- The next-gen Nissan LEAF will be bigger, curvier, and more innovative.
- Nissan will electrify the Juke and Qashqai for drivers across the pond.
- In the third quarter of 2023, the Nissan Ariya outsold the LEAF for the first time since arriving on lots this year.
After many years as the cheapest (and for a time, the only) EV on the US market, the Nissan LEAF will no longer be available after 2025. The automaker announced the end of production for US drivers after it dropped out of favor due to its old technology, hard-to-find CHAdeMO charging needs, low range, and minimal tax incentives.
A Sleek and Sexy Next-Gen Nissan LEAF
Despite the end of the line in the US, Nissan is turning over a new LEAF for the European market. And, it’s highly unlikely the next-gen LEAF will arrive on US shores in the near future.
It’s too bad because it could become a major player in the growing US EV market. The futuristic LEAF is bigger, sleeker, and curvier than the quirky little EVs we see sitting at the practically obsolete CHAdeMO chargers.
New Nissan EVs Available in the UK and Europe
The new LEAF will be available in Europe and manufactured in a new state-of-the-art facility in Sunderland, UK. Along with the announcement of the next-gen LEAF and the opening of the Sunderland assembly plant, Nissan shared that it will stop manufacturing gas-powered vehicles in Europe.
The automaker will also update the Juke and the Qashqai (Rogue Sport) as electric vehicles. Nissan’s top-selling car in the UK is the Qashqai, and over one million Jukes are on UK roads.
The newest EVs are based on concepts like the Hyper Urban that the automaker featured at the Japan Mobility Show. Consumers who saw the Hyper Urban will see signs of it in the Qashqai, which will feature a roomy interior and should be larger than the upcoming LEAF. All three new EVs have “high-riding” driver’s seats – providing an SUV driving experience with plenty of visibility.
Uncertainty about North American Nissan EVs
It’s expected that the Qashqai and Juke EVs will not see North American shores anytime soon. For those unfamiliar with the Qashqai name, Nissan calls it the Rogue Sport in the US, and the UK version of the Juke looks like a Rogue Sport with the signature circular accent headlights below the slotted Rogue LED headlights.
Whether or not the next-gen LEAF comes to the US is a crapshoot. Drivers who already have the LEAF are some of the earliest EV adopters, but the current LEAF technology is outdated – as the EV only gets about 150 miles of range. Consider how the newest EVs, like the Nissan Ariya, have ranges near 300 miles.
The next-gen LEAF design will be based on the concept Nissan Chill Out which is close in size to the Ariya but with more curves rather than hard angles. It will certainly stand out compared to the boxy EVs dominating the market today.
US Nissan EV Sales in Q3 2023
US EV drivers have accepted the Nissan Ariya as a pleasant upgrade from the LEAF. In the third quarter of 2023, the Ariya outsold the LEAF by three to one.
Nissan sold 4,504 Ariya models in the third quarter and 1,570 LEAF models – which is up 23% from a year ago. The Q3 Ariya sales are lower than similarly sized EVs like the Hyundai IONIQ 5 with 11,665 sold and the Kia EV6 with 6,470 sold.
During the same quarter, Ford sold 14,842 Mustang Mach-E models and VW sold 10,707 ID.4 models. The IONIQ 5, EV6, Mach-E, and ID.4 were released more than a year before the Ariya.
The Kia EV6 and Nissan Ariya are assembled outside of the US – making them ineligible for the $7,500 tax credit. This could account for their lower sales compared to Ford, Hyundai, and VW models made in the USA.
Tax Incentives and Tesla Superchargers
With production in the UK, the next-gen LEAF would no longer qualify for tax incentives. But it would give drivers a reason to visit their nearest Nissan dealership. The price of the current LEAF models is so low that shoppers only get to take advantage of $3,750 rather than the full $7,500 tax credit.
With the LEAF on its way out of the US market, plenty of rumors are flying about another SUV EV that will join the Ariya on Nissan lots. For added convenience, Nissan has already committed to outfitting its 2025 and later EV models with Tesla charging ports. Whatever Nissan EV eventually arrives in the US will have access to the plethora of Tesla Supercharger stations, as well as the Level 3 CCS chargers that Tesla drivers also enjoy.
SOURCE | IMAGES: NISSAN
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