Nissan sells 99,999th Leaf to U.S. customer, 100,000th in UK

(January 20, 2014) NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Amy Eichenberger of Charlottesville, Va., became the 99,999th global Nissan Leaf customer when she purchased her 100 percent electric vehicle at Colonial Nissan. And after just three years on sale globally, Nissan delivered the 100,000th example of the zero emission Nissan Leaf to a British buyer based in Hampshire.

"For such a revolutionary car, to achieve this sales milestone in such a short space of time is a major achievement," said Guillaume Cartier, Senior Vice President Sales and Marketing, Nissan Europe.

To celebrate the sales achievement, Nissan has produced a unique version of a Nissan Leaf with 100,000 very special optional extras, representing each sale — the car is decorated in 50,000 two pence Sterling coins from the UK and 50,000 two cent Euro coins from Europe.

The choice of coins reflect how cost efficient Nissan Leaf is to run — just £0.02 per mile and less than €0.02 per kilometer.

Brett Garner and his wife stand in front of the coin covered Leaf.

Creating the coined covered Nissan Leaf took a specialist team of three people a full seven days to complete. Half the car is covered in Sterling and the other in Euros with the word ‘Leaf' highlighted by the use of three layers of coins.

The100,000th car was sold to dentist Brett Garner, a self-confessed "technology freak" whose practice is based in nearby Fareham on the South Coast of England.

Brett was prompted to consider the car by a Leaf-owning friend, who praised the car not just for its zero emissions and advanced technology, but also for its low running costs.

"He said he was saving a fortune. My wife wasn't convinced initially but I ran through the finances with her - the low cost of maintenance, insurance, fuel and so on - and she softened a little.

"But when she used the car to make a 500-mile round trip, she was converted. The journey took a little longer than normal with a stop for a quick charge top-up on both legs... now she insists on using the Leaf a couple of days a week," he added.

The Leaf is perfectly suited to Brett's regular daily commute — a 50-mile round trip — and the Garner's have had a Polar charging point installed at their home by British Gas.

Meanwh
ile in Virginia, Mrs. Eichenberger, a 47-year-old mother of two, wasn't even in the market for a new car. Then she spotted a University of Virginia colleague's Nissan Leaf and decided she wanted to know more about the "modern-looking, futuristic and progressive" car.

"As an architect, the style first got my attention, and I loved the concept of zero emissions," Amy said. Amy is a project manager overseeing major capital investments for the University of Virginia in Charlottesville.

The Nissan Leaf was the first car Amy test drove, and she loved the zip it had. A Mercedes driver for 10 years, Amy describes herself as "picky." Quality, safety, a "glide ride" and reliability were at the top of Amy's auto shopping list criteria.

She said she had a few initial reservations — primarily around range — so she tested out some gasoline and diesel competitors as well. "I'd been told once I drove a Mercedes I'd never drive anything else again. I don't need fancy, but I do appreciate the so
lid feel and craftsmanship of a luxury vehicle, and I get that in the Leaf," Amy said.

"The general fuel economy out there is unimpressive and many of them felt tin-canny. I didn't even want to look at anything in the 20 MPG range. I considered the VW Jetta TDI, Toyota Prius, Honda CRV and a couple of Subaru wagons, and I always came back to the Nissan Leaf. Everything else seemed stuck in the past," Amy explained.

Amy ultimately chose a Leaf S in Glacier White. Her commute is about 10 miles to the university each day and most of her errand-running is around the city — well under the Leaf's estimated range of 84 miles on a full charge.

"I have friends I like to visit in Richmond, which I can do in the Leaf with some planning, and in D.C., which I'll do in my son's or boyfriend's car. Leaf will meet my needs 98 percent of the time, and I didn't want to let a little range anxiety prevent me from missing out on what I consider a much more progressive and forward-thinking vehicle than any of the alternatives."

Chris Crowley, the dedicated EV salesperson for Colonial Nissan, sold Amy her Leaf. He explained that Leaf buyers are not typical walk-ins. "Leaf buyers generally come in well educated about the vehicle, looking for even more information and wanting to see how it feels and drives. We spend a lot of time talking about d
riving habits to make sure it meets their needs and reviewing how very much it's like any other vehicle in its capabilities with the added benefit of no fuel bill. Folks like to be green, but you can talk to their pocket books as well," Chris said.

The Nissan Leaf launched in the United States in December 2010. The United States accounts for nearly half of the sales worldwide. The pace of Leaf sales has continued to accelerate. In 2013, Nissan sold 22,610 of the electric vehicles in the United States, more than twice as many as in 2012 and more than 2012 and 2011 Leaf sales combined.

Nissan Leaf traditionally has performed well on the West Coast with notable markets such as San Francisco, Los Angeles and Seattle, but now interest has expanded across the country. New hot markets have emerged such as Atlanta, which has been the No. 1 Leaf market for the past five months.

"With Leaf, we see a high level of organic growth and viral sales where Leaf owners become our best evangelists and salespeople. With electric vehicles, many folks presume a 100 percent electric vehicle won't meet their needs until they chat with a neighbor, co-worker or family friend who loves their Leaf and explain its practicality, and then it goes on their consideration list," said Erik Gottfried, Nissan's director of EV Sales and Marketing.

"In fact, we're seeing similar results with the geographic dispersion of sales. With sales high in Atlanta, we now see other Georgia markets such as Macon and Columbus picking up significant momentum, similar to Eugene, Ore., following on the success of Portland."

Nissan Leaf is best-selling EV in history with 48 percent market share of the electric vehicle market globally. As of November 2013, Nissan Leaf drivers have completed an estimated 1 billion zero-emission kilometers, resulting in approximately 165 million kilograms of CO2 saved.