• Image Credit: Nissan
  • Image Credit: Nissan
  • Image Credit: John Murphy Photography
  • Image Credit: Nissan
  • Image Credit: Nissan
  • Image Credit: Nissan
  • Image Credit: Nissan
  • Image Credit: John Murphy Photography
  • Image Credit: John Murphy Photography
  • Image Credit: Nissan
  • Image Credit: Nissan
  • Image Credit: Nissan
The Nissan Leaf had its best sales month of the year in May, selling 2,104 units. By July that number had come down nearly 50 percent to 1,074 units, and Hybrid Cars reports that Leaf production is on an even steeper decline as the company prepares to roll out the updated 2016 Leaf. In April, Nissan built 2,575 EVs, in May that dropped to 1,569, in June it was just 504. That has pushed the number of Leafs in dealer inventories to a 2015 low of 62 days worth of sales.

The trend gave the Chevrolet Volt the upper hand in July sales for the first time in almost two years, even though the Chevy's annual performance is also down for the year. The likely culprits in both cases are customers waiting on the 2016 models to arrive, along with expiring tax credits, a fleet of expired-lease vehicles rolling back onto the market, and declining gas prices.

As for the much-rehashed expectations, a Leaf with at least 20 miles more range and perhaps up to 35 miles more range is what customers are anticipating in the fall. Either one of those would be a significant number that justifies not buying right now, and orders for the coming hatchback are being taken in some states. The new Leaf will also get a more conventional style and might also come in a small CUV version. We've asked Nissan for a comment on the declining production numbers, but have not yet heard back. We'll update the post if we get a response.

UPDATE: Nissan's Paige Presley told AutoblogGreen, "While I can't comment on future products, I can tell you that we are managing production in line with vehicle demand in the market. With higher sales of Altima and ramping up of Maxima, we have shifted Smyrna's production toward those models. (Additionally, the Smyrna Vehicle Assembly Plant was on its annual summer shutdown for two weeks in June.) The Nissan LEAF continues to be the global leader in EV sales, and we expect EV sales to continue to rise over time with increasing emission regulations, low operating costs, reduced dependence on foreign energy sources, environmental concerns and fulfilling driving experience."

Related Video:

Charging A Nissan Leaf EV In Portland, Oregon

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