Who Killed The Nissan Leaf?

Who Killed The Nissan Leaf?

Keep in mind as you read this the Leaf is priced from $29-$37K.

Nissan LEAF sales are in free-fall and Tesla Model 3 could have something to do with it:

george210 | 2016年6月2日

Nissan's continued lack of innovation killed the Nissan Leaf!

warren_tran | 2016年6月2日

The look alone would kill itself

carlk | 2016年6月2日

No matter what we think of Leaf Nissan has been the only company besides Tesla that has made real effort to make EV a true product. At least it got an admirable intention.

martinmitchell | 2016年6月2日

Thank you, Carl.

bj | 2016年6月2日

I like my Leaf. A lot.

alseTrick | 2016年6月3日

@carlk, except for the fast chargers at many local dealers being perpetually broken, per PlugShare reviews.

yongliangzhu68 | 2016年6月3日

It seems ever other car I see is a leaf. Last week while on a 5 mile run I even counted them after I stared (front charging port makes them distinctive). I counted 7 Leafs (or is it Leaves?) and there were probably many more I missed.

Maxxer | 2016年6月3日

Because when you look at it besides a Nissan GT-R, it looks like a punishment car.
When you look at a Model S besides a BMW M6, you don't cry internally like you do when you compare the look of other non-electric cars even if you say it doesn't matter to you, our subconscious were all raised in a word were Porsches were the dream car. Even if they're performance is shit today compared to what Elon Musk was able to do with Tesla with comparable prices.
Model 3 is just a no brainer when you look into the automotive EV industry, you don't even have to wait and think between choosing the Model 3 and the other designs around.

adias.angel | 2016年6月3日

I'm sad to see any EV line have a drop in sales. The more EV out there, no matter the brand, is better for everyone.

Frank99 | 2016年6月3日

Interesting thought - if all the other manufacturers are building minimal numbers of EV's for compliance purposes, and everyone's sales drop like this due to the Model 3, the only way they'll be able to move enough EV's to stay in compliance (and sell ICE vehicles) is to drop price.

Are we sitting on the edge of a "golden year" for really cheap EV's?

PhillyGal | 2016年6月3日

@Frank - I'm not sure if the compliance is based on sales or just vehicle offerings in general but either way, I thought the same thing. Maybe one can pickup a Leaf at a steal right now.

mos6507 | 2016年6月3日

People buy a Leaf because they want an EV and they tolerate the bad styling and the way the Leaf murders its own batteries. People want a Model 3 because it will be a good car on its own merits beyond simply being an EV.

You simply can not compete on drivetrain alone. You must create an overall package that people want. Equally this is a lesson for GM with the ho-hum econobox Bolt.

SV Az | 2016年6月3日

I think Leaf is killing itself in US. I would consider Volt to be major factor, and then Model 3.

Leaf came with the knowledge that avg US person(/large % of user no.) drives 40 Miles per day. Nissan made an assumption that this avg person or most of them will be willing to spend 30K+ to go green and consider Leaf as the second but more driven vehicle in the household. People will get the 7500 rebate + electric savings will make the car desirable.

This assumption looked good on paper but did not hold true in with general public. The early adopters/ environment lovers who could afford (money/garage space) and extra vehicle did get into this. But other environment conscious people avoided it as it was not a complete solution. Initial reports on ride quality/fun to drive were encouraging, which did result in good sales. In this case the owners needed a second car (utility) for longer commutes.

Later, we got reports of battery degradation, and I do not mean Arizona/hot climate affects on battery, but in general leaf, does have a battery degradation problem.

Which killed its resale value. A 3 year old leaf is available at quarter of its sticker price, people do not like to buy cars that will not hold any value.

The only available alternative was Volt, which gave the 35-40 miles on electric and unlimited on gas, It did not come with the range anxiety. the second iteration of Volt, they made it look better and gave it 53 miles of all electric range.
At present this is a good alternative, you can have just 1 car that is green enough for daily needs and allow you to take longer drives. In this case the owners who were willing to spend the money could keep a second optional (fun) car.

Model 3, allows you to do the same as Volt but It is completely green and is a Tesla. this is final nail.

I still believe a used Leaf is a good car for now , if you need 2 cars in the household and it does suffice needs of 1 of the driver. It is just not a complete solution.

stevenmaifert | 2016年6月3日

Before electrek schedules the funeral, maybe they should give us the Leaf worldwide sales figures for May. Perhaps M3 reservations played a role in U.S. sales and maybe the anticipated availability of the Bolt later this year did too, but there are still more Leafs on the road worldwide than any other BEV. It's also possible that after nearly 6 years, the Leaf is starting to reach market saturation for a BEV with that range capability and price point.

SV Az | 2016年6月3日

@ stevenmaifert +1.

