Just think, if Americans took to the Nissan Leaf battery-electric vehicle as enthusiastically as the Norwegians, the Japanese automaker would've hit its first-year U.S. sales goal of 10,000 units... in about a month.

Nissan sold 1,000 Leafs in Norway during its first six months of sales there and accounted for about two percent of the car market in February. That's roughly equivalent to the market share of all hybrids combined in the U.S.

In February, the Leaf was the ninth most-popular new vehicle in Norway, which Nissan says has the highest EV subsidies in Europe. Additionally, Norway's capital, Oslo, has about 3,500 public charging stations, around a third of what the U.S. has across the entire country.

The U.S. has a population that's over 60 times the size of Norway's five million people, meaning that a similar per capita sales rate in the U.S. would mean sales of about 120,000 units a year. Last year, Nissan sold 9,674 Leafs in the U.S.

Last month, Nissan sold just 370 Leafs, down 35 percent from a year earlier and marking a 36 percent drop from March sales. Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn has said that Nissan's cost to make the Leaf will fall and sales should rise once the company starts producing the Leaf in Tennessee as well as Japan later this year.
Show full PR text
Norway Hits 1000 Nissan LEAF Sales in Just Six Months

Nissan in Norway has sold 1000 Nissan LEAFs in just six months, taking almost 2% of the total car market in February this year demonstrating the impact of comprehensive incentives and developed charging infrastructure.

The government support and charging infrastructure have helped the Nissan LEAF become the second best selling Nissan in Norway and the ninth best selling passenger car overall in February. Norway has the highest level of support in Europe for electric vehicle purchases with zero VAT, no new car tax, free parking, exemption from some tolls and the use of bus lanes in Oslo. The existing on-street charging infrastructure in Oslo currently has approximately 3500 public charging points in Oslo, many of them free to use.

Olivier Paturet, General Manager of Zero Emission Strategy at Nissan Europe was delighted to attend the handover, commenting: "We are very happy to see that the ambition of the Norwegian government has matched our own with strong support for the widespread introduction of electric vehicles. The Norwegian package of incentives is unsurpassed and the recharging infrastructure is established and accessible. We can see that Norway is leading the way with its proactive approach to encouraging its citizens to drive electric vehicles. We hope it will continue with the further development and upgrading of the charging infrastructure."

The 1000th car handover took place on 25 April at 12.30 in front of the Ministry of Environment where the Minister Bård Vegar Solhjell handed over the keys to Nils Haugerud. Also attending was Birger N. Haug the dealer responsible for selling this car and 550 of the 1000 sold so far, making him one of the largest volume LEAF dealers worldwide.

All of the sales so far have come from a select group of dealers and Nissan will be expanding that number as Pål Simonsen, Country Manager for Norway explains: "LEAF has been a success for us and for the nine dealers that started selling the car last year, so it is a natural step for us to open up for sales from other Nissan dealers as well. We are extremely satisfied with our LEAF sales performance in Norway. In a short period of time LEAF became our second best selling model, proving that EVs can be valid and competitive alternative to combustion engine cars. We are absolutely committed to LEAF and we are working with our Dealers on commercial strategy to go even further."

To learn more about Nissan's Electric Vehicles, please visit: http://www.nissan-zeroemission.com/

About the Nissan LEAF
The Nissan LEAF was the first mass produced EV winning the European, World and Japanese car of the year 2011. More than 25,000 units have been sold globally since its introduction in December 2010, making Nissan LEAF the world's most selling electric vehicle. The AC motor develops 80 kW of power and 280 Nm of torque, enough for a maximum speed of 145 km/h. The electric motor is powered by a Nissan-developed laminated lithium-ion battery with an output of more than 90 kW. Recharging from empty to 100% takes eight hours with a normal charger and just 30 minutes from empty to 80% using a quick charger in optimal conditions. Nissan LEAF has been awarded five stars in the tough Euro NCAP tests, making it one of the safest cars on the road. Nissan LEAF comes fully equipped with air conditioning, satellite navigation, rear-view parking camera. European production of the Nissan LEAF will start at Sunderland in early 2013.

About Nissan in Europe
Nissan has one of the most comprehensive European presences of any overseas manufacturer, employing more than 14,500 staff across locally-based design, research & development, manufacturing, logistics and sales & marketing operations. Last year Nissan plants in the UK, Spain and Russia produced 677,000 vehicles including mini-MPVs, award-winning crossovers, SUVs and commercial vehicles. Nissan now offers 24 diverse and innovative products for sale in Europe today, and is positioned to become the number one Asian brand in Europe.

