Nissan Leaf Receives IHS Awards; Scores Record Sales in 2014
When it comes to all-electric cars, the Tesla Model S is arguably the benchmark in today’s automotive industry. However, the all-American sedan is far from being affordable, with its $65,570 sticker making it as expensive as an Audi A7. As you may know, Tesla is already working on a smaller, more affordable vehicle, but until the Model III arrives, drivers who want to go green can take it to Nissan for a more financially viable option: the Leaf. The Leaf is a compact, five-door hatchback with decent performance and mileage.
It might not be as quick as the Model S with only 107 ponies and 187 pound-feet of torque at its disposal, and a full charge will only take it 75 miles, but the Leaf is the perfect alternative for short-distance travel. And with 30,200 units delivered in 2014 across the U.S., which accounts for the best-ever annual sales figure for any plug-in EV, customers seem to agree with that statement.
Besides posting a record-breaking sales year, the Leaf was also named the best Non-Luxury Traditional Compact Car in the annual IHS Automotive Loyalty Awards, which demonstrates the nameplate’s popularity among EV enthusiasts. It’s important to note that the Leaf is also the only plug-in vehicle to be included in the IHS Awards. That’s solid proof that the market needs affordable, reliable EVs more than it requires supercar-like performance and luxury.
Click past the jump to read more about the Nissan Leaf.
Why it matters
Granted, the Leaf could use a few improvements, especially in the range department. With only 75 miles per charge, the Nissan is limited to city driving and short commutes. But despite these shortcomings, the Leaf has become a successful electric vehicle with impressive sales results since its introduction. What’s more, 2014 accounted for nearly 42 percent of total Leaf sales in the U.S. since late 2010, a figure that speaks volumes of the Leaf’s growing popularity in the country that produces the bonkers Tesla Model S (which, by the way, sold 31,855 examples between June 2012 and September 2014).
What both cars illustrate is that demand for electric cars is on the rise. Sure, electrification is still in its infancy and EVs have yet to reach their potential, but these numbers are encouraging not just for Nissan, but for all the manufacturers offering or pondering to develop electric vehicles. I can’t help but stress the importance of having more affordable EVs to choose from. The Model S is a cool gadget to have, but very few of us have the financial means to purchase one. Hopefully, Tesla’s upcoming Model III will bring better performance and a 200-mpg range at a price that will drop below the $30,000 range with federal incentives.