I think this is the case in US only as of now, as I mentioned above. I will be interesting to see what happens in EU, when M3 reaches there and whenever Opel version of Bolt reaches there.

SV Az | 2016年6月3日

But I do think, the next iteration of Leaf would be 200+ miles. If they disclose that now, they will not be able to sell any more to Nissan Loyalists/People who need a pure EV right now, as that will further degrade the resale value of its existing lineup.

Another Issue with Leaf is that you cannot upgrade its battery to a larger battery when the battery dies.

Tesla was real smart when they made battery packs of same size.(Or rather another point that proves how smart they are)

tesla | 2016年6月3日

S.V. Az +1 on your comments. In spite of having posted this story I, as someone earlier said, am sad, to see any EV/BEV experience a drop in sales. It is puzzling that Nissan has not iterated the Leaf more by now.

When you watch Revenge of the Electric Car, which was produced when the Leaf was being developed, Carlos Ghosn was gearing up for 150K units per year. The narrator speculated that Ghosn, and perhaps Nissan, might not be around if their gamble did not pay off. Both still are, but I would love to see the internals as to why they did not keep re-working the car in order to reach the projected numbers. Restrictions on R&D funds? Anyone know?

deeageux | 2016年6月3日

Pl WORLD April YTD % '15Pl
1 Nissan Leaf 3.136 19.428 11 2
2 Tesla Model S 1.893 14.508 8 1
3 BYD Tang 3.145 12.366 7 8
4 Mitsu Outl PHEV 2.218 11.915
5 Renault Zoe 1.974 7.875
6 BAIC E-Series EV 1.415 6.998
7 JAC i EV 2.331 6.741 4 16
8 Chevrolet Volt 2.248 6.687 4 9
9 BMW i3 1.904 6.202 3 5
10 BYD e6 2.089 5.896 3 22

TOTAL 49.644 182.964

Sorry in advance for any formatting issues. See link for complete details.

deeageux | 2016年6月3日

spam filter would not let me post link

Site is ev sales BlogSpot

Sales for LEAF, to me, are disappointing given that it is the most widely distributed EV on the planet and at a price point where the 1st World middle class can afford.

LEAF should be selling at least 5x the number of Model S that has an average selling price of ~$106k US.

But still, according the latest world wide sales figures it is the number one EV model in unit sales.

finman100 | 2016年6月3日

some of us like all EVs. Tesla got me thinking of my ACTUAL use of a car. Model S (and X now!) were way out of my comfortable price range. The Leaf was not. And it fit my usage perfectly here in the PNW. 2 years and 25,000 miles later (gas-free) I'm as happy as can be that those 25,000 miles were not burning any gasoline. It's a regional car and i went into it knowing it is not taking me across the country. That's what my Model 3 will be for. wink, wink.

It seems we all have our strong feelings for or against things. I'm for all EVs, for anyone and their usage/situations. One size fits all is a terrible way to see EVs. Yes, the Leaf's non-existent TMS is not good. But it's way better than continuing to burn gas just to get from A to B. Ludicrous? no, just sensible.

For the record and to make this even longer (sorry!), my Leaf battery is at 19 kWh capacity from it's new capacity that was real close to 22 kWh usable. doing the math...(carry the one...) 86%. It still nets me right around 75 miles on our slower speed roads here in OR. Yeah, I'm a right laner but above the speed limit when range is not an issue. It does ALL that I ask of it and need it to do. gas free. It'll never compete on many levels that others deem important. but I really don't care. MY plan all long was to stop using gas. period. at my price level.

Still, I can't wait for 2018 and Model 3!

SV Az | 2016年6月3日

@ deeageux -> Yup, Its disappointing . But I guess things might change once they have 200 + mile range. BUT the effective price will have to comparable to the other vehicles with same utility Vs price for love for environment. I guess all other manufactures realize that they cannot hope to sell a car in 33K to 40K range without Autopilot. Its just unfair to price a car that cannot do all that its competitor can do in the price range.

@finman100 - I am contemplating on buying a used Leaf in Jan 2017 while waiting for M3. My guess is that by that time Nissan will have to announce 200 + mile range car due to Bolt. This will drop the price of used Leaf by a lot. I think there might be the new 107 mile cars left at dealers lot that they will sell for heavy discounts. What are your thoughts as you have dealt with Nissan and are a current Leaf Owner ?

mos6507 | 2016年6月3日

Nissan thought they could sell an EV on specs alone and the styling didn't matter, so they just cheaped out and used a slightly tweaked Versa. You just can't create an aspirational vehicle that way. You have to give them something people won't be embarrassed to be seen in. And yet again and again I see apologists sing the Leaf's praises. Of course, because these are EV fanboys. But the general public is not going to jump on board with a boring spam-can like that. It seemed like a big deal after the long dead period after the EV1 and the other compliance cars were phased out, but it's the nature of competition to have to keep raising your game and Nissan just coasted on what they had for too long.

tesla | 2016年6月3日

mos6507. Not everyone buys on looks though. Do you really think Leaf sales are sluggish mainly due to looks? Has there been a poll taken suggesting that Leaf lookers passed mainly due to looks? Given you proclivity toward pejorative comments over fact lending in your post, I would be a surprised if you are working from such a survey.