About Nissan
Nissan Motor Co., Ltd., Japan's second-largest automotive company, is headquartered in Yokohama, Japan, and is part of the Renault-Nissan Alliance. Operating with more than 248,000 employees globally, Nissan provided customers with more than 4.1 million vehicles in 2010, generating revenue of 8.77 trillion yen ($102.37 billion US). With a strong commitment to developing exciting and innovative products for all, Nissan delivers a comprehensive range of 64 models under the Nissan and Infiniti brands. A pioneer in zero-emission mobility, Nissan made history with the introduction of the Nissan LEAF, the first affordable, mass-market, pure-electric vehicle and winner of numerous international accolades, including the prestigious 2011-2012 Car of the Year Japan, 2012 RJC Car of the Year, 2011 European Car of the Year, and 2011 World Car of the Year awards. For more information on our products, services and commitment to sustainable mobility, visit our website at http://www.nissan-global.com/EN/.


I'm reporting this comment as:

Reported comments and users are reviewed by Autoblog staff 24 hours a day, seven days a week to determine whether they violate Community Guideline. Accounts are penalized for Community Guidelines violations and serious or repeated violations can lead to account termination.


    • 1 Second Ago
  • 30 Comments
      Ugo Sugo
      • 2 Years Ago
      The leaf, like any other electric car with a 100 miles range, will stop selling as soon as early motivated adopters will have got one. They would be a perfect choice as a second car for daily commute, but personally I do not know many people who can afford/will to spend 30k for a second car.
        brotherkenny4
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Ugo Sugo
        Nonsense. In the US there are more cars than drivers. I know people who live in 20K houses and drive mercedes SUVs. There, how's that for using a singular anecdotal bit of information to justify a position? Very wingnutian don't you think? Seriously though, the price will not be 30K forever. Besides, it is the total cost of ownership for the specific number of miles that you drive that determines the economics, not just the price. That's the point isn't it? At 12,000 miles of driving a year, the break even point is somewhere arount $25K. So for the Leaf, with incentives, if they price it back at the original $32K, you are at that point. lower than $32K and it is a net gain. I would say there are a whole bunch of people sitting and waiting for that price, and then as always there will be the followers.
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Ugo Sugo
        I think you have it a bit backwards: the LEAF makes an excellent primary car with that ratty old Honda Civic making an excellent second car for those occasional longer trips. At least, that's my take as a city dweller (80% of total US population). Besides, ever look at what the average price of a car sold in the US is? As a hint, it's over $30K. Admittedly, this is likely influenced by all those $50K Platinum Edition trucks that will never haul a cord of wood in their life. Back to topic, I believe part of the reason the LEAF has sold so well (relatively speaking) in Norway is that electric vehicles don't have to pay the normal import tariff for foreign cars (up to 100%).
        Joeviocoe
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Ugo Sugo
        Um.. folks who make enough money to get the full $7500 tax break often DO have more than one car per household. And can afford the $30k without much problem
      DaveMart
      • 2 Years Ago
      S/be 'not been specific about cost reduction from localising production to the US'
      harlanx6
      • 2 Years Ago
      Those Norweigians are going to save the Earth. After all it was them who had the wisdom to give Barack Obama a Nobel Piece Prize for....uhhh....for....uhhhh... what did they give it to him for again? I can't seem to remember anything notable he has done..
        Joeviocoe
        • 2 Years Ago
        @harlanx6
        They only gave him a "piece" of a Nobel prize? The reasons for his prize are listed here. http://www.nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/peace/laureates/2009/obama.html Of course, the impact of his contributions are still hotly debatable since about half the population is polarized against the current president. Looking at the other laureates, many of them got a prize for struggling yet not accomplishing their goals. Many of them only have notable accomplishments in isolated regions that would not affect most of the world. The "Peace Prize" differs greatly from every other Nobel prize in this manner. It is not really a quantifiable award. Al Gore got one for just spreading the word about global climate change.
      Sasparilla Fizz
      • 2 Years Ago
      Danny for this: "Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn has said that the Leaf's U.S. pricing will fall and sales will rise once the company starts producing the Leaf in Tennessee as well as Japan later this year." I think you might want to qualify your statement on this since you're the reporter here. As far as I can tell Ghosn has not said prices will fall with the 2013's. He has said Nissan's costs will go down by about a 1/3rd with Smryna TN starting up and he has said that he still expects 22,000 sales this year and 60k next year. So we're supposing (supposition) prices have to come down seriously for that to happen and Nissan not to loose a ton of money on these huge factories they're building - but so far I don't think Ghosn has said prices will drop for the 2013's (which would be dumb for Nissan to do at this point and kill their 2012 potential sales).
        ABG Sebastian
