Those cars have collectively driven about 1.2 billion miles, and because of that, they have cut down carbon-monoxide emissions by almost 330,000 tons since 2010. Nissan has also been key in the deployment of almost 10,000 CHAdeMO quick-charging stations globally, including about 6,000 in Japan.
Nissan is announcing these figures as it prepares to start selling the 2016 model-year Leaf around the world. The new version, which has a 20-percent improvement in single-charge range, started sales in the US last month. It debuts this month in Japan and will be launched in Europe in January.
In September, Nissan said that the 2016 Leaf's new 30-kWh battery pack would provide a single-charge range of 107 miles. Folks will pay a bit for the additional range, since the base price was upped by about $2,100 to $35,050. That's not factoring in the federal tax break of $7,500, of course. That said, the car pretty much looks the same, though there are a few new colors offered to make things a little more interesting. Take a look at Nissan's press release and a two-minute video commemorating the sales milestone below.
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2016 Nissan LEAF Press Kit
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Nissan is celebrating five years at the forefront of the electric vehicle (EV) market with the record-breaking 100-percent electric vehicle Nissan LEAF. Having transformed the performance, practicality and public perception of EVs around the world since its launch in 2010, Nissan remains the undisputed leader in EV technology.
Five years of ground-breaking success
The Nissan LEAF is as advanced and innovative today as it was five years ago. No other manufacturer has produced as many electric vehicles or covered as much distance without producing any emissions. In fact, Nissan LEAF customers just surpassed the 1.2 billion-mile mark (two billion kilometers), which is equivalent to 2600 round trips from the Earth to the moon. This remarkable feat has helped keep 328,482 tons of CO from entering the air, according to a five-year sales-volume based assumption.
Nissan will deliver its 200,000th LEAF in January, officially making it the world's most popular and successful electric vehicle. The U.S., Japan and Europe have accounted for 90 percent of total LEAF sales, with the U.S. leading the way with nearly 90,000 sales, followed by Japan (50,000) and Europe (40,000).
Ever since the first Nissan LEAF rolled off the assembly line, it has been continually celebrated around the world, garnering more than 92 awards, including being named Car of the Year in Japan and Europe, not to mention winning the very prestigious World Car of the Year.
After the war, in a switch from fighter plane manufacture to peacetime industry in Japan, Tachikawa Aircraft (later Tama Cars Co.) embarked on the development of electric vehicles. One reason for this was the extreme shortage of gasoline at the time. In 1947, the company succeeded in creating a prototype two-seater truck (500kg load capacity) with a 4.5hp motor and a new body design. It was named "Tama" after the area where it was produced. Read more about the Tama, and other Nissan EV history, here.
Nissan's heritage with electric vehicles dates back 68 years with the Tama Electric Vehicle. Nissan, which has dedicated itself to in-house research and development of the EV battery, has taken it from zinc and nickel hydride to lithium-ion. The company successfully marketed the world's first lithium-ion battery EV in 1996 with the Prairie Joy EV. The knowledge and experienced gained from this gave Nissan a big advantage over its competitors and resulted in the first mass-produced EV in history, the Nissan LEAF.
Nissan has announced that it has invested more than 500 billion JPY in EV projects, with bold plans to expand further as demand for clean, efficient and affordable electric cars continues to grow.
And it's not just the LEAF that is showcasing Nissan's EV engineering expertise and investment, as the company has reported that there are nearly 10,000 CHAdeMO Quick Chargers (QC) available worldwide. These QC can charge a LEAF from low battery alert to 80-percent capacity in just 30 minutes. Japan is taking the lead in developing this infrastructure with 6000 chargers throughout the country, making it the biggest QC network in the world.
Hideaki Horie has had an exceptional career at Nissan, with two major job titles of distinction: senior innovation researcher at Nissan Motor Company and project professor at the Institute of Industrial Science of the University of Tokyo. Horie led the team of people who worked on the research and development of the lithium-ion batteries used in the Nissan LEAF range. "I am a stickler for compliance," said Horie. "I work on car batteries at Nissan, and I conduct research on future batteries for stationary power-plant applications at the university." Read more about Nissan's EV heritage and Nissan Legend Hideaki Horie here.
Building a new EV future – The next five years
The 2016 Nissan LEAF went on sale equipped with a new 30kWh battery in the U.S. in November that extends the miles per charge by more than 20 percent, followed by Japan (December 2015) and Europe (January 2016).
As the level of electric vehicle technology continues to increase, Nissan believes that this shift towards cleaner, more efficient zero emission vehicles will contribute greatly in improving air quality and lowering noise levels.
"EV technology will continue to be at the heart of Nissan's product development efforts," said Nissan president and CEO Carlos Ghosn. "By combining our pioneering EV technologies and other intelligence and innovations, Nissan is moving closer to a zero-emission future for car transportation. With the technologies we are creating, mobility is becoming safer, cleaner, more connected and more exciting. That's the power of innovation. And that's what you can expect from Nissan."
Nissan will accelerate its endeavors for the realization of a zero emission society by further developing and popularizing EVs as well as innovations utilizing EV-related technology and business
Read more: Nissan IDS Concept: Nissan's vision for the future of EVs and autonomous driving
About Nissan North America
In North America, Nissan's operations include automotive styling, engineering, consumer and corporate financing, sales and marketing, distribution and manufacturing. Nissan is dedicated to improving the environment under the Nissan Green Program and has been recognized annually by the U.S Environmental Protection Agency as an ENERGY STAR® Partner of the Year since 2010. More information on Nissan in North America and the complete line of Nissan and Infiniti vehicles can be found online at www.NissanUSA.com and www.InfinitiUSA.com, or visit the U.S. media sites NissanNews.com and InfinitiNews.com.
About Nissan Motor Co.
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 247,500 employees globally, Nissan sold 5.32 million vehicles and generated revenue of 11.38 trillion yen (USD 103.6 billion) in fiscal year 2014. Nissan delivers a comprehensive range of more than 60 models under the Nissan, Infiniti and Datsun brands. Nissan leads the world in zero-emission mobility, dominated by sales of the LEAF, the first mass-market, pure-electric vehicle. It is the best-selling EV in history. For more information on our products, services and commitment to sustainable mobility, visit our website at http://www.nissan-global.com/EN/.