As has been the case for several months now, last month Nissan Leaf sales were down compared to the year prior but with new 2016 models now hitting dealers, Nissan says it expects things to improve.
The Japanese maker of the world’s cumulatively best-selling plug-in vehicle delivered a scant 1,054 units for November, just 39 percent of its 2,687 units in November 2014 when it was in full stride.
But the dog days for the battery electric car have been relatively few compared to the often-loosely compared extended-range Chevy Volt, which suffered many more months of lagging sales as buyers anticipated a revised new model.
In the Leaf’s case, two 2016 model year upper trim levels, SV and SL, offer a 30-kwh battery, boosting range over the former 24-kwh battery still in the base S trim. This is the second refresh to the first-generation all-electric Leaf launched as a 2011 model year.
The new battery promises 107 miles range, better than the 84 miles of the S model and last year’s Leafs in all trim levels.
It is a stop-gap measure however, as Nissan’s CEO has already said a 200-plus-mile Leaf will be next, and as the 2017 Chevy Bolt is pending also with 200-miles projected range, and to cost around $37,500 – not much more than the low 35s to start for today’s 30-kwh 2016 Leaf.
Nissan meanwhile says “we anticipate an uptick in sales” as it transitions to the new model year, and the brand has additionally increased advertising in target markets to get the word out.
It does not name all its markets and spell out its marketing in detail, but the Leaf is available nationwide, and has hot spots around the country, as it tries to get others to warm to the idea of driving electric.
Augmenting the efforts is further expansion of No Charge to Charge, a promotion offering free public charging for two years with the Leaf now live in 21 metropolitan areas.