Report

Nissan Leaf's lead over Renault Zoe narrows in Europe

The Mitsubishi Outlander is still by far Europe's best-selling PHEV.

2016 Nissan Leaf blue front 3/4 static
  • Image Credit: Nissan
  • 2016 Nissan Leaf blue front 3/4 static
  • 2016 Nissan Leaf blue front 3/4
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  • 2016 Nissan Leaf blue front 3/4 parking
  • 2016 Nissan Leaf blue front
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  • 2016 Nissan Leaf red zero emission badge
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The Nissan Leaf has seen its sales steadily decline in the US for a while now. Here, its been eclipsed by the second-generation Chevrolet Volt extended-range plug-in while people await the next-generation version of the all-electric Leaf. The EV may be starting to receive a similar response across the Pond. While the Leaf remains Europe's biggest-selling EV, that lead is eroding, as sales of the Renault Zoe are catching up, according to the European Alternative Fuels Observatory (EAFO). It's a good thing Nissan and Renault are sister companies.

Through May, Nissan sold about 9,500 Leaf vehicles in Europe. The good news is that number is up 37 percent from a year earlier. There's disconcerting news, too, and that is that the Renault Zoe's sales have surged 60 percent this year to almost 9,400 units. So, for all we know, the Zoe may have caught up with the Leaf last month. Still, both models are outpacing demand for the Tesla Model S and Volkswagen e-Golf: the former's sales are little-changed this year, while the latter model's sales have dropped 34 percent. The BMW i3, Kia Soul EV, and Mercedes-Benz B250e all have had higher sales this year.

As for plug-in hybrids, the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV has maintained its substantial European lead, almost doubling sales of the Volkswagen Golf GTE and totaling almost 9,400 units sold through May. Meanwhile, the new Volvo XC90 PHEV has leapfrogged models such as the Volkswagen Passat GTE, Mercedes-Benz C350e, and Audi A3 e-Tron into third place behind the Mitsubishi and VW.

Here in the US, Nissan Leaf sales through June fell 41 percent from a year earlier to about 5,800 units, while Chevrolet Volt sales have surged 75 percent to 9,808 units.

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