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Nissan LEAF is best-selling electric car in Europe for fourth year in a row; 26% market share

European 2014 EV marketshare of top 5 OEMs. Data: Nissan. Click to enlarge.

The battery-electric Nissan LEAF has topped its own European sales record with a 33% increase in European sales in 2014 over the previous year, taking 26% of the burgeoning electric car market with 14,658 sales out of a total 56,393, according to figures from Nissan. Nissan and its partner Renault together accounted for a full 46% of the EV market in Europe in 2014.

This year the Nissan LEAF has been joined by an number of new entrants into the EV market and still emerged as the leader on a global, US and European basis. 2014 was the fourth year in a row that the electric family car has topped the electric vehicle sales charts in Europe.

Data: Nissan. Click to enlarge.

In the UK, the LEAF posted 4,051 sales, more than doubling the volume sold in 2013 (1,812). The British-built Nissan LEAF holds 55% of the pure EV market there and outsells its nearest competitor by more than 2:1.

Data from our CarWings telematics system shows us that Nissan LEAF drivers drive 40% more kilometers than the European average for petrol or diesel cars, covering over 16,500 km [10,253 miles] per year. This data demonstrates that this car is the primary car for many households and that is changing the consumer perception of electric cars.

—Guillaume Cartier, Nissan Europe senior vice president of sales and marketing

The Nissan LEAF was launched in early 2011 in the European market, followed by a revised version introduced in mid-2013 with more than 100 improvements led by customer feedback.The Nissan LEAF is built in Sunderland, UK, with batteries constructed in a new purpose-built facility on the same site. In June 2014, Nissan launched the e-NV200 light commercial vehicle, built at Nissan's Barcelona factory, with batteries from Sunderland.



'Data from our CarWings telematics system shows us that Nissan LEAF drivers drive 40% more kilometers than the European average for petrol or diesel cars'

So do all newish cars, on average.
Average annual mileage decreases with the age of the car, and not many Leaf cars are very old.


"Nissan LEAF drivers drive 40% more kilometers than the European average"

Possible that lower energy cost of electricity provides less disincentive to use the car. This may not be a good thing as it may result on more traffic congestion. Here in NA the advent of LED christmas lights probably results in more lights as opposed to less electricity consumption.


It would really be something if people were hanging 6-20x more Christmas lights... I feel this isn't the case, at least here in the Midwest/South West...

There also isn't a strong correlation between price of gas and the average persons driving habits... But yeah, I could see how a person might use their leaf in place of another (second vehicle) displacing those miles, or moving from a 2 to one vehicle household with the leaf as a primary would have a similar effect.


It it completely reasonable to use a Leaf as much as possible if you have 2 cars. There should be no need to use an ICE car unless you need to do an unusually long run.
This is what I call the "2 car PHEV" solution.

Also, gasoline is very expensive in Europe (even now, it is e1.29/L for gas, 1.20 for diesel [in Ireland]) so there is a real benefit to use and continue to use EVs.

So Leafs (Leaves?) work well if you can afford to run 2 cars.

The problem now becomes getting occasional access to ICEs for the odd long run for Leaf only households.

This can be done by simple renting from Hertz or equivalent, or borrowing (temporary swapping) with a friend or stranger.

An "uber" for shot term car swapping would be a good solution, but simply renting using an aggregator website to get the best deal (i.e. would probably do the trick.


As many know, the Leaf Commander, Carlos Ghosn, has promised a 200 mile car for 2016; I'm thinking that if Nissan can keep the price under $30,000, and it carries a good battery warranty, that will end IC cars as we know them. And, Chevy has declared it's a player in EVs. Now, if Tesla introduces a mass market EV; well, that will be glorious. All this should motivate oil companies to use oil for chemical products other than wastefully using it for vehicle fuels...there should be a lot less oil demand, in the U.S. and hopefully throughout the World.

However, to continue the job, we must work to move the country over to renewable energy and completely off all hydrocarbons, including natural gas for electricity generation.


@Dave: "Average annual mileage decreases with the age of the car, and not many Leaf cars are very old"

Where did you get this data - I have looked and I cannot find it.
It is plausible, but it would be interesting to see the data where it came from. I wouldn't expect the effect to be very large - once you get a few trips in a newly bought car, you just drive as normal.


People buying electric vehicles will do so for a reason: they do a lot of miles through a regular commute but comfortably within the range that an EV allows.

I cannot see people buying an EV if the few miles and hence little saved in fuel is overwhelmed by the cost of depreciation, and that applies equally in Europe than it does in the US.

That's why the mileage is higher. It attracts a certain driving demographic who typically drive a daily milage witin range that adds up to more than the average for the whole driving population.

In short damed lies and statistics.

Thomas Lankester

But Scott, all new cars depreciate quickly and are a poor buy for low mileage users.

I think the point being made by the stats is that, contrary to misconceptions that EVs would only be used for a few short journeys around town, they are clearly racking up real fuel-saving mileage.

Where is the damned lie?


I believe Scott may have been paraphrasing Mark Twain.
"there are lies, damned lies and statistics".

The data about the LEAF battery pack on capacity over time I find concerning. Nissan is quoted as saying 80% after 5 years and 70% after 10 years. The EPA is about 80 mile range which is really 70 miles, that would be 56 miles after 5 years. So you can go about 25 miles out and 25 miles back, not a compelling feature set.



If I wanted a car for short journeys I would get one that is a lot older and has lost much of its depreciation already. I've always had older car that I have paid for in cash. I've had an 1997 Audi A6 2.5TDi cost £2,700 and lasted 7 years before I let it go to a good home for £200. I also have a 1999 Passat that I bought 11 years ago that cost £4,500 and could fetch a optimistic £750 if I sold it tomorrow. I still have it with 210,000 miles done and I expect to still have it when it reaches 250,000 miles. Even though fuel is £5.50 per gallon (or about a good $8 per US gallon) its a damned sight cheaper than running a LEAF and I get to go onlong roadtrips quite regularly which is a bonus, as I have friends and family in distant places.

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