Just think, if Americans took to the Nissan Leaf battery-electric vehicle as enthusiastically as the Norwegians, the Japanese automaker would've hit its first-year U.S. sales goal of 10,000 units... in about a month.

Nissan sold 1,000 Leafs in Norway during its first six months of sales there and accounted for about two percent of the car market in February. That's roughly equivalent to the market share of all hybrids combined in the U.S.

In February, the Leaf was the ninth most-popular new vehicle in Norway, which Nissan says has the highest EV subsidies in Europe. Additionally, Norway's capital, Oslo, has about 3,500 public charging stations, around a third of what the U.S. has across the entire country.

The U.S. has a population that's over 60 times the size of Norway's five million people, meaning that a similar per capita sales rate in the U.S. would mean sales of about 120,000 units a year. Last year, Nissan sold 9,674 Leafs in the U.S.

Last month, Nissan sold just 370 Leafs, down 35 percent from a year earlier and marking a 36 percent drop from March sales. Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn has said that Nissan's cost to make the Leaf will fall and sales should rise once the company starts producing the Leaf in Tennessee as well as Japan later this year.
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Norway Hits 1000 Nissan LEAF Sales in Just Six Months

Nissan in Norway has sold 1000 Nissan LEAFs in just six months, taking almost 2% of the total car market in February this year demonstrating the impact of comprehensive incentives and developed charging infrastructure.

The government support and charging infrastructure have helped the Nissan LEAF become the second best selling Nissan in Norway and the ninth best selling passenger car overall in February. Norway has the highest level of support in Europe for electric vehicle purchases with zero VAT, no new car tax, free parking, exemption from some tolls and the use of bus lanes in Oslo. The existing on-street charging infrastructure in Oslo currently has approximately 3500 public charging points in Oslo, many of them free to use.

Olivier Paturet, General Manager of Zero Emission Strategy at Nissan Europe was delighted to attend the handover, commenting: "We are very happy to see that the ambition of the Norwegian government has matched our own with strong support for the widespread introduction of electric vehicles. The Norwegian package of incentives is unsurpassed and the recharging infrastructure is established and accessible. We can see that Norway is leading the way with its proactive approach to encouraging its citizens to drive electric vehicles. We hope it will continue with the further development and upgrading of the charging infrastructure."

The 1000th car handover took place on 25 April at 12.30 in front of the Ministry of Environment where the Minister Bård Vegar Solhjell handed over the keys to Nils Haugerud. Also attending was Birger N. Haug the dealer responsible for selling this car and 550 of the 1000 sold so far, making him one of the largest volume LEAF dealers worldwide.

All of the sales so far have come from a select group of dealers and Nissan will be expanding that number as Pål Simonsen, Country Manager for Norway explains: "LEAF has been a success for us and for the nine dealers that started selling the car last year, so it is a natural step for us to open up for sales from other Nissan dealers as well. We are extremely satisfied with our LEAF sales performance in Norway. In a short period of time LEAF became our second best selling model, proving that EVs can be valid and competitive alternative to combustion engine cars. We are absolutely committed to LEAF and we are working with our Dealers on commercial strategy to go even further."

To learn more about Nissan's Electric Vehicles, please visit: http://www.nissan-zeroemission.com/

About the Nissan LEAF
The Nissan LEAF was the first mass produced EV winning the European, World and Japanese car of the year 2011. More than 25,000 units have been sold globally since its introduction in December 2010, making Nissan LEAF the world's most selling electric vehicle. The AC motor develops 80 kW of power and 280 Nm of torque, enough for a maximum speed of 145 km/h. The electric motor is powered by a Nissan-developed laminated lithium-ion battery with an output of more than 90 kW. Recharging from empty to 100% takes eight hours with a normal charger and just 30 minutes from empty to 80% using a quick charger in optimal conditions. Nissan LEAF has been awarded five stars in the tough Euro NCAP tests, making it one of the safest cars on the road. Nissan LEAF comes fully equipped with air conditioning, satellite navigation, rear-view parking camera. European production of the Nissan LEAF will start at Sunderland in early 2013.

About Nissan in Europe
Nissan has one of the most comprehensive European presences of any overseas manufacturer, employing more than 14,500 staff across locally-based design, research & development, manufacturing, logistics and sales & marketing operations. Last year Nissan plants in the UK, Spain and Russia produced 677,000 vehicles including mini-MPVs, award-winning crossovers, SUVs and commercial vehicles. Nissan now offers 24 diverse and innovative products for sale in Europe today, and is positioned to become the number one Asian brand in Europe.

About Nissan
Nissan Motor Co., Ltd., Japan's second-largest automotive company, is headquartered in Yokohama, Japan, and is part of the Renault-Nissan Alliance. Operating with more than 248,000 employees globally, Nissan provided customers with more than 4.1 million vehicles in 2010, generating revenue of 8.77 trillion yen ($102.37 billion US). With a strong commitment to developing exciting and innovative products for all, Nissan delivers a comprehensive range of 64 models under the Nissan and Infiniti brands. A pioneer in zero-emission mobility, Nissan made history with the introduction of the Nissan LEAF, the first affordable, mass-market, pure-electric vehicle and winner of numerous international accolades, including the prestigious 2011-2012 Car of the Year Japan, 2012 RJC Car of the Year, 2011 European Car of the Year, and 2011 World Car of the Year awards. For more information on our products, services and commitment to sustainable mobility, visit our website at http://www.nissan-global.com/EN/.