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Style, Performance, Reliability: Why Nissan's 99,999th LEAF Customer Went Electric

"I have friends I like to visit in Richmond, which I can do in the LEAF with some planning, and in DC, which I'll do in my son's or boyfriend's car. LEAF will meet my needs 98 percent of the time, and I didn't want to let a little range anxiety prevent me from missing out on what I consider a much more progressive and forward-thinking vehicle than any of the alternatives."

Chris Crowley, the dedicated EV salesperson for Colonial Nissan, sold Amy her LEAF. He explained that LEAF buyers are not typical walk-ins. "LEAF buyers generally come in well educated about the vehicle, looking for even more information and wanting to see how it feels and drives. We spend a lot of time talking about driving habits to make sure it meets their needs and reviewing how very much it's like any other vehicle in its capabilities with the added benefit of no fuel bill. Folks like to be green, but you can talk to their pocket books as well," Chris said.

Chris has been with Colonial Nissan for two years and has been the lead EV person for most of that time. He's sold nine LEAFs total with three of those coming in the past three weeks. "LEAF sales have picked up because once we were selling to engineers who were fans of the car and knew exactly how it worked. Now we're selling to a much broader audience, and I think we've benefitted from a few folks who resolved to be greener in the new year."

Nissan LEAF launched in the United States in December 2010. The United States accounts for nearly half of the sales worldwide. The pace of LEAF sales has continued to accelerate. In 2013, Nissan sold 22,610 of the electric vehicles in the United States, more than twice as many as in 2012 and more than 2012 and 2011 Leaf sales combined.

Nissan LEAF traditionally has performed well on the West Coast with notable markets such as San Francisco, Los Angeles and Seattle, but now interest has expanded across the country. New hot markets have emerged such as Atlanta, which has been the No. 1 LEAF market for the past five months.

"With LEAF, we see a high level of organic growth and viral sales where LEAF owners become our best evangelists and salespeople. With electric vehicles, many folks presume a 100 percent electric vehicle won't meet their needs until they chat with a neighbor, co-worker or family friend who loves their LEAF and explain its practicality, and then it goes on their consideration list," said Erik Gottfried, Nissan's director of EV Sales and Marketing. "In fact, we're seeing similar results with the geographic dispersion of sales. With sales high in Atlanta, we now see other Georgia markets such as Macon and Columbus picking up significant momentum, similar to Eugene, Ore., following on the success of Portland."

Nissan LEAF is best-selling EV in history with 48 percent market share of the electric vehicle market globally. As of November 2013, Nissan LEAF drivers have completed an estimated 1 billion zero-emission kilometers, resulting in approximately 165 million kilograms of CO2 saved.

Nissan LEAF offers powerful acceleration, quiet operation, energy efficiency and low cost of maintenance. Nissan has extended the standard warranty for the battery-power holding capacity with its own additional warranty for customer satisfaction and assurance.

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