Renault-Nissan makes electric cars look mainstream after selling 100,000th EV

While Ford and Toyota disappoint us in announcing they won’t collaborate on hybrid drive trains for full-capability SUV’s and light trucks, Nissan gladdens us with news they’ve sold their 100,000th electric vehicle.

I frequently come across naysayer articles pointing out that electric car sales are 0.5% of all car sales.  While this is true, it acts to make electric cars look like a loser proposition that’s appealing only to a tiny niche of people.  What a statistic like that ignores is the tremendous growth rate in electric car sales.

First – the Leaf was the first mass market electric car, and before the Leaf all electric car sales were truly miniscule.  Tesla Roadster – 2,500 total .. etc etc … That changed in December 2010 when the Leaf went on sale, changed some more when the Volt went on sale shortly later, changed even more when the Tesla Model S went on sale a year ago, and changed even more when Renault began selling the Twizy and ZOE.

That is, electric cars are now selling in significant numbers.  The manufacturers are not backing down from commitments to sell more electric cars.  In fact, last week Fiat/Chrysler (whom many had written off as ignoring EV’s) said to expect more electric cars than the Fiat 500e from that company.

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Second – the growth rate of electric car sales is much higher than the growth rate of hybrid car sales in the 1999-2003 time frame when they first became available.  Sales of the Prius were lackluster the first couple years, with naysayers saying all kinds of negative things.  There still are naysayers bashing hybrids, come to think of it.  Thanks to the sticktoitiveness of Toyota, they kept at it until  Prius sales took off.

Full adoption of electric cars will require the companies to have sticktoitiveness necessary to last long enough for them to take off.  What caused the Prius to take off was Toyota developing the second generation version that fixed problems from the first generation.  Presumably there is a large number of people looking at the current crop of electric cars and going “hmmm… I’ll wait for version 2.0.”

PRESS RELEASE

PARIS (July 23, 2013)—The Renault-Nissan Alliance has sold its 100,000th zero-emission car.
Electric cars from Renault and Nissan have driven approximately 841 million zero-emission kilometers — enough to circle the earth more than 20,000 times. Together, they represent 53 million liters of oil saved and 124 million kg of C02 that have not been emitted.
The age of the mainstream zero-emission vehicle is here,” said Renault-Nissan Alliance Chairman and CEOCarlos 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.”
Renault-Nissan has sold more zero-emission cars than all other major automakers combined.
The very first EV from the Alliance is a Nissan LEAF owned by engineer Olivier Chalouhi in California’s Silicon Valley. He bought the LEAF when it debuted in December 2010.
The 100,000th customer was American graduate student Allison Howard, who became an owner of Nissan LEAF earlier this month and drives the car to Kennesaw State University in Atlanta, Georgia.
“It just drives perfectly.  It’s so cool. I love it!” said Howard.
“The fact that it’s all electric and I don’t have to spend money on gas as a college student, that’s great,” she added.
For more information about Renault-Nissan’s electric vehicle customers and its 100,000 milestone, watch thisvideo.
Nissan LEAF best-selling EV ever
More than 71,000 people worldwide have bought Nissan LEAF, the world’s best-selling electric vehicle. LEAF makes up more than half of all global sales of pure electric cars.
Nissan LEAF won the 2011 World Car of the Year, European Car of the Year 2011and Car of the Year Japan 2011-2012 awards.
More than 80% of LEAF buyers globally exchange cars from other automakers, making the LEAF one of the industry’s most innovative “conquest vehicles.” The majority of customers say the LEAF, which consumes no petroleum whatsoever, has replaced their conventional car for daily use.
The top markets for Nissan LEAF are the United States with about 30,000 units, Japan with 28,000 units, and Europe with 12,000 units.
In the United States, the LEAF is among the top 10 vehicles sold in San Francisco, Seattle and Honolulu.
In Norway, the LEAF is one of the top 10 vehicles sold. The car is Nissan’s best-selling model in Norway, where more than 4,600 people have bought LEAFs since 2011. EVs in Norway are exempt from value added tax (VAT) and road tolls, and they have access to bus lanes and free parking.
Renault – Europe’s leader with full range of electric vehicles
Renault has sold about 30,000 electric vehicles since its first model, Kangoo Z.E., went on sale in late 2011. Kangoo Z.E. was voted International Van of the Year 2012.
Renault leads the electric vehicle market in Europe with a 61% share, including Twizy. .Renault’s top markets in Europe are France, Germany and Italy.
In addition to the Kangoo Z.E., Renault also offers Fluence Z.E. sedan; the two-seat commuter vehicle Twizy; and the subcompact ZOE, launched earlier this year.
Twizy is Renault’s best-selling model with about 11,000 units sold since it went on sale in early 2012.
Renault ZOE has a range of 210 km (NEDC). The car retails from 13,700 euros in France after the government’s 7,000-euro incentive, excluding the battery. Renault began selling the ZOE in March throughout Europe and has sold about 5,000 units.
Committed to a zero-emission future
The Alliance is the industry leader in EVs and remains fully committed to a zero-emission future, with vehicles that can be recharged using purely renewable energy.
The plug-in cars store energy in a lithium-ion battery that meets or exceeds all environmental and safety standards wherever they are sold. The vehicles can be “topped off” at any charge point, or they can be fully recharged overnight from the convenience of the driver’s home, garage or parking deck.
In order to accelerate the uptake of electric vehicles around the world, the Renault-Nissan Alliance is working with government authorities, utility companies and others to rollout a network of charging stations that allow drivers to recharge their cars from zero to 80% capacity in less than 30 minutes.

About David Herron

David Herron is a writer and software engineer living in Silicon Valley. He primarily writes about electric vehicles, clean energy systems, climate change, peak oil and related issues. When not writing he indulges in software projects and is sometimes employed as a software engineer. David has written for sites like PlugInCars and TorqueNews, and worked for companies like Sun Microsystems and Yahoo.

About David Herron

David Herron is a writer and software engineer living in Silicon Valley. He primarily writes about electric vehicles, clean energy systems, climate change, peak oil and related issues. When not writing he indulges in software projects and is sometimes employed as a software engineer. David has written for sites like PlugInCars and TorqueNews, and worked for companies like Sun Microsystems and Yahoo.

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