In recent months, sales of Nissan’s all-electric LEAF have soared in the U.S. and around the world, driven by an increased public awareness of plug-in vehicles, generous incentives and most importantly, increased public charging infrastructure.
Similarly, Nissan’s alliance partner, French automaker Renault, has also seen a recent, dramatic increase in the number of people buying its range of all-electric cars, driven in part by new lower-cost lease deals for its ZOE electric hatchback.
Sharing a single CEO in Carlos Ghosn and mutual shareholdings in each other, the two companies have just announced that they’ve built and sold more than 200,000 electric vehicles since the Alliance’s first electric vehicle — the Nissan LEAF — went on sale in December 2010.
Together, the Renault-Nissan alliance says its cars have driven approximately 4 billion kilometres (2.49 billion miles), enough to circle the earth more than 100,000 times, while saving an estimated 450 million kilograms of CO2 and 200 million litres (52.8 million U.S. gallons) of gasoline from being burnt.
The news comes just weeks ahead of the fourth anniversary of the launch of the Nissan LEAF, which Nissan is rumoured to be receiving its second-generation refresh next year as a 2016 model year car. To date, more than 148,700 LEAFs have been sold worldwide since December 2010, with the majority of those cars being sold in the U.S. Following in the LEAF’s tire tracks comes the all-electric Nissan e-NV200, which despite being on sale for only a few months is already proving popular with buyers across Europe and Japan.
While the majority of plug-in sales come from Nissan’s side of the alliance, Renault has totalled 51,500 electric vehicle sales in the same time frame. This total is taken from combined sales of Renault’s Fluence Z.E. sedan, Renault Twizy Z.E. low-speed city runabout, Renault ZOE Z.E. hatchback and Renault Kangoo Z.E. van. While the Fluence is no-longer made or sold in Europe, it is enjoying a second life in South Korea, where it is sold with an on-board Chameleon AC rapid charger under the Renault Samsung SM3 ZE name.
Despite lagging behind its alliance partner in total electric vehicle sales however, Renault says its ZOE electric hatchback has started to gain some significant ground in the European electric vehicle market, beating even the LEAF in October with a 23 percent marketshare.
Of the total 200,000 electric vehicle sales recorded by the two automakers, an impressive 66,500 vehicles have been sold this year, representing a 20 percent increase in sales on the same period in 2013. It’s something that has not only bolstered the alliance’s attitudes towards electric cars but even prompted some of its executives to promise that Nissan and Renault won’t be dumping the plug any time soon for hydrogen fuel cell vehicles.
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