From being one of the most sought after electrics, the Nissan Leaf has taken a tumble for the worse in recent months, though signs of this descent were already evident late last year when the 2016 model was just released.

It is not among the bottom in the plug-in sales chart, of course, but the Leaf has fallen from its lofty former position.

The hatch has slumped to fourth behind the Tesla Model S, Chevrolet Volt, and Ford Fusion Energi.

Chances are when the numbers for May are posted next month the EV would have dropped to fifth, overtaken by the Tesla Model X. There is no doubting the failure of the 2016 Leaf, but it could be of the positive variety, something like the calm before a storm.

Setting Up For Success

Its dwindling popularity with current EV shoppers may have an explanation or two, which gives it hope and offers cause for new rival Chevrolet Bolt to be concerned.

Clean Technica discovered via a poll done right before the reveal of the Tesla Model 3 that while the 2017 Tesla sedan was the most preferred among all upcoming EVs in the market with over 55 percent of votes, the 2017 Leaf was second with almost 33 percent.

Source: Clean Technica

Source: Clean Technica

The results show that among EV fans, the future hatch has more favor compared to the Tesla Model S, Model X, Chevy Volt, and Chevy Bolt. People are holding off buying the current model because of the promise of a much greater second-gen one.

Apart from an entirely new design, the Leaf would also be equipped with semi-autonomous driving technology for the first time and offer twice the amount of range it currently achieves.

Cost would surely have something to do with many buyers’ decision to keep away from the present Leaf model. The second-hand value of any model of the EV is usually too low for anyone to be encouraged to get it first-hand, and it’s already quite bad with every new yearly model of the first-gen Leaf.


The move from one generation to the next would cause the 2016 model to have little to no value left, especially when the next-gen model offers double the range at over 200 miles.

So it could be argued that the dramatic dip in sales for the 2016 Nissan Leaf is down to the fact that EV shoppers are eagerly waiting on the second-gen 2017 model. Is it a success, and consequently a comeback, waiting to happen for the signature all-electric Nissan?

Staff Reporter

DSK is the first choice for the latest technology, gaming and vehicle news.


Rick Reed · May 15, 2016 at 9:31 am

Why is the Leaf always compared to the Tesla? The only thing they have in common is being all-electric. I paid (after incentives) about $17,000 for our Leaf in 2013. I’d consider that an economy car, and not a comp for any Tesla model, which I’d consider in the luxury category. I think comparing them simply because they are both in the elecrtic category is a false comparison.

    Randonposter · May 15, 2016 at 6:22 pm

    Absolutely spot on analysis….In fact, Musk, with all his Jobs-esque hype about a car that doesn’t even exist, harms this emerging industry more than it helps….
    It has everyone holding off purchasing an EV, Hoping he can deliver.
    And yes, low oil prices aren’t helping either…

James Koller · May 15, 2016 at 10:35 am

Waiting for new model

DSS · May 15, 2016 at 8:44 pm

I live in Silicon Valley where the Leaf is pretty popular due to the HOV/Carpool benefit. However, at least 50% of the electric buyers I now choose another option just because they found the car too ugly. I feel the same way but bought it “despite” that. I think the design is too influenced by parent Renault. It may look good to French buyers but is definitely distasteful for Americans. Too bad because it is a pretty good car otherwise.

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