Nissan Sells 200,000th Leaf Just Before Its Fifth Anniversary

Today along with other EV news, Nissan documented the Leaf has crossed the 200,000 unit milestone.

The all-electric car sold worldwide is by far the cumulatively best-selling plug-in car, with notable followers being the Chevy Volt and Volt variants with close to 104,000, and the Tesla Model S at nearly 100,000.

Launched in December 2010, Nissan’s news comes just in time for its five-year anniversary.

Note 12/10/15:This article followed official word of over 200,000 sales in a Nissan press release, but a day later Nissan offered another statement without deleting the first saying it expects by January to sell 200,00 Leafs. Inquiries to Nissan over the contradiction have not been answered. It is believed the company may be hedging, playing it extra safe. If it has not actually crossed 200,000 sales, it will within a matter of days. We are leaving this story intact considering Nissan is the source for the news, and it has not been retracted.

To date, the Leaf is still in its first generation, though 2016 will mark its second refresh. The Leaf’s first update happened in 2013 with an increase in range following efficiency tweaks, including a heat pump and other updates to squeak 84 EPA-rated miles from a fully charged 24-kwh battery that formerly was rated for 75 miles.

The 2016 update sees the same 84-mile range carried forth for the base S trim level, but the up-line SV and SL are getting 30-kwh batteries for 107 miles range.

Nissan has not officially stated when a next-generation Leaf will be released, but has said several times 200-plus miles range is in the offing. More mainstream design is also believed forthcoming for generation two.

Reports from Japan indicate the present Leaf that’s been nursed along for the bulk of the decade may not be replaced before 2018 model year, though this is not certain.

When exactly the 200,000th Leaf was sold, or where it was in the world, was not reported.

Timing for 200,000 units is however as good as it was last year, when the Leaf crossed the 150,000 milestone in time for its fourth birthday. Before that, in January 2014 it sold the 100,000th Leaf.

Whether Nissan will issue a press release for the 200,000 is unclear but sales news these days is not as tinged with a note of triumph.

This year Leaf sales have slowed, and calendar year to date the tally in the U.S., its biggest market, is 15,922. This is 41.2 percent down from November 2014’s 27,098 CYTD total.

As the Leaf continues forward, other plug-ins are rising faster, including the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV in Europe, and Chevrolet got a fresh breeze blown into its sails in October with launch of the 2016 second-generation Volt in 11 states.

SEE ALSO: Nissan To Unveil Range-Extended EV in 2016

A report out of Australia indicated Nissan may also introduce next year an extended-range EV but presumably it won’t be the Leaf with generator tacked on, but a new model.

Next year, the Chevy Bolt EV with 200 miles range is also due, and if Nissan does wait until 2018 for a next-generation Leaf, unknown is how blistering its sales pace will be through 2017.

We shall see. Meanwhile, the cumulative number one plug-in car, and the first major manufacturer mass-market PEV has crossed 200,000 out of about 1.135 million cumulative PEVs sold globally to date.

Hat tip to Mario R. Duran.