There will be record bankruptcies due to five dollar gas after Iran cuts off supply on June 1st to respond to 'sanctions'...american will wait and see what happens with their heads up their own 'asses'..
        Spec
        • 3 Years Ago
        @george costanza
        The USA doesn't get any oil from Iran. I suspect that the sanctions won't have a big affect on oil prices since various countries will just find ways around them.
          marcopolo
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Spec
          @Spec, Well, the PRC just agrees, nods sympathetically, and just ignores the sanctions........
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