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Sasparilla Fizz
        Good point. Will adjust.
        DaveMart
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Sasparilla Fizz
        The 1/3rd fall was in Europe with localisation. AFAIK Nissan have not been specific about how much fall is likely from localising production to Europe, although I think it will be similar.
      throwback
      • 2 Years Ago
      What this tells me is that there is an initial demand for the Leaf in Norway. Also, if they sold 1,000 units in 6 months, how does that equate to 10,000 in 12?
        SVX pearlie
        • 2 Years Ago
        @throwback
        Indeed. The question is what the next 6 months look like, and then year-over-year sales.
        Sasparilla Fizz
        • 2 Years Ago
        @throwback
        The 10k comment was saying that if Americans bought Leaf's in the same proportions that Norwegians did during its first months we'd have done about 10,000 in a month here in the U.S.. That's all.
        Joeviocoe
        • 2 Years Ago
        @throwback
        I don't think that is what the article suggests. Those are total sales in the U.S.
      paulwesterberg
      • 2 Years Ago
      ABG blogger error: Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn has said that Nissan's cost to make the Leaf will fall and sales should rise once the company starts producing the Leaf in Tennessee as well as Japan later this year. Note: Nissan has been producing the leaf in Japan for over a year now. Their other new production facility(Besides Tennessee) is in Sunderland, UK.
        Sasparilla Fizz
        • 2 Years Ago
        @paulwesterberg
        I think the ABG quote is accurate Paul, although maybe not so clear. The Sunderlank, UK plant doesn't come on line until 2013 sometime, so at the end of this year the Leaf will be produced in TN as well as Japan. http://www.plugincars.com/nissan-gears-leaf-production-uk-113789.html
      pmpjunkie
      • 2 Years Ago
      No wonder they are diverting units there, i remember they sell for over $47k in Norway. Nissan would be stupid to sell more than the bare minimum to the US.
        Joeviocoe
        • 2 Years Ago
        @pmpjunkie
        EXACTLY... yet only one article down, people are getting frustrated at low U.S. sales figures for this month.
      paulwesterberg
      • 2 Years Ago
      Norway is well suited to electric cars because of their abundant, cheap, clean hydroelectric power. The area along the coast where most people live is warmed by the ocean in the winter so it doesn't get too frigid. They also have an extensive public transportation system and the country is so rugged that using a car to drive a long distance is difficult - your are often better off taking a ferry or train anyway.
        Marco Polo
        • 2 Years Ago
        @paulwesterberg
        @paulwesterberg Very true Paul, but it hasn't stopped them taking advantage of the offshore oil in Norway's territorial limits.
      sandos
      • 2 Years Ago
      The sad thing is that here in Sweden, Nissan sold 11 leafs in April. We have approx. double the population compared to Norway. Also, a total of 16 Amperas were sold. These cars are so expensive I could never tell anyone I bought one of them with a straight face. A bigger frugal diesel is about half the price, and even less if I choose to buy a car that has a few years on it. Economically I could hack it, but I don't want to. Throwing away tens of thousands of dollars is not something I like doing. The problem is that cars with high MPG is so common here (our lax standards for "environmentally friendly cars" has about 50-60% of all new sold cars classified as green) that economically its just much smarter to buy one of the more popular cars.
        Marco Polo
        • 2 Years Ago
        @sandos
        @sandos, i hate to break the sad news to you, but in the words of a fellow Scandinavian we all know, diesel fuel, is "Not Green !". Nor is it "environmentally friendly" . Now I know that Sweden no longer owns a car building industry, but you could maybe learn from your Norwegian neighbours ?
      Edge
      • 2 Years Ago
      Great video there Sasparilla. Excellent point Carlos makes in that the cost of the Leaf will be significantly lower for Nissan, because they are getting away from the high Yen with a US plant. This will give Nissan a lot of options on lowering the price, when needed.
      Sasparilla Fizz
      • 2 Years Ago
      Looks great, thanks for listening.
      Spec
      • 2 Years Ago
      Norway is the drug dealer that sells drugs but knows better than doing drugs. They also have lots of cheap green electricity from hydropower. Now they need to work on putting out lots of ocean-based wind turbines.
        brotherkenny4
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Spec
        I presume you are referring to the fact that Norway is the worlds third largest oil exporter, correct? http://sadbastards.wordpress.com/2008/07/18/norway-is-the-worlds-third-largest-oil-exporter-and-second-ranked-environmentally-friendly-country/
        Ryan
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Spec
        Don't get high on your own supply. And the world is addicted to oil... I would like to travel to Norway sometime. It looks like a great place.
          Anne
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Ryan
          They're already accustomed to plugging their car in. Otherwise it freezes to death.
          Anne
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Ryan
          A tad chilly perhaps.
    • Load More Comments
    Advertisement

    From Our Partners

    2015 Nissan LEAF
    MSRP: $29,010 - $35,120
    2014 Nissan LEAF
    MSRP: $28,980 - $35,020
    2013 Nissan LEAF
    MSRP: $28,800 - $34,840