Nissan Leaf Sets New Benchmark for EV Sales

Just about two and a half years after the Renault-Nissan Alliance sold its first EV—a Nissan Leaf purchased in California—the global automaker hasdelivered its 100,000th zero-emissions vehicle. The Nissan Leaf was bought by Allison Howard a graduate student at Kenesaw State University in Atlanta.

“It just drives perfectly,” said Howard. “It’s so cool. I love it. The fact that it’s all electric and I don’t have to spend money on gas as a college student, that’s great.”

But she doesn’t have to spend much on electricity, either. Since the Nissan Leaf is able to achieve its 75-mile all-electric driving range at a rate of 115 MPGe in combined travel, the EPA estimates it takes just 87 cents for Leaf owners to drive 25 miles. Even a small car like the Toyota Corolla requires about four times that amount to cover the same difference, and although that only works out to a little more than $3, the difference adds up.

Again based on EPA data, the typical driver of a Nissan Leaf will spend just $500 a year for “fuel,” while Corolla customers pay $1,400 more. Of course, there’s also more to the Leaf than its superior efficiency. Another important reason that Howard bought a new Leaf was that she had had a serious accident in a Nissan Versa, and came away both impressed with its safety and virtually unharmed by the crash.

That got the attention of someone else with a vested interested in keeping Howard out of harm’s way: “As a parent, when you think about that safety part, it really brought us back to looking at Nissans again,” said Bob Howard, Allison’s father.

“The age of the mainstream zero-emissions vehicle is here,” added Renault-Nissan Alliance Chairman and CEO Carlos Ghosn. “We expect demand to keep growing as the charging infrastructure develops—and we remain 100% committed to zero-emission technology for the long term.”