New Nissan Leaf set to dominate plug-in car sales in Japan
The Nissan Leaf was the best selling plug-in car in Japan with 1.912 units sold last month. The second place was reserved for the Toyota Prius PHV with 1.670 units sold.
Unfortunately, due to the inspection scandal that affected Nissan, it wasn’t possible to surpass the previous month sales of 3.230 units.
Nevertheless, as we can see from the sale figures below, the new Nissan Leaf is proving to be one of the automaker’s most popular cars in Japan.
In Japan there are only two plug-in cars that sell in volumes that worth mention, the Nissan Leaf and the Toyota Prius PHV.
At the current scenario, the five-seater all-electric car from Nissan is expected to outsell the more expensive four-seater plug-in hybrid from Toyota. While the manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MSRP) of the new Nissan Leaf starts at 3.150.360 JPY (23.351 €), the Toyota Prius PHV starts at 3.261.600 JPY (24.171 €).
Anyway, it will be interesting to see how will Toyota react to an all-electric car outselling its plug-in hybrid. The automaker will no longer be able to say that nobody wants electric cars. While I don’t think that Toyota will release an all-electric car anytime soon – outside China – to compete with the Nissan Leaf, the automaker will improve its Prius PHV by increasing the number of seats to five and upgrading the battery capacity.
As a side note, currently the Toyota Prius PHV uses outdated 25 Ah PHEV2 type battery cells from Sanyo/Panasonic.
Regarding the Nissan Leaf, upcoming improvements are already confirmed, the e-Plus version will have more range and power. To sum up, Toyota’s complex plug-in hybrids will not have an easy task competing against simpler all-electric cars.