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Nissan LEAF Is Only EV With Sales Growth in 2014, Outsells ALL Others By Wide Margins

The Nissan LEAF is not only the best-selling electric car in the United States and globally, but it's also the only electric vehicle in the U.S. showing positive, sustained sales growth and it's also the only one selling in quantities sufficient to make it "mainstream."


Year-end sales figures for 2014 are in, for the most part, and even if some changes are made to a few of the electric and plug-in car makers in the market, it's very clear that Nissan's LEAF has far outsold everyone else and that most, if not all, others have shown sales losses year-on-year compared to 2013 whereas the LEAF continues to show strong growth.

Nissan's sales figures show that the LEAF sold a little over 30,000 units for 2014, up from about 22,500 in 2013. For perspective, thirty thousand units is equivalent to many mainstream models on the road. For 2014, as an example, Nissan sold more LEAF electric cars than it did Titan pickup trucks and Xterra sport utilities combined. Nissan sold about three times as many electric LEAF cars as it did Quest minivans. This solidly places the all-electric LEAF as a mainstream vehicle.

Jumping to other plug-in sales, Inside EVs reports that 2014 year-end sales totals for the LEAF were more than sixty percent higher than the next-best-seller, the Chevrolet Volt. Estimated Tesla Model S numbers were below that, with the LEAF beating it by about 70 percent. The LEAF more than doubled all others, including the Prius PHV, Fusion Energi, C-Max Energi, etc. The BMW i3 was introduced in 2014 and saw good sales figures, but seems to be holding steady at around 1,000 units per month. Compare that to the Tesla Model S which has held at around 1,300 units per month, on average, even when factoring in spikes from September and December.

For all of the electric vehicle sales in the United States in 2014, the Nissan LEAF makes up about 26 percent of the total.

Why is all of this significant? Is it just ballyhoo for Nissan? No, it's more than that. It's proof that a mainstream automaker can build a mainstream electric vehicle and thrive with it.

The LEAF cars sold in the United States are manufactured, almost entirely, right here in the U.S. with components largely sourced from North America. Tesla fans in particular should note that Nissan has proven that a marketable, mainstream, low-cost electric car can be a sustainable market proposition and that in-house manufacture of major components, including batteries, is also a workable model.

The difference? Tesla is mainstream in marketing hype only. They have a long way to go before they are mainstream in actual market figures. This is not discouragement. Tesla fans should be proud that their little startup has become capable of making third place in total U.S. EV sales figures for two years running. Electric vehicle fans should rejoice in knowing that at least one EV model from a major manufacturer is now firmly "mainstream" in market acceptance. Although the numbers are still quite small compared to the full automotive market, they are growing continually and, at least for the LEAF, at a pace that is faster than the overall market's growth.

Sales numbers from individual manufacturers and


Hank (not verified)    January 6, 2015 - 6:20PM

Because Nissan is the only major Auto Maker where it's dealers are committed to selling Electric Vehicles. All the other major auto mfgs still have their heads buried deep up the Oil industry and Wall Street's ass and are praying for the day the bought and paid for RepubliCONS and their Koch BIG OIL Crime Syndicate puppet masters will bury Electric Vehicles.

Hank (not verified)    January 8, 2015 - 7:59AM

In reply to by Aaron Turpen

Take at the look of the history of the battery that was used for GM's EV1 in the early 90's. The oil industry(Chevron) purchased the technology from the inventor and proceeded to bury it. That is the only reason they are interested in Renewable use their money and political power to kill any technology they can get their hands on that competes with oil. That is a fact not a conspiracy. They don't even hide it so I do not see why you would call this a trumped up cospiracy. Ask yourself why every Republican is against Renewable energy, then look who is lining their campaign coffers of every major Republican Answer: BIG OIL(the American Petroleum Institute, spending a majority of the the money on SUPER PACS that only goal is to lie about or over state the few negatives of renewable energy

Aaron Turpen    January 8, 2015 - 6:48PM

In reply to by Hank (not verified)

Most of the arguments I see "against" renewable energy are against GOVERNMENT FUNDING of it. Which I happen to agree with. I don't think government should pick and choose what gets funded. Didn't work for the Soviets, won't work for US either. As for the EV1, it was buried and dumped because it was not viable on the market. Period.

Renewable energy is not the end-all, be-all. EVERYTHING has a down side. I don't care what it is. The problem is, most of the EVangelists and "CO2 is evil" types are just as indoctrinated with their own propaganda as are the "Drill, baby, drill!" crowd.

