Nissan celebrates five years of LEAF success with 200,000th unit sold

Article by Christian Andrei, on December 14, 2015

It has been five years since Nissan stole the automotive limelight with its Nissan LEAF electric vehicle. Now, the Japanese carmaker is celebrating its pioneering move with a number of milestones for its Nissan LEAF EV. Since 2010, Nissan remains the leader in EV technology, despite challenges from a number of carmakers around the world.

In fact, Nissan is still the largest producer of electric vehicles and its EV offerings have covered the most distance sans harmful emissions. As a matter of fact, Nissan LEAF customers have already covered a total distance of over two billion kilometers (1.2 billion miles), helping the environment free from 328,482 tons of carbon dioxide, according to Nissan's five year sales-volume based assumption.

In January 2016, Nissan is set to deliver its 200,000th LEAF, thereby officially making the emission-free unit the most popular and most successful electric vehicle in the world. Around 90 percent of total LEAF sales were made in the United States (90,000 units), Japan (50,000 units) and Europe (40,000 units). In the five years that Nissan has been producing the LEAF at its assembly lines, the EV has become a recipient of over 92 awards around the world, including Car of the Year in Japan and Europe, and the very prestigious World Car of the Year.

Nissan's tinkering with electric vehicles was not as recent as several years or even a few decades ago. In fact, Japanese carmaker had its first EV 68 years ago in the persona of the Tama Electric Vehicle. Nissan has since become more dedicated to in-house research and development of the EV battery, using materials from zinc and nickel hydride to lithium-ion.

In 1996, Nissan had the distinction of being the lead carmaker to successfully market the world’s first lithium-ion battery EV -- the Prairie Joy EV -- in 1996. The Japanese carmaker used the experience and knowledge gained from the development and sales of the Prairie Joy to take a big leap ahead of other auto companies and come up with the world's first mass-produced EV, the Nissan LEAF.

The huge success of the LEAF and the ever growing clamor for clean yet affordable electric cars have prompted Nissan to decide to invest over JPY500 billion in EV projects, including plans to expand further. Supporting the growth of the LEAF as well as Nissan's EV engineering expertise and investment, are nearly 10,000 CHAdeMO Quick Chargers (QC) available around the world. A QC is capable of recharging the LEAF's battery from low charge alert to around 80-percent capacity in just 30 minutes.

Around 6,000 of these 10,000 QCs are installed across Japan, making the country home to the largest QC network in the world. After half a decade of great LEAF success, Nissan is getting itself ready for the next five years. For starters, Nissan has already commenced sales of the 2016 Nissan LEAF with a new 30kWh battery in the US in November.

Sales of this new LEAF – which travels over 20-percent more miles per charge than the current EV – will commence in Japan this month and in Europe in January 2016. Nissan is confident that more and more people will shift to zero emission vehicles as EV technology continues to progress, thereby improving air quality and lowering noise levels.

In conjunction, the Japanese carmaker plans to accelerate its endeavor to make the dream of a zero-emission society come true by further developing and popularizing not only EVs but also related technologies.

Nissan President and chief executive Carlos Ghosn remarked that EV technology will remain at the core of Nissan’s product development efforts. He added that Nissan – with its EV technologies and innovations -- is inching closer to a zero-emission future.

Press Release

NISSAN’S BEST-SELLING LEAF CELEBRATES ITS FIFTH ANNIVERSARY AND REACHING 200,000 SALES

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 two billion kilometer mark (1.2 billion miles), 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.

Also 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 more than 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.

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.

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. 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,“ said Nissan President and CEO Carlos Ghosn.

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 businesss.

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