Nissan is gearing up to close a record 2019 for EV demand that has seen the UK market share for all-electric cars more than double year-on-year.
Made for Europe in the UK at Nissan’s Sunderland plant, the LEAF is about to celebrate its 10th anniversary in 2020. With almost 440,000 sold since its introduction in 2010, the model is still the world’s best-selling electric vehicle, and also in the UK where it has received more than 32,000 orders. European sales currently stand at 150,000.
To cement the model’s position as one of the most accessible, and readily available, electric vehicles on the market, Nissan has reduced the ‘On The Road’ price of its LEAF 40kWh range by £1,650 on all grades.
The starting price of a LEAF 40kWh is now £26,345 for an Acenta version (including the £3,500 Plug-in Car Grant), whilst range-topping Tekna models are from £29,345.
For company car drivers, this places the entire 40kWh LEAF range in the sub-£30k P11D price point. As an extra incentive for choosing zero-emission transport, from April 2020 there will be zero per-cent benefit-in-kind (BIK) tax on electric vehicles, rising to just one per-cent from April 2021 and two per-cent from April 2022.
Combined with zero VED, off-peak electricity for charging, substantially lower maintenance costs, free ULEZ and London Congestion Charge entry, and free parking in some towns and cities, drivers could save thousands of pounds a year in running costs compared to a petrol or diesel vehicle.
In the UK, the electric vehicle market continues to see impressive year-on-year growth. In the first 11 months (Jan-Nov), the market share for 100% electric vehicles had more than doubled from 0.6% in 2018 to 1.5% in 2019. This is thanks to EV registrations almost tripling, up +135.6% to almost 33,000 units. In November alone, electric vehicles achieved an impressive 3.0% market share, with 4,652 sold – 537 of which were the Nissan LEAF, making up 12% of EV sales.
Such is the demand for electric vehicles that some car brands are taking up to 12 months to deliver vehicles to customers. However for the most popular Nissan LEAF models, the wait times are now as short as two weeks.
The LEAF range has also received two specification enhancements to benefit both driver and passengers.
Two rear USB connections have been added to all versions. The ports are fitted to the reverse panel of the centre console and are easily accessible to rear passengers.
Standard on Tekna (and optional on N-Connecta versions), the LED fog lights have also been upgraded to include a cornering function. This feature illuminates the fog lights during tight cornering to give greater visibility to the road ahead.