Armen Hareyan's picture

Why Silicon Valley Nissan Dealership Sells Only a Handful of LEAFs Yearly

There is an interesting discussion in SF Bay Area Nissan LEAF Owners group about LEAF range and emulating the range of ICE vehicles. In a comment under our post one LEAF driver express an interesting insight on why LEAF sales are weak in Silicon Valley.

Here is Bret Harris in his own words, commenting about Nissan Leaf range issues and what a Nissan dealer told him in silicon Valley area.

I have to agree that having 130 or 150 mile range would open up the market and utility of the LEAF greatly. I am on my second LEAF.

I was talking with sales guys while opportunity charging in Gilroy at the Nissan dealer. They told me that everyone who lives in Gilroy works in Silicon Valley, but they do sell but a handful of the LEAFs every year because if the owner cannot charge at work, they can't make the trip home. Also, since California's utilities (PGE) have installed exactly zero quick chargers along the freeways to date, you are essentially locked into your home metro area.

Having the greater range would allow for things like going to Reno or San Luis Obispo without having to pitch a tent and overnight at a campground.

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You do know that the three utilities were prevented by the California Public Utilities Commission from owning and installing public charging infrastructure, right? That decision was overturned last December, but in order for a utility to move ahead they need to submit a project to the CPUC and get it approved on a case by case basis (which is about a 2 year process)...Your comment about PGE installing "exactly zero" DC Fast chargers shows that you don't understand this process...

Hello a LEAF_Owner,

Thank you for your comment. Answering your question: I did not know that. And the comment about the DC Fast chargers is not from me. The author of the comment is quoted in the article. Thank you.

You would think that CPUC would admit it was a dumb decision they took in the past, and fast track any application that remedies that decision? But hey being a public body, what motive would they have, except for some abstract and unempirical notions of what is good or bad. Meanwhile, a 100,000 EV users will have to continue suffering. At least they could admit to fault and make good.

the Bay Area Nissan dealers I know of sell more Leafs than any other model, including Altima. Silicon Valley has Leafs everywhere, just like commuting to Silicon Valley, where they are ubiquitous in the left lane. I work as a contractor at many large Silicon Valley corporations and they sell seem to have lots of Leafs parked at chargers or normal parking spots.

This article is based on a bad assumption, because Gilroy is NOT in Silicon Valley. As you noted, LEAF drivers are locked into their own metros. There's lots of empty space between Gilroy and San Jose; even South San Jose is pretty limited in charging infrastructure compared to further north where the jobs are.

This article should be titled "Exurban Nissan Dealer only Sells Handful of LEAFs because Too Far Away from Silicon Valley." Which would be a duh story instead of your current misleading headline.

Yes, all the Silicon Valley dealers sell way more LEAFs than Altimas, which is Nissan's top seller in "normal" markets.