For myself, a BEV is 95% about range. You know the 3 most important things in real estate, right? For me (and a few others I think) substitute in the word range. I would drive any BEV out there if the range was right... and make zero apologies for the cosmetics. Anybody laughs and I'd just shown them my gas card statement and annual repair/maintenance bill. If that doesn't wipe the smirk off their face their opinion has no value.

I don't see anyone apologizing for the Leaf. I hear about a lot of happy owners who are pleased with their purchase. It was the right choice at the time, and I personally salute them. But certainly the Leaf could use more than a range touch-up at this point in time.


warren_tran | 2016年6月3日

I would say general population do care about the design of the car (style,look). I would not ever buy leaf or Prius. That is fine for those who want an appliance for a car or just a piece of machine to transport them point a to b.

Otherwise you would see everyone flock out to buy up all the leaf, i3, volt, bolt and no longer consider ICE vehicle.

b.tesla | 2016年6月3日

As a LEAF owner & a M3 reservation holder, I'm not surprised at all. My LEAF will be replaced with the M3, assuming I can still get something for it. The LEAF is a goofy looking car, but not as ugly as my Prius was before it. It is smooth, quiet, and performs OK, but it is nothing to get excited about unless you want to do your part of driving a spike through the heart of big oil. An air cooled battery isn't designed anything like Tesla's. Nissan is pissing off owners with a horrible Android app that is extremely slow for every single operation, plus 2G cellular connections that are being phased out of service through the end of the year. And don't forget, mobile security is a distant afterthought for Nissan; for a while, anybody could hack you if they knew your VIN.

If Nissan made it look sexier, improved performance and handling, gave it a bigger battery that is temperature controlled to extend life, etc, they might be onto something good. But with their "new" 2016 model looking virtually identical to the previous design, and the only perk seems to be a slightly bigger battery, then yes, they're going to have trouble selling them when the M3 is the competition. If the M3s were shipping today instead of a year and a half from now, LEAF sales would be much worse.

Nissan helped pioneer more affordable 100% EVs and they deserve some credit for that, but the competition is moving fast.

mos6507 | 2016年6月3日

"I hear about a lot of happy owners who are pleased with their purchase. "


dalesmith1962 | 2016年6月3日

Maybe some of it is selection bias.

I liked the performance of my Leaf, but I don't like that it dropped to one third the value after only three years. I'm really glad I leased it, instead of buying!

deeageux | 2016年6月4日

Happy LEAF owners are a tiny percentage of 4 door $29k- $37k car owners.

Happy Model S owners are a significant slice, in the USA and a few other countries, the biggest slice of the $70k-$150k 4 door car market. Model S has gone beyond environmentalist liberals and energy independence conservatives to include techies and even performance car enthusiast.

To appeal to the cheap skates you have to be the cheapest or you have to match everything else in your class while having the lowest cost of ownership. A large number of people are not buying into the idea that LEAF matches the average car in its price class while offering lowest TCO. The exception was the good people of Atlanta that where combining a $7500 Federal Credit with a Georgian $5k rebate but now that is gone. Why aren't the people of Denver and Colorado snapping up BEVs with their state $5k rebate plus Federal Credit?

denkav2 | 2016年6月4日

Don't forget that Nissan mostly sells lots of ICE cars. It, like all car manufacturers except Tesla, is and always will be compromised and confused about how to develop fully electric cars which will cut the sales of their own ICE vehicles. I considered many, many times buying a Leaf here in Australia but was put off each time by its looks and my first dealer enquirer experience. I also considered a Model S but the price here is just "ludicrous". So here I wait for my M3!

mntlvr23 | 2016年6月4日

The M3 is to the Leaf as Asteroids is to Pong.
There was nothing wrong with Pong, for a long time Pong was the coolest new tech around. But then the bar was raised.
The Leaf will need to take leaps in range, performance, safety, tech and looks to stay viable.

mntlvr23 | 2016年6月4日

Or maybe - as "Call of Duty" is to Pong ....

teslagiddy | 2016年6月4日

Just get rid of those bug eye headlights and they'll double their sales.

noleaf4me | 2016年6月4日

A big reason for its demise was the cancellation of the GA tax credit which made them almost free in GA. Without that incentive they just don't make sense.....

CraigW | 2016年6月4日

With Nissan - who can, relatively easily, produce a good looking EV; temperature control their battery; build a cleaner interface - we can see why so many ICE manufacturers will go out of business in the next 15 years. Having driven several Leafs and discussed their experience with several owners, I can say most are happy with the general quality, except the battery, but there is nothing particularly exceptional about the car - except that it is EV. Tesla is offering a car that is exceptional in several areas - and it is an EV.