Hank (not verified)    January 9, 2015 - 9:35AM

In reply to by Aaron Turpen

The only people against government funding of renewable energy are the right wing oil radicals who will do anything to keep their monopoly on the Auto fuel industry. The government (us the taxpayers) hand over 2-4 billion dollars a year in tax subsidies, tax breaks, tax cuts, and tax credits to the oil industry Not to mention the trillions we spend to fight wars in the Middle East where our military is nothing more than Big Oil and Wall Streets own private security firm at the expense of us:the tax payers. The EV1 was scrapped because the board of directors was infected with Big Oil men. People who had the car liked the car. It was scrapped because it was the beginning of competition for the status quo Big Oil Monopoly. Your statement about EV1 is an outright Lie. If we are to continue to subsidize the oil industry then we need to subsidize the renewable energy to create a level playing field. I am all for ending subsidies, tax breaks, tax credits, and tax breaks for all the energy companies. fossil fuels and renewables. But every time it is mention the RepubliCONS go ballistic. On a level playing field renewables can compete with oil, gas and coal. the fossil morons know this that is why they fight so hard against giving the Renewables a level playing field. Don't lie and say we do not subsidize BIG OIL either, we do in the amount of trillions of dollars. The RepubliCONS are the Social facist. They corrupted our government with OIL Men which started the day Ronald Scam Reagan was elected. BIG OIL PUT HIM THERE. Now we have no options but fossil fuel for our vehicles because Big Oil Government has made sure of that with laws, and tax code written by the Oil companies and handed to the Reagan, Bush sr, Bush Jr administrations and rammed down our throats by the trader bought and paid for by Oil RepubliCONS in Congress

Ed (not verified)    January 6, 2015 - 7:00PM

Prius Plugin 2013 sales:12088
Prius Plugin 2014 sales:13264
That seems like another manufacturer with sales growth on a plug-in (as for all electric, there aren't that many out there to begin with, but even the Ford Focus electric went from 1738 in '13 to 1964 in '14... so what's the criteria for what EVs count?)

Aaron Turpen    January 7, 2015 - 11:37PM

In reply to by Ed (not verified)

The Prius numbers changed after this was written, as did the Ford numbers for the Energi products. Hence the discrepancy. It should be noted, though, that the "growth" for those was very small by comparison. You'll note my first paragraph qualifier.

Hank (not verified)    January 7, 2015 - 8:14AM

Chevy Spark, Ford Focus Electric, Smart Electric Drive, BMW, and Chrysler started a few years ago but gave in to the Oil criminals, plus 30 other smaller companies developing or selling EV's. Yet the forces of evil are out to destroy them using negative lies and propaganda. What would have happen to Apple and Steve Jobs if they did this to him when he came out with an expensive revolutionary product and his innovative way of selling it.These OIL CONS need to be stopped and get them out of the way of PROGRESS!

Aaron Turpen    January 7, 2015 - 11:41PM

In reply to by Hank (not verified)

Uhhh... Riiiiight. Yet those same "forces of evil" hold no sway over Nissan. Neat.

Most EV companies and small shops selling electric cars (Aptera, Fisker, etc) failed because they were mismanaged or had no idea what they were getting into by entering the world of auto manufacture. The Aptera, for example, was a great car and I really would have loved to own one, but because it was started by engineers with no business sense and then taken over by long-time automotive managers intent on sucking it dry instead of building a product, it failed. It may rise again, if stories be true. Same with Fisker. That car was built too soon under pressure from investors and should have had another year of development, at least.

Hank (not verified)    January 8, 2015 - 8:11AM

In reply to by Aaron Turpen

You mention only 2 of over 30.The Aptera was ugly looked more like a small plane.Wall Street, the Republicans, and Fox News type media are all heavily invested in Oil, owe the Oil Industry for campaign contributions or Advertising revenues, or are just right wing nuts dead set against anything the Right Wing doesn't want. These groups are making it hard for Electric Car companies to succeed because they are heavily invested in Oil one way or the other. Lies, Political maneuvers, public relations campaigns, Super Pacs, Right Wing Wall Street Investment firms all against EVs out of GREED. Local Municipalities led by Right Wing Neo Cons all over the country dreaming up crazy bylaws and exorbitant fees to keep EV charging stations, solar panels,etc...out of their cities and towns. People who actually get to own EV's love them. Their goal is to keep them out of the hands of the consumer.