Globally, Nissan has sold over 150,000 Leafs since launch, in the U.S. it’s over 71,000 and with EV acceptance accelerating, just for calendar year 2014 in Europe, the Japanese automaker reports 14,658 units sold.
That places it ahead of the Renault-Nissan Aliance’s Renault Zoe’s 11,227 and Tesla Model S unit sales of 8,734 for the year.
While new EVs are pending in coming years, including a revised Leaf, the present gen-one EV is the one to beat with 26-percent market share, topping its own year-over-year sales by 33 percent in Europe.
Strong growth was also recorded in the UK of more than double last-year’s volume comprised of 4,051 sales. This beat the nearest EV in the UK by two to one.
Nissan credits “strong customer advocacy” as the leading reason for sales growth, with a recommendation rate of 95 percent.
“We can now see the impact that word of mouth is having on our sales, with 95 percent of our customers happy to recommend their car to a friend and 50 percent saying they would never go back to diesel or petrol,” said Nissan Europe senior vice president of sales and marketing, Guillaume Cartier. “This kind of powerful advocacy, combined with an increasing awareness of the massive running cost savings electric car drivers experience, is why our Nissan Leaf sales continue to grow.
“Data from our CarWings telematics system shows us that Nissan Leaf drivers drive 40 percent more kilometers than the European average for petrol or diesel cars, covering over 16,500 km 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.”