The impending Tesla Model 3 has already had a negative effect on the sales of the Nissan Leaf.
Even though it isn’t scheduled for release until 2017, the Model 3’s electric spectre is already looming so large that even the world’s bestselling EV has been spooked.
The guys over at Nissan know they’ve got their work cut out to keep convincing buyers that their Leaf is still the best road-ready EV, and they recently added an upgraded battery park to their top-selling electric car.
However, sales have slumped sharply and observers now think that Tesla Model 3 fever is sweeping the U.S. and causing buyers to happily wait until 2017 before buying a new EV.
Nissan recently published sales figures for their EV that covered the month of March, and they are down by over 50% from the same period last year.
Overall, the Leaf has shifted 39% fewer units this year than it had done at the same stage in 2015.
Nissan remain bullish, asserting that “the Nissan Leaf is the world’s best-selling EV with more than 221,000 sold globally.
“In May, EV sales across the board were down year over year for a variety of reasons. We believe that EV sales will continue to rise over time due to increasing emission regulations and other reasons.”
Tesla Cast An Incomplete Shadow
The Tesla Model 3 – which will be Tesla’s first ever EV aimed at the mass market – easily represents a better deal on paper. The Leaf has 107 EPA-rated miles, while the Model 3 is rumoured to have around 215 miles.
The somewhat good news for Nissan is that buyers don’t purchase paper, and no one knows exactly what the Model 3 will feature.
Moreover, the waiting list is getting longer by the day, and some customers may have to hang around for years before getting their hands on one.
And although Elon Musk says that the final design for the Model 3 will be finished by the end of July, not everyone is convinced.
In the meantime, expect a new Nissan Leaf to be released in either 2017 or 2018.
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