Nissan Leaf sales surge 33% in 2014
The all-electric Nissan Leaf has topped the zero-emissions car sales chart in Europe for the fourth year in a row with a 26% market share.
Against a backdrop of a rapidly-expanding alternative fuel car market, Nissan reported a 33% increase on its 2013 sales, with 14,658 of the UK-built Nissan Leaf vehicles sold in 2014.
The Renault Zoe is Nissan's nearest rival with 20% of the European market share, followed by Tesla Model S with 15%.
"We can now see the impact that word of mouth is having on our sales, with 95% of our customers happy to recommend their car to a friend and 50% saying they would never go back to diesel or petrol," said Nissan Europe senior vice president of sales and marketing Guillaume Cartier.
"This kind of powerful advocacy, combined with an increasing awareness of the massive running cost savings electric car driver's experience, is why our Nissan LEAF sales continue to grow."
Demand revs up
Data from Nissan's CarWings telematics system shows that Leaf drivers drove 40% more kilometres than the European average for petrol or diesel cars, covering more than 16,500km. "This data demonstrates that this car is the primary car for many households and that is changing the consumer perception of electric cars," added Cartier.
Sales of Nissan Leaf cars in the UK more than doubled from 1,812 in 2013 to 4,051 in 2014, representing 55% of the UK market, which itself has seen significant growth with an unprecedented number of new entrants over the past year.
Annual figures released by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) earlier this month show that sales of plug-in hybrid cars in the UK increased four-fold in 2014. Sales rose 58% last year with 51,739 new alternatively fuelled vehicles registered and accounting for 2.1% of the market in 2014.
At the start of 2014, Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg unveiled Go Ultra Low, a £2.5m campaign encouraging UK motorists to adopt ultra-low emission vehicles (ULEV). The Government aims for ULEVs to account for every new vehicle on the road by 2040 and will invest £500m between 2015 and 2020 to boost the ultra-low emission vehicle industry.