Nissan has announced that its global sales of electric vehicles (EVs) have surpassed the 1 million unit milestone. The Japanese automaker which was known as a pioneer in launching pure-electric vehicles took nearly 13 years to achieve the sales mark.
Since its launch in December 2010, the LEAF – its first EV, has sold more than 650,000 units worldwide, according to Nissan. The model, currently sold in approximately 50 markets centering on Japan, the U.S., and Europe, has won numerous awards in multiple markets.
In 2022, Nissan started sales of the Ariya all-electric crossover. The Ariya features Nissan’s latest design language and technologies, such as e-4ORCE all-wheel control and ProPILOT 2.0 advanced driver support. Its sophisticated design won the Auto Color Award 2021 Grand Prix in Japan and the Red Dot Design Award in Germany.
The Ariya was also named to Wards 10 Best Interiors & UX list. Also in 2022, Nissan launched the Sakura, its first EV in the Japanese mini-vehicle market.
Under its Nissan Ambition 2030 long-term vision, the automaker plans to launch 19 EV models by the year 2030. The company also aims to launch EVs powered by all-solid-state batteries developed in-house by the year 2028 and to expand its EV lineup to meet the diverse needs of customers around the world.
Laggard Approach Towards EVs
Japanese automakers receive harsh criticism frequently for their slow adoption of EVs. Although Nissan is credited with being the first manufacturer to introduce a mass-produced electric vehicle, the LEAF, in 2010, its sluggish approach became apparent when the company introduced its second EV, the Ariya in 2022, nearly 12 years after the introduction of its first model. Their third EV, the Sakura is restricted for sale in the Japanese domestic market only.
It is pertinent to mention that while Nissan took nearly 13 years to achieve 1 million global EV sales, and is celebrating it as a milestone. On the other hand, leading EV makers like Tesla and BYD sold 1.31 million and 911,140 units of pure EVs, respectively in the year 2022 alone. If we include plug-in hybrids, then BYD sold 1.86 million units in 2022 but let’s just leave PHEVs aside for a while.
It was also reported last year that Nissan is considering discontinuing the LEAF EV due to poor sales. Production of the current version of the Leaf is set to wind down by mid-decade. Considering the United States was one of the biggest markets for Leaf EV, its sales average dangles around just 14,500 units a year. In comparison, the total number of Tesla vehicles sold in the US in the year 2022 alone, stands at 564,743 units.
Another important factor is how reluctant the Japanese have been to improve their pioneering EV over the years. While high-end electric vehicles are now seeing as much as up to 800 km of driving range, the 2022 Leaf offers just 363 km in its larger battery and only 239 km in the base version.
While Nissan seems to be not too interested in launching a newer generation Leaf, it is interested to go in full swing on the EV forefront. The Japanese automaker has already revealed its plan to spend 2 trillion yen (around $17.6 billion USD) over the next 5 years to accelerate the rollout of electric vehicles. However, it will be discovered over the coming years if it has already been too late to step on the accelerator pedal.
A computer animation professional with over 23 years of industry experience having served in leading organizations, TV channels & production facilities in Pakistan. An avid car enthusiast and petrolhead with an affection to deliver quality content to help shape opinions. Formerly written for PakWheels as well as major publications including Dawn. Founder of CarSpiritPK.com