Like the old 1970s Schoolhouse Rock song (and an early-90s remake from hip-hop artists De La Soul), three, indeed, is the magic number. That's how many Nissan Leaf batteries have conked out in Europe during the past four-plus years. Out of about 35,000. I'd hate to be a member of that unlucky trio.

The Japanese automaker says it has shut up the naysayers who once crowed that electric motors may be less reliable than gas- or diesel-powered engines. Nissan has done so by maintaining a 99.99 percent "battery success rate" in Europe. With only an on-board charger, inverter and motor, the Leaf's electric motor costs 40 percent less to maintain that gas- or diesel-powered engines.

Nissan does seem to be getting more converts across the Pond. Nissan boosted European sales of the Leaf by about 33 percent last year to more than 15,000 units. Meanwhile, here in the States, sales jumped 34 percent last year to more than 30,000 vehicles, though early 2015 sales appear to be down as lower gas prices are leading American car shoppers to larger, more gas-swilling vehicles. Still, Nissan recently said it surpassed sales of 75,000 units in the US and we expect the March sales numbers to show that the Leaf has become the top-selling plug-in vehicle in US history. Take a look at Nissan Europe's press release below.

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Show full PR text
Nissan LEAF battery reliably outperforms cynics, critics and alternatives

Five years on, Nissan reports 99.99% battery success rate across Europe

More reliable than a petrol or diesel engine, according to industry averages

Nissan LEAF is the world's best-selling all-electric car, with over 165,000 sold globally

Rolle, Switzerland, 23 March 2015: Five years and more than 35,000 European sales since the launch of its all-electric LEAF, proprietary data released by Nissan for the first time shows that 99.99 percent of its battery units remain entirely fit for purpose.

The failure rate of the battery power unit is less than 0.01 percent - or just three units in total - a fraction of the equivalent industry-wideꜞ figure for defects affecting traditional combustion engines.

To prove the long-term reliability of the battery technology, Nissan tracked down a rather infamous early model, whose owner is still enjoying fault-free motoring in her LEAF three years on: http://youtu.be/6V1bJJwJhEg

Electric vehicle advocate and presenter of online TV channel Fully Charged, Robert Llewellyn commented: "This comes as no surprise. There was a lot of apprehension about electric technology in the beginning, but with sales climbing month-on-month I struggle to see how these myths continue to be regurgitated today."

The Nissan LEAF has smashed its own sales record with a 33 percent increase in sales in 2014 over the previous year, taking more than a quarter of the burgeoning electric car market with 15,098 sales.

Jean-Pierre Diernaz, Director of Electric Vehicles for Nissan in Europe, comments: "The facts speak for themselves. The rate of battery faults in our vehicles is negligible, even the most ardent critic cannot argue with that.

"The battery technology is just part of our success story. With over 165,000 customers globally, it's clear that we're not the only people who are thrilled by the success of this state-of-the-art technology."

With just three main components - the on-board charger, inverter and motor - the Nissan LEAF is also 40 percent cheaper to maintain compared to petrol or diesel-powered alternatives.

The Nissan LEAF launched over four years ago in 2010, as one of the first mass-market, pure-electric vehicles. It is now the best-selling electric vehicle in history, with over 165,000 LEAF vehicles sold globally, more than 35,000 of which have been sold in Europe; clocking up an impressive one billion kilometres worldwideꜞꜞ.



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