Having resolved the 'How', the conversation should revolve around 'Why' Nissan didn't do better than they have, with the years the Leaf has been on the market. All arguments come around to three points - service profit, dealerships, and fear of internal cannibalization.

I don't think we need to say much more.

RSavage_92024 | 2016年6月4日

UGLY killed the Leaf

mos6507 | 2016年6月4日

"Just get rid of those bug eye headlights"

More and more cars are going the route of having headlights extend back to the A-pillar. The Chevy Spark did this as well, but they kind of toned it down with the Bolt. I think it looks ridiculous.

The other thing is the Leaf just looks dated. The CUV shape goes all the way back to the Pontiac Vibe and Toyota Matrix circa 2003. My Mazda 3 is in that category. It's still around but it doesn't look very fresh.

tesla | 2016年6月4日

deeageux +1 for the helpful info.

mntlvr23 "The M3 is to the Leaf as Asteroids is to Pong."
I'm gonna use that.

CraigW +1

b.tesla | 2016年6月5日

For those that mentioned the depreciation of the Leaf, that is something inherent with all EVs that are receiving big incentives. The second your drive it off the lot, if you were to try to sell it used, it instantly lost $7500 in value. Why? Because buying it used, you don't get the $7500 federal tax credit that you would have received if you bought it new. If there are any state incentives, add that on top. That is a very significant percentage of the purchase price of a Leaf, and then add 2 or 3 years worth of normal wear and tear plus battery degradation, it depreciates fast.

M3s may go through a similar path, though the big unknown is that M3 pre-orders show that Tesla will blow through their 200k units before federal tax incentives start to phase out.

But for comparison, if somebody buys a new Model S, its first year depreciation might be in the ballpark of the after-incentives price of a Leaf.

topher | 2016年6月5日

Including money you _didn't pay_ into your calculations for depreciation isn't reasonable. Just like if the dealer had a MSRP which was twice what you paid, that isn't the basis for depreciation.

The real problem with EVs in regards to depreciation is the lack of any way to reliably assess the state of the batteries. If every Leaf must be assumed to have the battery degradation of the worst case, prices are going to reflect that, and used will generally be a great deal for the buyer rather than the seller.

Thank you kindly.

CraigW | 2016年6月5日

An 8-yr, unlimited mileage warranty would do a lot to resolve fears.

IMO, the biggest thing to keep down depreciation is a backlog of orders for the new car. If the Model 3 is a resounding success, then Tesla could, conceivably, maintain a 1yr backlog of orders for new Model 3s - this would be a complete disaster for other manufacturers, as it would mean their customers are forgoing buying an ICE to wait for an EV from someone else.

Of course this would only be good for a couple of years, until Tesla expanded production facilities worldwide and/or competitive EVs started being produced by other car manufacturers. Then things would start to level out.

The biggest 'gun' in Tesla's arsenal is the supercharger network. I expect some manufacturer to finally take Elon up on his offer to share - for a price and conditions. If that happens, game over, and Tesla/Panasonic easily becomes the largest energy supplier in the world.

martinmitchell | 2016年6月6日

My disdain for the Leaf's headlights was somewhat tempered when I read that they are aerodynamic aids to divert the flow around gap between the A-pillar and mirrors.
They're ugly for a reason.
Insert smiley face here.

finman100 | 2016年6月6日

Really, that's all you can come up with? Can't wait to be part of this group.

PhillyGal | 2016年6月6日

@martinmitchell - You beat me to it. Those bug eyes are for a reason.

I don't happen to like the Leaf at all but you bet your rear when I saw one in my neighborhood recently, I yelled over to the driver "cool electric car!" and gave him a huge smile/thumbs up when he replied enthusiastically that he loved his car.

dyefrog | 2016年6月6日

Leaf owner here too. The bug eyes as you mentioned are intentionally shaped to minimize wind noise as it's so quiet. Also, don't know if anyone mentioned it but in the spring of 2013, Nissan made a spec change to the battery to address the degradation, especially in the hotter climates. I bought mine used at auction for $8k with 30k miles and it had all 12 bars (approximately >92% capacity). I now am approaching 40k and still have all 12 bars. At around 1000 charging cycles, it seems as though they made a huge improvement as degradation is still immeasurable.
So far it's been a great entry level EV and i'll never go back to ICE. I have to admit it is odd looking though and in the smurf blue color it's not much of a chick magnet.

Lith I M | 2016年6月9日

Ok, ok stop bashing the Leaf. Nissan stuck their neck out and produced a high volume decent range electric car before a lot of other players in the market. They like Tesla should be applauded for introducing the electric car experience to the world.
Stay charged my friend.