Just over four and a half years since the Nissan LEAF electric car was launched, the Renault-Nissan Alliance has announced that cumulative global sales of electric cars has passed the quarter of a million unit mark.
Announced this morning in a special press release, the two automakers — which share a single CEO in Carlos Ghosn — said the 250,000th electric vehicle to be sold by the alliance was an all-white Renault ZOE hatchback, sold to French software engineer Yves Nivelle from Bordeaux.
Many electric car owners cite ethical and environmental reasons for buying their electric car, alongside the smooth driving experience and instant torque they offer over a conventional vehicle. In Nivelle’s case however, his purchase decision was also influenced generous €10,000 incentive currently offered by the French Government since April to encourage owners of older diesel vehicles to trade their cars in for an electric car. Designed to rid France’s roads of ancient oil-burning diesel cars, the incentive has already had a massive impact on the number of diesel cars being scrapped and the number of electric cars being purchased.
“The government’s environmental bonus was a big factor in my decision to get an EV,” said Nivelle, who traded in his 21-year old car to buy the ZOE. “But I have to say, I was convinced the first time I drove the car. It’s a real pleasure to drive and it feels good to do my part for the environment.”
The French incentive program, combined with other sales and incentive programs around the world as well as improved public awareness of electric vehicles, has increased year to date sales by more than 15 percent on the same period last year, a Renault-Nissan press release detailed. Of all the electric vehicles sold in the world to date, Renault-Nissan says that nearly half come from the alliance.
It’s hardly surprising either. Currently, Renault-Nissan sells six different models globally, two under the Nissan badge (LEAF, e-NV200), three under the Renault badge, (ZOE, Kangoo Z.E., Twizy) and one under a partnership with Samsung (SM3 Z.E — formerly the Fluence Z.E.). Of those vehicles, the Nissan LEAF is the world’s best-selling electric car to date, accounting for 185,000 of the 250,000 vehicles sold by the alliance.
Breaking those figures down further, Renault-Nissan says around 80,000 LEAF sales have come from the U.S., with Japan accounting for a further 53,500 units, and Europe 41,500. Globally, the LEAF is now sold in 46 different markets.
While the LEAF is the world’s most popular electric car however, Renault’s ZOE hatchback — which uses an on-board ‘Chameleon’ AC rapid charge capability rather than the external DC quick charging units required by the LEAF and e-NV200 for rapid charging — accounts for more than half of the total electric car sales in France. Thanks to current government incentives, some drivers can lease the ZOE there for as little as €99 a month.
To celebrate the milestone, the alliance has even produced an infographic detailing the path of both Renault and Nissan’s electric vehicle programs, dating back to 1924, when Renault produced its first electric bus, complete with battery-swapping capabilities. In total, there are more than thirty different plug-in vehicles listed, ranging from the Nissan’s quirky 315X prototype electric car of the 1970s through to Renault’s autonomous drive NEXT TWO prototype from 2014.
Sadly, most of the vehicles featured haven’t made it into production, but if you’re interested in electric vehicle history as we are, it makes for an interesting read, and we’ve included it above as a scrollable image.
Congratulations to the Renault-Nissan alliance for its quarter-million sales milestone — and here’s to the next quarter million.
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